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These are the new MTH stainless steel plated F7s.   

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I modified the prototype to look like the real one.  This included angling the bottom of the pilot on each side.  This give is a more "V" look like the real one.  Sorry I forgot to take the before photo.  Also From the photo below you can see the trucks are moved in about 1/8 " and I attached the ladders to to the body (moved from the top of the trucks)

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I was happy to see I could easily replace the existing scale coupler with Kadees simply by mounting them to the existing mounting hole on the truck.  This actually gave the correct height and allowed me use shorter couplers and pull the units closer together using only one diaphragm. 

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You can see the brake cylinders are under the body and not sticking out.

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It looks and operates great on 2-rail track...hmmmm.

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Before on right, after on left.  Unit on right has pilot the angle mod.

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Rich

www.toytrainsontracks.com

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Last edited by Rich Battista
Original Post

The f's look great. But a question...…I believe MTH is now clearcoating over their Stainless plating. I have an old set of premier passenger cars (guessing from around 2014 or so ) That has a nice gloss and no orange peel That I believe is not clearcoated. Fast forward to a very recent run of plated UP and CSX plated coalporters. The plating on the coalporters appear to have a noticeable duller finish to them than does my passenger cars.I believe this is because the coalporters are clearcoated. Also I purchased a premier Santa Fe Alco PA aa with the same plating and was disappointed in the amount of gloss. It was better than the coalporters but still not up to the gloss level of the older issue passenger cars. Again, I believe MTH clearcoated over the plating. Those PA's also appeared to have hairline scratches that also got clearcoated over. Sent those back to my dealer. I do believe MTH is changing their plating methods. Spoke with MTH at York about this and was told plating is really touchy and the manufacturer is becoming more environmentally friendly so plating methods are changing.(don't want to mis speak but that's what I got out of the conversation) Rich's F's look really good but do appear to have clearcoating over the plating. Maybe Rich you can chime in on your opinion on the plating. Any imperfections under the clearcoating?   (If they are clearcoated)    

jini5 posted:

The f's look great. But a question...…I believe MTH is now clearcoating over their Stainless plating. I have an old set of premier passenger cars (guessing from around 2014 or so ) That has a nice gloss and no orange peel That I believe is not clearcoated. Fast forward to a very recent run of plated UP and CSX plated coalporters. The plating on the coalporters appear to have a noticeable duller finish to them than does my passenger cars.I believe this is because the coalporters are clearcoated. Also I purchased a premier Santa Fe Alco PA aa with the same plating and was disappointed in the amount of gloss. It was better than the coalporters but still not up to the gloss level of the older issue passenger cars. Again, I believe MTH clearcoated over the plating. Those PA's also appeared to have hairline scratches that also got clearcoated over. Sent those back to my dealer. I do believe MTH is changing their plating methods. Spoke with MTH at York about this and was told plating is really touchy and the manufacturer is becoming more environmentally friendly so plating methods are changing.(don't want to mis speak but that's what I got out of the conversation) Rich's F's look really good but do appear to have clearcoating over the plating. Maybe Rich you can chime in on your opinion on the plating. Any imperfections under the clearcoating?   (If they are clearcoated)    

I haven't even consider the paint being a problem.  It looks good to me.  Is it an exact replica of the real thing?  Of course not.  Its very hard to get everything right for the relatively low price point.  I make changes to make it look better, not perfect.  Overall, I think it is a very nice model.  I may or may not weather it.  The actual prototype is well kept and shiny as this picture at this link shows -> https://fineartamerica.com/fea...wernher-krutein.html

 

Rich,

Your modification of the 2-rail pilot looks fantastic.  I’ve been wrestling with this exact issue in connection with a pair of 2-rail MTH F7’s I recently acquired, and I’m very interested in learning exactly how you did the mod.

Did you first measure the amount of the pilot skirt-corner you wanted to trim in order to get the angle you desired?  If so, I’d like to know exactly how much of the skirt-corner you measured to trim off.

Also, did you use a rotary tool grinder to do the trimming, or did you use another method?

The hoses/cables you added to the pilot front look terrific.  Whose did you use and how did you attached them?  Simply with adhesive, or did you actually drill into the pilot to mount them?

And thanks for sharing your always excellent and expert modeling work with the rest of us!

