Author Topic: Pennsy K4s?  (Read 8177 times)

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kelticsylk

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Pennsy K4s?
« on: September 30, 2012, 01:19:43 AM »
I keep thinking that Kato has a perfectly good 4-6-2 mechanism to use under a K4s. I'm thinking of getting a hold of one of their JNR C-50 models and using it with the GHQ L1s kit. If it was made to fit a Kato mechanism I'm thinking it might go together.

Has anybody tried it yet?

Stupid question...If PRR doesn't sell than WHY are there so many GG1 models?

Regards,
Frank Musick
Regards,
Frank Musick
Building a dream layout on a nightmare budget
The Allegheny Eastern Railroad
http://kelticsylk.blogspot.com/

reinhardtjh

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Re: Pennsy K4s?
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2012, 04:35:03 AM »
It's been done, although everyone pretty much uses the Kato C55 instead of the C50.  Maybe that's what you meant since the C50 is a 2-6-0 not a 4-6-2.  Both mike_lawyer and victor miranda have done it.  There are several long threads on the Atlas RR forum about the conversion which, IIRC, was first proposed by a member there going by the name of EBIT.

The Atlas board is closed to new posts but you can still do searches.

For example a search on "K4 c55 kato" produces this link, among others:

Kato JNR C55 4-6-2 RE-RUN

Some playing with the search terms may find other threads.  If you find one you like you can save it by clicking the "Printer Friendly" link and saving to a PDF file (if you have that capability).  I've done that with a number of interesting threads.

Some of the relevant posts my have been archived, finding them is a bit tougher as the search times out.  They have set a fairly short timeout period on the thread database so you have to do some playing to narrow or widen the search to get some data returned before things time out.

I know there were relevant posts on Railwire, but my searches here did not find them.  You may have to play with search criteria.

Currently Kato C55's are available on the Plaza Japan Ebay store and at MBKlein's www.modeltrainstuff.com site.

John H. Reinhardt

Update:

 Looking at EBIT's profile on the Atlas board lets you look at all his unarchived posts.  This leads to

Bigger pic's for PRR K4 kitbashing-many pics!!  and the reminder in the thread that his article about using the Kato C55 for a PRR K4 is in the NTrak Steam Locomotive book for 2007 (and if steam and conversions interest you , you should have this original 2006 plus the addendums for 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and when it comes out 2012).
« Last Edit: September 30, 2012, 04:42:12 AM by reinhardtjh »
John H. Reinhardt
PRRT&HS #8909

kelticsylk

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Re: Pennsy K4s?
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2012, 10:02:36 AM »
I went to the threads you recommended. Until I saw this photo I didn't realize how good the Trix shell could look



It might be the drivers, but my Trix K4s really doesn't capture the "K4sness".

I totally agree with some of the statements posted. If Kato already has the mechanism, they should go for a K4...I would think it would sell as well as the GG1.

Kato should read these threads we keep posting.

Frank.

edit - fixed image tag, gfh.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2012, 01:43:13 PM by GaryHinshaw »
Regards,
Frank Musick
Building a dream layout on a nightmare budget
The Allegheny Eastern Railroad
http://kelticsylk.blogspot.com/

mike_lawyer

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Re: Pennsy K4s?
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2012, 09:19:58 PM »
I will post my pictures from my K4 kitbash using a Kato C55 mechanism.  The only difficulty is that there is some milling of the frame that is required to fit the Minitrix shell over the chassis. 

I am in the process of securing a Trix tender shell to finish the kitbash.  I remotored with a Faulhaber coreless 1016 motor with a 4:1 gearhead.  This lowers the top speed to a reasonable level and provides a very smooth mechanism.

mmagliaro

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Re: Pennsy K4s?
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2012, 02:26:50 PM »
The Trix K4 shell is a beauty.  The shortcoming, at least after you fix the tender pickups and put a good motor/gears in it,  is the drivers.  They have huge flanges, which requires them to be a little too small in diameter (after you grind
off the flanges) and requires them to be spaced a little too far apart.  The Kato c55 drivers are much nicer, as is the valve gear.

For a long time, there were no c55's to be had, so the Trix mechanism was the only choice.

In spite of the driver spacing, the Trix can make a decent K4.  This was the final one I did before I moved on to other things... the
inter-driver gears are gone and the flanges are turned down, which helps the look a lot. 


These days, with c55's available, that certainly looks like the best way to go (unless you want to do it more economically, and you've got
some Trix engines in a drawer gathering dust!)


Lemosteam

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Re: Pennsy K4s?
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2012, 03:12:23 PM »
With extra details the Trix shell is tops.  So is the tender shell when detailed.  EBIT also filled in the tender snap holes nicely.  Here is mine- repowered trix mech without turned flanges (agree with Max but there are many solutions to improving the trix mech).  I need to take some better pics of the loco one of these days.  I also love Max's lowered tender.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JDhaufCFRY" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JDhaufCFRY</a>









John "Lemosteam" LeMerise

mike_lawyer

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Re: Pennsy K4s?
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2012, 03:41:42 PM »

Max -

How did you improve the electrical pickup for the tender?  I'm wondering if it is even worth fooling with the original tender, and instead put the shell on a Bachmann spectrum tender.

