Author Topic: Kato Heavy Mikado. Your thoughts please.  (Read 5444 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Bobster

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 233
  • Respect: +16
Kato Heavy Mikado. Your thoughts please.
« on: April 16, 2016, 04:07:52 PM »
0
Greetings,

If you read JM LaBoda's Hickory Train Show report you will see I have acquired a steam engine.   Something I will admit I know little about, especially in N scale.  I didn't plan on buying it but it looked so cool.  A fair price.  Resistance was futile.

How I talked myself into it & how I see it fitting in:
I believe, since it says New York Central System,  I can justify running it on "Peoria and Eastern" or other NYC trackage in central Illinois or Indiana which my layout is meant to represent.  My wife's great grandfather worked for the P&E and the P&E and NYC both came to Peoria.  The NYC also crossed the Illinois River and the Rock Island RR near Depue, Illinois on its way to meeting the Milwaukee Rd in Ladd, Illinois.  My main road is the RI, then ATSF. I also have Wabash (Cannon Ball) and the CB&Q (one passenger train). For the NYC I have a GP7 an RPO, and 2 coaches (Peorian), several box cars and a probably non prototypical Lehigh style caboose.  The steam engine is only slightly earlier than what I currently have, mostly E7 and E8 diesels.  RI freight has an FA A&B, SW9, and a GP18 for now.

How do I improve what I have.....my initial study:
First I consulted Spookshow's site.  I see that I have an older version as I have no traction tires and I have railings and a sprue of small (dang tiny) parts in the box.   My current 48"x30" layout and planned future door layout while having hills are actually designed to have no grades at all.  From my research this afternoon the Kato Mikado actually appears to be pretty close to prototypical for the NYC.   If I understand correctly while this is a great runner, it may not be a strong puller.  It is DC and I do not currently run DCC.  It runs very quietly.

Where you the experienced come in to help me improve what I have:
Without dropping a lot of cash where do I go from here?  As I have not installed any tiny parts now looks like a good time to install weight if that's what you all recommend.   What would you do / what have you done to make this a better puller?  Is it easy to remove the body without damaging it?

Thank you for your support,
Bobster

Chris333

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 13564
  • Respect: +2808
Re: Kato Heavy Mikado. Your thoughts please.
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2016, 04:10:28 PM »
+1
If it's older you are probably not picking up power from the drivers, but if it runs well then leave it. They do have a set of updated drivers, but like $20 if you can find them.

Rasputen

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 339
  • Respect: +141
Re: Kato Heavy Mikado. Your thoughts please.
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2016, 05:14:32 PM »
0
The Kato parts page says more traction tire drivers are coming soon. 

Mike C

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 656
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +88
Re: Kato Heavy Mikado. Your thoughts please.
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2016, 06:11:38 PM »
0
 Get the traction tire drivers when they come in , their easy to install . If you ever plan on doing Dcc install the decoder now before you put the handrails on . Otherwise you'll be removing them later .

loyalton

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 98
  • Respect: -17
Re: Kato Heavy Mikado. Your thoughts please.
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2016, 07:35:52 PM »
0
Welcome to the world of N steam! If the bug has bitten hard, keep consulting Spookshow to see which are the best to buy.

Disassembly is a puzzle if you haven’t done it before. Check for sources online on how to do this. There may still be references around on best ways to add the parts; otherwise ask here.

When you’ve removed the boiler, you’ll find a pot metal weight under the steam dome. Replace that with a lead weight (you can pound out a fishing weight to shape) or shape tungsten putty to fit. It will help a lot with pulling power, which actually may or may not be a problem for you. Some people have reported being able to pull only 9 cars. Mine from the same run pull 16-24 40’ cars on the flat, some but not all cars weighted to NMRA standard. Enough for you, perhaps. That’s somewhere about the ability of the prototype. Pulling power is helped by breaking in the loco by running for a few hours.

You’ll want spare traction tires after you get the driver pair; tires don’t last forever. They replace the back drivers, loosen the cover plate to swap them out (no need to remove it). An alternate is Bullfrog Snot either by itself on the original back drivers or layered into the traction tire slot after the tire blows. While a little goes a long way, if you have only a couple of steam engines, it may not be worth buying.

Technically, NYC itself didn't have any heavy Mikes, but subsidiary P&LE did.  ;)

loyalton

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 98
  • Respect: -17
Re: Kato Heavy Mikado. Your thoughts please.
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2016, 07:37:26 PM »
0
Welcome to the world of N steam! That's a good choice, too. If the bug has bitten hard, keep consulting Spookshow to see which are the best to buy.

