I hope everyone is safe and doing well!!
While I am working from home, I have some extra time on my hands, so I decided to finish working on a project I started last year to try to get Lionel's Chessie Steam Special T1 closer to the Prototype. As a reminder, you can click the pictures to make them bigger.
I've always loved the Chessie Steam Special (CSS) as I saw it in 1977 in Chesterton, Indiana when I was a kid. My first scale engine was the 6-18011 CSS Mike Wolf did for Lionel. I really liked the engine and did updates to it to make it more prototypical (adding the union link, combination lever, and valve rod which they didn't add, adding lights, engineers, etc.):
But the engine had limited pulling power as it was AC, so I had Frank Timko change to DC, but the motor was small.
So I got the MTH PS2.0 version to used in my 15-car consist (the Lionel one went on the wall on display). The engine looked outstanding, but I disliked the sound system.
When Lionel came out with their Legacy version in 2016, I was so excited! From the picture in the catalog, it matched everything I wanted. The Running Gear was complete and silver, just like the prototype:
However, when I got the engine, I was super disappointed in what they changed. The running gear was not silver and the Link Connector Attachment Point Bracket was completely wrong (and different from the catalog picture):
So last year, I ordered a whole set of Running Gear plus the Attachment Point Bracket during the Lionel Parts sale. I then painted the Running Gear, but I didn't change the Attachment Point Bracket. Unfortunately, I really made it too shiny as I couldn't really find paint that would be prototypical, but it still looks better in my opinion:
So now to this week. I decided to take the extra Attachment Point Bracket I got and take a dremel to it to make it more prototypical. First, I trimmed it down, grinded it, and then painted it afterward:
I also painted the Running Gear a different shade of silver (Flat Aluminum to be exact) by hand to look more prototypical.
Then tonight, I started the task of opening the engine to get to the screws holding the Attachment Point Bracket in place (that was fun finding out the engine has 3 levels (Boiler Top, Boiler Bottom, Chassis)). Once I got the new Attachment Point Bracket installed, I put on the newly painted Running Gear.
I think the engine looks much better (and more prototypical):
Unfortunately, the new T1s in the 2020 catalog have the wrong Attachment Point Bracket, but I'm hoping they come out with more polished running gear. If so, I will buy a set so my engine is not so silver.
I hope you enjoyed the updates I made - I know I had fun doing it!!