Building Beeg Boy.... (LOTS of pictures)

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by doctorwayne, May 13, 2008.

  1. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    …and Union Pacific fans shouldn’t get too excited, as that is neither a spelling error nor anything to do with that road’s largish articulated locos.
    Several years ago, my good friend cn nutbar was musing about the possibility of having me create a model of one of the CNR’s T-3-a locomotives. These were ten USRA Light 2-10-2s acquired, second-hand, from the Boston & Albany in 1928, not too long after that road had received their noteworthy A-1 Class 2-8-4s. He had an article in the CN Lines magazine of the CNR sig that gave a short history of the locos, along with some photos of the prototype and a pair of photos of a nicely-done model by John Williams, using an old Akane USRA 2-10-2 - not a model that you come across too often these days.
    I felt that if we could find a suitable loco to start with, it could be done. Bowser offered a 2-10-2, but the wheelbase was too far off, and the entire boiler was wrong. The only other 2-10-2s available were in brass, and not too plentiful even then.
    The topic of this loco would come up periodically, and I joked that if we ever did get started, as soon as we had acquired the loco, at least one manufacturer would immediately release a suitable 2-10-2, and at a reasonable price, too. This actually happened: Bachmann came out with a USRA Light 2-10-2 a year or so after the project got underway, followed by another, less suitable but useable, version from IHC.
    Anyway, I was in a hobby shop one day and they had (gasp!) a used Akane USRA Heavy 2-10-2. I had always felt that their version of the “Heavy” looked closer to what we wanted, so I called Mister Nutbar to apprise him of my discovery, and the loco was quickly purchased.
    While it was painted and lettered for a free-lance railroad, and had the incorrect “Long” tender (with a water scoop, no less!), it had also been remotored with a large Sagami can motor and ran very well. On its first test run on my layout, it made a trouble free loop almost around the room, but as it exited the lift-out bridge across the entrance to the layout and headed into the curve between the buildings of GERN Industries, the lead set of drivers derailed. However, loco and train continued on, unfazed by what appeared to be imminent disaster. At the first turnout, and without hesitation or faltering, the wheels re-railed themselves, and the loco and train carried on as if nothing had happened. “That’s some loco”, I commented, “It’s a real ‘Beeg Boy’ - nothing bothers it!”. From that point on, we referred to the loco as “Beeg Boy”.
    It took some time to acquire all of the parts necessary for the conversion work, but I finally got started on the project. Some things were pretty straightforward, while others, such as the ash chutes under the firebox, had me stumped for a while. The whole project, not too far advanced, ground to a halt for a year while I did a house renovation for someone, followed by almost another year that I just couldn’t get any enthusiasm for this job. I tinkered with it off and on, and finally the fire was re-kindled. From that point on, work went rather quickly, and the solutions to problems seemed to come easily. I kept making excuses to Mister Nutbar that the project was still stalled, though, as I was worried that I’d “run out of gas” before I got done. That, fortunately, didn’t happen, and today , when he arrives here to pick up two other locomotives that I’ve repainted for him, I hope that he’ll be pleasantly surprised when I also reveal the finished results of this long-delayed project.
    What follows is not a “how-to”, but rather a chronicle of the construction process.

    This is a scan of a page from the October 1983 issue of Mainline Modeler, showing one of the prototypes of the loco that we’re hoping to end-up with. The photo is from the Charles T. Felstead Collection.
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    Here’s the loco as we found her, although the original tender is not shown. It’s in the paint stripper, while the tender shown is the Bachmann replacement that I’m going to modify for use with this loco.
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    One of my first tasks was to cast a new boiler weight from lead, as the original was too small. With the large can motor, the loco was severely back-heavy. (Probably the reason why those lead drivers derailed.)
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    After stripping the paint from the loco, I used a propane torch to remove the original cab and pilot from the loco. The original wheelset in the lead truck was replaced with a spoked set from PSC, then I used a cut-off disk in my Dremel to cut a slot in the boiler in preparation for the installation of the new cab.
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    The new cab, an old Kemtron cast brass kit, was picked up in a box of train goodies bought by my wife at a garage sale for $5.00. (There was a lot of other neat stuff in that box, too -a real find!) I assembled it using the torch, then used the torch again to attach it firmly to the loco.
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    Here’s the running gear as found. The trailing truck is missing part of the equaliser on this side, and the original pilot wheels are still in place.
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    One of the distinctive details of this loco are the ash chutes under the firebox. I used square brass tubing, soldered to the loco’s frame, for the main chutes, then fabricated the doors from styrene and wire. Unfortunately, they are not as solid as they might have been had I used brass, but with 19 pieces per door, I felt that they were beyond my capabilities with a soldering iron. I did fabricate the missing part for the trailing truck and soldered it in place.
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    I fabricated a new pilot deck, altered the frame, then modified a brass CNR-style pilot to accommodate a Kadee coupler. (Mister Nutbar had bought a number of these from a brass importer some years ago - this is the last one that we have.) Everything was soldered together using a 200 watt iron, then the coupler lift bar and stanchions, flag holders and a new air tank (built from lead-filled brass tubing, with .010”x.030” brass strip used for tank bands) were soldered to the assembly.
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    After this, the project was put on hold for a while. As I mentioned, this dragged on much longer than intended. When I finally did get re-inspired, it was with a vengeance, and , as you’ll see from the photographs, the work went on almost without break, at least for taking photos.

