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Update March 5th, finishing the LWS kit.

Having gone this far trying to build my first locomotive kit I didn’t want to fail now.  Those early OSR magazines kept encouraging builders of every skill level to “do the best you can”.  Now I was at the point where I had to select how many exterior details to install on this model.  All along this adventure I have been studying old photos of Union Pacific E8 and E9 locomotives and was ordering small brass details online.   I began with digging through the part numbers shown on Precision Scale’s website.

Precision Scale had windshield wipers part# 5654, door handles part# 5639.  Grab irons part# 5623 were installed after 1959 to meet the ICC-mandated access steps and handholds on the engineers side of the nose casting.   Precision Scale MU hose connector’s part# 5650 are found on several Union Pacific E8A/E9A locomotives like 942, 949 and 951.  The brass rods that were used to make the ladder rest grab irons and hand railing were K&S precision metals part# 4873.  Note: during assembly a piece of 1/32th inch basswood was used underneath all hand railing to help maintain an exact distance between railing and the locomotives surface.

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Precision Scale also offered 48” fan blades part# 5653, 36” fan blades part# 5682 and brass lift rings part# 48279 (you will needed two packs of these for an E9).  I couldn’t locate E9 roof mounted cooling pipes in brass so I ended up ordering part# 48-051 from Scale City Design and modifying them to fit this application. To get the look of heavy duty dual-wall exhaust stacks on the roof I used 2 different size round brass tubes from K&S precision metals and mounted one pipe inside the other.  The outer pipe was 9/32” part# 8132 and the inner pipe ¼” part# 8131.  The small 3/32” pipe next to the exhaust stack is K&S part# 8126.

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Then, from the American Scale Models website I ordered left and right side mirrors part# 3066 and the duel diesel headlight insert part# 911.7.  The 13 ½” long stainless steel vertical slot Farr style air intake grills and front number board housings came from the K-Line donor shell.   The window sun shades and oval builder’s plates were created from strips of 2mm x 1 mm flat brass.  In my option the perfect way to create that definitive look of a classic polished brass locomotive was to not install windows in the cab.

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Originally, I purchased 4 EMD rotary knob style sand box covers.   Then while researching online I discovered EMD switched to a newer type after 1954 because the previous rotary style dropped down against the sides of E8 locomotives and caused damage.  Luckily, American Scale Models offers these newer E9 improved journal type sand box covers part# 923.4.  To hide all the wires, electronics, smoke unit and motors inside the shell six clear windows were cut from a sheet of .010” thick Styrene.  These windows were then painted glossy black only on the Styrene’s backside.  Then, they were attached inside the shell over the porthole openings with the clear side facing out.  The clear window thickness gives my visitors the impression of depth, like they are looking through a glass window and into a darkened engine room.

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Also, from American Scale Models was this brass striker plate (now discreetly being used as my external TMCC antenna) part# 995-8 and back-up light housing part # 9287.09.  The brass light housing was drilled out and a 2mm warm white tower LED was placed inside.  The 2mm LED is wired to the TMCC board and it only illuminates while the locomotive is in reverse.  The flexible diaphragm is from Scale City Design part# 48-225.

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The brass rear ladder part# 816-3 was from American Scale Models.  Bow-tie vents over the battery compartments and steam generator exhaust stack came from the K-Line donor shell.  The brass shell and nose was lightly gone over one last time with 0000 steel wool to remove any leftover oxidation.  Then I applied two glossy coats of Tamiya clear spray paint part# TS-13 to seal-in the shiny brass finish from any future oxidation.

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I wanted to say thank you to all the OGR forum members for the great advice during this building adventure.  In an effort to help other forum members who find this thread in the future I have listed all the part numbers used to complete this Locomotive Workshops kit.  Not having a complete parts list of exterior details was like rummaging thru unmarked cardboard parts boxes at a train meet.  Some websites carried a few parts… then I had to search other websites for other parts.  It felt like I was on an online treasure hunt.  But hey, it looks like I got a Golden E9 locomotive at the end of this treasure hunt!  Also, one last fun fact:  I drilled 128 different holes/openings into the shell & nose casting for all those little brass details.   

In closing, I did the best I could building my first brass locomotive kit.   When visitors ask questions about this polished E9 running around the layout, I can proudly say “I built it”.   



Thank you for following this thread.

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  • LWS nose
  • LWS top
  • LWS front
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  • LWS rear top
Last edited by T.Albers

That is a complete transformation from the original kit parts shown at the top of this thread. Well done indeed, because you now have a true jewel of a model loco.

