New "project:" Railking 4-6-0

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March 27, 2013 4:33 AM

They're all over the place:  Railking engines with fried circuitboards.  So I have this one, and I'm just gonna fool around with it.

 

Yeah, when I put it on the track it did nothing but trip the breaker and make a lovely burned circuit smell.  So I wasted no time cutting the whole PS2 system out of it.  (There's a visibly blown capacitor on one of the boards, I'll look into repairing it later, but even if I could I wouldn't put it back in this loco.) Of course I also removed the smoke unit, as without the driver circuit it's not doing anything.  (Again, I'll probably use it in another project.)  I did retain the bracket to hold the headlight bulb, at least for now.

 

First order of business was to make it run again.  For now, forward-only is fine.  So I swung by Radio Shack (because sometimes fast is better than right or cheap) and grabbed the highest rated full wave bridge rectifier they had.  I think it was 6A 400V, but I threw out the packaging.  Anyway, it was really simple to wire in.

 

Ok it's a pretty crude diagram, but you get it.  It doesn't actually matter which of the two inner prongs you connect to the pickups or ground, because, ya know, alternating current.  The outer prongs... well since the can motor isn't really marked which prong is positive or negative, I just tried it before I soldered my connections.  My first guess was reverse only.  (I'm sure the MTH tech guys would have known that the yellow wire was positive and the white wire was negative, but I didn't.)  Since the headlight bulb is incandescent I could have wired it straight to track power, but I wired it to the DC side in case I want to switch to LEDs later.  

 

This is what it actually looks like.

 

I probably could have just let the rectifier rattle around in there, but I fashioned a bracket out of a scrap of brass.  An L-bracket would have been neater, but I didn't have one in the junk box. 

 

Um, if you were looking sharp you might have noticed that jacked up headlight.  Well, the bulb was burned out, and ordering a replacement would have taken precious effort (esp. since I'm not sure the headlight is going to stay where it is.)  So I cobbled together this piece of junk:

I took a grain-of-wheat bulb, ran one lead through a piece of styrene tube and globbed a hunk of solder on the end of the wire.  I glued on a a larger styrene tube, stripped off the other wire, and wrapped it around the outside.  Ta-Da: ghetto bulb.  

 

If you were an astute observer, you might have noticed that I've already addressed one of the biggest complaint about these railking engines:  the goofy bent main rods.  It was surprisingly simple:

 

Yup, just drilled new holes to mount the crosshead guides, and cut a chunk out of the middle.  Then I re-bent the main rods.  Presto.  I suspect this may interfere with the swing of the pony truck on O-36 track, but it works just fine on my O-42.

 

What's next?  Dunno.  I had thought about making a camelback, but the driver size and spacing isn't conducive to any Reading prototype... so I don't know.  I might just see if I can make it look less toy-like.  If I do have one complaint about this design, it's the stupid bell.  It's the highest point of the locomotive.  The first time I rolled it over to take the screws out, even on my foam workpad, the thing snapped right off.  The only worse idea I've seen recently is the plastic whistle on the Lionel Berk Jr.   Hey manufacturers..  Kids are supposed to play with these.

 

Anyway, I'm open to suggestions on what I should do with this engine.

 

 

Kitbashing Reading Company steam engines until the day I can build a layout.  Sometimes I do custom work for others.

 

Check out my Blog of my previous work at http://brianwowak.wordpress.com

 
 
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March 27, 2013 5:31 AM

You can always get a simple E unit board from Dallee-- for $45 you'll have forward & reverse-- or get  a wbb board with sound-- smoke unit-- i'd leave it alone for now.

 
William Pickert "A day without trains is a day wasted"
 
 
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March 27, 2013 5:41 AM

Yeah, if it turns into something cool I'll definitely upgrade to a DCRU of some sort, but for $2.98, the rectifier is a good deal.

 

The Mechanism isn't too far off from a Reading L3 Camelback, but they're way outside my timeframe.  The boiler is too fat, I'd pretty much have to ditch the shell altogether.

 

Kitbashing Reading Company steam engines until the day I can build a layout.  Sometimes I do custom work for others.

 

Check out my Blog of my previous work at http://brianwowak.wordpress.com

 
 
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May 7, 2013 12:28 AM

Well with work wrapping up on the E5s, I took a minute to tinker with my 4-6-0 again.  First I hacked the stupid headlight off, and the class(less) lights.

