I have become a fan of MTH steam engines. They were definitely ahead of the curve when it came to details and features but some things always bugged me, in particular the tether loop. MTH's wireless tether is a big improvement in appearance but as anyone knows who has an engine with one they are a PITA to couple up. MTH has also added more detail to their current releases. This prompted me to start upgrading my older MTH engines.
First on the block was this NYC ESE from 1996. I had added PS2 a few years ago. They still hold their own with the newest releases in terms of detail and features IMO.
Here is how it looked before I started:
Here is how it looks today:
Besides the tether change cab curtains were added and a deck apron. The cab curtains were cast using a set from a PS3 Hudson. The deck was fabbed using PSC diamond plate brass sheet.
Here are some pics of casting the curtains:
One of the concerns with eliminating the tether loop is it will want to pull out or break on curves. By adding some play in the engine connector and opening up the tunnel in the tender the tether has plenty of room to move around.
Connector holes were oval-ed and screws changed to allow free movement. The channel below the connector was also widened.
Tender mod before:
Here is the source of the cab curtains.
Finally a NYC Niagara I did a while back. This one will get cab curtains now.