Author Topic: Building the B&M R1 4-8-2  (Read 2752 times)

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daniel_leavitt2000

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Building the B&M R1 4-8-2
« on: September 19, 2014, 10:20:44 PM »
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I'm still researching my Boston & Maine 4-8-2 project. After looking through several websites, I have narrowed the down to two obvious phases:
Early R1 (A, B) spoked drivers and 3 axle tender trucks.
Late R1 (C?, D) had disk drivers and centipede tenders.

The Bachmann Northern has disk drivers and either a 3 axle trucked oil tender or a 3 axle trucked oil vandy tender. Obviously both tenders are wrong.
The Spectrum J has spoked drivers AND the correct early tender, but I have no idea if the Northern shell will fit on it.

So here are my questions:
1. Will the northern shell fit on the Spectrum J?
2. If not, are the older (non spectrum) J's drivers swappable to the northern?
3. Is there any centipede tender on the market that would match the late phase R1 with disk drivers?

Here is a web page of R1s for reference:
https://sites.google.com/site/bostonandmainerailroad/home/boston-maine-steam-locomotives/b-m-class-c-d-and-e/b-m-class-f-and-g/b-m-class-h-and-j/b-m-class-k/b-m-class-l-m-and-n/b-m-class-p/b-m-class-r-s-and-t
« Last Edit: September 22, 2014, 07:22:30 AM by daniel_leavitt2000 »
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nickelplate759

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Re: Bachmann 4-8-4 questions
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2014, 11:03:36 PM »
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I believe that only the R1d had the centipede tender and Box-Pox (not really disk) drivers.

There isn't a good match for that centipede available, but you could sort of fake it with an Rivarossi or Athearn UP Challenger or Big Boy tender.
Hopefully people will be so fascinated by all the wheels that they won't notice the details aren't quite right.

George.
George

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I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

daniel_leavitt2000

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Re: Bachmann 4-8-4 questions
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2014, 02:50:43 PM »
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Thanks George,
Well I took a good look at the Spectrum J today. The tender is a good match for the early R1, but the trucks aren't quite right. Those can be swapped, but I would loose most of the tender pickup if I did so. The mechanism won't work; the drivers are much smaller than the Northern or R1. Nuts.

I did find out that the Northern and MP pacific drivers share the same size and axle diameter, but the MP drivers are insulated from the tread. Now this wouldn't matter IF I could have a fully electric tender.

I'm also running into massive issues trying to find parts. I don't want to buy a J just for a tender, 2 pacifics just for the drivers AND a northern for the shell and mechanism.
You've crossed the walls, excelled
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Lemosteam

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Re: Bachmann 4-8-4 questions
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2014, 05:17:48 PM »
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I will have two northern shells from the later version of the norhern available, Daniel.
PM me with your address if you would like them. I'll even throw in the tenders I have no need of them.

daniel_leavitt2000

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Re: Building the B&M R1 4-8-2
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2014, 07:50:56 AM »
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While thumbing through eBay, I found this:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Con-Cor-N-Scale-4-8-4-S2-Northern-Locomotive-Tender-Undecorated-/351174706996

Well, that looks a lot like the R1! The walkways are in the right place, where the Bachmann model are not. I also like the boiler width as the Bachmann's is a bit too wide (which is most notable at the front of the cab). As an added bonus, it features the spoked drivers that I am looking for.

The only problem I see is the cab is too short, and set way too far back. The steam dome and front of the smoke box would need to be replaced with parts from the Bachmann shell. I'm not sure how the rear of the engine would look with the single axle Delta truck.

Con-Cor has their Daylight style 4-8-4 on sale for $150, so I really rather not spend $200 on a used S2.

Since my entire fleet of B&M engines are compromises, I think I may just stick with using the Bachmann Northern. I am familiar with the mechanism.
You've crossed the walls, excelled
Further along through their hell
All for my heart, I watch you kill
You always have, you always will
Now spread your wings and sail out to me

mmagliaro

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Re: Building the B&M R1 4-8-2
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2014, 12:00:13 PM »
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I looked at your pictures.  I don't think the J tender is a good match (but you can buy that shell direct from Bachmann for $15,
so you don't have to buy a whole "J" to get it, if you want it).  The J tender bunker sides have a long gradual slope down about halfway back, whereas that tender in your R1 photos has high big shoulders to the coal bunker all the way back.

I think the old Rivarossi long tender with the 6-wheel trucks looks much closer to the tender on that early B&M engine.
It doesn't have good tender pickup, but you can swap in the floor and trucks from a Spectrum long USRA... that might fit or
could probably be trimmed to fit.

EDIT:  I was thinking more of the old Rivarossi/Rowa Berkshire tender:


As for the engine...
The R-1 had 73" drivers.  The Kato or ConCor S2 drivers are 80", which is really going to show.  But they are nice drivers,
and you can buy just the set of drivers from Con-Cor for about $40.  The last time I did it, about a year ago, it took
about 3 weeks for them to show up.  That's fast for Con-Cor.  They usually take forever (like 6-8 weeks) to fill parts orders.

The MP Pacific drivers are the perfect size, but I would really avoid them.  Those things are mechanically very troublesome.
And you'd have to buy two MP Pacifics to get 4 drivers.