However, I fear that you have come close to going over to the "dark side" of 2 rail scale and are being enticed to cross the fatal line. I'll know you're a goner when you install DCC in something!

Since you are modeling a Union Pacific E8/E9, and VERY NICELY at that, the one "add-on" part, characteristic to all UP E8/E9 units, are snow shields on top of each cooling system winterization hatch. The Overland Models E8/E9 units were really nice, and one could purchase those snow shields as spare parts. I have no idea where one could get those today, and the snow shields on the recent Lionel models don't appear to be var correct, to me.

The 3rd Rail E9's have the snow shields and they are brass castings.  The Amtrak model of which I have 3 of, came with them as add-on parts if one wanted to model the UP variant.  If you are interested, you can email me at my profile email address and I can send you pictures.  I only use the snow shields on one of mine at this point.

Your model is outstanding.  Thanks for sharing the progress!

_IMG0425

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  • _IMG0425
Last edited by GG1 4877
@bob2 posted:

Spectacular!  Very nice work.

Thank you @bob2.  To help complete the finished look of a classic brass locomotive the modern K-Line #4-40 black Philips screws were changed out on the chassis, fuel tank and side steps.  Brass #4-40 x ¼” slotted pan head screws were ordered and reinstalled at all these locations instead.

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Also changed out were the black Phillips head screws used on the side frames.  Now those locations have brass pan heads.

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A #4-40 x ¾” long round head brass screw was used to hold the front coupler to the K-Line chassis. Matching brass washers and a spacer were installed in locations as needed.

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My visitors may never see these little brass details underneath the locomotive... but I know they are there!  🙂

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Last edited by T.Albers
@Hancock52 posted:

That is a complete transformation from the original kit parts shown at the top of this thread. Well done indeed, because you now have a true jewel of a model loco.

However, I fear that you have come close to going over to the "dark side" of 2 rail scale and are being enticed to cross the fatal line. I'll know you're a goner when you install DCC in something!

Thanks @Hancock52.  Yes, the before and after photos of the nose casting show a drastic transformation.  Since I was aiming for a polished brass finish I knew in the beginning I would not be able to completely hide all the tiny air bubble depressions in this LWS lost wax nose casting.  But I still tried my best to minimize them.  First, I sanded down the surface help make them smaller, then used steel wool to polish over the surface.  Next, Brasso was used on a toothbrush to remove the dark oxidation hiding inside the tiny depressions.  Another toothbrush was used after that with 91% alcohol to remove the leftover Brasso from inside the depressions before painting.  I was very pleased when the two coats of clear Tamiya gloss helped smooth the brass nose surface even further.

As @bob2 suggested earlier in this thread builders can successfully use a product like Bondo to fill the depressions in the brass casting.  These depressions can be covered with a filler and the surface will be completely smooth to a viewer after it’s primed and painted to match a roads specific color.

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A big concern of mine at the beginning of this build with this rough nose casting was removing the scratches that were directly in front of the engineer’s windshield.  Those scratches (now underneath the grab bars and reflecting blue sky as shown below) almost completely disappeared after a little sanding and a lot of polishing. 👍

front view engineers side

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  • front view engineers side
Last edited by T.Albers
@GG1 4877 posted:

The 3rd Rail E9's have the snow shields and they are brass castings.  The Amtrak model of which I have 3 of, came with them as add-on parts if one wanted to model the UP variant.  If you are interested, you can email me at my profile email address and I can send you pictures.  I only use the snow shields on one of mine at this point.

Your model is outstanding.  Thanks for sharing the progress!

_IMG0425

Thank you @GG1 4877 I hope this thread can help others who are thinking about building a brass locomotive in the future.  An e-mail has been send to see photos of those 3-Rail E9 snow shield covers.

Last edited by T.Albers
@S. Islander posted:

That is an outstanding piece of work you did on the LWS kit.

A masterful exercise in brass work, with impeccable attention to detail.

Congratulations!

S. Islander

Thank you @S. Islander!  You had mentioned at the very beginning of this building adventure I would need extra structural brass components to complete a Locomotive Workshops kit.  You were correct.  I needed brass flats, sheets, angles, round tubes and square tubes to finish the build.  I would recommend anyone thinking about building a LWS kit to get familiar with the available items sold in the brass section at your local train store.

