I came across this little model, I believe made by LM Blum.  It had already been modified heavily (mostly poorly), so I don't feel bad about re-detailing it and converting it to 3-rail.  Here it is before:

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...and after stripping...

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The details were added rather crudely, with gobs of solder.  I was not able to get the offending parts hot enough to loosen them, but a bit of work with a Dremel tool did the trick:

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The motor is marked "KTM":

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I got a Dallee e-unit, and tested it with leads connected to the motor.  It runs incredibly quietly and smoothly - I honestly thought only a can motor could run that well.  Next step is to add and wire in contact rollers, and then I can see how it runs on my Ross track.  I'll post updates here as I go.

 

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Original Post

I was looking at an old issue of MR from the early 1950's.  There was a review of a loco kit imported by Lenard Blum's Hobby House (it was not this one).  Hobby House is long gone but I remember reading an article about it when it closed.  I can't remember what magazine it was in.  It might have been in OGR.  It's nice to see one of Blum's locos put back into service.

What were you using to remove the domes?  I use a mini torque from Smith industries when I have thick metal or heavy casting to solder or unsolder

It costs about $200.  It also uses the standard Ox and MAP gas tanks that can be purchased cheaply at your local building supply store.  The old Microflame torch was much less expensive and was also a two gas system.  20 years ago mine was about $40.  However the tiny cylinders were expense and did not last long.  I don't know if they are still in business.  The Smith's is cheaper in the long run 

 

If you plan to add more details download the O Scale steam catalog from Precision Scale.  It has approx. 350 pages of O Scale steam parts!  I've gotten good service from the new owners

Stevenson Preservation lines also has a good selection of detail parts.  I've ordered from him many times and will again.

Wiseman Model Services has the old Back Shop Line of lost wax detail part and my experience with him has also been good

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I ended up getting the dome off with a Dremel tool, cutting off enough that I was able to heat what pieces were left enough to melt the solder.  Needless to say that dome won't be re-used!  Yes, PSC, Wiseman, and Stevenson are my go-to vendors for detail parts.  Great service from all three.

The teardown is pretty much done, and now parts are going back on.  The original pilot looked very toy-like, so I decided to almost entirely replace it.  I'm freelancing this on a typical Porter or Baldwin tank engine, which typically used oak pilot beams.  Hmmm, how to model that... how about oak?

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Here I've fitted the new cowcatcher to the new pilot beam, added the original coupler mount, and drilled for the lift bar.  The original pilot deck is behind, and what will be a pilot air tank is below.  I've shortened the frame by about 15 scale inches, so now the "front porch" won't be so big.

Here are a few more parts, almost ready to go on:

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Next is the step that concerns me most: mounting the pickup rollers and getting it wired and running.  I prefer the cosmetic stuff!

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Last edited by 49Lionel
bob2 posted:

Admirable effort.  Where did you get the nice stone wall?

An eBay seller - can't remember who, but it was not a commercial product as I recall (they're flexible).  I gave it a few washes of gunk colors and then a dry-brush.

Postwar Lionel parts dealers will have a bunch of different roller pickups. You can insulate them from the motor with fish paper or Kapton tape. You can fasten the pickups to the motor frame with nylon screws.

Hit a snag.  I got roller assemblies from the Lionel 0-6-0T because the small drivers leave very little space between the frame and the railhead, so I needed a very shallow setup.  There are only a few places where I could attach rollers to the bottom plate, due to the drive axles and frame members being in the way, and now I can see that the roller assemblies are just not going to work.  On top of it, I test-fit one to check for clearance and the arm spring took so much weight off the drivers, no amount of lead in the boiler would make up for it.  I think my only choice is a power pickup trailer car, since there's no tender.  I have a Lionel 40' flat that I'll use (since this will be a rock quarry switcher), so now my task is to figure out how to get rollers on that.  Anybody need the 0-6-0T pickup assemblies?

While I wait to get the power supply figured out, more details are going on.  Here, the original bent wire handrails have been replaced by stanchions, and smokebox washout ports added.

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Yes, they're those low-profile trucks.  If anybody knows how to get contact rollers that would mount to the trucks without having to buy the whole trucks, please let me know.

Have you thought about making sprung vertical plungers?   They could even be offset from center slightly with end bracket and side thrust angling.

Solder square tube/ rod (keystock) to  a Lionel " modular" pass car roller part (just the metal "T" toss the plastic) Plastic/nylon tube/rod if/where it needs to be insolated.

Or a wide button/mushroom head shoe? (360° wobble disc)   Ive made these from low profile, wide, carriage bolt type heads and from HUGE brass decrative tacks too.

Shoes have better pickup imo, but have a much higher drag too. Each shoe set's drag equals loss of at least 2 roller cars of pull is my estimate  

The problem is that there's so little vertical room between the bottom of the frame plate and the railhead, plus there are axles and mounting screws in the way.  This photo shows one of the options I came up with (I know, it's really far forward).  I also mounted a vertical sprung roller to the trailing truck.  It might have worked, but it just derailed the truck all the time, and there's no room on it to add weight.  Adriatic, it sounds like you might have been able to rig something up, but it just got beyond my abilities!

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I have used just a small piece of sheet brass firmly mounted, with the un-tethered part pointed to the rear. It will just slide along the third rail with no problems. It will need to be rebent by hand occasionally. Might spark a little bit over turnouts, but what the hey.

Atlas makes a very small pick up roller for its diesels

O SCALE CZ 3RL ROLLER PICK-UP ASSY

You can see from the roller just how small the overall size is.  An 1-72 screw fits the threads and you can get nylon or delrin screws in this size.  A small piece of electrical tape and a non-metal screw to attach it.  If the roller does not quite reach the track you can sim it with sheet styrene.  These are so small I've been able to hid them behind drivers and also bend sheet metal brackets to add them to tender trucks.

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Thanks to all for the advice about the pickup rollers.  I ended up mounting a few rollers from my parts bin underneath the flat.  Since the loco gets its own AC- (by simply tying together the two sides electrically), it takes only one wire from the flat.  An added benefit is that the engine could easily be converted back to 2 rail if desired.

She's running around very nicely, with virtually no trouble staying on my Ross track.  You can see some of the other details I added, for example newly fabricated wooden doors for the cab, brake shoes and cylinders, sander and air lines, etc.  The last photo shows it nose-to-nose with my customized Lionel 0-6-0T, for perspective.  It was a fun project!

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@49Lionel posted:

She's not quite ready for her re-builder's photos yet, but here's a little teaser of a break-in run today:

Great job - that little beauty fits right in!

One thing I didn't mention, those side tanks make plenty of room for added weights, so after I added some to what it had originally, it's pretty hefty.  Can take about 5 weighted cars up a 2.2% grade.

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