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It is just the way its made.  A fairly heavy sheet brass wrap around for the walls, that would defy putting in rivet impressions. It was a lower cost kit at the time and the lack of rivet detail was largely overlooked.  Other, more expensive kits of the day with brass sides having rivet impressions used thinner material or they used aluminum castings with details molded in. All Nation had them for its larger locomotive kits.

On my All Nation 4-4-2, I made a thin shim brass sheet of rivet impressions to apply to the smooth brass sides.  It was labor intensive to be sure. I wanted to put rivet detail on cab as well, but after working on the tender, I though otherwise.

If I were to do this now, I would apply primer to the smooth brass tender shell and apply rivet decals, following the prototype pattern from photos.  Rivet decals will bond better to primer or paint than they will on plain brass.

S. Islander  


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  • TRAIN 23: All Nation B&O 4-4-2 at Edgewater with a branch line local.

Okay gang, I need some "fine tuning" tips here.

When this is up on blocks, and running in reverse, it runs perfectly. Here is a picture how how the worm sits when in "reverse" mode:

gear 1

You can see there's just a very slight gap between the brass frame and the washer/worm. The entire shaft: worm, armature, etc. turns smoothly with almost zero fore and aft movement. Perfect. 

Here is the gap when polarity is reversed, for running "forward":

gear 2

Although not much greater, I think that gap is now enough to throw the worm too far back towards the rear of the engine; this (I think) is what's causing a "hitch" (both visible and audible) in the mechanism. The shaft now moves fore and aft by as much as a 32nd(?)

I cannot detect any other reason for this "hitch". I don't think that adding a very thin additional washer would help, as that would cause a bind when in reverse...maybe. 

There is not a whole lot of adjustments available with the way this is designed; I thought that maybe I could tweek the big brass "arm", and maybe move everything slightly forward, but I just don't see how that could done, and even then help much.

Speaking of "help":..HELP!  

Mark in Oregon


Images (2)
  • gear 1
  • gear 2
@PRR1950 posted:

Back on page 1 of this thread, you had an "extra" washer after you put the engine motor back together.  Think that might have anything to do with this problem?



Later in the discussion (still on page 1: I count the 26th post) you might see I discovered that once I put the mounting "plates" in the correct order, I was able to put that washer back where it was: between the large "U shaped" brass bracket and the worm. I added the information as a "PS" to that post.

I just seem to have too much fore and aft play, and I THINK that's where my problem is. The worm is free to move too far back towards the rear of the engine, and the mesh between it and the main drive gear gets "out of whack".  I think that's what's going on, but I can't be 100% positive, as this is my first O scale loco of this type...and again, I only see this issue when it's running "forward"...naturally!   

Mark in Oregon

Last edited by Strummer

True dat...yet I don't see any access "slop" in the motor or commutator. And again, it runs beautifully in the opposite direction (reverse): smooth as silk. Very puzzling.

I wonder if the big brass "coupling" that ties the motor and worm shafts together: is there perhaps any way to adjust that? Since this came to me already assembled, I don't know how all this was put together... 

Mark in Oregon

Yet another (in a long line of annoying) updates:

Since I couldn't fathom how to reduce the "play" in the driveline itself, I figured my only other option was to try to adjust the mesh between the worm and gear.

Since this is assembled in more or less sequence, it wasn't easy to do. I removed the bracket's front mounting screw, the (2) screws that hold the motor to the mounting brackets, and then loosened the longer rear mounting screw. This gave me enough wiggle room (yet still held everything in place) to add a thin (1/64") washer between the frame and the front "foot" of the bracket, nearest the worm. In the photo the screwdriver is pointing to the area I'm referring to:

Hooked up a couple of leads, and PRESTO! I think that worked! It now runs equally smooth and quietly in both directions: so quiet, in fact, that I have to lean in close to be able to hear any sound at all. Of course, it's not all reassembled and on the test track yet, but I'm hopeful.

There was at one time a discussion on the "Model Train Journal" forum about this model and a similar fix was suggested. I don't know what that outcome was, but my All Nation instructions don't show or mention any "spacers" to be used at this spot...

Anyway, there you go...for now. 

Mark in Oregon


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  • 6141
Last edited by Strummer


Here's hoping you do someday find one; a completely "new" and un-built kit would no doubt be better than the one I've been dealing with here.

This Varney example is still showing signs of an occasional bind: I had it on the test track today, and although it runs okay for a while, it'll suddenly seize up and the "overload" light on my Heathkit power supply will come on. It looks to be the center (geared) driver on the left (fireman's) side; a little gentle rocking will free it up again, but this happens repeatedly, so I guess I'm not out of the woods yet!

I enjoy the whole trouble-shooting process (and discussing it here) but this engine is really putting me to the test...

