Converting AHM Pacific into CNR Pacific--PIX NOW POSTED

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by RobertInOntario, Aug 8, 2008.

  1. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

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    I'm hoping to "more or less" convert an AHM/Rivarossi ATSF Pacific into a CNR J-7b Pacific. I've asked about this conversion project elsewhere (http://www.zealot.com/forum/showthread.php?t=160938) but now have another question.

    I've bought the needed CN decals, some polystyrene white plastic strips (to be used for the white lining seen on many CNR steamers), as well as an Elesco Feedwater Heater kit (made by Cal-Scale). I haven't, though, started on any actual conversion work yet.

    For my first step, I thought I should remove the old ATSF numbers and letters. These, however, do not appear to be decals but seem to be painted onto the loco.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for removing this old white paint without damaging the loco? Or, could I find some black paint and simply paint out the white lettering? I've posted a pic below.

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

    Rob
    GAUGE_ATSF_w__0075.jpg
  2. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

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    Hmmm, the only white painted parts I see are on the cab and the tender, and I think that unless you're gonna paint the whole thing some color other than black, simply painting over the parts you want gone seems good enough. If you're gonna paint the engine emerald green or something, however, stripping the paint might be better. The tender, at least, should be replaced or kitbashed into a more accurate tender for a CNR loco, as that looks similar to one I find behind model power 0-6-0's.

    Those are just my views, though, and I've never converted a steam engine before, so that's what I'd do if I was in your position.
  3. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

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    Thanks! You're right, those are the only white areas, so it is a very small area. I plan to keep the loco black, so as long as I can find some black paint that is reasonably close, I should be OK.

    I'm not sure what to do about the tender though. Some the electrical pick-up also comes via the tender's wheels, so I'd need that type of tender as well.

    Thanks again, Rob
  4. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

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    I didn't realize before just how undersized of a tender that is for a Pacific.
  5. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

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    It is small but this is supposed to be a light pacific. On the AHM box, it says this loco was designed for passenger service. Perhaps that can explain the small tender? Rob
  6. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

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    I found some Humbrol black paint (in my collection of paints) which I used tonight. So far, so good, although it's a bit glossy. Hopefully, some weathering will help.
  7. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    Most of the current manufacturers of steam engines don't offer their tenders as separate items, but I think Bowser still does. Their locomotives use electrical pick up on one side of the locomotive and the opposite side of the tender, so their tenders would work with your old Rivarossi. I don't know what the CNR J-7b's tender would look like, and the majority of Bowser's product line is Pennsy prototype, but they also offer some USRA models and those tenders might be closer to CNR or you could perhaps kitbash something useful.

    Don't worry about a paint being too glossy, if the color is right. You can dull coat the entire model after you have finished with paint and decals.
  8. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Bachmann tenders are available separately, as were the Athearn ones from their Genesis USRA locos, although the latter had no electrical pick-up. If you order a Bachmann tender, buy one without the circuit board, as it's not needed for your loco. You'll have to rig your own wiring system, though, and be sure to turn the tender trucks so that the current pick-up is on the same side on both trucks.
    For any loco with white sidewalls on the tires, brush painting works best - clip power leads to the loco, then run at low speed, holding the brush in place as the wheels turn. Use the brush for the running board edges, too.
    [​IMG]

    Wayne
  9. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

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    A light Pacific? Really? That boiler size looks more like a heavy Pacific to me.
  10. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

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    Thanks, Russ. Every September, there is an MRR flea market/swop meet here in Toronto. So if I can make it this year, I could try to look for one there. I'll also keep my eyes open for a USRA tender as well.

    Re the glossy paint: that's what I was thinking, that I could dull it down with the decals and weathering. At any rate, I think this project could be fun as long as I don't get impatient and rush it!

    Rob
  11. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

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    Well, that's what the box details said. But, not being an expert on Sante Fe Pacifics, you never know exactly how accurate a model this was -- maybe AHM, who made this model some 30 years ago, wasn't correct with all the details?
  12. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

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    Thanks, Wayne. I'll try that technique for the wheels then. I'll also consider the Bachmann tender. Is rigging your own wiring system difficult? Rob
  13. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Not at all: simply run a wire from the mounting nut of both tender trucks to the motor. I don't recall the hook-up method for the Rivarossi loco, but the wire from the new tender should go to the same place as it does with the Rivarossi tender.

    Wayne
  14. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

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    Sounds easy -- thanks again!

    Rob
  15. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

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    Who knows, I just think that light pacifics don't have giant bulges in their boilers, but I've never really seen a heavy pacific before, so it's just a personal feeling.
  16. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    The USRA Light Pacific used the same boiler as the Light Mikado:
    [​IMG]

    Wayne
  17. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

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    Thanks for the USRA pic above, Wayne!

    There is a an interesting (and timely!) article in the August MR that explains how you can convert a basic steam model into your favourite prototype. This article explains how to cut and remove your loco's previous plastic plumbing and side detail (using a hobby knife), sand down the loco body & replace these with brass kit details that would more closely suit your new loco.

    Well, I'm considering this but feeling a little frustrated. I think I'll take the loco into one of my LHS's (George's Trains) and show it to them before I start carving it up. I don't want to wreck and otherwise good model!

    Looking at the pic of my model, does it make sense to start cutting away the plumbing detail and replace it with new ones? I also need to relocate the running boards as well. Part of me is tempted to leave these details as they are -- and either tolerate the discrepancy or change them later.

    I was thinking of doing this in the winter but have jumped into it now! :eek:

    Rob
  18. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Rob, almost every model is a compromised version of the prototype, in one way or another. You have to decide which of these you can live with and which will bother you if you don't change them.
    You've probably already seen this , which shows a similar conversion of a USRA loco to a CNR prototype. While a lot of work was done, there are still areas that perhaps could have been carried further - I didn't feel that the return would be worth the extra effort, though. Eventually, you get to the point, different for everyone, where you say, "Good enough!".

    Wayne
  19. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

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    Thanks, Wayne. That link is helpful as well. Rob
  20. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

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    That conversion is really impressive! I might print it off for later. Rob