    Here’s the engineer’s side of the re-detailed loco. Parts added include the cab handrails, etched brass cab numbers, a new starter valve (in front of the cab), and a new power reverse. The generator was moved forward to allow installation of the scratch built turret cover, and new sander valves and pipes were added to the sand boxes, along with grabirons. The original water delivery pipe was re-routed to a new top feed check valve, and some boiler washout plugs were installed. You can also see the new brake shoes and hangers added to all of the drivers, as the original brass ones had been removed by the previous owner.
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    On the same side, but farther forward, you can see the top feed check valve, sander pipe and valves for the forward sandbox, and the lagged steam pipe from the dome forward to the smokebox front. The new airtank is another fabricated from lead-filled brass tubing.
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    On the fireman’s side, the same cab and boiler details are seen, along with a new cold water pump (closest to the cab) and cross compound air pump, both with their associated piping.
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    Here the continuation of the cold water line to the feed water heater can be seen, along with the lagged hot water line from the heater to the top feed check valve. There’s yet another lead-filled air tank snuggled under the running board, and the new handrails can be seen as they work their way down the smoke box front.
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    Here are a couple of front angle views. In the first photo, the steam pipe for the Barber-Greene snowloader is lagged right to the end. I later removed the lower lagging, as the bottom couple of feet of the pipe appear to be connected to the main pipe with a swivel joint. Also seen here and in the previous side views of the front end are the exhaust steam pipes from the steam chest to the feed water heater, along with the condensate drain pipe on the front of engineer’s side of the smoke box. The large heater bundle (from Cary) is supported on a Cal-Scale bracket which was customised with curved overlays cut from brass shim stock. Beneath that is a CNR-style number board built up from styrene - it’s attached to the smoke box front with brass rods soldered into the smoke box. The headlight bracket and headlight are from Cal-Scale and the combination class lights and handrail stanchions are also modified Cal-Scale parts. The plastic steps from the pilot deck to the running boards are from the scrapbox, and are pinned in place with brass rods.
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    The vents on the cab roof were in the wrong place, so I used a mill file to remove them, then added new ones built-up from sheet brass. Brass sheet was also used to increase the height of the wind deflector that was cast on the back edge of the roof. The roof itself was made to be removable, as it’s difficult to install window “glass” in closed-in vestibule cabs. The turret cover was built from sheet styrene, and is secured to the boiler by brass rods soldered into holes in the boiler top. The hollow turret cover was then filled with epoxy, solidly bonding it to the boiler. The round access covers were punched from styrene, and handles and grabs were made from .012” brass wire, similar to those on the sandboxes.
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    The two views below show the piping and details along the upper part of the forward portion of the boiler and smoke box. The airline for the bell ringer, along with the steam exhaust lines from the air-and water pumps come out from under the boiler lagging. The latter two go to the heater bundle.
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    The tender for this loco started out as a Bachmann standard USRA model.
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    I used sheet styrene to modify it to look more like the ones used by the CNR, since the prototype modified their stock tenders, too. The coal bunker was opened up, then a new bunker and slope sheet was added. The curved areas were removed from the front and rear of the bunker sides, then new, higher sides were built up by laminating .015” and .010” sheet styrene to the remaining upper sides. The final outer layer of .010” sheet was embossed with rivets before installation. I left slotted voids in the upper edge of the centre lamination, for later installation of handrail stanchions. The pictures should pretty much explain the construction of the tender body.
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    Here's the riveted overlay installed:

