Lehigh Valley Alco S4

Allamuchy Joe Dec 14, 2013

  1. Allamuchy Joe

    Allamuchy Joe TrainBoard Member

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    I love the Bachmann Alco S4. So, when I saw the ATSF engine at my local hobby shop, I just had to get it.

    I have to say, it is one of the smoothest engines I have ever owned. The slow speed operation beats any of the other engines I own. Unfortunately, the ATSF is not one of the roads I model. Try as I might, I couldn't justify an ASTF S4 on my Lackawanna based railroad. What to do -- even the Lackawanna didn't own an S4. As for Erie Lackawanna, my hopes are to get the Atlas S2 when that becomes available.

    Luckily, I also like the Lehigh Valley Railroad. I love the different "red" colors they painted their engines, love the coal based branch lines of Northeast PA and how they used their switcher engines. Then, by chance, I just bought the Lehigh Valley Diesel Pictorial book by Carstens. It has some nice photos of Lehigh Valley 166 and 167, their only Alco S4 engines. Bingo!

    I took my S4 apart and repainted it Cornell Red and decaled it as Lehigh Valley S4 #167. I also cut the rear side windows from the cab, added some BLMA grabirons, Gold Medal Models sunshades and a crew. The best feature I added were the Micro Trains Z scale couplers. The old couplers are way too big (often noted on this board) and, with a little work, the Z scale couplers fit onto the shell very nicely. Hope you enjoy the images.

    Joe

    IMG_1459.jpg IMG_1460.jpg
     
  2. TJS909

    TJS909 TrainBoard Supporter

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    Nice job!
     
  3. Eagle2

    Eagle2 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Looks very good. Amazing how much difference simply "opening" the window can make, and the weathering highlights on the journal boxes is a great touch.
     
  4. joetrain59

    joetrain59 TrainBoard Member

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    Beautiful. I have to get back to my D&H S-4, add grabs, and finish decalling.
    Joe D
     
  5. Allamuchy Joe

    Allamuchy Joe TrainBoard Member

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    Thank you. Actually, I plan on weathering this a bit more. Alco switchers got pretty dirty, especially in coal country.

    Opening the windows was something I wanted to do after reading some of the reviews on this site. The windows seemed thick, and I wanted a little distraction from that.

    The 2 crew members are actually one Labelle crew member -- I chopped the poor guy in half. The cab has a black plastic piece covering the rear light and mechanism. I worked with that and glued my half-men to it (a full crew member wouldn't fit). That effect seems to work with the sunshades to distract from the thick glass.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  6. Primavw

    Primavw TrainBoard Member

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    That looks great! I don't suppose you have any more pics to share with us from your Lehigh Valley fleet? I have always like that road, and it seems like it is rarely modelled...
     
  7. MRLdave

    MRLdave TrainBoard Member

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    Nice job. How hard was it to disassemble the loco? Bachmanns used to be horrible to diassemble (unless you find an undecorated) so I've been avoiding the S4 although I could use one in Milwaukee Road.
     
  8. joetrain59

    joetrain59 TrainBoard Member

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    Very easy to dis-assemble. But windows, and headlight lenses glued in. Handrails a bit tough to pull out, so easy does it.
    Joe D
     
  9. Allamuchy Joe

    Allamuchy Joe TrainBoard Member

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    I agree, the handrails are a bit tough. I was unable to get the headlights and front/rear glass out without scratching or breaking them, so I masked them for painting.

    Joe
     
  10. Allamuchy Joe

    Allamuchy Joe TrainBoard Member

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    Thank you. I have a few LV engines I bashed. I have an SW1 that I made from a Kato NW2 shell and a Lifelike SW8 frame. It is a little bit noisy, but it runs. I also have a few pups I made years ago from SW8s. I'll post some pictures soon.

    Joe
     
  11. joetrain59

    joetrain59 TrainBoard Member

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    Yes, I could not get front lens out, drilled it out. Have to fashion a new one.
    Joe D
     
  12. rrjim1

    rrjim1 TrainBoard Member

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    I'm in the process of doing two S4s in LV, the 166 & 167. I'm thinking of trying grease to mask of the lens?
     
  13. Allamuchy Joe

    Allamuchy Joe TrainBoard Member

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    Grease might work, but it may also screw up the painting near the headlight if it smudges over the edges. I just used a piece of scotch tape. I cut it small enough to cover lens and then trim with an Exacto. Also, Microsol makes a liquid masking compound just for jobs like this -- mine was dried up or I would have used that.

    Joe
     
  14. rrjim1

    rrjim1 TrainBoard Member

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    I was able to get three headlight lens out, used labelle 106 plastic compatible grease, applied with small paint brush. Worked great, might be because the lens are big. IMO this was way easier for me than tape. Tried some liquid masking years ago, didn't work well for me, new stuff might be better?
     
  15. joetrain59

    joetrain59 TrainBoard Member

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    Hi Joe,
    What size BLMA grabs did you use? I have GMM detail set, but #1 grabs look too wide for front of S-4. 15"?
    Joe D
     
  16. Allamuchy Joe

    Allamuchy Joe TrainBoard Member

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    I used BLMA #59 witch is 15". Marc Lupia used the same on his Erie S4 in his "N Scale Railroading" article.

    Joe
     
  17. joetrain59

    joetrain59 TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks A.J., I'll see if I can get some at train show this weekend.
    Joe D
     

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