A new(old) loco for the B&MC R.R.

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by shaygetz, Jan 8, 2004.

  1. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    8 months ago, I joined a local club for some like-minded company and an oppurtunity to build on and share my knowledge with others. Not wanting to be a wallflower, I volunteered to help sell off the estate of a member willed to the club as a fund-raiser. In the lot was a little brass locomotive that my wife and I would have liked to own but in no way could have afforded. Knowing this, yesterday the officers of the club presented it to me as a "thank you" for what I did for them.

    I've never owned a brass piece before so I need some information. It is a PFM/United model of a Colorado and Southern narrow gauge loco #5 or 7, early 70s in tarnished but undamaged condition. Using Ebay as a reference point, I found two identical locos, one professionally painted and in excellent shape, the other in bare brass, dinged and missing it's tender. The painted one went for $290, the busted up one went for $225(!?). What made the price point so odd was that the motor is in the tender, connected to the drivers thru a shaft and universal joints. To me, that would make the bare brass one at best a candidate for the junkyard.

    Of course, I have no intention of selling it but I do want to care for it in a way that retains it's value over the years. I've dusted it off and cleaned and lubricated the mechanism. Should I retain the brass finish or have it professionally painted? If left bare, are they like coins, best left untouched and tarnished or can it shined back up? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I'd also appreciate any information on the prototype. I know about the "beartrap" spark arrestor but, what's that barrel thingie 'tween the domes for?

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  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I wonder of that barrel between the domes is some sort of backwoods, homemade, feedwater heater? Do you model Colorado narrow gauge? If so, and if the model runs well or can be made to run well, I'd have it custom painted and run it.
  3. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    This one (that barrel has always intrigued me)and the Mich-Cal #2 shay are the two locos I've longed after since I was 12. I'm most likely going to build another module to link up with one at the club that already has 3 foot gauge track on it. It runs well--I've even measured it up for a decoder, so that's no problem. As for paint, I have a beautiful color photo of a real one in action, all weathered up and looking great. If I get it done, I'll try to match it to the photo.
  4. DanishKnight

    DanishKnight Member

    For ShayGetz,

    You've probably already made your decision about the loco, whether to leave it unfinished brass, or have it painted...but I thought I would offer my two cents anyway. I've learned over the years that what matters most aren't the possessions we accumulate, but rather how gifts come to us. You did a good deed for the club, and they recognized your efforts and chose to honor you with the loco. By your post, it's obvious you hold a certain "respect" for the model, and no matter what you choose to do with it, you will keep it in good condition. If enjoying the loco in a prototypical paint scheme enhances your enjoyment, then forget about the brass-elitists out there, and have it painted. Or not! ;) Whatever you do, enjoy the loco! And remember the time you gave the club and their gift to you in return.

    Best wishes,
  5. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member


    to the best of my knowledge the 'thingy' is simply an air reservoir for the brakes. Might be that they needed a bigger reservoir for the mountainous line?

    I'll check it up tonight in my books. Look at my post farther below. (Edited :))

  6. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Shaygetz, I think the "thingie" is a capacitor for the sound system in the tender. (!) Generally, painting brass will increase its value, as long as the paint job is correct for the prototype. Lettering it for a freelance road, for instance, would detract from its value considerably. Also, weathering will reduce its saleability. The collectors who give brass its value generally like their "pieces" looking brandy new. However, you must decide whether the value down the road when you sell it is more important than the value to you as your possesion. If you'd like to see it painted and weathered on your layout, then my choice (obvious form photos Ive posted!) would be to increase its value to ME, and not worry about how much I'll get (or my family, since I'll probably be dead if they're getting sold) when they're sold.

    I'm glad you were able to acquire a loco you've longed for for so long. Enjoy!
  7. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Dang! And here I thought it had somethin' to do with the prototype:p

    Thanks for your input guys. The thought of admiring a beautifully scenicked hillside, then having a tiny golden steed pulling a string of my weathered handywork thru it does give me hives. I do want to take care of it but certainly not in a glass display case. Drives me bonkers to think of how many of these things are pining away on a shelf, never to turn a driver. I will take care to research just which particular loco this is and then have it painted accordingly.

    I realize it looks tacky, having researched the prices the way I did, but it was for the purpose of selling it for the club at the time. I had no idea that it would end up in my hands. As for selling it down the road, I'll leave that to my younguns. The estate it came from was just a treasure trove of late 60s to mid 80s kits of all kinds. It just gave me pause to consider what kind of legacy in this area I'm leaving for my kids. Even if they sell it all, I want them to have good memories as they go thru it.
  8. Tad

    Tad Member

    Cool gift! :cool:

    I think that you should paint it and run it.
  9. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    :wave: COOL!:wave:

    It's not tachy to wonder what a collectable or any valuable is worth, even if it's a gift. If they wanted you ta have something completely sentimental, and devoid of tangeable value, they would have given you a tearstained picture of themselves. They wanted you to have something you dearly wanted (and earned).

