A major portion of yesterday was spent applying the first coat of paint remover to the disassembled engine. I used Klean Strip Kwik-Strip remover. It dissolved my vinyl gloves in less than 5 seconds! The paint on the engine took longer but was almost completely removed with the single coat. A toothbrush and hot water wash were used.
Left were brass parts that didn't look like brass. With the exception of the frame and a few other parts, all had what looked to be a dark or oxidized surface. Maybe the parts were blasted with something or primed. I don't know.
Surprising was detail that looked like it was "factory applied". The 3-rail engines have no piping below the right running board. Mine does - but it looks too professionally applied, plus the finish on the piping is the same dark color. There is no way I could do piping like that. All the detail on the engine is the same except the filing of the frame front - which is comparatively crude.
Also for reference is the 2-rail front truck side frame. The front ears of the main frame were shortened. With the paint off, it can be seen the bottom of the ears were relieved to allow clearance above the front pilot wheels.
Most interesting was the discovery of a BB casket within the boiler. The builder has fabricated a 3-side enclosure above the drive shaft and gearbox to hold weight. It was closed with a front cover which was detached by the paint remover. Inside were BBs, most were loose and were removed. A few remained glued in place. The weight of the loose BBs is just over 3 ounces. Every bit of weight on the drivers helps, I guess. I think glue of some sort was used to fasten the enclosure to the boiler. I got some sticky white goo with the cleanup; the parts (except for the cover) remain fastened to the boiler. I also slathered the tender coal load with the paint remover. It had zero effect. Every lump is exactly where it was before I started.
Some advice is needed on a couple of things. I tried loosening the main rod crankpin with pliers, but it did not want to budge. I am afraid of forcing it for fear of snapping the screw. Suggestions? I heated the screws to remove the screws on my G5, but there was no solder involved like there is here.
I plan to paint the engine. This will be a first; my other engines remain unpainted. I don't plan to weather it, but would like it look like it had been in service a bit, if that even makes sense. I guess what I saying is I don't want it to look like a toy train. How should the rods be finished? Smokebox finish? Decal source?
And, finally, the center wire for the bulb is broken off at the housing. the ground wire remains. I assume the bulb is a small incandescent. Do I just dig the thing out and replace the bulb and fabricate a new lens?
As always, thanks for the interest and responses. Jim