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c.sam posted:

Has Lionel ever made a full-scale pilot truck?  Am thinking we had one available for the 1990 700E as an option and it looked really nice. Can't remember if it was from Lionel or aftermarket...

I'll have to throw in with the anti - PT tender group - from a visual standpoint it just appears too large and overpowers the locomotive. Fine with the Niagara but not the Hudson even though it was prototypical in some cases. The 12 wheel unit looks 'just right'  :-)

I put a Lionel scale pilot truck on my Mercury-service 5344 (ex-Lionel "Santa Fe" - Warhorse) streamline project Hudson. These are Lionel parts and drop right into the 700E-DNA locos, as well as the Williams die-cast "zoom-zoom" Hudson clone. I find them on eBay. They should not fit the new Hudsons as made; never tried to adapt one, but there's an idea....



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Last edited by D500
Quarter Gauger 48 posted:
SandJam posted:
Norm Charbonneau posted:

The water scoop smoke ooze feature is gross, gimme a break. Guys keep lighting it off while they run their engines at 2mph too.

My almost complete disdain for smoke units can be seen if you look closely at 0:20 in the video I posted.

It was just a question, why is everyone so nasty on this forum lately?

They are toys, not real engines.  Maybe the guys are just having fun.

Hi Sandjam' 😏

You don't understand'.  These are real engines to the true enthusiast , and become alive along with everything layout related.  When a model railroader has invested Thousands of Dollar$, it becomes more real than many can imagine'... So I get your point.  But cannot agree with the toy concept'.. regarding this particular layout'... Please take another look at the videos.  I think you will understand my narrative here'... 👀   

Very well put!...nice!...😉......Pat

Norm Charbonneau posted:

I pulled the class lights and filled the smokebox front (came out so-so). Also sanded the seam down in front of the booster stack and also experimented with grinding the heads off of the hinge screws. I painted the smokebox MM Engine Black:


Also Kadee’d up all the GGD cars seen in the vids.

Looks real good Norm, nice work!.......Pat

I got the ESE pilot truck today. The wheels are much closer to 36” and the wheelbase is correct at a bit over 7’. I had to transfer the front link from the stock one and had to grind the pivot standoff down a bit to get more vertical travel.

The pilot wheel centerlines are a bit closer to where they should since they are not on a stretched wheelbase as the stock one has an 8’ wheelbase.

Here are some before and after shots:


Also got the GGD cars ready to weather:



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I purchased Mr Muffins special run Hudson that didn’t come with marker lights.  I thought Lionel was supposed to offer boiler fronts without lights or each engine was supposed to come with them?   The head light really bugs me and I’ll be switching out sooner or later.  Same with the front truck.  Otherwise she’s a great runner, and sounds great.

Last edited by superwarp1

Pete, thanks. I got the bracket just in case. It seemed a bit brutal to grind that poor headlight off its base. I was planning on flicking the plate off the Lionel headlight and transferring it. PSC doesn’t have a lens nor a reflector so I will have to deal with that when it shows up.

Nick, that is straight Model Masters Engine Black acrylic airbrushed over the original silver. I also hit the firebox with it:


Here is the nasty parting line getting dealt with. I managed to blast a river or two off and didn’t notice until I painted the smokebox. A couple of carefully placed drops of medium thick CA restored them:



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Ray Marion posted:

Hello Norm

     I have admired your work and tried to copy onto my own rolling stock. I have a new Hudson 28072 that I want to weather. Where do you find color pictures to use as a guide? 




It seems to me that there was a fairly recent thread about this very thing...perhaps someone here can verify that...

Mark in Oregon

Norm Charbonneau posted:

PSC doesn’t have a lens nor a reflector so I will have to deal with that when it shows up.

I managed to blast a river or two off and didn’t notice until I painted the smokebox.

Just paint the inside of the headlight with Molotow Liquid Chrome. Let it pool and you'll be amazed at the results. As for the missing rivets, I use Archer Fine Transfer rivet decals with excellent results.

superwarp1 posted:

I purchased Mr Muffins special run Hudson that didn’t come with marker lights.  I thought Lionel was supposed to offer boiler fronts without lights or each engine was supposed to come with them?   The head light really bugs me and I’ll be switching out sooner or later.  Same with the front truck.  Otherwise she’s a great runner, and sounds great


That’s not what I recall about the boiler fronts. Pat’s offered his version without the marker lights with a second front with light included at no cost. However, when I spoke with Pat the day my engine shipped he told me Lionel had not sent the boiler fronts with lights yet so he could ship them with the engine. So far no boiler front but I have not given up hope. 