Disassembly here is a puzzle if you haven’t done it before. Check for sources online on how to do this. There may still be references around on best ways to add the parts; otherwise ask here.

When you’ve removed the boiler, you’ll find a pot metal weight under the steam dome. Replace that with a lead weight (you can pound out a fishing weight to shape) or shape tungsten putty to fit. It will help a lot with pulling power, which actually may or may not be a problem for you. Some people have reported being able to pull only 9 cars. Mine from the same run pull 16-24 40’ cars on the flat, some but not all cars weighted to NMRA standard. Enough for you, perhaps. That’s somewhere about the ability of the prototype. Pulling power is helped by breaking in the loco by running for a few hours.

You’ll want spare traction tires after you get the driver pair; tires don’t last forever. They replace the back drivers, loosen the cover plate to swap them out (no need to remove it). An alternate is Bullfrog Snot either by itself on the original back drivers or layered into the traction tire slot after the tire blows. While a little goes a long way, if you have only a couple of steam engines, it may not be worth buying.

Technically, NYC itself didn't have any heavy Mikes, but subsidiary P&LE did.  ;)

brokemoto

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 969
  • Respect: +52
Re: Kato Heavy Mikado. Your thoughts please.
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2016, 09:18:23 PM »
+1
This one and the B-mann SPECTRUM 2-8-0 are still the yardsticks against which all N scale steam is measured.

The one that you have is from the first run.   The hardest thing is the handrail stanchions.   I used an average sized pair of needlenose pliers to inseert them into the side of the boiler.  Take care not to pinch too hard lest you launch the stanchion, but do pinch with enough force to keep the stanchion in the pliers.

Buy the traction tyre retrofit.   It is a simple swap-out/swap-in.  Once you do that, put a little extra weight into the tender to help assure good contact.

"NEW YORK CENTRAL SYSTEM" lettering indicates a subsidiary road (after the mid-to-late 1920s, that is).  The USRA heavy 2-8-2 was unique to the P&LE in the NYCS; NYCS class H-9.  In the early to mid-1920s, NYCS swapped out the USRA standard tenders from the H-9s to the underachieving H-8s and put the larger H-8 tenders onto the H-9s.   It did some other alterations to them, the most visible of which was moving the air pumps to the pilot deck and putting protective shrouds over them.

Finally, P&LE fitted two or three of them with steam lines and signalling devices supposedly to allow them to pull crew shuttles.  I suspect that more than once an H-9 did pull a local passenger train when a Pacific, ten wheeler or Hudson was not available (P&LE had no Hudsons, but frequently used NYC Hudsons).

One thing curious about these is that they never had P&LE sublettering applied to the coal boards, unlike other P&LE steam.

If you wanted to model a later H-9, the LL/WKW Berkshire tender might be a "close enough".

Rarely did the H-9s wander of P&LE rails, unlike the NYCS passenger power, which frequently wandered.

NYCS did have USRA light mikados that operated throughout the railroad.

Spend a little time to break in this locomotive.  It is a nice locomotive that runs very well through the speed ranges.

Reputedly, it is one of the harder DCC installs.  I do not use DCC, so I can not comment too much on it.

powersteamguy1790

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 72
  • Respect: +8
Re: Kato Heavy Mikado. Your thoughts please.
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2016, 11:59:17 PM »
+2
The Kato Mikado is an excellent running steam locomotive. However you'll need the traction tire driver to enable this steamer to pull 10-15 cars on average. You can add soft lead putty in several places inside the shell. Installing a traction tire driver is your best choice.

Below is my tutorial on how to dis-assemble a Kato Mikado and install a ESU sound decoder in the tender . This tutorial was published in the August 2007 issue of N Scale Magazine. Just follow the photo's. If you follow the photo pictorial carefully you'll be able to dis-assemble easily.

Have fun with it. 8) 8)

http://powersteamguy1790snewjjje.blogspot.com/2012/09/installing-esu-lok-sound-decoder-in.html






strummer

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 983
  • Respect: +61
Re: Kato Heavy Mikado. Your thoughts please.
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2016, 01:29:24 AM »
0
I have a first-run example: it runs great with or without the tender, and can pull 20+ cars, so I guess I got lucky.

It is, without a doubt, the smoothest running loco I own; a wonderful piece of engineering.

Attaching the detail parts was APITA, but the end result was well worth it.

Mark in Oregon

reinhardtjh

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1899
  • Respect: +131
Re: Kato Heavy Mikado. Your thoughts please.
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2016, 01:43:54 AM »
0
The Kato parts page says more traction tire drivers are coming soon.