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    This is the rear of the tender. This ladder was built from .010”x.030” brass bar and .012” wire, assembled on a jig, while the one on the engineer’s side used the same materials, but had to be assembled on the model because the ladder rungs are curved. The footboards are more brass bar and some sheet stock and the sill steps were also assembled from brass bar. The back-up light support is a piece of commercial ladder stock bent to suit, while the water hatch was built up with styrene. The hatch lid rest is more bar, with .012” wire for handles. I used PSC stanchions for the handrail around the cistern deck, but created my own for the coal bunker area. The .010”x.030” bar, bent around the railing and soldered together fit snugly into the slots left for this purpose, and I used the same material for the cut lever supports. The vertical handrails at the rear of the tender are made from .015” music wire.
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    Here’s a look at the underside of the tender body. Because the addition of the open bunker eliminated the post that accepted the screw which held everything together, I added some styrene tubing in the tender’s water legs. Screws driven up through the floor at these locations will hold everything together.
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    The tender chassis had the 1.6 ounces of steel weights replaced with 4.0 ounces cut from sheet lead. A toolbox, fashioned from square styrene tubing and a piece of sheet styrene , along with a re-railing frog on the opposite side, completed the underbody details.
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    Here are some final views before painting:
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    And some more after the primer coat. The raised numerals on the cab were cleaned of paint, both primer and later the final cab paint using a #17 blade as a scraper.
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    I used a brush to touch-up the unpainted or chipped areas on the chassis, then, with power leads clipped to the motor, airbrushed the wheels, valve gear, side rods, and all other areas that would be visible on the assembled model, all the while with the wheels turning at moderate speed. This avoided unpainted areas where stationary side rods could cover parts of the drivers.
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    I didn’t take any other photos during the rest of the painting process, as all airbrushing was done as a continuous procedure. I used four different variations of black, applying them in varying order to the parts that required each shade. While I don’t apply masking for this, I do employ hand-held bits of paper or card to shield adjacent areas from overspray. I also switch back and forth between colours as required. It took well over an hour of continuous spraying to complete loco and tender. After the paint had dried sufficiently, I used a brush to paint areas where details were in a contrasting colour to the background area. This was mostly for the piping that passed over the brownish areas of the smoke box and firebox, but also included the red window sash and yellow cab numbers.
    Two days later, I sprayed the tender body and the cylinders and air tanks, along with the number boards, with semi-gloss in preparation for decaling.
    After the decals had fully dried, I applied the final clear coatings - shiny semi-gloss for the cab and tender body, less shiny semi-gloss for the boiler, smoke box front, cylinders and pilot, along with the tender footboards, and an almost flat semi-gloss for the running gear of both the loco and tender, along with the tender deck. The coal bunker, firebox, and smokebox received no clear coat. These various coatings were applied much the same as the paint, switching back and forth as required, using paper as shields. Again, when this had dried, I used a brush to touch-up areas as required.
    After the cab “glass” had been applied, the loco and tender were assembled and very lightly weathered with a bit of soot along the boiler top and a very slight amount of road dust on the running gear. This loco is meant to represent one just out of the shop. Next, the wheel treads were cleaned with lacquer thinner, and the side rods and valve gear were lightly lubed.
    Here’s a couple of “builders photos”:
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    And a few more:
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    Then, it was a time for a quick shakedown run:
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    The completed loco, not including the tender, weighs 32 ounces and is balanced at the centre driver. It’s capable of single-handedly hauling a 100 oz. train up the curving 2.5% grade between Elfrida and South Cayuga, a task normally handled by a pair of modified Athearn Mikados or a pair of similarly modified Bachmann 2-8-0s. I’d guess that that would be equal to more than 100 40’ boxcars ballasted to the recommended NMRA weights, on straight, level track. Beeg Boy indeed!

    You can view additional pictures of the rebuild Here . Click on any thumbnail for an enlargement, and click on that for an even bigger view.

    Wayne
  2. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

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    gosh wayne,your kit bashing skills just plain amaze me!!!!!!!! the engine looks fabulous,and a great narration of how you did it as well.just plain amazing.--josh
  3. scubadude

    scubadude Member

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  4. riverotter

    riverotter Midwest Alliance Rail Sys

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    Textbook-worthy! Inspiring!
  5. Fluesheet

    Fluesheet Member

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    Quite an inspiration, Dr.!

    Two questions;
    - What did you use to lag the various pipes?
    - I would think soldering a tube filled with lead to anything would be difficult due to the heat sink. How is this done?

    And 32 ounces - good grief!

    As an aside, how do you deal with rod journal wear - or have you even found this to be a problem?

    Matt
  6. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

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    Outstanding!:inw::inw:

    Loren
  7. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Thanks to all for the warm reception to my lengthy post. ;):-D

    The small lagged pipe from the feedwater heater bundle to the check valve is from Cal-Scale, a couple of sections spliced together.
    The pipes from the steam chest to the heater bundle and the one from the steam dome for the Barber-Greene Snowloader were lagged as shown Here .

