Here's the second (see the first here: https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...c/142200849188091701 ) of my "junker" MTH Premier steam transformations (first was my previously posted ATSF 3460 class Hudson). This one started life as a MTH Premier Western Pacific GS64 road number 486:  https://mthtrains.com/20-3062-1 It came to me with no boards. Just an empty shell with motor. Tender was just a shell with no chassis. I was able to locate a PS1 GS4 tender chassis to complete the tender. So here's what I started with.

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The tender had quite a few nicks and scratches so I ended up sanding them out and repainting it satin black.

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After that I turned my attention to the locomotive. The stripes on the pilot were nicked up. A little masking tape, a fine line paint brush, and some silver Testors paint and they were back in order.

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The headlamp number boards needed to have the road number changed to 4460, the number I picked because 4460 still exists. I removed the factory numbers and replaced them with some decals I made.

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Like my previous ATSF 3460 class Hudson project this was getting a PS3 steam upgrade kit. I used 3mm warm white LEDs to illuminate everything so I could run all the lighting off the headlamp circuit.

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After that I was time to install the PS3 kit. I had to make a mount for the tether connector in the locomotive from a piece of sheet styrene, as the factory PS2 5V  mount was different than the one in the PS3 kit.

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After that It was cab and tender shell decal time. I used the same guy who made decals for my ATSF Hudson project. Silver, or in SP speak "lettering gray" decals are almost non existent. The only commercial ones are white, which is not accurate for a GS class locomotive. So I had some silver ones made up. 

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Here's the finished product, complete with PS3 and a quillable  whistle.

This SP GS6 and the ATSF 3460 Hudson were concurrent projects that both took about 4 months. Fun projects and more entertaining for me than just opening a NIB locomotive. I doubt this is my last rebuild/redo project. 

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Last edited by Lou1985
Original Post

There is something gratifying about this sort of project. Like hot rodding, I imagine, once you're through, you have touched most every system in the car, and it's yours in a way that NIB never is. Nice; one of my favorite locos - I have a Lionel GS6.

A few years ago I found a complete (cheap) - except for electronics and most attachment screws - unpainted MTH Premier NYC Century Hudson and tender. I did not paint it (I did matte clear coat it), and installed an ERR Cruise Commander. I put in bulbs robust enough to take the TMCC boards, hooked up the Protocoupler, found enough screws (some at Ace Hardware) to hold it together and off it went. I skipped sound for now, and left the smoke disconnected in part because of the only clear-coated body castings (the chassis came painted). Very satisfying. Strangely, because of the zinc and the NYC angle, it looks painted, except for the few factory brass add-on details.

D500 posted:

There is something gratifying about this sort of project. Like hot rodding, I imagine, once you're through, you have touched most every system in the car, and it's yours in a way that NIB never is. Nice; one of my favorite locos - I have a Lionel GS6.

A few years ago I found a complete (cheap) - except for electronics and most attachment screws - unpainted MTH Premier NYC Century Hudson and tender. I did not paint it (I did matte clear coat it), and installed an ERR Cruise Commander. I put in bulbs robust enough to take the TMCC boards, hooked up the Protocoupler, found enough screws (some at Ace Hardware) to hold it together and off it went. I skipped sound for now, and left the smoke disconnected in part because of the only clear-coated body castings (the chassis came painted). Very satisfying. Strangely, because of the zinc and the NYC angle, it looks painted, except for the few factory brass add-on details.

That's why I enjoy these projects so much, the hot rod aspect. I have an old Thunderbird that I've modified the engine, transmission, driveshaft, rear axle, suspension, chassis, and brakes on. There's nothing mechanical that hasn't been touched to make it perform better than stock. I get the same enjoyment doing that to O gauge locomotives. I get exactly what I want for the price I want to pay.

Is that Dreyfus Hudson one of those "pre production" samples that occasionally shows up on the auction site? Sounds pretty neat clear coated, like a Lionel pilot model. I've thought about picking one of those up for a project but I keep getting these Premier steam locomotives cheaper from my source. 

