Author Topic: PRR A5 in N Scale  (Read 22704 times)

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VonRyan

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PRR A5 in N Scale
« on: August 30, 2013, 01:19:59 PM »
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Recently at the Bedford N-Scale Weekend, I picked up a Bachmann slope-back tender painted for PRR for only $10.

My intentions are to use it for kitbashing at PRR A5 from an old Atlas 0-4-0.


A few questions that I have are:

1) Has anyone ever done this before?
2) How prototypical is the chassis in regards to an A5?
3) Does the shell have the correct dimensions for a prototypical starting point, or would a new shell yield far more prototypical results than just adding a Belpaire firebox and the Bachmannn tender to the Atlas model...


There are some good B&W photos of A5s on the net which will certainly help get things moving, but any info that others are able to pass along is much appreciated.

The best photo I've come across is this:

(odd thing is, there is an ex-PRR B4 in Williams Grove, PA [in operating condition] that carries the number 643.)



Thanks to all who can offer any and all help/advice/insight/etc.


-Cody F.
Cody W Fisher - Modeler of the PRR, PRSL, GWR, SZD, and DRG

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chessie system fan

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Re: PRR A5 in N Scale
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2013, 01:58:11 PM »
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I don't know if you own an Atlas model, but FWIW the shell is metal.  The motor is in the cab area and I'm not sure if the smaller PRR cab will fit.  There's also a Bachmann model out there too.

http://www.spookshow.net/bach040.html
Aaron Bearden

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: PRR A5 in N Scale
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2013, 02:26:13 PM »
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And you can run the 643, the world's only currently operable PRR steam locomotive. Who'd have thought?

Good luck with this project. I love the little A5s, but I feel like physics is not on your side.

VonRyan

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Re: PRR A5 in N Scale
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2013, 02:34:42 PM »
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I don't know if you own an Atlas model, but FWIW the shell is metal.  The motor is in the cab area and I'm not sure if the smaller PRR cab will fit.  There's also a Bachmann model out there too.

http://www.spookshow.net/bach040.html


I know that the shell is metal, and I'm glad that it is. I'm not against remotoring and even re-gearing the Rivarossi 0-4-0 (they actually made it, and Atlas just sold it) since that'd give me a better running engine with slow-speed running (since it's only a shifter).

The idea behind using the new Bachmann tender is that it'll not only house a TCS Z2 decoder, but its all-wheel pick-up will allow me to bypass the one driver that picks up current from one of the rails. (Plus I can add a load of actual Bituminous coal)

Depending on how prototypical the shell is (disregarding the cab as I'll explain right about now...) I can simply cut off the cab and then begins the search for someone who wouldn't mind rendering a correct one for 3D-printing via Shapeways. The rest of the shell can have it's molded on details sanded off in favor of brass wire and other lost-wax brass castings for any necessary details, and the Belpaire firebox will probably be cut from a cast-resin K4 shell.


And you can run the 643, the world's only currently operable PRR steam locomotive. Who'd have thought?

Good luck with this project. I love the little A5s, but I feel like physics is not on your side.

Funny thing is that I did a half-hour operating session on the living 643 just yesterday (and LOVED it!).
I found it ironic that the best picture of an A5 is of one with the same number as the preserved and running B4.

As to the physics, I can't see me using the A5 to pull more than 5 cars at the very most.



-Cody F.
Cody W Fisher - Modeler of the PRR, PRSL, GWR, SZD, and DRG

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mmagliaro

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Re: PRR A5 in N Scale
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2013, 04:06:16 PM »
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I did one using the Atlas 0-4-0.  It is not prototypical.
I added some styrene to make a little square Belpaire firebox, and otherwise, I left it alone.

I dug up the photos that I have on the project.    Maybe they can be of some help to you.

I did not attempt to remotor this one, but I would these days because
you can get 8mm and even 6mm coreless motors and gearheads (prepare to spend big money, like $100+).

I did do a big upgrade on the tender pickups and that makes this a pretty good runner.   
I never turned down the flanges on this one because I was running it
on ME code 55 and have not run it since those days on my old layout.

It also has a working headlight and a working searchlight taillight on that tender.  I did that by mounting bulbs (quite large
as you can see from the one in the photo!) inside and snaking .010 or .020 fiber optic tube up into the appropriate spot.

Anyway, that's all I got on this one.  It's a toughie, obviously, because of its size. 










« Last Edit: July 02, 2017, 12:57:41 PM by mmagliaro »

VonRyan

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Re: PRR A5 in N Scale
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2013, 04:36:38 PM »
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Looks like you did one heck of a good job on that A5 of yours Max!

The Bachmann tender gives me a head start since it already has the pickups worked out.

My one question is, other than adding a Belpaire firebox, would replacing the cab with something more prototypical be about all that is needed for an A5 that comes closer to photographs, or would it be worthwhile to remove some of the cast-on details from the boiler and replace with brass wire?

The cab looks as though simply shortening it would result in a closer-to-prototype look, which would necessitate a new motor.

The B&W photo shows the forward door open on the Engineer's side of the cab, having operated the B4-class #643 in a similar fashion, I'll most likely attempt to model the door in the open position.

What size driveshaft does the stock motor have? If possible I'd like to use the original worm on a new motor. Re-gearing is probably out of the question for now since it costs quite a bit.