 

 

Better?  Good.

 

Now what has ALWAYS bothered me about these Railking engines... they're (dare I say BADLY) compressed models of larger engines, when there's no reason they can't be scale (or scale-ish) models of smaller engines.  So along the mindset of "no specific prototype" I'm going to add larger detail parts to make this look like a scale model of a small engine.  First up:  bigger headlight.

 

Now I don't really intend to spend real money on this, so to that end, I took the MTH headlight socket, glued it into the front of the boiler, stuck a piece of plastic tube (it's the roll from doggie doodoo bag dispensers), stuck the end of a ballpoint pen in as a lense, and made a bracket out of styrene scraps.  Those horrible steps aren't long for this world, either.  I might just hack the whole dang pilot off and make a new one, we'll see.   The steam dome is ok but what the heck is up with that sand dome?  That's gotta go.  More progress as time permits!

 

Kitbashing Reading Company steam engines until the day I can build a layout.  Sometimes I do custom work for others.

 

Check out my Blog of my previous work at http://brianwowak.wordpress.com

 
 
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May 7, 2013 5:49 AM

Nice mods.  I've used the Shack full wave rectifier to get several recalcitrant PS1 locos to run again - I refer to it as "neutering" them: they are up and running but not quite the same.  Love what you did with the headlight.

 

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May 7, 2013 6:32 AM

For what is basically a starter set locomotive, the RailKing 4-6-0 is a fairly decent representation of a New York Central F Class locomotive, the type which was often seen on the Putnam Division.

 

nyc1243

 

I look forward to seeing your model when it is finished.

 

Bob

 
 
 
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May 7, 2013 10:15 AM

Sure the details vaguely resemble an F class, but the real F class was slightly smaller than a PRR G5; a solid medium-sized engine. And frankly, if you compare the "selective compression" head to head with classic "O-27˝ engines like the Lionel 2025, the proportions are horrible.  It looks like they shrank the boiler about 50% more than the running gear, then squashed it down.   The real F class is a handsome engine, the MTH version is an insult to it.
 
Originally Posted by CNJ 3676:

For what is basically a starter set locomotive, the RailKing 4-6-0 is a fairly decent representation of a New York Central F Class locomotive, the type which was often seen on the Putnam Division.

 

nyc1243

 

I look forward to seeing your model when it is finished.

 

Bob

 

Kitbashing Reading Company steam engines until the day I can build a layout.  Sometimes I do custom work for others.

 

Check out my Blog of my previous work at http://brianwowak.wordpress.com

 
 
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May 7, 2013 12:03 PM

If I'm not mistaken, this same locomotive came in PS-1(separate sale) and PS-2 and Locosound versions in sets.

 

For us toy train lovers, they are a nice representation of the F12 ten wheelers on the Old Put.

 
 
 
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May 7, 2013 5:42 PM

Here is the Putnam Division's 1244. Prior Rail King issues of the 4-6-0 were actually numbered 1242 and 1244. I will be detailing one of these Rail King Ten Wheelers to look like the real 1244.

 

NYC Putnam Div 1244

 

Bobby Ogage

TCA 04-57239

Last edited by Bobby Ogage May 7, 2013 5:47 PM
 
 
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May 11, 2013 9:04 AM

 

 

Wowak,

 

I am following your mods to the Rail King Ten Wheeler. Yesterday I found another one of these Ten Wheelers with PS2 in crappy but running condition, so I am detailing it to resemble the real New York Central's Class F No. 1244 used in commuter service on the Putnam Division.

 

Regarding your mod of the drive rod on the Ten Wheeler, I am doing something similar to this,

and in addition I am adding a spacer between the rods at the connection to the center driver to eliminate that residual joggle.

 

The pilot and smoke box front on the MTH Ten Wheeler need the most surgery to replicate the No. 1244. The tender needs some work too.

 

Please keep us posted on this project, and thanks so much for sharing your modeling skills with us.

 

Bobby Ogage

TCA 04-57239

 
 
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November 1, 2013 2:38 AM



With no commissions on the bench right now, I thought I'd fiddle with the 4-6-0.  I removed the ladders, swapped the condomesque sand dome for a dome from a Lionel USRA 0-8-0, and added a. 100" spacer between the frame and the body, which I think is a huge improvement.  I haven't decided if I need to chop the pilot off and lower it.
 