I already have my next project in mind. Gonna find a cheap MTH Premier Santa Fe 2900 class Northern to do up. I've got a tender for one already, just need the locomotive the way I like it: intact besides electronics and cheap 😉. I only do ATSF and SP stuff, so I'm very particular about my projects. 

That is an outstanding job on the GS-6, I love it.  The SP is my favorite road, my dad worked for them when I little, I have a number of Roundhouse shots that my dad took, he was also a professional photographer and working for the SP made it really easy for him to go in and take all the pictures he wanted.  He also had all the Time Tables so he knew all the movements of all the trains, I forgot to mention his SP job was a signal maintainer which meant he had his own speeder.  Unfortunately, out of all the negatives I have been able to find (most have been 4 X 5 B&W) I haven't been able to come across any of him on his little speeder but I'm sure they are there somewhere in my mom's house.  The one's I do have, he gave them to me and told me to hang on to them.  My dad loved the SP and so do I, so your conversion really gets my attention.  I loved your SF conversion or restoration but not as much as I did this one.  Great work, I hope you do more SP locomotives in the future.  Thanks so much for sharing.

J. Motts posted:

That is an outstanding job on the GS-6, I love it.  The SP is my favorite road, my dad worked for them when I little, I have a number of Roundhouse shots that my dad took, he was also a professional photographer and working for the SP made it really easy for him to go in and take all the pictures he wanted.  He also had all the Time Tables so he knew all the movements of all the trains, I forgot to mention his SP job was a signal maintainer which meant he had his own speeder.  Unfortunately, out of all the negatives I have been able to find (most have been 4 X 5 B&W) I haven't been able to come across any of him on his little speeder but I'm sure they are there somewhere in my mom's house.  The one's I do have, he gave them to me and told me to hang on to them.  My dad loved the SP and so do I, so your conversion really gets my attention.  I loved your SF conversion or restoration but not as much as I did this one.  Great work, I hope you do more SP locomotives in the future.  Thanks so much for sharing.

Thanks. SP is my 2nd favorite road (ATSF being first) so I'm a little more partial to my 3460 class Hudson with the big Santa Fe heralds. Just looks so neat to me.

I really like the way this GS6 came out. I've also got a Premier Daylight painted GS4. So if I do another SP GS project it would probably be a late 40s GS4 with the side skirts removed and a Daylight painted cab and tender. Then I'll have all 3 GS class paint schemes. 

This black GS6 is begging me to assemble a SP mail train for it to pull.

Last edited by Lou1985

I forgot to mention, I wish that MTH would get a better sound file for the GS locomotives.  I worked on the 3420 here in the Arm Pit (El Paso) and when the 4449 came thru headed to the Worlds Fair in New Orleans, I believe it was 1981?, on the way back we double headed with the 4449 from Alfalfa Yards down to the Union Depot, it was the first double headed steam on the SP since the end of steam operations for the entire system as this is what I was told by the 4449 crew.  Anyway, they coupled the 3420 up to the front of the 4449 and Doyle hopped in the drivers seat and whistled off and then when he cracked the throttle open on the 3420 it started to move then the front flue sheet let go and the 4449 ended up pushing it all the way to the depot.   Anyway, Doyle was really impressed with the sound of the whistle on the 3420 that he wanted to trade the one that was on the 4449 for the 3420's.  He explained that the one on the 4449 was actually a steamboat whistle and the 3420's was more correct in sound than the steam boat but the City didn't want to make the trade.  Now the 3420 sits silent in what is probably its final resting place and just rusting away.  I sure wish they would have traded.    Please feel to correct me if I'm in error.  The daylights also had a much deeper bark when they started to move too.