Mark in Oregon

I am going to post three of my Harriman ten wheelers.  I have four, all in 17/64 scale.  The first is a T-31, with 69" drivers and a tiny heart pump motor in the firebox.  It can pull maybe four cars.  The other three are tender drive, and they can pull anything they can hook to.  You can see the narrow firebox quite well in all my photos - ten wheelers in general are not well suited to in-boiler motors.  You should see what PSC had to do with their gorgeous, but fragile, T-28.

I may have the SP designations wrong - now and then I look them up - but T-28 is a 63" drivered all purpose locomotive, and some had Walschaerts gear, but not all.  The archetype is Varney's HO ten-wheeler, which is sort of Harriman, but with a wider firebox.  Herewith:



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  • 2355
  • 2353
  • 2348

I should add that 2355 - the real one - is a T-28, living in a park in Mesa, Arizona.  2353 was within walking distance of the Imperial, Ca. airport until the 1980s or so, then came to San Diego to be resurrected to full operation for a couple years on the old SDAE trackage.  It had a museum logo where I placed the SP logo on the tender, and had been fitted with a tender pilot.

2348 features some square counterweight drivers, making it incorrect in almost as big a way as the 2355 - but I don't care.  I like those drivers.  I had to make tires for all of them, but I think they were Max Gray.  The last one, not shown, is a bit more accurate, with Sunset drivers and Stevenson valve gear.

One of the guys on another forum suggested that ego might be involved in posting photos of one's own work.  I certainly resemble that remark, and make no apologies.  However, I love to see others' work, so I figure posting my own will cause others to share - there are already some pretty spectacular models in this thread.  Let us see your ten-wheelers?

Magnificent, all 3.

European steamers have often featured "tender drive", but that usually means the tender is powered and driven. You see HO scale tender drives, but the shaft going to the engine is often up at about the mid-way point.  Yours have the driveshaft so low they are barely seen...terrific! It really helps the look when you have all that open space between drivers, frame and boiler...

Mark in Oregon 

I've been under the assumption that my example is a Varney; given the fact that several parts are stamped/cast with that name. However...

...Don's post from 7/1 shows the All Nation 5/8" stack motor (made by Pittman), used on "...the Diesel Switcher, Atlantic and Ten Wheeler locomotives":

motor #2

I thought that was the motor mine has:


...except I just measured mine, and it is the full 1" stack motor; no wonder it sticks out the back of the cab so far! But in any case, it is an All Nation/Pittman. So I suppose after All Nation took over the Varney line, parts from both makers could have been thrown into the same kit box...

Also, my instruction sheet (dated 12/14/46) shows a field-wound (?) motor:

motor #3

...and shows how to wire a "reversing switch" for that type of motor.

One wonders went the change over to the permanent magnet motor took place; any guesses?

Mark in Oregon

PS: If anyone has a decent 5/8" stack motor they'd like to get rid of, please let me know. I'd like to try one on this model...



Images (3)
  • motor
  • motor #3
  • motor #2
@scale rail posted:

1.  Stummer, glad you could get some info from my catalog. Let me know if there would be any other stuff you could use.

2. Love this thread, it's real modeling to me. Don


1: Glad it was okay for me to re-post your catalog page. Thanks for posting it in the first place; and by all means, feel free to put up whatever you've got! 

2: Thanks. Sometimes I think I enjoy the posting of the project (almost) as much as the project itself... 

Now if I can just find one of those 5/8" stack motors...(hint, hint...)  

Mark (still) in Oregon

Don't get too hung up on what shows inside the cab.  These are primitive models, compared to the state of the art.  Maybe a Faulhaber motor would be smaller.  The narrow firebox locomotives typically had the cab pretty much astride the firebox - the fireman had to walk back to the tender apron to visit the engineer.

So here is a Saginaw ten-wheeler, patiently awaiting a new firebox, valve gear, and reversing bridge:

Saginaw 001


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  • Saginaw 001
@bob2 posted:

Wow!  My photos can kill a good thread in a heartbeat.

Funny...nice Saginaw engine.

I've been running the topic subject Ten Wheeler as time allows; still needs a tweak or two. I've applied loktite to a couple of driver screws that managed to work themselves loose, and am starting to think that the rear driver on the fireman's side is a little cocked on its axle: it looks like its rotation may be a little off, as the engine has a sight "shimmy" when going through curves. Not terrible, but noticeable. Other than that, it seems to run well. It makes a lovely "solid" kind of sound when it's running. You hear that same sound (only more so) on Carey's videos; old school stuff...

Mark in Oregon 


Mark asked about the Baldwin 60000 mechanism in another thread.  Since my mechanisms are only suited for O Scale, I decided it best to respond here.  Three shots of the giant Baldwin mechanism follow, for Mark, and to stay within the spirit of this thread, I will include a tender drive "ten-wheeler" mechanism.


O Scale Trains 010O Scale Trains 011O Scale Trains 012gears 007


Images (4)
  • O Scale Trains 010
  • O Scale Trains 011
  • O Scale Trains 012
  • gears 007

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