RTR Mark

 

Ready-to-Run Mark posted:

Rich,

Your modification of the 2-rail pilot looks fantastic.  I’ve been wrestling with this exact issue in connection with a pair of 2-rail MTH F7’s I recently acquired, and I’m very interested in learning exactly how you did the mod.

Did you first measure the amount of the pilot skirt-corner you wanted to trim in order to get the angle you desired?  If so, I’d like to know exactly how much of the skirt-corner you measured to trim off.

Also, did you use a rotary tool grinder to do the trimming, or did you use another method?

The hoses/cables you added to the pilot front look terrific.  Whose did you use and how did you attached them?  Simply with adhesive, or did you actually drill into the pilot to mount them?

And thanks for sharing your always excellent and expert modeling work with the rest of us!

RTR Mark

 

Mark,

   Thanks.  I did use the larger dremel rotary grinder to trim the sides.  I did not measure and did it by eye.  I used THIS PAGE as my guide.  I used the square foot step as my reference point and tried to run the angle through the diagonal of the square step opening.  I trimmed the top side a little to keep a straight line.  I kept the rotary grinder mostly inside the pilot when grinding to create a sharper edge making the pilot look thinner from back side.

I stole those hoses from the back pilot of my newer Lionel SD40s.  You can also buy the pilots for about $15 from Lionel and just use the hoses.  They were the thinnest and longest ones I've seen.  The middle one is a peco brass hose.  The 3 hose assembly has two rectangular tabs in the back, so I did drill an elongated hole in the pilot and used glue.  They are firmly attached.  I mounted the fourth hose separately and nudge it in toward the middle because I thought I may have mounted the hoses too far out.  Its not just good, "It's good enough".  

I removed the coupler bars, or whatever they are called, and replaced the mounts with smaller wire eye loops which I bent from brass wire.  The original mounts which were black are over sized and bulky.  I reused the orignal bars on the outside (with yellow paint on the ends) and I used piano wire to for the new longer bar under the coupler.  Although both bars share the same mount on the real F7, I just drilled another hole and added a mount for the large bar.

The hose strap or holder (in yellow) I cut from a brass strip.  I bent and tapered the ends to make a small point to mount into new holes I drilled.  You can tell from the closeup photo.  I used Gorillia glue for everthing.  Lastly, that is a real brass chain holding the middle hose.  I think I found that super fine chain at Scale University.  I also filed down that ridge on the bottom which also roughed it up a little like the real one.

 

A question for you guys.  I have MTH Santa Fe passenger cars that have three rail wheels.  It looks like I may be able to replace these with isolated 2-rail wheels I've seen on the MTH website.  Has anyone done this?   

Rich

Beautiful job, Rich.

MTH sells the 2-rail replacement trucks for streamlined and heavyweight passenger cars (but not the three-axle ones for full domes). The problem is they're only available in black and if you're going through the trouble of disassembling them to paint them you might as well get replacements from Northwest Short Lines (when they're back on-line). I've heard that the Intermountain 33" wheels fit into the MTH trucks but haven't tried it. The MTH wheels in the 2-rail trucks appear to be 33", though 36" wheels are appropriate for passenger cars.

Rich Battista posted:

I removed the coupler bars, or whatever they are called, and replaced the mounts with smaller wire eye loops which I bent from brass wire.  The original mounts which were black are over sized and bulky.  I reused the orignal bars on the outside (with yellow paint on the ends) and I used piano wire to for the new longer bar under the coupler.  Although both bars share the same mount on the real F7, I just drilled another hole and added a mount for the large bar.

Rich

Rich, considering the remarkable quality and artistry of your work, both in front of and behind the camera, we can't have you using improper terminology.  The "bars" are called cutting levers, pronounced with a long "e" as in Lever Bros.  This because the "bars" are used for making "cuts".  Yes, we're an uncomplicated bunch.

Max,

  Thanks.  No, the new layout will have one 3-rail loop for my 3-rail trains so I can keep my collection.

Matt,

   Thank you for the info.  I was wondering about having to repaint them.  I was hoping the 2-rail wheels were available and it was easy to swap, but no such luck.  I will look into the other manufacturers you mentioned.

Rapid,

    Thanks for the clarification.

 

 

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