J. Motts posted:

I forgot to mention, I wish that MTH would get a better sound file for the GS locomotives.  I worked on the 3420 here in the Arm Pit (El Paso) and when the 4449 came thru headed to the Worlds Fair in New Orleans, I believe it was 1981?, on the way back we double headed with the 4449 from Alfalfa Yards down to the Union Depot, it was the first double headed steam on the SP since the end of steam operations for the entire system as this is what I was told by the 4449 crew.  Anyway, they coupled the 3420 up to the front of the 4449 and Doyle hopped in the drivers seat and whistled off and then when he cracked the throttle open on the 3420 it started to move then the front flue sheet let go and the 4449 ended up pushing it all the way to the depot.   Anyway, Doyle was really impressed with the sound of the whistle on the 3420 that he wanted to trade the one that was on the 4449 for the 3420's.

Well,,,,,,maybe trade it for the whistle on the Fireman's side of 4449, but no way would he EVER give up that beautiful "steam boat" whistle on the Engineer's side (at the time, that whistle was privately owned by a gentleman in Portland, and was originally off SP&S #700. When #700 was eventually restored to operation, Doyle gave that whistle back to the crew of the #700). By the way, that New Orleans Worlds Fair Daylight trip was in 1984.

 He explained that the one on the 4449 was actually a steamboat whistle and the 3420's was more correct in sound than the steam boat but the City didn't want to make the trade.

More "correct in sound" for an SP FREIGHT steam locomotive, but NOT for SP GS Passenger locomotives.

 Now the 3420 sits silent in what is probably its final resting place and just rusting away.  I sure wish they would have traded.    Please feel to correct me if I'm in error.  The daylights also had a much deeper bark when they started to move too.

With 300psi of superheated steam, THAT would be expected.

 

Really nice!  I keep hoping to bump in to MTH stuff with burned up circuits.   My next project will be a BiPolar.

I do love the Daylight Northerns.  I have four - MG, USH, Weaver converted to 2-rail, and a scratch 17/64 GS-2.

bob2 posted:

Really nice!  I keep hoping to bump in to MTH stuff with burned up circuits.   My next project will be a BiPolar.

I do love the Daylight Northerns.  I have four - MG, USH, Weaver converted to 2-rail, and a scratch 17/64 GS-2.

Thanks. I have a source for these MTH Premier locomotives. I can't reveal it, but that's how I get them cheap for project fodder. 

I like the GS class as well. Nice, clean lines. I have two (this MTH Premier GS6 and a MTH Premier Daylight painted GS4) so if I do a third it would be the previously mentioned deskirted GS4 with the Daylight cab and tender, just so I have all the GS class schemes. 

J. Motts posted:

I forgot to mention, I wish that MTH would get a better sound file for the GS locomotives.  

As of 3 years ago it's pretty close.

Lou1985 posted:
J. Motts posted:

I forgot to mention, I wish that MTH would get a better sound file for the GS locomotives.  

As of 3 years ago it's pretty close.

For what it's worth, that video from 2017 reflects the "new" whistle mounted on 4449, which is actually an original SP GS-4 whistle, i.e. NOT the whistle carried in 1975 through 1986. Although SP GS class locomotives had air actuated steam whistles ( thus the whistle was either on full or off), the current whistle has had the air operating equipment removed so that the Engineer can "play" the whistle, as heard in that video.

Hot Water, thanks for setting the record straight, maybe Doyle was just kidding about the trade, I don't really know but I do know that he really liked the 3420 whistle.  After the 3420 was restored to running order after sitting in front of the depot for so many years (after the SP donated it to the City of El Paso), the FRA limited the boiler pressure to no more than 200PSI.  Also thanks for clarifying the dates of the WF trip.

BobbyD posted:

Very nice build.

Who made the decals? Friends have been just itching to replace their Lionel white lettering.

The same guy who did the decals for my ATSF Hudson project. He owns a vinyl shop and is a model railroader. He does train decals on the side and doesn't want me to give out his info, so he doesn't get inundated with requests. 

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