Rescuing a Bachmann 4-8-4 Northern...

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by shaygetz, Jan 8, 2006.

  1. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    My latest distraction is this Bachmann Northern rescued from a junkyard scene on a fellow clubber's layout. The tender is missing its unique 8 wheel trucks and the pilot is missing parts but there is no damage to speak of and its motor turns over.

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  2. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    The pumps, feedwater heater and shroud already seen in these pics came from an Arbour Models 2-8-4 C&O Kanawa. Anyone familiar with Arbour Models can understand why a majority of that kit's parts wound up in my parts bins wall . I decided to try my hand at fabricating my own "cowcatcher" pilot from brass wire. I started with a wire hoop shaped to fit. Sorry for the picture quality, my camera greatly prefers natural sunlight.

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  3. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    Then I applied the spokes one at a time, searing the flesh on my fingertips only marginally past thrid degree burns. hamr

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  4. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    Fifteen spokes and half a tube of Burnex later, I'm pretty pleased with my first pilot scratchbuild.

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  5. trainwhiz20

    trainwhiz20 Member

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    Shaygetz,

    That simply looks AMAZING! jawdrop I'm dumbfounded by how great the pilot looks. Not only that, but she is a beautiful loco. (On top of that--she's ATSF! Couldn't ask for more!) You've done an impeccable job. I can't wait to see how the rest of the project turns out. Looks like that tender needs some serious wheels...:thumb:
  6. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    Then I strapped the bottom of the pilot with 1/16" x 1/16" Plast-struct angle for a finished look and to prevent inadvertent shorts across the rails when going into or out of a grade transition.

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  7. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    Thanks, TW. I'll be covering paint touchup and weathering as well. No doubt the saga of hunting down a set of trucks for the tender will make for an interesting adventure of its own hamr
  8. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

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  9. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    Miles, I'm planning on keeping it as a Santa Fe lokey as much as possible. The C&O heritage of the pump shrouds will do until I can pick-up some Santa Fe ones. I see in the restoration that those distinctive tubes around the steam dome were removed long ago---that won't happen on my beastie :thumb:
  10. trainwhiz20

    trainwhiz20 Member

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    Interesting site. Even I could have told you this loco was an ATSF Northern... in the same class as 3751. If you'll notice, the road number on Shay's model is 3781, which is technically still the 3700 class of the ATSF's Northerns. I don't know if this road number existed... but I bet it did. :D

    And, yes, I can't wait to see the pilot painted and weathered! It'll blend right in...
  11. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

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    The Pilot is amazing! and your luck with picking these thing up is as well i'm sure with your ability to scounge the tender trucks are not far for coming.
    How does the drivetrain run? This isn't a spectrum engine is it? (I'm not very familiar with them)
  12. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    I think Bachmann originally numbered it 3785 or 3787. It is actually in the 3785 class, bigger than the 3751. Also looks identical to the 2900 class from the outside. The 2900's were built during WWII when there was a shortage of metal, so they have more cast iron and less alloy than the 3785 class. 29000's weigh quite a bit more than 3785's but are otherwise identical. You can get the tender from Bachmann for $14.00 or it may be $15.00 last time I checked. You might also be able to get the trucks. Precision Scale makes a beautiful set of 3 axle trucks like 3751 runs, but nobody but Bachmann makes the correct 4 axle trucks for that locomotive. I just thought, BLI is coming out with the Santa Fe 2-10-4 nicknamed "Madam Queen." It would have the correct trucks as well, but I don't know if BLI sells parts.
  13. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Glenn, these engines don't run too well. Unless this is a more recent version, they have the pancake-style motor: Jackrabbit starts and a fairly high top speed. I posted a picture in one of my "Now and then" features of one that I modified for my own free-lance road. While I still have it, mostly due to the amount of work invested in it, I no longer run it: not much pulling power and a tendency for the drivers to slip out of quarter.
    Shaygetz, don't let my comments deter you. I still think that they're a good-looking loco and if you really want to run it, Bowser makes a very good repowering kit. As for the missing trucks, call Bachmann for parts: if they have any in stock, they shouldn't be too expensive. And by the way, you've done a really nice job on that pilot.

    Wayne
  14. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

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    Nice work Bob.
    I have 3 of those in N scale and have been looking for one in HO to experiment remotoring one using the stock frame and Mantua drivers.
  15. lester perry

    lester perry Guest

    I am impressed with your work. But I have to back up what Wayne said, I have 2 of them. One is in a drawer probably never to see daylight again. The other I got the Bowser repower kit for, I never could get it to run right. It has been put aside for another attempt sometime in the future. It was that or throw it against the wall.

    Les
  16. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    Thanks for the kind comments...and no, I'm not detered by the acessment of the drive train. It's the classic three pole pancake motor, with spur drive no less, that were common before the Spectrum series. It could barely pull its own shadow :D Art imitates life on my layout...steam locomotive models are loved and cherished but are oh so cantankerous---maintenance headaches that I run for pleasure only---their use being limited to excursion specials and occasional light runs sporting only a caboose and a couple period cars, just to stretch their drivers a tad. The fun is in the rebuilding, just like those old barn finds that hot rodders love. There's a special kick to taking a locomotive out of someones scenery that had been given up for dead and seeing it scoot around a layout again :thumb:
  17. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

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    Les,
    You wouldn't want to part with the one in the drawer would you?
  18. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

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    Bob nice looking pilot one word to help you assemble the next one moldeing clay(whoops two words) use it to hold one end of the tubes while you solder the other end.
  19. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    I'd love to see one of your tutorials on remotoring this thing, Ray. They're built much like an N scale deisel, with two cast metal halves isolated from each other electrically that make up the power pickup. The rear truck has pickups off of both sides of both wheelsets. There is no pickup from the tender, it's just along for the ride. The pancake motor drives two spur gears that in turn drive the rear driver.
  20. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    Thanks for the tip, Jim. I'll try that next time around...soon as I heal up. tooth