Since you brought up attention to details... I was not content with my original choice for the LED headlights on this LWS kit.  In my opinion the color emitting from the 3mm, bright white, pre-wired, 12~18-volt LED’s part# L123W were too blue on the color spectrum.  This set of LED’s has already been removed.

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A new set of 3mm, warm white, pre-wired, 12~18-volt LED’s part# L123WM were installed in their place.  As seen in the photo below the new dual warm white LED’s emit a more prototypical color that matches a real E9's locomotive headlight.

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  • Too much blue in these 3mm LED's
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Last edited by T.Albers

No - while it is on display, Protocraft is best.  Happy to send a pair of Monarchs, if you decide on prototype-size Janneys, but the Protocraft are brass and easily polished.  If you run it, just use a Kadee on oneend of the first car.

On the 4-40 screws - Micro Fasteners has really nice model hex head screws in brass.  Wish they had steel.  They look better than pan head slotted.

@Hot Water posted:

Since you are modeling a Union Pacific E8/E9, and VERY NICELY at that, the one "add-on" part, characteristic to all UP E8/E9 units, are snow shields on top of each cooling system winterization hatch. The Overland Models E8/E9 units were really nice, and one could purchase those snow shields as spare parts. I have no idea where one could get those today, and the snow shields on the recent Lionel models don't appear to be var correct, to me.

Thank you @Hot Water 👍 Since your post yesterday I have been searching all my Union Pacific books.  You are 100% correct!  I don't know how I missed that part.  Even the photos I took when the E9's accompanying the 3985 through Cajon Pass on May 24th 1994 showed they have snow shields on top of the winterization hatches.  I'm not sure which member of the 1994 UP Steam Crew was in the 949's engineer seat that day.

IMG_6555



All the other passengers were busy snapping photos of the 3985 during its run-by when I took this photo showing all three freshly rebuild E9's.

IMG_6556



I will start searching online today to see if any manufactures carry these brass snow shields.  Also, I have sent a email to @GG1 4877 to get close up pictures of the shields that came with his 3rd Rail E9s.

Thank you for the heads up!

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  • May 24th 1994
  • E9 run-by
Last edited by T.Albers

First: WOW!!!! Such a beautiful engine.

Second: Will you have an ERR sound board in this engine?

Thank you @Dylan the Train Man 👍

I installed older TMCC electronics in this E9A unit.  The sound board included diesel sounds, horn, whistle, tower & crew talk.  This was an early sound board so the crew talk is illegible.   I'm still getting use to this TMCC board because it does not have cruise control like my other engines with ERR.   

If I ever find a matching Locomotive Workshops E9 "B" shell at a train swap meet that's when I will upgrade to ERR boards.  That way I can get both the E9A and E9B to work together as multi-unit power.

Last edited by T.Albers
@T.Albers posted:

Thank you @Hot Water 👍 Since your post yesterday I have been searching all my Union Pacific books.  You are 100% correct!  I don't know how I missed that part.  Even the photos I took when the E9's accompanying the 3985 through Cajon Pass on May 24th 1994 showed they have snow shields on top of the winterization hatches.  I'm not sure which member of the 1994 UP Steam Crew was in the 949's engineer seat that day.

IMG_6555





Thank you for the heads up!

That person may not be from the Steam Crew, as the E Units are controlled by the Engineer of the 3985, by way of the Diesel MU Control Box (via MU electrical connections & jumper cables through the main tender and auxiliary water tenders). Thus there is no need for an "Engineer" in the trailing E Units (nor any other MU'ed diesel units). Maybe it is a member of the RR Pilot Crew, enjoying a quiet ride out of the cab of 3985.

@mwb posted:

Outstanding craftsmanship all around!

Thank you @mwb for your advice during this build.   

I have to admit, that Train Shack store employee was correct about brass trains being fragile.  I have already knocked off (and reattached) both those tiny cab mirrors.  My plan is to leave this locomotive on the layout and try not to move it by hand.

Last edited by T.Albers
@Hudson J1e posted:

Phenomenal job! That is no small feat with LWS kit. Congratulations and thanks for sharing your story.

Thank you @Hudson J1e 👍   

In OSR issue #11 on page 10 there was an article on the proper way to photograph O scale models.  In that issue author Phil Stiness said to use a dark background, take pictures in the late morning, with the sun behind your back and keep the camera at a low angle.  I tried this method for the first time with the E9 photos I posted yesterday.   That OSR authors advice really helped bring out the details in this Locomotive Workshops kits.