What about the Bachmann Heavy Mountain?  What size are those drivers? 



« Last Edit: July 03, 2017, 07:03:11 PM by mmagliaro »

daniel_leavitt2000

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Re: Building the B&M R1 4-8-2
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2014, 03:35:11 PM »
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The Bachmann Northern's drivers are exactly the same size as the MP Pacific. That's why I was thinking about swapping them. It turns out I have a few Pacific spares that I accumulated while doing TT swaps for friends, so I would need only one Pacific for the drivers. The nice thing is that they are the right size, and the use the same diameter shaft as the Northern, so gearing is not a problem. On the down side, I would need to fashion some sort of insulated bearing block for the metal axle and I would loose all electrical contact. I also have no idea if the crank-pins would line up to the valve gear correctly.

Speaking of Berks, Isn't Beckmann coming out with one? As I understand it all three Berk models (Rowa, LL and Bachmann) are based on the same prototype. I know LL parts are impossible to find, but the Bachmann might have potential.
You've crossed the walls, excelled
Further along through their hell
All for my heart, I watch you kill
You always have, you always will
Now spread your wings and sail out to me

jbcz

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Re: Building the B&M R1 4-8-2
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2014, 05:27:03 PM »
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Daniel

I used both the Northern and  J Class to make R1's.  I await getting a centipede tender to make the R1-D.  Meanwhile, the J Class has made an acceptable compromise.  The drivers are too small but the wheelbase is close.  The 4-8-4 shell fits OK although I had to trim some metal off the mechnism.  Was not a big deal. The big thing is modifying the cab and firebox to better resemble the R1 (A-C).  The J Class is a great runner. 

Here's a photo.

daniel_leavitt2000

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Re: Building the B&M R1 4-8-2
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2014, 06:14:53 PM »
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I am guessing you took a big chunk off the rear of the cab. Where did you get the decals?
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You always have, you always will
Now spread your wings and sail out to me

peteski

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Re: Building the B&M R1 4-8-2
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2014, 07:11:39 PM »
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Where did you get the decals?

Highball Graphics (locally, in NH) makes lots of B&M decals.
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jbcz

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Re: Building the B&M R1 4-8-2
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2014, 07:58:20 PM »
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Yes, Highball Graphics.  I forgot to mention that I cut down the tender to come closer to the R1 tender.

daniel_leavitt2000

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Re: Building the B&M R1 4-8-2
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2014, 05:42:09 PM »
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A friend of mine forwarded an article about the R1 including line drawings. I ran out to shrink them to N scale and found a few interesting things:

1. The Northern Cab is too long by about 18"
2. The boiler is too long by about 3-4' This is all located in the area behind the stack and in front of that funky bolt-on plate. Any cuts to the boiler would be covered by the smoke deflectors and an additional band.
3. The Bachmann J is dead on for wheelbase, but as stated the drivers are bout 4-6" too small to fit the flanges. It's not a bad compromise.
4. The Northern wheels are the right size, but this results in a wheelbase that is about 4' too long. Also, the valve gear isn't as close to the R1 as the J.
5. The J looks like it has walkway supports on the chassis that may need to be removed. That is a lot of grinding.

So it looks like I will be purchasing a J (I am not willing to tear down my only J). I am a little hesitant on taking it apart. All that working valve gear is pure sorcery to me and I am not sure if I will be able to out it together again.

I'm going to use my current Northern shell for a practice run, then wait for Lemosteam's, parts to arrive to start the real work. If the shell goes well, then I will start the J chassis mods.

Anyone have a Berk tender they are willing to sell?
You've crossed the walls, excelled
Further along through their hell
All for my heart, I watch you kill
You always have, you always will
Now spread your wings and sail out to me

Lemosteam

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Re: Building the B&M R1 4-8-2
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2014, 10:39:10 PM »
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what about trying the northern drivers in the j chassis? Or puttin the northern drivers on the j axles?

daniel_leavitt2000

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Re: Building the B&M R1 4-8-2
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2014, 01:41:54 AM »
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The Northern drivers are larger and wouldn't fit the J. Also they are the Box Pox variety as stated earlier and this is actually incorrect for the early phase I want to do.
You've crossed the walls, excelled
Further along through their hell
All for my heart, I watch you kill
You always have, you always will
Now spread your wings and sail out to me

jbcz

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Re: Building the B&M R1 4-8-2
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2014, 09:23:52 AM »
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I have only consulted the B&M line drawings and done some photo comparisons with R1A-C models but I think that the Rivarossi or Berkshire tenders might be a bit short.  With mods, the J class tender seems like the right proportions and wheel base but it's welded and not quite right.  Maybe a stretched Berk tender would work (i.e., a couple of chopped tenders pieced together) on top of the Bachmann chassis.  I took the J tender approach because I did not have to do any electronics surgery. 

BTW, I used the MR plans of the R1D to cut some length from the smokebox, about 1/8" from the sand dome, moved the steam dome, cut down the firebox, took about 1/8" from the cab, moved the cab window backward, and fixed the angle on the cab roof.  Overall it's a couple of feet off and the sand dome is about 2 feet too far from the smokestack.  Not terrible when I lay the model on top of an n-scale print of the R1D plan..