1120 Running boards modified

There is a fine line separating encouragement from goading. I’m pretty sure Rob Kirkham didn’t cross it, but his assistance in interpreting the Bachmann drawings in an attempt to figure out how this engine might come apart was inspiring. He helped me realize that I wouldn’t be happy with elongated running boards on 1120. I […]

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Detail for GTR 1120

As 1120 has been getting closer and closer to staying on the track all the time, I’ve started to think about making her less like the Maryland &Pennsylvania engine she started as. The plan is to 3D-print some eye candy to help convert the post-1900 Baldwin product to a reasonable facsimile of the 1890 Brooks […]

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First Business for GTR 1120

GTR 1120 replaced 2543 on this morning’s mixed train (45) and returned on the noon passenger (44). Still in her original Southern Railroad livery, the test run revealed some improvements are in order to both track and engine. In particular, the engine truck needs to be heavier if it is to find its own way […]

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Tender wheels for GTR 1120

The 3D-printed centres for the tender wheels took two tries, not because the print failed in some way, but because I assumed the drawing, which I worked on months ago, was finished. It wasn’t and the axle holes were about a quarter millimetre oversize. It took minutes over days to get correct centres and a […]

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Tender wheel parts

The tyres for 1120’s tender have been plopping unceremoniously onto the lathe bed for the past couple of weeks. I had thought to make them in two batches – one per truck – but wound up getting several extra tyres and wheels out of one blank, albeit not enough for the whole tender. In the […]

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Engine Truck for GTR 1120

As with many commercial models, the engine truck for the Spectrum 4-4-0 is just along for the ride. It plays no role in supporting the cylinders, and doesn’t even guide the driving wheels into corners. Effectively, it is its own vehicle, shackled to the front of the frame. Consequently it needs to be as heavy […]

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GTR 1120 as a 4-4-0

The crank pins are an easy press-fit into the drivers, and thankfully, I didn’t need to remove the rear drivers to insert them. Then the connecting rods and the main rods dropped into place with almost no fanfare, except that I need to get a 1.3mm nut driver for 0-80 screws. Holding my breath, I […]

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GTR 1120 as a 4-2-2

Once The Last Equipment Cradle was put together, soldering the wires that capture the rear wheels was delicate but not difficult. I dropped the engine on the rails, and was immediately disappointed by the results. I expected it to be slippery without the connecting rods, but I didn’t expect the front drivers, the only drivers […]

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Wheel-fitting Heresy

The standard approach to putting wheels on axles seems to be – well – to put the wheels on the axles. The assumption is that the wheels are complete: they have their tyres and crank pins. It’s easy to see why that would be the standard. If you buy your wheels, they naturally have tyres […]

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