@Strummer posted:

I will second what's already been said; you did a terrific job and should be proud. I only regret is that this fascinating thread is now over! Well done, sir!

Mark in Oregon

Thank you @Strummer 👍 I'm glad you got to follow this thread from the beginning.  This adventure in brass turned out good and I am very happy with the end results.  Okay, here’s an update to make your weekend better.

I probably should have let everybody know I installed smoke unit inside the Locomotive Workshop’s shell during construction.  A custom soldered exhaust manifold was made from a 7/32” brass tube part# 8130.  With practice my soldering joints are starting look better (also, I watched a YouTube video called “10 Stupid Errors to Avoid in Soldering").   This dual exhaust manifold pipe is connected via a black ¼” outdoor rated polyethylene tubing.  This black tubing then goes to a 90 degree brass fitting on top of the smoke unit.  I had an older Lionel smoke unit sitting in my parts box waiting for a project like this.

smoke unit manifold





I was a concerned all the 90 degree turns I created would restrict the flow of smoke.  I researched on the OGR forum and found if I enlarged the smoke unit’s air intake opening and then repacked the smoke wick material it would help the overall smoke output.  After doing that, the rebuild smoke unit was then mounted inside the shell just behind the front motor.  To allow for future service this smoke unit is held in place with tension from two brass strips that act as removable support stands.  Black electrical tape is used on the bottom of the small motor to protect its wiring connections.

smoke unit mounted on stand



After reassembly the engine was put on a test track.  The old rebuilt Lionel smoke unit works great now.

smoke unit installed





Maybe too good for a diesel engine!  After a few moments I couldn’t see locomotive anymore.

smoke filled room

Although the rebuilt smoke unit is still installed I had to unplugged it from power.  I’ll probably get into the shell again one day to install an on/off switch. 🙂

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  • smoke unit manifold
  • smoke unit mounted on stand
  • smoke unit installed
  • smoke filled room
Last edited by T.Albers

That’s phenomenal (not to say excessive) output, particularly from a smoke unit that has a 90 degree bend between it and the stacks. But of course it’s newly wicked and refilled with fluid, and looks to be operating on track voltage, so the volume of smoke will be at max.

I’m guessing that you didn’t drill a separate refill opening above the smoke unit and so the body shell will have to come off to recharge fluid as well as replace the wicking.

More importantly, I’m not sure which TMCC boards you are using if they are not ERR but most have a smoke power option that enables you to switch power on and off from the remote. Or is that not an option here? You mention they are older boards and I vaguely remember some made for diesels did not have smoke controls.

P.S. Excellent work on the brass tubing! I have resorted to using solvent- and heat-proof plastic tubing for the one thing I have done that is similar to this. That has three elbow joints in it, which reduces the pressure at which the smoke exits.

Last edited by Hancock52
@Hancock52 posted:

That’s phenomenal (not to say excessive) output, particularly from a smoke unit that has a 90 degree bend between it and the stacks. But of course it’s newly wicked and refilled with fluid, and looks to be operating on track voltage, so the volume of smoke will be at max.

I’m guessing that you didn’t drill a separate refill opening above the smoke unit and so the body shell will have to come off to recharge fluid as well as replace the wicking.

More importantly, I’m not sure which TMCC boards you are using if they are not ERR but most have a smoke power option that enables you to switch power on and off from the remote. Or is that not an option here? You mention they are older boards and I vaguely remember some made for diesels did not have smoke controls.

P.S. Excellent work on the brass tubing! I have resorted to using solvent- and heat-proof plastic tubing for the one thing I have done that is similar to this. That has three elbow joints in it, which reduces the pressure at which the smoke exits.

@Hancock52 You are correct I wired the smoke unit direct to the power pick ups on the chassis.  I mounted the body of the smoke unit lower inside the shell than the exhaust manifold.  The black tubing goes down hill into the smoke unit so I wouldn't have to take the shell apart to fill with new fluid.

If this TMCC board has a designated wiring terminal for the smoke output that would be great.   My hesitation would be to draw too many amps through a wrong terminal if it was only rated for a small LED.  I don't want to cook this working board.

Do you know where I can find a drawing of the output terminals for this 21 year old circuit board?   The board originally came out of my K-Line Union Pacific E8 "949" when it was being upgraded to ERR.  The set of locomotives was made in 2000 and the K-Line O-Scale Diesel locomotives part number was K-28901S.  I'm not sure if these photos will tell you anything but here's a couple shots of the stickers on the TMCC board when it was being removed.