    As far as preserving it's value, my understanding of brass collectables is limited, but I say the greatest value is the happyness it brings you in whatever form. If your happyness is derived from it's value, then you should restore it to it's original splendor, in neked brass, nice and polished and shelve it (OK, you'll have to run it around the layout once in a while while :) ). If your happyness comes from it's use, and appearance to you, just make it however you like it. Myself, I would paint it, weather it, and enjoy it. It can always be stripped and restored later,a nd it sounds like it is not in new/collectable condition now (unless I misunderstood).

    I know I've devalued family antiques by making them nice to my families eyes, but it made us happy, and we would never sell them.
  10. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member


    I think I found your engine in the Colorado Rail Annual No. 12 ("The South Park Line"). If you still can find the book, e.g. in a public library, the picture is on page 102.

    It looks like you got Mogul No. 22 of the C&S. Nos. 5,6 and 8 (I found no pic of No. 7) never had these air reservoirs on the boiler. On the other side, the C&S 2-8-0s carried even two of these tanks between the steam and sand dome!

    Yep, they really are air tanks. If you look closely, you can see the air feeder pipe from the air pump down to the running board and then straight up to the tank.

    Hope this helps you a bit. BTW, I share Jon's and Gary's point of view - do, whatever brings YOU the most benefit. And congratulations - this is a wonderful little engine with lots of character!

  11. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    :D :D ROTFLOL:D :D

    As I've looked back, one of the reasons they gave it to me was that they knew I would use it, i.e. paint, weather and run it. I have a too cool pic of this loco in real life that makes the Southern Pacific Lines look like absolute neat freaks.
  12. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Wow, wouldn't you know that there is a whole series of these annuals stowed in a box at the clubhouse. Maybe #12 is under my nose just waiting to be rescued from a dusty fate. Thanks for settling the mystery of the barrel thingie. "Air reservoir" has a technical aura to it that makes me sound like I know what I'm talking about:p
  13. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    Shaygetz, I always maintained an act of selfless kindness has it's own rewards and I can't think of anything that can express the club's thanks more than a gem like that 2-6-0 ..... congratulations.
    I'm sure you will cherish it.

    I didn't realise there was a 2-6-0 version on that RR which runs from Denver westwards to Idaho Springs, Silver Plume and possibly as far as Silver Thorne. The original 2-8-0 of that style is located in a small park in Idaho Springs and I'm fortunate enough to have a brass model of it made by Samhongs of Korea with a can motor which runs as smooth as a Swiss watch.

    The "barrel thingie" on top of the boiler is in fact an air receiver just as Ron says.

    I totally agree with James's comments (just that my wife won't let me paint mine! :cry: )

    Just as a point of interest here is a pic of the 2-8-0 version.


    Attached Files:

  14. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    It was a very humbling moment, especially because the member that passed away was so highly regarded and I'm still essentially in my rookie year. That 2-8-0 is a beaut! As for the paint, if my wife finds out from yours that you don't have to paint them, I'm stuck pullin' way freights with a golden chariot, too;) :p :D
  15. DanishKnight

    DanishKnight Member


    Try this: offer to massage your wife's feet tonight. If she likes that, keep it up for about a week, then while she's blissed out from a week of being pampered, kind of drop a hint that you saw this really beautiful painted brass locomotive and...(I'll keep my fingers crossed for ya'!)

    The Consolidation looks great! And your secnery does it honor. Good job!

    Best wishes,
  16. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Welcome to the-gauge Royal Knight! Det var hyggeligt at mødes. Hvor kommer du fra? Jeg kommer fra USA.
  17. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    This thread reminds me of an article from a number of years ago in Model Railroader. They were discussing brass models and how they run. It seems that one of the brass locomotive builders back in the days when brass was built in Japan, discovered that a bunch of their brass locomotives were shipped over here with 1.5 volt motors instead of 12 volt motors. The manufacturer immediately took steps to recall the models and install the motors of the correct voltage. They received less than 10% of the total produced to be upgraded, and they got no complaints from anyone who tried to run the locomotive on a layout and fried the 1.5 volt motor!
  18. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

  19. DanishKnight

    DanishKnight Member

    Tak! Jeg kommer fra USA. Med venlig hilsen, DanishKnight
  20. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    1.5 Volt motors???

    Now that's a new concept: Wich such a motor you have...

    a) ...by far the fastest brass engine in town!
    b) ...no need to install a smoke generator (she smokes by herself)
    c) ...the chance to see a realistic red glow from the firebox.
    :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

    Only problem is: You don't have these advantages for very long! (My estimate: a few seconds :D :D :D )

    And then you put her on a shelf where she can sit together with the other 90% of the brass locos which obviously never turned a wheel... :cry:


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