I’m sure I posted this project on another thread, but I’ll put it on here for Norm to see...this is a cheap doming set I bought from Harbor Freight .... many sizes, and one perfect for the cored PSC NYC headlights...simple to make, and as Big Jim replied, just flow in the Molotow liquid chrome.....instant reflector...the doming set will even perforate the brass sheet from the formed bowl. Clean it up with fine paper and your off....notch it for light leaks into side number boards if desired........Pat43AD241F-4861-4D7D-ADC4-180713898304B66A107B-3077-4B01-AB4A-26ECF731A41FA2E35E9E-4770-45E4-B4C8-2FEFEF14B5F2A41D5116-E40D-4FE2-AD29-8998265C931ED3F9AECD-E9FF-4708-8BC5-8528A49E1B79CAF49869-C015-42C0-9337-85C73CDA0912


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Ray, I have yet to find a decent non-streamlined Hudson photo in color. I am just going to do some standard airbrush weathering with some minor drybrushing. I plan on going for a medium weight effort with acrylics. I'll probably do a coat of flat clear then Grimy Black of varying intensity over the boiler and tender. I prefer to shoot clear first for a bit of sheen kill and it also provides a bit of tooth for washes and low-lights if I do them. I use Grimy Black sparingly over clear. I feel like clear over the applied colors tends to make things look glazed and it takes out some of the subtle variations of the applied colors. Drivers and running gear will get Grimy Black and maybe a touch of RR Tie Brown. I may take the rods off as I kind of like the factory finish on them, maybe they'll get a bit of flat clear and a light black wash. The last bit will be some drybrushed streaks from saturated steam here and there. Even B&W photos are useful for figuring out where to put them. A little bit goes a long way with that effect.

As information, research into the types of coal used by specific railroads and their supply of water, is always helpful on determining weathering characteristics. For some examples:

1) The New York Central RR generally had/used two types of coal, i.e. one "higher grade, higher BTU Bituminous" for steam locomotives assigned to passenger service, and a slightly "lower/less expensive Bituminous" for all other freight power. Thus, NYC passenger locomotives tended to look less "sooty".

2) The New York Central RR had VERY good water throughout their system, plus an EXCELLENT Water Service Dept. to maintain boiler water treatment chemicals. As a result, most NYC main line steam power tended to NOT have all those white/light mineral deposits all over the tops of their locomotives (as compared to, say the Union Pacific steam locomotives).

3) Weathering steam locomotive running gear machinery tends to be a bit of a mystery to many. It is also worth researching the various lubricants used throughout the different machinery. The plain type side rod bearings used a hard stick grease (Texaco Hi-Tex 8, primarily), while the roller bearing side rods used a soft grease, which was used very sparingly. Other parts of the machinery, such as driving box jaws, received Machine Oil from the mechanical lubricator, while both the valves and cylinders were supplied with Valve Oil (sometimes referred to as 'Steam Oil'), which was supplied by another mechanical lubricator and forced into the steam flow to the valve chest and cylinders. All of these different lubricants leave different looking "deposits" throughout the running gear. Thus, there is rarely any "rust" appearing on the running gear of a main line steam locomotive.

Norm, I finally got back to look through this topic, and you know what? This is now my favorite Hudson topics out of the 6 or 7 I think I've had my eyes in. I really love how you ran it through the different speeds and opened it up full boar.

The layout just opens my mind to some of the old photos and videos I've seen on YouTube. I love all your work, the weathering, scenery and even the customizing the engine.

Question, has your layout been run in the magazine(I think I may have seen it but oddly can't remember)?

Thx for the help with the headlight fellas. I was thinking j_prantle on eBay was PSC. He has the headlights on the bay but not the bracket, that's why I emailed them as I was hoping to get both parts together. I was planning on trying to transfer the Lionel lens, numberboards, and front oval/numberboard to the PSC assembly. I'm assuming the lit numberboards in a Pyle headlight were lit separately and was thinking I may use the class light circuit to light them with some 0402 SMD LEDs I've become a fan of.

The TMCC J3s came with a single incandescent in the headlight that also lights the numberboards in the headlight. Even if you use the cored headlight it will get pretty crowded in there if you separate the headlight from the numberboards. The numberboard inserts are actually designed as light pipes so the source of light doesn't have be directly behind them on center. 


PSC parts showed up this week. Mulling over my options here. Not sure if I want to grind the Lionel headlight off it’s base and mount the PSC one in its place or use the PSC bracket and mod the smokebox door for it. A bit of work either way. The reflector is a brass lampshade made by Miniatronics I think. I stuck it in my Dremel and filed it’s OD down a bit to fit the headlight. Not sure about the lens yet. I am going to carefully fit the numberboards from the Lionel headlight. 



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Norm, I’m doing the same thing as you.  Only difference is I have no skill in this area and will be giving this project to Harry Heike.  I need to replace the boiler front anyway as I received mine broken.  When Lionel sends it to me I’ll send it to Harry.  One thing I should do is take a pic of my 3rdrail J3 headlight for how it should look like.

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