Author Topic: Western Maryland J-1 build  (Read 1746 times)

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PiperguyUMD

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Western Maryland J-1 build
« on: March 17, 2020, 01:14:55 PM »
+9
I can't believe how long this project has been sitting on my work bench  :facepalm: I'm hoping that I can use my new found time to make some serious progress on this one. Almost 6 years ago I drew up a shell and tender for a WM 4-8-4. The original intent was to build it on the Bachmann N&W J, but this was proving difficult. A major breakthrough occurred when I scored one of the new Bachmann 4-8-4s. The shell was nearly a plug and play fit. This picture is from the day of that glorious revelation over five (!) years ago!



Here is the state of the project as of this morning. The burst of progress from placing the shell on the new mechanism got me as far as painting the tender, then two failed attempts to install a sound decoder resulted in years of procrastination and frustration.



What needs to be done:

Sound decoder - All of the effort to build and detail this model, it must have sound.

Tender pickup - I plan to use wm3798's approach of putting an Atlas B truck pickup into the commonwealth trucks

Cylinders - The AT&SF setup that came on the mechanism is just too far from what I need.

Valve gear - cobble something together with the Bachmann and Kato parts that I have on hand

Plumbing - finish piping and hand railing on the boiler

Paint

Decals

Weathering

So this morning I decided rather than trying to graph the Kato GS4 cylinders to the Bachmann drive, I'd print my own. The Kato looked noticeably small to my eye. I would like to use the crosshead from the Kato set, so I measured the pins and printed mounting points into my cylinders. First attempt is below.





These will press fit directly onto the Bachmann frame. I will use some sort of heavy duty adhesive when the time comes.





First fit was pretty close, but needs a little refining. Second draft is in the printer at the moment, while that's cooking, I did the fireman's side had rail. This was a huge PITA, but I'm glad to have it done.



Hopefully this thread will hold me accountable and I can make some serious headway on this build. It's a unit that I've wanted on the roster for a long time!

mmagliaro

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Re: Western Maryland J-1 build
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2020, 06:39:22 PM »
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I like it so far!  Boy, a good shell and separately applied wire details go a long way to making a nice model.

wm3798

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Re: Western Maryland J-1 build
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2020, 08:10:35 PM »
+1
I just fainted.

Years ago I monkeyed around with a "close enough is good enough" Potomac project, using the same updated 4-8-4 drive... which by the way is a BEAST.



@Chris333 made some etched metal cab sides to get me the all weather cab, and I used a Rivarossi long tender but eventually I abandoned the project.  But I'm keen to try again, and I've finally got a tender to work with.  Sadly, the cab sides are long gone, and I don't think the files are even available to get more.

Ah me.  But this looks beautiful.  I'm glad you're doing it, because you know the second it's done, BLI or someone will announce that a mass produced model will be available!



Lee
« Last Edit: March 17, 2020, 08:14:51 PM by wm3798 »
Rockin' It Old School

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

PiperguyUMD

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Re: Western Maryland J-1 build
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2020, 09:04:41 AM »
+4
I like it so far!  Boy, a good shell and separately applied wire details go a long way to making a nice model.

Thanks! You're etched pipe hangers are making this possible!

Got the second draft of the cylinders on last night, I'm happy with the fit and positioning. There is a little bit of friction on the valve slide on both sides for some reason, I may try to add some slop to free things up. It's not a ton, but I think that it would be enough to effect performance. I think at this point I should hold off on a DCC installation and use dc to get the mechanism and valve gear working. At any rate, here's how it sits this morning



k27463

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Re: Western Maryland J-1 build
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2020, 09:54:15 AM »
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I'd go Tsunami 2 at this point before Wowsound -- the TSU-1100 is a bit smaller and I've had -really- good results in N scale steam.  Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.

Outside of that, gorgeous -gorgeous- job.  Hoping I can do some similar prints to fit various frames at some point for other locos.


PiperguyUMD

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Re: Western Maryland J-1 build
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2020, 08:56:45 PM »
+3
Some really good progress today even though looking at the pictures it doesn't seem like much.

First and foremost, I needed to see if I could reassemble the drive and get it operating on DC. I used @wm3798 trick of using Atlas B truck pickups in the tender trucks, which only took a few minutes. Next I set up a look of unitrack, and got it running without side rods pretty quickly. Adding side rods was a different story, it took a bit of tinkering, but I was able to get proof of concept! Bachmann side rods with Kato main rod and valve gear!


This allowed me to diagnose a couple of things

First, the factory mounting point for the valve gear hanger is too low and too far forward to use. I will have to add some sort of block to the frame here to create a new mounting point that is high and outside.