Cajonpassfan

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Re: Pennsy K4s?
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2012, 04:23:17 PM »
Hmmm, that's given me an idea.....What are the driver diameter and driver center spacing on the c55?
Thanks, Otto K.

mmagliaro

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Re: Pennsy K4s?
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2012, 04:23:54 PM »
Max -

How did you improve the electrical pickup for the tender?  I'm wondering if it is even worth fooling with the original tender, and instead put the shell on a Bachmann spectrum tender.

I put Kato or Spectrum trucks under the Trix tender.  I ream out slots in the tender floor so the truck tangs can protrude up into the inside,
then I solder SuperFlex wires directly to the tabs, and route them forward, hard soldered to the motor.  I just curve then between
the engine and tender so they look like air or water lines.   You could use a Spectrum tender chassis, and make the
K4 shell fit on top of it, I *think*.  I have never tried to see how well that fits.

The Trix tender shell is as lovely as the boiler shell, so I would not want to give that up in favor of the Bachmann
USRA style tender body.

kelticsylk

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Re: Pennsy K4s?
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2012, 05:23:10 PM »
You guys have me take a second look at the Trix K4 I have. The driver spacing takes away from the model. The real K4 drivers are so close together it looks like there should be no room for the brake shoes.
I did turn down the flanges, but that makes the driver spacing even worse. I also had problems with the motor and apparently the pilot broke off.

I did notice today that the superstructures of my Trix K4 and my GHQ L1 look almost identical. Since the real locomotives both used the same boiler this makes sense. What struck me, however, was the fact that two different manufacturers would match so closely.

Anyway, after looking closer I agree with you. Now if only I can find a C-55 I can afford. Does Kato sell just the mechanism?

Frank
Regards,
Frank Musick
Building a dream layout on a nightmare budget
The Allegheny Eastern Railroad
http://kelticsylk.blogspot.com/

victor miranda

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Re: Pennsy K4s?
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2012, 06:32:49 PM »
Only the driver spacing bothers you?   

the lowest price I have found for the Kato C55 is at modeltrainstuff
and they want 108-ish

I have to tell you that a good looking k4s is not easy or cheap

the project will take up a lotta 5 and 10 dollar parts.
assuming you can find them....
or you make a lot of parts.

I wanted a good runner the Kato chassis got me that...
with a kato mike tender in tow.
I spent money on mike cylinders in addition to making the pilot truck

look carefully at EBI's K4.  It is quite handsome.
you like the KW truck?  how about the kiesel tender trucks?
My k4 has the same flaws .... and a few more.

I was after a simple and easy to do improvements.
I can't claim a cheaper path is possible.
the price of the k4 shell and the c55 from kato is about as low as it can be done.
the tender trucks with the c55 are a lot like curved dolphin trucks.

Frankly, the trix k4 is not a bad model.  the best and cheapest improvement
is to add all wheel cone and axle point pick-up tender trucks.
...from the more recent b-mann tenders....
not an option when I made my bash.

Add those trucks and wire it up, clean and lube, and you will have a loco you like.

victor

« Last Edit: October 01, 2012, 06:37:16 PM by victor miranda »

mike_lawyer

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Re: Pennsy K4s?
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2012, 08:56:50 PM »
Here's my work so far using a Kato C55 mechanism....I need to add a Trix tender.  I was lucky and picked up a used C55 on the bay for $50.






This photo shows how I remotored the unit.  I mounted the stock worm directly onto a Faulhaber 1016 with an 8 mm 4:1 gearhead.  This thing will crawl along a tie at a time, and top speed is around 80-90 mph:







kelticsylk

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Re: Pennsy K4s?
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2012, 08:23:55 PM »
After looking at a real C55 conversion I'm having second thoughts. The obvious reason for doing this is to get better operation, as it doesn't seem to add much to the loco's appearance.

Think I will try the less expensive route. I'll attempt a repowering of my Trix and see what I get.

Frank
Regards,
Frank Musick
Building a dream layout on a nightmare budget
The Allegheny Eastern Railroad
http://kelticsylk.blogspot.com/

peteski

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Re: Pennsy K4s?
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2012, 09:06:03 PM »
I guess it is in the eyes of the beholder.
To me, the difference between Minitrix and Kato driver size and spacing makes a huge visual difference!  :|
--- Peteski

Cajonpassfan

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Re: Pennsy K4s?
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2012, 10:44:11 PM »
I have to agree, I see a huge difference in favor of the Kato. To me, driver size and spacing are the very essence of steam locomotive design, it's the bones on which everything else is built. We can fudge a lot of things, but the drivers have got to look and feel right, even though they are virtually always, of necessity, undersized.
Which brings me to a question I asked before on this thread to no avail; what are the c55 driver size and spacing dimensions pls.?
Thanks in advance, Otto