Kitbashing Reading Company steam engines until the day I can build a layout.  Sometimes I do custom work for others.

 

Check out my Blog of my previous work at http://brianwowak.wordpress.com

 
 
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November 1, 2013 8:25 AM

Originally Posted by Wowak:

So I swung by Radio Shack (because sometimes fast is better than right or cheap) and grabbed the highest rated full wave bridge rectifier they had . . . 

 

I call this "neutering" a loco.  Done it a couple of times myself to old PS1 locos.  Radio Shack sells small DPDT switches you can mount in the cab so you can reach in and reverse direction, too, if you need to.  Not as good as an e-board, but as you say, sometimes fast is better than right . . . 

 

As to what to do with it, I haven't a clue, but imagine you will have fun with it regardless. Might be fun just to add some details and such.  It occurred to me that because there are so many of these out there broken like this, you could find two more cheap ones and (with some challenges ahead of you) make a triplex, or since the real fun there would be in just making a tender with drivers, make it a duplex - this normal loco with a second set of drivers under a tender.  don't see many of those  . . . Just a suggestion . . . 

 

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November 4, 2013 11:34 PM

Added details to the pilot. Currently working on adding steam delivery pipes, and widening the top of the firebox to match the bottom (a bizarre feature on this model, I suppose to make room for all the switches of the PS2 version.)

 

Kitbashing Reading Company steam engines until the day I can build a layout.  Sometimes I do custom work for others.

 

Check out my Blog of my previous work at http://brianwowak.wordpress.com

 
 
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November 5, 2013 1:16 AM

I've bought a few of the 4-6-0's for later reworking.....they are decent little locos......and IIRC there are two different models?!?!?

I also like the RK 2-8-0 models. A bunch were bought for the boards out of them and some were painted football or baseball schemes. I bought 3 and never paid more than $50 each....all brain dead. But a WbB DCU and some work and they were great locos.

 

WM280A

WM280c

 

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November 5, 2013 1:40 AM

The 2-8-0s appeal to me less because I don't relish the thought of filing the shoulders off that belpaire firebox.  I might use one just for the chassis to build an older camelback some day, though.

 

Steam delivery pipes added:

 

I'm pleased with the direction, but I struggle to decide what road to letter it for.  Lehigh Valley and the LN&E owned 4-6-0s, but like the Reading, theirs were camelbacks.  I'd prefer a road that interchanged with the Reading, but any Northeast road could do.

 

Kitbashing Reading Company steam engines until the day I can build a layout.  Sometimes I do custom work for others.

 

Check out my Blog of my previous work at http://brianwowak.wordpress.com

 
 
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November 5, 2013 7:35 AM

That is a great project..I was beginning to think I was the only one left doing scratch \ kit building of motive power I just finished cutting the ridiculous cowcatcher pilot off the Lionel Polar Express engine and replaced it with a solid brass cast one, which made for a reasonably good engine at a decent price as I purchased it used. My other project is a interurban freight engine nearing completion after languishing due to a lack of correctly sized power trucks. I bought a RMT RDC and took off the shell, built a new frame and it fits perfectly into the Pittman body..Last but not least, I am also close to finishing a clockwork shunter from a Marx Tank car, a Hornby mechanism, etc.These are more rewarding than anything I could purchase in a box already made...I look forward to more posts in terms of your progress..

 
 
 
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November 5, 2013 8:50 AM

Originally Posted by Wowak:

The 2-8-0s appeal to me less because I don't relish the thought of filing the shoulders off that belpaire firebox.  I might use one just for the chassis to build an older camelback some day, though.

 

 

 

 

Notice the firebox didn't slow me any. I know it's not correct for WM units....but for $75 it came out as a good lookin loco!!!

 

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November 5, 2013 12:45 PM

Originally Posted by AMCDave:
Notice the firebox didn't slow me any. I know it's not correct for WM units....but for $75 it came out as a good lookin loco!!!

You'll get no argument on that point;  It's a **** sharp engine.

 

Kitbashing Reading Company steam engines until the day I can build a layout.  Sometimes I do custom work for others.

 

Check out my Blog of my previous work at http://brianwowak.wordpress.com

 
 
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November 5, 2013 9:45 PM

 

Firebox fixed, cab extended (downward,) coupler lift bar added, whistle (from parts bin, maybe off a Lionel dockside?) added where the oh-so-easy to break bell was.  Also added a dynamo from a Lionel USRA 0-8-0.  Not too much left to do before paint.  