There was some sort of cast detail that was in the way that I needed to remove so that I could add a styrene block. I secured these with JB Weld





This leads me to deal with one of the problems that halted progress years ago. I broke one of the Bachmann crankpins. In the end, this might not be the end of the world, as I would like to use the Kato eccentric rod, and the Kato crankpin looks WAY better. However, the Kato crankpin is much larger than the Bachmann, and its SQUARE! Not really sure how I can tackle this. I was thinking about opening up the hole in the driver face, but since its square, I'm not sure that will work. Maybe a slightly oversized hole, but secure it with a dab of locktite.



If the rain clears out tomorrow, I may be able to prime and paint the cylinders.

PiperguyUMD

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Re: Western Maryland J-1 build
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2020, 09:22:31 AM »
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Baby steps. Yesterday I was able to get the Kato crankpin mounted in the Bachmann driver. My plan was to drill a hole that was slightly smaller than the largest part of the squared-off pin in order to get a good friction fit. Bachmann drivers are constructed by machining a metal back and tire, then inserting a plastic face with various details. I started with a bit that I knew was smaller that I needed, and gradually increased the size until I had a good fit. I thought at first I would be able to get a satisfactory fit by just drilling into the plastic face, but quickly found I needed to drill all the way through the driver. Right now the fit is very good. there is no play, and I cannot spin the crankpin in its hole. While I'm still in the fabrication/construction phase of the project, I will leave it as is. Once I get a little closer to completion, I will secure them in place with locktite.

The point of no return! As I started this, I realized that if this didn't work, I wouldn't be able to find another set of drivers. If it didn't work, I would be looking for a new 4-8-4!


Ta-Da! What a relief when it worked as planned!


I managed a few squeaky/jerky laps before calling it a day. Getting this to run smoothly will take a little tinkering but should be more than doable. Here's the final product with valve gear assembled with parts from a Bachmann 4-8-4, Bachmann N&W J, Kato GS-4, and 3d printed cylinders.


wm3798

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Re: Western Maryland J-1 build
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2020, 12:36:18 PM »
0
Damn.  I thought I wasn't going to look at dirty pictures with the kids home from school... 

That's going to be dead sexy!

But you know, I don't think they ever traversed around the curve at Sabillasville... They were built for speed between Hagerstown and Cumberland.... You'll have to start working on some more modules... :D

Lee
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Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

PiperguyUMD

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Re: Western Maryland J-1 build
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2020, 01:19:28 PM »
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I've thought about that. I'm looking at the 4th C&O canal crossing on the West Sub.

Cajonpassfan

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Re: Western Maryland J-1 build
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2020, 10:39:59 AM »
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Wow, what a cool build! The freestanding piping really gives the model a sense of mass, nicely done.
What size wire are you using for the handrails and condensation lines?
Otto K.

PiperguyUMD

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Re: Western Maryland J-1 build
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2020, 01:12:01 PM »
+1
Wow, what a cool build! The freestanding piping really gives the model a sense of mass, nicely done.
What size wire are you using for the handrails and condensation lines?
Otto K.

Thanks! Condensation lines are .008, handrails are .015, and for some of the larger piping that I haven't done yet, .025. There is some .020 in there somewhere, but I can't remember what, maybe the lines to the steam turret.

PiperguyUMD

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Re: Western Maryland J-1 build
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2020, 07:23:19 PM »
+6
I still have some things to figure out with the mechanism, which I will try to figure out once I have the decoder installed. I'm afraid that I may have a driver or drivers out of quarter. In the mean time, the shell and tender are complete. Here are the pre-paint booth glamour shots.





















ncbqguy

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Re: Western Maryland J-1 build
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2020, 09:53:40 PM »
0
What a gorgeous machine!!
Makes me want a fleet of Burlington O-5 Northerns....
Really excellent work!!
Charlie Vlk

Bill H

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Re: Western Maryland J-1 build
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2020, 10:48:22 PM »
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Have to ask - where did the loco high mounted headlight and bracket come from? I need a bunch of them, modeling the B&O, who mounted their headlights generally high.

Kind regards,
Bill

mmagliaro

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Re: Western Maryland J-1 build
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2020, 11:25:11 PM »
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I think it's coming along spendidly!  (Nice pipe hangers  :D)

Something you said gives me BIG pause, however.  If you have something irregular in the motion, I would strongly suggest you fix that BEFORE you put the decoder in.  Run it on a test track on plain DC just with the motor wired directly to power.  Decoders can mask all sorts of mechanical problems and that will only complicate the repair.

Best of luck as you continue on.