-Cody F.
Cody W Fisher - Modeler of the PRR, PRSL, GWR, SZD, and DRG

WWII Clerk/Administration Historian

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randgust

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Re: PRR A5 in N Scale
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2013, 04:39:53 PM »
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I'm pretty sure you can get the PRR L-1 cab as a separate part from Republic Locomotive Works.    Email Marshall Thompson if you can't figure  it out (and there are no cab part photos on the website).  I remember it as a 5-part assembly.  And it is really sharp (GHQ) and cast metal.

I'm no SPF but it sure looks like darn near the same cab to me.

The tender drive I did for my scratchbuilt 2-6-0 using a Kato 12v 11-105 motor, Gizmoszone gearhead, NWSL universals is 'probably' small enough to fit in that tender if you want a lot slower performance.   My tender is every bit as small, just used Kato trucks for 8x8 pickup.  If you want to go that way you can even in the future.  I was never real happy with the Rivarossi motors, they ran hot and died young.  But you don't have to commit to that now, I'm just letting you know I think it is very possible to do.

See: 
« Last Edit: August 30, 2013, 04:46:22 PM by randgust »

pjm20

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Re: PRR A5 in N Scale
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2013, 05:36:28 PM »
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I think a better option than the Bachmann tender would be the Minitrix slop back tender. It matches the 55S66 that these used. I also hope to one day have an A5 or six. Maybe these could be DKS's first locomotive releases for his JCI.  :D
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strummer

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Re: PRR A5 in N Scale
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2013, 05:45:05 PM »
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Looks like you did one heck of a good job on that A5 of yours Max!
-Cody F.

As always; the guy's a friggin' (can I use that word?) artist! :)

Mark in Oregon

VonRyan

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Re: PRR A5 in N Scale
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2013, 06:49:41 PM »
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I think a better option than the Bachmann tender would be the Minitrix slop back tender. It matches the 55S66 that these used. I also hope to one day have an A5 or six. Maybe these could be DKS's first locomotive releases for his JCI.  :D

Hmm.... Quite interesting....
I think for right now I'll stick with the Bachmann tender since it saves me some work (and since I already have it in hand) which in turn allows me to devote more resources to getting the rest of the engine closer to prototype.

The L1 cab does look like it could do excellently for an A5 cab, but without measurements of not only the prototype A5 cab or the GHQ L1 cab, plus it seems like Republic Locomotive Works is out of L1 cabs...

I think I may end up either shortening the existing cab, or possibly trimming a resin K4 cab to be closer to an A5 cab.



-Cody F.
Cody W Fisher - Modeler of the PRR, PRSL, GWR, SZD, and DRG

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pjm20

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Re: PRR A5 in N Scale
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2013, 09:06:41 PM »
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possibly trimming a resin K4 cab to be closer to an A5 cab.
-Cody F.
Where the hell did you get this?! :drool:
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VonRyan

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Re: PRR A5 in N Scale
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2013, 11:41:48 PM »
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Where the hell did you get this?! :drool:

I have three white-resin K4 shells. I don't recall where I got them, but I do recall that someone generously gave them to me when I was starting an H10sa kitbash which was halted do to a lack of reasonably priced Bachmann 2-8-0s (the DCC-equipped version or better yet the second production run of the DCC-ready version).


-Cody F.
Cody W Fisher - Modeler of the PRR, PRSL, GWR, SZD, and DRG

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brokemoto

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Re: PRR A5 in N Scale
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2013, 01:19:45 AM »
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The major differences that I can see are:  the cab, the firebox and the smokebox.  The PRR appears either to have a longer smokebox or simply that the smokebox on the PRR hangs further over the cylinders.

The Atlas/RR is a model that is based on what happened when B&O took the tanks from two of the four 0-4-0Ts, added tenders and converted from oil to coal.  B&O ordered the four originals to work the streets and docks of Baltimore's Inner Harbour.  Baltimore had smoke abatement laws, thus the oil fuel.  Yes, the originals are the widely modelled 0-4-0Ts.

 

mmagliaro

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Re: PRR A5 in N Scale
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2013, 05:24:04 PM »
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I think the cab is the biggest spotting feature to change.  Steal one from a K4 shell, or the Trix B6.
The Belpaire firebox is a must.   The driver spacing is a little off, but I'd let that one go.

As for removing cast-on details and doing all separate wire, that ALWAYS makes a steam loco model
look better.  That's one of the things that jumps it up from being a "so-so" model to a real "model" as far
as I'm concerned.

The Trix B6 tender... that's a GREAT idea.  The Trix tender has that long low rake to it and is
much closer to the right shape for the A5.    The Bachmann is too narrow and too high.

VonRyan

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Re: PRR A5 in N Scale
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2013, 03:49:50 AM »
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So it seems that I'll just steal a K4 cab, part of a Belpaire firebox and I'll be removing the cast on details in favor of brass wire so that the details will be more in tune with a real A5.
I'm stuck using the Bachmann tender that I already have since bidding on the Atlas 0-4-0 has left me with just a few Kopecks to rub together. Plus I doubt I'll be able to find just the tender anywhere unless someone wants to trade one for fine sable brushes.


-Cody F.
Cody W Fisher - Modeler of the PRR, PRSL, GWR, SZD, and DRG

WWII Clerk/Administration Historian

Switchboard Technician - 33rd Signal Construction Battalion (reenacted)

Squadron Clerk - Capital Wing, Airmans Preservation Society