A Bashing: NYC J1e 5344 Mercury-service Hudson; a Lionel/Williams blend

As of the completion of this project (so much cutting, grinding, soldering, de-soldering, valve-gear locating/adapting) I now have a 3RO model of every "iteration" Hudson 5344 had: as built (K-Line), Commodore Vanderbilt (Lionel), Mercury service/J3a Century styling (below; LioWilliams? Williamsnel?) and as retired (Lionel, 1990's "763e" 5344 with proper PT tender added).

This was a pain. Glad I did it. Now. Took me forever, but I also took a couple of breaks. 

NYC5344-Mercury

Lionel "ATSF" (yeah, right) Warhorse scale NYC Hudson w/TMCC RS, blended with the bodywork of that very early brass Williams Dreyfuss that everybody loves to hate. Complete Lionel electronics moved to Williams tender, including Electrocoupler; the Williams brass loco disassembled and de-soldered with a torch (hardware store size) to obtain brass streamlining parts. Warhorse Hudson much cut and abused with Moto-Tool.

(My typical table-grade, working-class modeling standards - perfection not even considered.)

Streamlined firebox-area skirting is from the Williams loco, but enlarged and re-shaped with brass/copper as the J1e had a higher running board than the J3a. 

No "New York Central" on the tender, like the real one, above. Steps added to side rear of tender.

5344-15

5344-3

Full 700e valve gear from Lionel website (these are actually from the latest Legacy 700e); Lionel scale-wheel truck. Williams brass skyline casing, "nose" and pilot skirting. The pumps were actually partially showing on this loco (see prototype above), unlike the original J3a styling.

Never overlook HO scale for small decals - see NYC oval on pilot. (I also now see a bit of sloppy workmanship at the end of the running board skirting - "character lines"?)

 

5344-10

Still has a Pullmor; brass skirting was soldered on the bottom of the Wms tender, nearly contoured correctly. I am going to adjust the drawbar length; this Lionel drawbar has a simple hole on the tender end, so I should be able to drill another with no problem (oh - never say that...) to snug it up a bit.

Brush weathered with Bragdon's pigments.

I wonder if I have the only 3RO version of this?

5344-7

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Original Post

D500, congratulations on a great build and quite an undertaking!  A video posting would be great as GREG773 suggests. It would also be great if you could post pics of every iteration from your collection in chronological order of ‘The Most Famous Hudson’ of the New York Central. Excellent model!

- Rob 

 

LCCA Member

rjsmithindy posted:

D500, congratulations on a great build and quite an undertaking!  A video posting would be great as GREG773 suggests. It would also be great if you could post pics of every iteration from your collection in chronological order of ‘The Most Famous Hudson’ of the New York Central. Excellent model!

Thanks for all the compliments; no video until I change the thing from 1 chuff (ouch) to 4, and that will be a while - I'm tired of it! For now.

I do want to post all 4 3RO iterations of 5344 that I have; I'll get the photos done soon - this is the only version I have that is photographed.

Sorry I've only just come around to seeing this, but it's worth adding my compliments. Years ago I studied the feasibility of a similar project, extensively researching the design from photographs, Al Staufer's bible on the NYC Hudson, even an original brochure of the "new" Mercury after the streamlined Pacific was pushed aside. I've seen a model, but it was 2-rail O scale I believe in Mike Hill's collection. And he knows as much about NYC Hudsons as anyone. But making a 3-rail model of a 5344 Hudson always seemed like an obvious move to me. I was really into the idea back when 3rd Rail made those brass Mercury passenger cars.

Your model looks just tremendous. It looks like you've nailed all the pertinent design points that sets this J1e apart from the Dreyfuss J3as. The running board, feedwater heater, piping differences, etc. all look spot on. I love touches like using the original valve gear assembly and guides. Using the basic 773 boiler is something I never would have thought to do, and it works perfectly.

And if you'll indulge me, I'd like to make a few suggestions for you to ponder. First, are the stripes on the tender adhesive striping? If so, I believe the top one is a bit high. It should line up a bit above the bottom edge of the cab window. It's kind of a tough call because I see how you were trying to position it relative to horizontal lines of rivets. Also, since you're using the Lionel valve gear and boiler, you could add the lubricator linkage as designed for the 700E. Finally, I know this is a weathered model, but the drivers were silver like the J3as...maybe dry-brushing some silver will bring them out and still look weathered.

In any case, congratulations on this accomplishment. As others have said, I'd like to see it in action.

Joe Stachler posted:

And if you'll indulge me, I'd like to make a few suggestions for you to ponder. First, are the stripes on the tender adhesive striping? If so, I believe the top one is a bit high. It should line up a bit above the bottom edge of the cab window. It's kind of a tough call because I see how you were trying to position it relative to horizontal lines of rivets.

In any case, congratulations on this accomplishment. As others have said, I'd like to see it in action.

Joe, the stripe may be off because the running board near the cab is higher than the window? At least on this engine it is lower and not being a NYC fan I didn't pay any attention until reading your post. A great model and conversion, I'd like to see all the models together and running too!

