John Galt Line mikado # 2207

Discussion in 'Photos & Videos' started by Gary Pfeil, May 11, 2003.

  1. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    Back in October, John Galt Line management undertook a project to take an Athearn mikado and model a JGL N! mikado. Sound was installed and the unit tested, traction left a lot to be desired. After a while of tinkering, frustration set in and the project was put aside. Management went about other tasks, building a new branchline and growing trees, etc. Management started to notice that loco pieces, which had been left on the layout, were starting to scatter inexplicably. Fearing the loss of parts and now well engrossed in other pursuits, it was decided to be a good idea to sub contract constuction and painting of the loco so that both a superior job and a timely delevery would be effected. So, the contract was awarded to Blake D Tatar (see http://BlakeDTatar.com for photos of other work done!) and deivery was made 5/9/03. Here are some shots I hope will post this time, I save shots for posting at 640x480, but even they are sometimes over 70000. I just had to retype all this because of that!

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  2. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    Another

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  3. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    A right front closeup.

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  4. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    Broadside of the left side.

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  5. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    Left front closeup. A little blurry due to camera needing to rest on just one corner of its body, and resultant movement during exposure.

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  6. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    Last one. A head on shot. Hope you've liked them.

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  7. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

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    Wow Gary!
    I don't know if you got ther traction problem worked out, but that Mike is a true thing of beauty!
    It makes a perfect subject for your excellent photography!
    :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:
  8. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

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  9. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

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    Gary,
    Blake does some fine work ! Where did you get the tender ? Does Athearn have those?, or did it come from some other project?.
    Pete
  10. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    Thanks Charlie, Tyson and Pete. The Athearn tender does not pick up track power (!) and I wanted a Vanderbilt tender anyway (I love them and I wanted the loco to be close to an Erie N1) Fortunately, Bachmann released the Vanderbilt tender as a seperate item. It is beautiful, and also picks up power from each rail. The Soundtrax N scale decoder fit in nicely between the rear of the tank and the boss which holds the screw which fasten the body to the frame. I had posted a photo of it awhile back, could repost if You'd like. Also, the coal load is a seperate piece which when removed allowed room for a 1" round speaker. So the tender was a godsend for this project as it improved power pickup. It is hard to believe Athearn made such a nice mechanism (it is built well and runs very smooth) but didn't add power pickup to the tender, and apparently never considered the importance of balance on the drive wheels to tractive effort. No, Charlie, the tractive effort problem was not solved. As I had written a while back, strengthening the spring on the trailing truck helped put more weight on the front drivers, but added maybe two cars to the total it will haul up a 2% grade. Which is to say, from 10 to 12. Blake is going to try casting weights to fit inside the cylinder casting, but with the amount of weight we calculate would be added simply placed on top of the boiler, not much differance was noted. These things are way off. It seems hard to believe that any manufacturer would ignore the importance of balance, it's not like its an unknown fact. With the strides being made in accuracy and nicely done mechanisms, this seems incredibly stupid. Maybe if we could get everyone at the Gauge to write Athearn and tell them they are stupid, future releases would be better.

    Gary
  11. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

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    A thing of beauty Gary. That is one sweet loco.
  12. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

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    Gary give Athearn a break. If it hauls 10-12 cars up a 2% grade it's probably doing better than the prototype! :D :D :D Besides it gives you a good excuse to double-head two of them little beauties together!
  13. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    Thanks Robin. Tyson, I will be doubleheading them, #2204 is in the shop. However, as much as I appreciate everything Athearn has done for the hobby, with this model they had the chance to really forge ahead in what is essentially a race between Bachmann, Lifelike and Athearn for outstanding RTR steam locos. If they had thought of it, they could have balanced the loco weight easily. And lack of pickup in the tender? I wonder what they were thinking. I was going to build a fleet of these units, along with several of their Pacifics. Not now.

    Gary
  14. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

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    Gary I do agree with you on the tender pick-up and balancing, I'm just saying 10-12 cars isn't bad compared to some other steam I've been around.
  15. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

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    Speaking of pickups, does anyone know where to get a precut spring pickup or the appropriate material (flat phosphor-bronze?) to fabricate them? Thinking of trying to add lighting pickups to some passenger cars, if possible. Also could be used to add loco power pickups to a tender without them.:) :)

    BTW, Gary, that's one great looking loco!
  16. Blake

    Blake Member

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    tender pick-up

    Model Die Casting makes powered trucks for about $4 a pair. They come with metal wheelsets and pick ups. I drilled out the center hole on the pickup so Athearn's screw would fit (#31 drill I believe). Then I filed down the bottom of the center section of the Athearn truck until it would swing freely with the pickup installed (if you don't file this down the truck will bind). Then I drilled 2 holes in the underframe, one at each end about 1/4" from the bolster. I soldered a wire to each pickup and fed it through the drilled holes. The pick ups have 4 tabs that get folded over the center beam of the truck so that it will rotate with the truck. Lastly, I filed the one point off of each axle so they would spin more freely (with the points they were a little long. This whole operation took about 10 minutes, I just wanted to see if it could be done. [​IMG]
  17. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

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    Thanks, Blake,
    That's 'zackly what I was looking for!:D
    Nice work on that tender!
  18. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

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    Gary,
    I have a pair of the Athearn 2-8-2s that I'm planning to convert to C&O K2s. The tractive effort problem has put the project on hold. Adding a heavier spring to the trailing truck, is Athearn's recommendation, and helps some.
    The problem, as you've already found, is that you can't add enough weight to the front end, to balance the loco on its drivers. The only solution I can think of, is to add as much weight forward, as possible, and then remove weight from the back to help shift the balance point. It's the placement of the motor that makes the loco tail heavy. Some careful drilling might remove enough weight.
    Adding weight to the boiler is possible, just be careful, as the boiler weight is split, and electricly connected to each rail. If weight is added across the two it can short out the loco.
    The lack of tender pickup, and the possible interference of the cable and plug for DCC are faults, correctable, but faults none the less.
    After asking, I spent some time studying the photo, and the MDC Vanderbuilt tender could also be used. It only has one side pickup though.
    Pete
  19. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    Pete, I had cosidered the MDC tender as well as I had one on a 2-8-0 I built years ago. But I definately wanted sound so that tender was no good for me. Until I found out about the Vandy tender by Bachmann (from a new product announcement in one of the mags) I was leaning towards one of the Rivarossi ones, they come with a couple of their steamers like 4-8-2's I think. I thought I'd buy a replacement from them and check it out. They look nice but too long for the Erie look I wanted. For the C&O I think they would be good. Don't know what they're power pickup is like but it could be added easily enough I would suspect.
    I wanted to remove weight from the back, but the way the motor is mounted disuaded me. Blake had thought to drill out some of the forward weight and replace with heavier material but the split frame does complicate things. Can't fit much in the smokebox under the headlight. Piss poor design considering the excellant workmanship!
  20. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

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    Hi Gary,
    Beautiful photo's, all of them, great modelling also.
    shamus
    [​IMG]