Butchering 1120

The first step in back-dating the Spectrum Modern 4-4-0 to an 1890 Brooks product is getting rid of all the bits that don’t look Brooks-y. There are numerous modern details and appliances that are not appropriate for my 1905 timeframe. In fact, all the boiler fittings came off, with the exception of the stack and the builder plates. Brooks had circular builders’ plates, and so I left the illegible Baldwin plates in place.

Sadly, I still don’t know how to disassemble this engine, and anyway the rear drivers are basically soldered in position. So, I separated engine and tender and removed the engine truck and set to with CA debonder and patience. The domes put up quite a fight, and only came off in pieces, revealing horrific sub-domes cast into the boiler. These were not going to work with the daintier Brooks domes, and so they had to come off too.

There used to be an ad for Dremel in the magazines that showed some brave soul offering up a Dremel motor tool to a fully finished model steam locomotive. It made me laugh: nobody would ever try that! It would be like trying to use a sledge hammer to drive finishing nails in your baseboards. Well, Dremel gets the last laugh as I have now re-enacted the ad.

I wrapped the loco in masking tape in an effort to keep metal filings out of places it shouldn’t be, and also to try to keep from slipping disastrously too. I still have plenty of filling and sanding to do, but it could have been worse.

I’m sorely tempted to remove the front part of the running boards as well. It is unusual to see running boards extend past the cylinders on eight wheelers, and 1120 followed the standard pattern. With the cylinders and crosshead guides right there, that operation feels even riskier than the domes!

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