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So a few months ago while on lock down I finished a couple projects I had sitting, a Santa Fe 3460 class Hudson (https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...ankenstein-s-monster) and a Southern Pacific GS6 (https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...southern-pacific-gs6). The opportunity to purchase a MTH Premier Santa Fe 2900 class Northern for a low cost presented itself in early May, so I jumped on it. This was a MTH engineering/photo sample for the PS3 version that came out a couple years ago. It came with no boards, no wiring, no motor, no worm shaft, and, importantly, no paint.

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So I corrected the missing worm issue (I have a couple spare Premier worm shafts) and had a buddy make up a flywheel. I also installed a nice roller bearing 9434 Pittman motor, which makes more torque than the plain bearing 9434 Pittman usually used in large O gauge steam.

Next on the docket was paint. I decided to go with road number 2903, as I've visited 2903 several times over the years at the Illinois Railway Museum.

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All decals were cut on super thin silver vinyl. Goes on with a transfer sheet. I like these decals because there is no film to hide. Apply, clear coat over them, and done. No film to find because there is none. I used the same decals on my Santa Fe Hudson and Southern Pacific GS6 with great results.

So after the paint work was done it was wiring time. I went with a PS3 kit and all LED lighting. Depending on the situation with DCS in the future this may well be my last PS3 install. I modified the south file by adding the whistle from the Blue Goose/3460 class Hudson, so all my Santa Fe passenger steam locomotives have the same whistle.

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With the wiring done I checked for shorts with a multi meter, found none, and reassembled.

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Runs pretty darn well, and looks good, for lacking paint and being non-operating when I got it 8 weeks ago.

  

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Last edited by Lou1985
Original Post
@Allegheny posted:

Lou1985,

You did a really beautiful job and you should be proud of your work.  The paint job looks perfect and motor and sound system was very  well executed.   

Do you hire out? 

 

Thanks.

I don't hire out. I build my own stuff at my own pace. Don't need the headache of doing work for other people 😉. I'm also not a certified tech for any of the electronics, I just know enough of what I'm doing to be dangerous. 

@NYCBuffalo posted:

Very nice! More about the decals please. What vynil stock did you use and did you cut it on a cricut machine?

I honestly can't answer either question. They are made for me by a gentleman who does automotive graphics as a profession. The vinyl is cut on a professional machine. It's very thin, as it burnishes right down over rivet detail (as you can see on the tender). It's not as thin as a water slide decal (the vinyl is slightly raised even after 3 coats of clear to seal it) but it has no decal film to hide. It's perfect for lettering but I wouldn't use it for something like zebra stripes on a diesel switcher.

Beautiful loco!  And the wires are all so clean...I usually end up with some sort of bird's nest.  

Plan your wiring routing out (to keep it away from moving parts/getting pinched) and shorten/lengthen wires so they are just long enough and don't hang everywhere. Zip ties are your friend when it comes to keeping wires together and tidy. I always like to have enough wire length that I can remove the shell and lay it next to the chassis to unplug wire connectors. 

Very nice job.

I am different (in so many ways) in that I like the pilot/engineering models that have no paint at all. You can see all of the brass and pot metal added-on parts.

Years ago I found a non-painted engineering model of an MTH Premier GS-4 at Cal Stewart Nor-Cal and brought it home. After installing a motor and a Cruise Commander, it joined my roster as a very unique looking model.

Last edited by RoyBoy
@RoyBoy posted:

Very nice job.

I am different (in so many ways) in that I like the pilot/engineering models that have no paint at all. You can see all of the brass and pot metal added-on parts.

Years ago I found an MTH Premier GS-4 at Cal Stewart Nor-Cal and brought it home. After installing a motor and a Cruise Commander, it joined my roster as a very unique looking model.

To each is own. No wrong way to enjoy the hobby. I purchased this ATSF Northern with the intent of making as close to the real thing as I could. To me an unpainted model doesn't look like the real thing, but I get the appeal. If I found another unpainted one I'd do it again.

This is actually the 4th MTH Premier steam locomotive I've brought back from a collection of parts to a running locomotive for myself. This was the most involved cosmetically. I've found I have more fun taking junk and turning it into a running full PS3 model than just buying something NIB. Plus, doing all the work myself and with trades, the cost for the 4 I have done is less than buying one of these locomotives new. If you've got the skills/know how and aren't afraid to try stuff you can save a bunch of money.  

Last edited by Lou1985
@Lou1985 posted:

 I've found I have more fun taking junk and turnings into a running full PS3 model than just buying something NIB. Plus, doing all the work myself and with trades, the cost for the 4 I have done is less than buying one of these locomotives new. If you've got the skills/know how and aren't afraid to try stuff you can save a bunch of money.  

Absolutely agree. I like my "broken wing birds" once they have been rebuilt back to running condition. It seems like the worse they were when they came home, the more enjoyment is derived from rescuing/resuscitating them and showing them off.

It's great fun no matter how we roll it.

@RoyBoy posted:

Absolutely agree. I like my "broken wing birds" once they have been rebuilt back to running condition. It seems like the worse they were when they came home, the more enjoyment is derived from rescuing/resuscitating them and showing them off.

It's great fun no matter how we roll it.

I'd say there's nothing quite like taking "junk" and turning it into treasure. Just one part of the fun of this hobby. 

I really like the sound file as I have the ps1 version I upgraded to ps3.

I am not sure what the ADPCM editor is?  Is this a tool from MTH?

ADPCM: http://www.silogic.com/trains/ADPCM.html

You can use it to cut up and rearrange PS2 and PS3 sound files. It's not MTH designed at all but works great. 

If you like the sound file I edited for my ATSF Northern I can just send it to you. 

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