 

Kitbashing Reading Company steam engines until the day I can build a layout.  Sometimes I do custom work for others.

 

Check out my Blog of my previous work at http://brianwowak.wordpress.com

 
 
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November 6, 2013 2:40 PM

 

Good Ole' Krylon Semi-Flat #1613 always wins.  Home stretch...  need to pick a road name and number soon.

 

 

Kitbashing Reading Company steam engines until the day I can build a layout.  Sometimes I do custom work for others.

 

Check out my Blog of my previous work at http://brianwowak.wordpress.com

 
 
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November 6, 2013 9:22 PM

So I was thinking about my earlier build mandate to do as much as I could without spending money on parts, and that solved the roadname problem; the only decals I have on hand are Reading.  So I numbered it from the last class of end-cab 4-6-0s the Reading purchased (although they were all later rebuilt as camelbacks.)

 

It was just supposed to be for fun, anyway, right?

 

Kitbashing Reading Company steam engines until the day I can build a layout.  Sometimes I do custom work for others.

 

Check out my Blog of my previous work at http://brianwowak.wordpress.com

 
 
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November 6, 2013 9:56 PM

I really like how it turned out!  Maybe I'll do something similar to my RailKing UP 4-6-0 with PS3 (except for the bridge-rectifier forward only part).
 

Legacy is just a combination of TMCC, DCS, and a smartphone, but I like it anyways.

Doug

 
 
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November 6, 2013 10:19 PM

WOW!!! That worked out GREAT!!!! I Like it....and may copy some of it!!!

 

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November 6, 2013 11:16 PM

Finishing touch: marker lights I cut off the Williams USRA 4-6-2 I'm going to rework as Reading & Northern #425.

 

 

Kitbashing Reading Company steam engines until the day I can build a layout.  Sometimes I do custom work for others.

 

Check out my Blog of my previous work at http://brianwowak.wordpress.com

 
 
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November 7, 2013 6:11 PM

Wow.....very cool. Brian.....nice job! Tom

 
 
 
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November 22, 2013 1:32 AM

epilogue: did a little dry-brush weathering with Polly-S grimy black,oily black, and special oxide red.

 

 

Kitbashing Reading Company steam engines until the day I can build a layout.  Sometimes I do custom work for others.

 

Check out my Blog of my previous work at http://brianwowak.wordpress.com

 
 
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November 23, 2013 9:04 AM

I have a PRR version of this locomotive and been wanting to modify it to something that belonged to the Long Island RR, question where did you put the spacers to raise the locomotive shell?

 
 
 
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November 23, 2013 9:39 AM

Get finish on the project!!!

 

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November 23, 2013 2:10 PM

Originally Posted by Blake:

I have a PRR version of this locomotive and been wanting to modify it to something that belonged to the Long Island RR, question where did you put the spacers to raise the locomotive shell?

 

.100x.100 styrene square rod, on the mounting pad inside the firebox and on the front of the chassis, mounted with cyanoacrylate.  I think I needed to grab some longer screws from my parts bin, but otherwise that was it.  If you're keeping the smoke unit you'll need to shim that up too, or extend the output with a piece of brass tube.  Also you'd have to notch out the back of the shell for the connector to the tender, but that's minor.

 

Kitbashing Reading Company steam engines until the day I can build a layout.  Sometimes I do custom work for others.

 

Check out my Blog of my previous work at http://brianwowak.wordpress.com

 
 
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November 23, 2013 5:54 PM

Thanks I appreciate the photos! 

 
 
 
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November 23, 2013 6:04 PM

No problem,  I can't believe I didn't include pictures first go round.
 

Kitbashing Reading Company steam engines until the day I can build a layout.  Sometimes I do custom work for others.

 

Check out my Blog of my previous work at http://brianwowak.wordpress.com

 
 
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November 23, 2013 6:58 PM

Originally Posted by Blake:

Thanks I appreciate the photos! 

Blake.....you are very animated!!! (only photo avatars are permitted)

 

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November 23, 2013 7:09 PM

Originally Posted by AMCDave:
Originally Posted by Blake:

Thanks I appreciate the photos! 

Blake.....you are very animated!!! (only photo avatars are permitted)

Really I didn't know sorry about that (newcomer)

 
 
 
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November 23, 2013 7:22 PM

Just joking......but admins will kill it at some point!

 

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