Feb 7, 2019
The Q4b looks nice. Waiting to see what you do with it. Should be another enjoyable project.
looks original and unmolested! an excellent starting point.
I find the gearboxes in those Samhongsa built units very good and not requiring changing unless damaged. they benefit from stripping, degreasing and some fresh grease and a little oil and they run smooth as ought so i'd save breaking out the puller just yet...
I'm going to have to look out for one with the extended cab now...
I will see if I can quiet the gearbox down; I'd love to just leave it where it is. I have plenty of thrust washers from NWSL to use if needed!
So today I got into the guts of the loco, and i have to say - the motor it has now is quiet, strong, and mounted in a very professional looking mount. I'm honestly quite impressed with it! The gearbox IS loud, but with the shell off, it isnt bad at all. With the shell on, it is much louder, has a noticeable wobble, and sometimes won't run at all - seems a short is sneaking in. I will have to find the short, shim the worm in the gearbox, and see what that all does.
I am happy to report success! A thrust washer in the worm shaft and a second on the axle tightened the clearances in the gearbox up, and dealt with most of the noise. Some good new grease and it runs much quieter, and more smoothly. Time to drill for the headlight and then off to the paint shop!
The painting took a bit to get going; however, today I have drilled the boiler face and headlight casting to install an LED, disassembled it down to components, and washed in in preparation for primer. A decoder is on the way, so hopefully in a few days, the Q4 is all ready to go!
And the paint job and DCC conversion are complete! It now runs like a fine Swiss watch, and is the best running loco I own; silent, smooth, creeps at low speeds and clips along at about 70 scale mph at speed step 28. I've added an LED headlight and am in the process of fitting kadees; I suspect that I will need to modify the pilot a bit, as there is some interference between a standard Kadee coupler box and the pilot truck. Runs great and will easily pull every car I own - plus an additional 20 or 30, I expect!
Here is a family portrait, showing two of Baldwin's finest. I still need to add coal to the tenders and weather them, but that is the easy bit now.
The resin Lehigh Valley and Pennsylvania wooden boxcars have been completed as well! I have used Tahoe Model Works' trucks this time, and will be switching to them on all future builds. No connection - just a VERY happy customer! No steam era train looks right without some wooden boxcars and gons. Now to see if I can find or make some composite gondolas...
I think tichy makes composite gondola kits.
Those tea kettles really look great.
Outstanding modeling and paintwork on all your equipment . Both locomotives look superb, although I will admit to a bias toward keeping them cleaner than the prototype did. I am very much looking forward to seeing the beginnings of your layout.
BTW, LifeLike ran some 40' USRA composite gondolas about fifteen years ago. They were Proto 1000 models that might make a good starting point if you can find any.
Thanks so much for all the positive comments! We're at something of a deciding point regarding the project, actually. As virtually everything I buy must be sent from the states, I have to pay overseas shipping, plus a 13 euro import fee AND a 22% VAT on everything I buy valued at more than about 20 euros. For example, a 25 dollar boxcar from Red Caboose will cost me closer to 70 dollars by the time I pay shipping (figure 20-25 dollars) that 13 euro fee, and then that 22 percent tax, which comes out to about 5 dollars. I was able to have my brother bring my 1st brass loco with him when he visited over Christmas, but that is a one time thing. Now, add the fees and taxes onto a 200 or 300 dollar brass engine, plus shipping and insurance...
By comparison, a Bachmann steam loco from the UK (for now... &*!#$&*%^!*$ Brexit...) costs maybe 50-75 euros. Shipped. No fees, no fuss. And they run fine, out of the box. A big tender loco? Maybe 100 euros.
So... unsure where to go. Sigh.
Cha-ching! That's a lot of tax to pay, although it would seem that the worst is over. You have (I would guess) most of the motive power and rolling stock you need for a layout that size. There's no question about your craftsmanship, so there's not doubt your structures can be scratchbuilt. Just at a guess, I would say the determining factor should be whether or not you want to do it or launch some other project. Good luck with whatever route you choose.
I figure I can operate the layout fine with my two locos and perhaps 20-25 freight cars, as well as 1 or 2 combines or RPOs. I do plan on scratchbuilding the structures true enough! I do want to see this to completion, so shall see. We've discussed building the layout as a series of modules which can be stored on shelves, allowing two layouts to eventually be rotated if we wish (or taken to shows and exhibitions!)
The locomotives have been all but completed; real coal in the tenders, headlight LEDs mounted with some white PVA. All that's needed now is a kadee on the tender of the Q4 (the screws are missing, and I'm deciding whether to drill and tap them for Kadee 2-56 screws or not) and try and decide if I can bring myself to weather them...
I am looking at using Ikea shelves as baseboards; they are a whopping 9.99 each, and are very rigid and the honeycomb / corrugated structure is workable for running wiring and so on. A few of these, mounted on proper supports, might get it done? The cat isn't certain she approves, however.
Your cat looks like a neighborhood stray I have named "Nemesis" because of its affect on my DOG!!!
Thanks Akirasho. That little black and white floof was also a stray; one day, about 5 years ago, she walked in our back door, said "meow!" and has been with us since, haha. Also, I bit the bullet and drilled and tapped the tender for 2-56 screws, and mounted a 148 coupler in a plastic Kadee "winged" box. All is ready for operations, locomotive-wise, save a WM diesel or maybe a big 2-8-0!
I think the worst, moneywise, is over. I have 8 boxcars now and 3 gondolas; I'd like perhaps 4 or 5 more gons of various types, maybe a couple of different cars like a flat with the ever-present load of Farmall tractors, and of course a combine for passenger operations. Most of the structures I can scratchbuild, and I can also handlay track cheap enough. I'd not mind a couple more boxcars, perhaps; I simply like them!
Good to hear from you again and good to see that you have decided to continue with this project.
Thanks much! I have been a B&O fan since forever, and the fact I am planning the layout as a modular thing makes it easier to have more than one focus. I just cannot give up on my dear old B&O! My plan is to have storage set up in the train room where one layout on a pair of 120 x 45 cm (just about 4 ft x 18 inches) boards can be stored, while another is in place. I COULD make the layout stretch over three boards that size, but time shall tell.
I am also growing increasingly fond of O gauge British stuff, so... ack. Their size and weight invites handling and detailing, and since building and detailing things is my favorite part of the hobby... eeps!