NYC 6834844328_d87689f7eb_b

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D500 posted:

 

 

Full 700e valve gear from Lionel website (these are actually from the latest Legacy 700e);

I was particularly interested to read this part.  I installed that 700e valve gear on my Lionel 783, but I've never heard from anyone else who had tried it.

Nice looking job from all angles.

Yes, very nice.  I took a simpler route, using the entire Williams boiler assembly with a few mods, and machined my own drivers and main frame.  My tender is actually a wood block, not that I do not have the skills for a full riveted model, but because I am only peripherally interested in streamline Hudsons.  I am sure you have seen this one before, but it belongs here as well, I guess:dreyfusThose side rods are roller bearing, cast in nickel silver from my masters.

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BobbyD posted:
Joe Stachler posted:

And if you'll indulge me, I'd like to make a few suggestions for you to ponder. First, are the stripes on the tender adhesive striping? If so, I believe the top one is a bit high. It should line up a bit above the bottom edge of the cab window. It's kind of a tough call because I see how you were trying to position it relative to horizontal lines of rivets.

In any case, congratulations on this accomplishment. As others have said, I'd like to see it in action.

Joe, the stripe may be off because the running board near the cab is higher than the window? At least on this engine it is lower and not being a NYC fan I didn't pay any attention until reading your post. A great model and conversion, I'd like to see all the models together and running too!

NYC 6834844328_d87689f7eb_b

(The photo directly above is, of course, a J3a with a PT tender; my model is of the J3a-style streamlining applied to a J1e with a semi-streamlined 12-wheel tender.)

Well, I didn't expect to see this thread again. Thanks for the compliments. Yeah, the stripe is not quite right per the cab, but pretty right per the tender, and when you are doing a project where so much is "about" right, all those moving parts and approximations can lead to some compromises. The stripe is a decal, BTW.

The silver/aluminum drivers - I thought about this, but I like the looks of the flat gray Lionel drivers so much that I decided to stick with "they're real dirty" as my internal story. I may lighten them with powders to better denote a dirty aluminum color.

The 700E lubricator could indeed be done, but I chose not to because, well, I was tired of messing with it and ready to get finished.

I thought seriously about using a brass J3a "Dreyfuss" as a starting point for the Mercury 5344, and turning it into a J1 where needed. Easier to work with, actually. But, as the Lionel 700E and descendants were good models of the very 5344 that I wanted to represent, I could not let that go. The eventual visible cast-in boiler details were inherently correct. 

I do intend to "line up"my 5344's for a photo. If it turns out well I'll post it. My workshop/train building is undergoing a small enlargement even as I write this (between the standard daily sub-tropical rains and TS Gordon that just blew through town - literally), so any RR'ing will have to wait for the completion and re-organization. 

Amazing isn't it when someone discovers an old thread and brings it back into the light? Hoping the rainfall doesn't cause much damage. A great build and we look forward to seeing your group portrait in the near (DRY:-) future!

I know I'm late to the party on this thread, but I am stunned.

At first I thought that this would be a simple removing of the Lionel shell and adding the Williams Dreyfuss one, but looking it over carefully, this is one heck of a special project. It's almost like hand streamlining the real locomotive. Looking over the engine and tender, I can see a lot of really specific details were put in with a lot of effort, though the familiar US Lionel moldings can be seen in small areas (in a good way). The decoration and weathering really completes the picture. It really looks like something Lionel would've made in the mid/late 90's (I wish they did) with the added benefit of extra hand details.

Thomas

Somerset County 4-H Trainmasters

TCA Member11-66911

LCCA 30247

ERR Upgrades and Custom Artwork

Mikado 4501 posted:

I know I'm late to the party on this thread, but I am stunned.

At first I thought that this would be a simple removing of the Lionel shell and adding the Williams Dreyfuss one, but looking it over carefully, this is one heck of a special project. It's almost like hand streamlining the real locomotive. Looking over the engine and tender, I can see a lot of really specific details were put in with a lot of effort, though the familiar US Lionel moldings can be seen in small areas (in a good way). The decoration and weathering really completes the picture. It really looks like something Lionel would've made in the mid/late 90's (I wish they did) with the added benefit of extra hand details.

Thanks for realizing the "long way around" that I took. I gave up some finer detailing that I would have had, if I had used a modern Dreyfuss J3a, turning it into a J1e - but there is indeed a "real locomotive" under the streamlining on this one, with modified domes and other details, now invisible under the sheet metal.

I have wondered many times why Lionel never offered a Century-style (or ESE, for that matter) version of the 700E, back in the day. I can think of reasons, myself, but it would have become an icon too, of course.

"...US Lionel moldings can be seen in small areas (in a good way)."

Precisely one of the reasons I used this platform. I like the bones to show a bit on 3RO items, even the scale ones. I left the "Built by Lionel" builder's plate on purpose. (I'm one of those who liked the little "Built by Lionel" graphic on the side of their fancy scale hoppers, boxcars and such.) 

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