K-Line TMCC boardK-Line TMCC board 2.



Thanks

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  • K-Line TMCC board
  • K-Line TMCC board 2
Last edited by T.Albers


(NOTE: I’ve amended my original post after some further checking.)

I don’t have a K-Line diagram, but I am sure that that K-Line board either does not have a smoke output, or if it does it may have been repurposed for motorized roof fans. The E8s K-Line produced at that time did not have smoke but the motorized fans feature instead. I have the Rock Island A-A set, which I have recently worked on to restore the operating fans in the trailing A unit. (I also remember that when you posted a photo of a UP E8 shell on another thread it had the K-Line roof fan mechanism in it with a rubber loop and pulleys, which can also be seen in your first photo above.)

BTW, the K-Line Legacy catalog shows the SKU you mention as an A-B-A (both A units powered) set with no smoke but eight motorized roof fans: http://www.legacykline.com/ord...p;p_oem_sku=K-28901S. Note that the text of this describes the set as having an E-unit, although I notice that two parts of the page heading refer to Railsounds plus TMCC. If it’s not TMCC, this could explain a difference between it and my E8, which answers TMCC commands, as yours does. On balance I think that this must have TMCC but an early version.

Anyway, I couldn’t quite understand the outputs on my E8 boards or why one of them had failed, and had to bypass it to get track power to the separate PCB for the fan motor. I think that you are right not to experiment with the outputs but someone more expert might tell you something different. Incidentally, although it may tell you something, the roof fans cannot be switched on and off from the remote; they are on whenever there is power to the track.

An entirely new ERR sound and control set would give you cruise control, a smoke output that could be controlled from the remote (as well as better E series sounds including crew talk if you want that), but that would not be cheap and ERR boards are sensitive critters! I suppose that, depending on how much room you have in the shell, it would be possible to install a Mini-Commander to provide smoke unit power and remote control, something I have done with dummy units - the M-C footprint and profile are really pretty small. But in your case a manual switch might do just as well.

Last edited by Hancock52

As @Hot Water mentioned above, my Union Pacific E9 was missing snow shields over its winterization hatches.  I missed this unique detail because it wasn't on the Locomotive Workshops plans.  With further research I found these snow shields were added by Union Pacific in their shops after the E9’s left EMD.   Here’s a good write up from Utah Rails that covers the “when” and “why” Union Pacific decided to add this modification to their E8’s and E9’s:   https://utahrails.net/up/up-loco-features.php



To create new snow shields for my LWS E9 I started with a .01” thick brass sheet and a brass 1mm x 1mm right angle (code: A1 from Precision Metals).

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I couldn't find the shields exact dimensions listed anywhere but after searching my Union Pacific books and the internet I got pretty close.  First, cut a 34mm x 30mm piece from the sheet of brass, then bend the longer sides of sheet sides down 2mm.  Next, cut 3 equal size 24.5mm pieces of brass angles to replicate the welded angle irons UP used on top of the shield as stiffeners.

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With the right angle upside down, heat up a few small chips of solder with your micro torch and fill-in the empty V.  After cooling, file down any extra the solder that does not lay flat in the V.  Next, flip the brass angle over and place them in the correct locations on top of your shield.  Once in the correct locations, apply heat with the micro torch and the solder inside the V will melt and attach itself to the shield below.  Now you have 3 right angle roof stiffeners securely attached to the top of your brass snow shield.  

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Gently clean away any leftover oxidation with 0000 steel wool and then apply two coats of Tamiya clear gloss spray paint part# TS-13 to seal-in the brass finish.  Four thin strips of 2mm x 2mm of brass were used underneath each snow shield as support legs.  Now mount the finished product on top of your winterization hatches.

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Thank you Jack, this Union Pacific E9 looks better now.  Good eye!

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Also, as previously suggested by JohnBeere and Bob2, I finally had time to install a brass coupler on the front of this E9 (Precision Scale part# 40278).

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I’m still searching for an old Locomotive Workshops E9B shell to build/rebuild so I can have a matching B unit trailing behind this E9A.  I sent an email to @Jan K. Lorenzen.  He emailed back and said, he had a few brass parts from his dad’s LWS kits in the basement but no E9B shells.  If any forum members find an empty Locomotive Workshops E9B shell at a train show send me an email.

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Last edited by T.Albers

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