    As noted, the cab was put together using a propane torch, like those used by plumbers, then attached to the boiler (before the weight was installed) using the same torch and a lot of wet tissues and paper towels as heat sinks. Almost all of the other soldering was done using a 200 watt iron, and lots of wet paper towels. The large capacity iron can put heat into the area faster than it can be drawn away, and pre-tinning of both parts helped to speed the work. I did use a 25 watt iron for the small stuff, such as the tender handrails and ladders, which were assembled on the plastic body.

    The loco is probably at its limit, weight-wise. I removed about 4 ounces of the original 36 from the boiler, as it made the loco back-heavy. The final weight of 32 ounces will still allow the drivers to slip if the train is manually restrained, so the motor should be okay.
    As for journal wear, that remains to be seen. As I was posting the pictures, Mister Nutbar was en route to my place, planning to pick up two other locos which I had repainted for him. He was totally unaware that this loco would also be awaiting him. I wish that I would've had a camera to record the look on his face when he first saw it: priceless! ;):-D:-D I'm not sure how much running the loco will get, so we'll have to see. I was curious to see how heavy I could make it, though, and still keep it balanced. I probably could've put another 32 ounces in the cab, although it would've been doing a perpetual wheelie! :eek:

    Wayne
  8. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

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    Slap Stupendous!

    WHOLLY SMOKES WAYNE:eeki::eeki::eeki: , THATS SLAP STUPENDOUS!!!:bravo:

    Yet again, you have outdone yourself:winki::mrgreen: , this engine is so AWESOME, i think it has beat out nutbar's #4100 as my favorite:eeki::thumb: , though the tender on #4100 still is the best:winki: .

    the cab change over, and the multitude of other details(the lagged pipes are among my favorite:winki: ), really made this engine & tender:thumb: . SLAP FANTASTIC JOB Wayne:thumb: , nutbar is bar none, the luckiest guy in the world:winki: .

    BTW, i am dial up, so it took me 9 times to get this page to fully load:madd: , but it was well worth the time spent to see that SPECTACULAR engine:thumb::mrgreen: .

    :deano: -Deano
  9. ScratchyAngel

    ScratchyAngel Member

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    That's some stunning work. She reminds me a lot of the 2-10-2's from the T&P that I really love. I know one of my great-grandfather's was an engineer and another a fireman for them. They were gone when I came along, so I'm not certain they drove them, but thinking they might have is probably why I like them more than big boys or the rest. I love the big heaters on them.

    Thanks for sharing this fantastic work.
  10. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

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    Sooooo...Nutbar was unaware that the loco was finished...Sheeeesh...you could've given him a heart attack..!!!

    As for the loco...What else can be said that hasn't yet....? AWESOME..!! :inw:

    BTW...When do you expect the men in white suits will come to pick you up..?? :mrgreen:
  11. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Once again, thanks for the kind comments.

    Hey, that's all ancient history!! hamr I've been a good boy and they let me out on a day-pass. :p;):-D:-D

    Wayne
  12. galt904

    galt904 Member

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    Wow! Absolutely incredible work Doc!
  13. modelsof1900

    modelsof1900 Member

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    Wayne,

    best of modeling what ever I have seen. Oustanding model and description.
    Thank you very much for sharing your project and these excellent pictures !!!!! :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

    Bernhard
  14. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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  15. hickstmj

    hickstmj Marcie

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    I'm speechless. Your skills are amazing.
  16. beamish

    beamish HO & Steam Engineer

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    That's awesome!!! Someday I would like to be able to do this and have results half as good as you. Thanks for sharing.

    Mike
  17. cn nutbar

    cn nutbar Member

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    hello everyone---I have to agree I am very lucky to have such a good friend---I couldn't wait to get home from work today so I could add my comments to this thread---to say the least,I was totally overwhelmed when Wayne took out #4193---we had talked about this project for a while and when I saw the locomotive for the first time I was speechless apart from a continuation of "WOWS" and "FANTASTIC"---Wayne,you're a true artist---you have a very special talent and skill---Thanks to you I have a one of a kind masterpiece and I'm grateful for this gem that you have created for me
    After the initial shock,we did get into taking some pictures which I'm currently uploading---I'll post these photos soon---Thanks again---Nutbar
  18. Sarge_7

    Sarge_7 Member

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    That is outstanding work:thumb::thumb: your skills inspire me:mrgreen:
  19. ScratchyAngel

    ScratchyAngel Member

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    You might have to put some real snow on the layout for her to run through ;)
  20. Don7

    Don7 Member

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    I enjoy Canadian big steam and you did a great job bringing this engine to life.