harmonyards posted:
bob2 posted:

Is it my imagination, or did this just get moved from 3-rail scale to O-27?  If anything belongs in 3-rail scale, it is a scale piece being converted to 3-rail.  Opinion.

your are correct Bob...its not opinion...its fact....this started as 3RS thread....( I thought)

It was apparently moved to the 3-Rail 027 Trains Forum as a result of the post by SEABOARDM2, which had absolutely NOTHING to do with 3RS modeling.

Well, this way it gets more views, so even though misplaced, all is good.

I don't have a big enough layout to do serious "how many cars" tests.  The scale Berks can easily pull any reasonable train I want - maybe 14 cars max, so the locomotive is not sniffing at a caboose.  We 2-railers do not deal with traction tires, so driver slip is the way we tell the limit is reached.  Never add so much weight that a model stalls before it slips - that practically guarantees motor burnout.

One of my best pullers is an 81" drivered Atlantic.  One side is cast iron, the other side has insulated tires made from iron pipe.  There is something about iron that grabs the rails and won't let go.

I cut a new front for the cab and have the cab soldered back together.  It now fits the boiler contour much better.  A replacement turret cover (located in front of the cab) has been fabricated.  

The loco is ready for detail parts.  I've ordered what I need from Stevenson Preservation Lines and the new owners of Precision Scale.  while I'm waiting for my Precision Scale order I'll start on the tender.

The sheet metal on the tender shell is in good shape.  The shell's solder joints are all coming apart.  The epoxy "re-enforcement" of those joints has also failed.  Disassembling and cleaning the solder and epoxy off the inside of the tender shell is the next task


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Looks like you are doing stellar work.  Consider making the tender 1/8" wider - requires new top sheet metal and a 1/8" strip in back.  Put an inner brass piece at those seams.

Rivets are trivial for a guy with your skill.  Let me know if you need hints.

Well I've got the tender soldered back together.  It has been widened by 1/8" and has a new deck and coal bunker front and back.  The red stuff on the back of the tender is Bondo Spot and Glazing putty.  Its less than 10 thousandths at its thickest and hides the seams in the 1/8" spacer well.  I also use it to fill dents in the sheet metal. The bronze water hatch has been cleaned up and has new photo etched hinges 


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Sorry.  There are topics I look for, and if they are not at the top of the list I miss them.  I should flag this one, I guess.

I use .032 HH brass sheet.   I cut it in roughly 3/32" strips, straighten them and file where necessary.  Then, if they are to be caboose or Berkshire tender ladders they need the arch at the top - a 180 degree bend in the wrong direction.

Heat that end of the strip with a pencil burner torch until glowing red, then plunge into a glass of cold water.  That renders the end dead-soft, and it can easily be bent into the arch shape.  It will harden as you work it, and you may have to anneal it twice.  Good pliers help the task.

The final step is drilling holes for the rungs and soldering.  Use a magnifying glass and a good spring loaded center punch to get the holes exactly right, then drill .032.

I use a wood block with grooves for the rungs, and small machinists clamps while soldering the .032 wire in place.

Practice a bit with annealing and bending.  Don't attempt drilling without one of those $50 Harbor Freight drill presses and magnification.

Questions?  I will check back.

I've started adding detail parts to the boiler and cab.  Most of the boiler appliances and piping were missing from the model so  I've substituted lost wax parts were available from Stevenson and my parts box.  I'm also waiting for an order from the new owners of Precision Scale.  Below is the cab

The cab now has a wrapper soldered to it with rivets, hand rails have been added and a new vent on the roof.  The small ladder under the running board  was made from strip brass.   It had a flat step rather than a round one so I'll have to apply Bob's ladder approach on the tender ladder.  The injector hardware has also been added.  The insulation around the pipes is thin strips of masking tape wrapped around the pipe and sealed with a thin layer of CA.

The throttle control was missing the small lever, clevis, the long rod to the cab and the supports for that rod.  They have been fabricated from sheet brass and brass wire.  The air tanks have new bands and the support that attaches to the boiler.  A lost wax check valve has also been added.


I plan to prime the boiler and add the boiler bands next.  There are two approaches to boiler bands.  They can be part of the model or part of the finish.  Given how thin they are I prefer the latter.  Once the boiler has a layer of primer paper bands are glued on.  Then another layer of primer is added and the paper bands are buried in the layers of paint.  Once that's done the rest of the piping will be added.


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I haven't tried rivet decals.

K&S sells rolls of soft brass in 0.005" thickness.  I cut pieces the 0.005" brass to fit the shape of the cab sides and then press the rivets into it.  Once that's done I solder the 0.005" brass with rivet detail onto the cab.

I only did paper boiler bands once - on a Varney ten-wheeler.  Interesting idea - I should have done it to my SP Hudson.

May I suggest lag clamps, washout plugs, and cast boiler steps?  They really set a Lobaugh apart from the pack.

Are you in LA?  I always regretted not meeting Matt while he was here.


    If you look at the photos you can see the washout plugs are already in.  I've got the lagging clamps and have the steps in my Precision Scale order.  I use brass rivet wrappers on existing loco parts that don't have rivet detail like the cab sides and roof on this loco (I've done it to 3 Varney/All Nation tenders).  I've also struggled with soldering them down and getting them smooth.   I applied a wrapper without rivets the cylinders of this locomotive.  A previous owner had sanded off too much metal from the sides and the cylinder ends stuck out beyond the cylinder casting.  I thickened the cylinder sides with bondo and used CA to attach 0.005" soft brass over the bondo.  Its holding well without wrinkles.   When I made the new wider tender deck for this loco I pressed the rivets directly into the brass.  If its a new part no point in making two parts.

  I first heard about paper boiler bands from on of Ian Rice's books.  He's an English writer and his books on building etched brass locomotives and on locomotive chassis construction are excellent.  BTW my first paper boiler bands were also on the Varney/All Nation 10 Wheeler. 

    Matt is still in LA!  Matt and I are both members of the Angel's Gate HiRailer's club and he still attends regularly (saw him last Saturday running his two rail trains on our 3 rail Gargraves and Atlas track)


I got my order of lost wax casting from the new owners of Precision Scale.  I bought the Commonwealth side frames for the tender trucks.  I had to wait a month for them to be cast.  The quality of the casting from the new PSC owners is very good.  It appears that PSC is in good hands.

This is a very nice upgrade for the tender.  Below is the truck with PSC side frames next to the original Lobaugh truck.

I attached the side frames together with a piece of sheet metal which was designed to hold the pick up roller and chuff sensor

I've added TMCC to the tender using Electric Railroad boards from 3rd rail.

I've screwed a piece of 1/64" sheet metal to the sand cast tender frame.  This provides a heat sink for the motor driver board and a place to screw down the speaker and other components.  The Lobaugh tender is large and provides plenty of room for all the TMCC parts. 

The antenna is in the coal pile.  The coal pile is made from 1/4" plywood from my scrap box.  It was the first piece in the scrap box I found that was about the right size.  The bottom has two wood strips glued to each side with a piece of sheet metal in the center for the antenna.  The wood pieces keep the metal antenna from touching the sides.  The top of the coal pile is painted black with real coal glued to it

Here is the coal pile in the tender shell



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I'm loving this thread! I'm reading a very fine book on O-scale from 1925-1967 and Lobaugh is mentioned in there. Nice to see a great kit like this being put together. And many thanks for the sources of your brass and detail parts. 

"Whoever dies with the most trains, wins!"

-Ward Kimball


Cody D. Leavel 

TCA #08-63009 

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