The single driver set with traction tire is available several places:

MBK:  http://www.modeltrainstuff.com/Kato-N-Mikado-Driver-with-Traction-Tire-p/kat-11604.htm @ $9.59 (8 left)
Streamlined Backshop : http://store.sbs4dcc.com/NKato11-6042-8-2Mikado4Driverw/TractionTire.aspx @ $15.00 (33 left)

Also Ebay but at a lot higher price.

If it's older you are probably not picking up power from the drivers, but if it runs well then leave it. They do have a set of updated drivers, but like $20 if you can find them.
The whole set of drivers is harder to find. Google only found one set, on Ebay:

Ebay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Kato-932031-N-scale-Mikado-N-Driver-Set-4-pc-/252321527677?hash=item3abf88f77d:g:nTAAAOSwoBtW6EuI    $28.99

I believe there was a thread not long ago here on TRW that discussed fixes for the first run driver set.  Probably it was Max, but maybe Peteski.  I'm not sure.

Found it.  May 2015 so longer ago than I thought (It was @mmagliaro though):
   https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=36114.msg427105#msg427105
« Last Edit: April 17, 2016, 11:14:54 AM by reinhardtjh »
John H. Reinhardt
PRRT&HS #8909
C&O HS #11530
N-Trak #7566

RBrodzinsky

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 811
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +234
Re: Kato Heavy Mikado. Your thoughts please.
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2016, 10:47:18 AM »
0
An easier (but still not easy) way to install the railing stanchions is to first put them onto the railing. Poke the end of the stiff railing wire through each of the stanchions while still attached to the sprue. That way, you have something else holding the little tiny itsy bitsy items, and you can push them, one at a time, into their respective mounting holes.
Rick Brodzinsky
Chief Engineer - JACALAR Railroad
Silicon Valley FreeMo-N

carlso

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 826
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +179
Re: Kato Heavy Mikado. Your thoughts please.
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2016, 12:15:36 PM »
0
PSG1790

Bob, that tutorial that you referenced is an awesome posting that you made a few years ago. I know first hand because I, just last week, used it as guidance to re-do an earlier install. Great work and thanks for that posting.

Carl
Carl Sowell
El Paso, Texas
Southern New Mexico N Scalers, Las Cruces, New Mexico

powersteamguy1790

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 72
  • Respect: +8
Re: Kato Heavy Mikado. Your thoughts please.
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2016, 12:52:05 PM »
0
PSG1790

Bob, that tutorial that you referenced is an awesome posting that you made a few years ago. I know first hand because I, just last week, used it as guidance to re-do an earlier install. Great work and thanks for that posting.

Carl

Thanks Carl. I'm glad that tutorial helped you out with the installation. Its already nine years since that tutorial was in N Scale Magazine. In those days I used a different ESU Lok-Sound decoder than the ESU micro select decoder which wasn't available at the time. My how time flies by.

Have fun with it and stay cool ...... 8) 8)

Bobster

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 233
  • Respect: +16
Re: Kato Heavy Mikado. Your thoughts please.
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2016, 05:11:42 PM »
0
Greetings all,

Sorry to take so long getting back.  I went to the Charlotte Knights baseball game early last evening.  Church this morning and yard work this afternoon that I didn't get to yesterday because I was at the train show.

I am truly grateful for all the help offered here.   Since this is my first steamer ,and  you all say it is a nice one, I am going to take a conservative approach.   My initial thoughts are to read the links posted above and get educated before I try to get the shell off.  Then add weight.  Run it for a break in period then see how it does.  Test with multiple cars and see if I got one that can pull a prototypical load before going to the step of changing drivers.  I also like the idea of putting all the fittings on the handrails to prevent tweezer launch.    It looks like there are electrical pickups on the coal car as I see brass behind the wheels.  If I should go to DCC down the road I would prefer to put the card there.

So is this steamer only prototypical for P&LE or did other roads operate heavy Mikados in a similar configuration?  Although I would prefer not to, I am pretty good with an airbrush and not afraid to change the road name if I really need to.

Thank you for your answers and direction,
Bobster

Lemosteam

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 4011
  • Gender: Male
  • PRR, The Standard Railroad of my World
  • Respect: +1230
    • Designer at Keystone Details
Re: Kato Heavy Mikado. Your thoughts please.
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2016, 05:34:23 PM »
0
Bobster, I can't tell you straight away, there is virtually no room for weight in that shell, so don't bother pulling it off unless you are adding DCC. 

Also see this video- buy the traction tire axle.