American 4-4-0

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by t. alexander, Jul 17, 2002.

  1. t. alexander

    t. alexander Member

    This is a scratchbuilt HO 4-4-0 project I'm trying to finish up. It was built from plans in MR magazine. The steam & sand domes as well as the bell where purchased items. I thought i'd use it as my first photo try.
    Sorry about the image but it's the best my camera can do that close up. :rolleyes:

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  2. t. alexander

    t. alexander Member

    It worked!

    Here's another shot of it by a frieght house I'm scratchin also.

    Attached Files:

  3. t. alexander

    t. alexander Member

    bad pic

    oop's, that one turned out funky. Oh well it's a start.

  4. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    That is some OUTSTANDING work, t.a.!!
    I would love to see some more!
  5. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Great Loco and Freight House T:) :) Excellent models!!!

    Why does that freight house look so familar to me:confused: Have I seen the prototype before:confused: "wracking" my brain:D :D:)
  6. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    Really nice T, how does it run? Congrats on your first pics! :cool:
  7. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    T.A. That is awesome! I had considered a similar project many years ago, but realized I didn't have the talent to do so. I struggled with soldering Calscale details together! Is this the loco with the drivers that slipped? Were you able to corrrect that? Nice job.

  8. Bill Stone

    Bill Stone Member

    As Charlie says --- OUTSTANDING.

    It does my heart good to see such excellent scratch building going on.

    And yes, how did you finally fix the driver problem?

    Bill S
  9. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Hi t.a., Excellent workmanship on the loco, what colour shall she be when finished.

  10. t. alexander

    t. alexander Member


    Thanks for the nice compliments guys. I'm thinkin by reducing the image size they might appear sharper??

    Vic, The building does'nt have a prototype. I't just sorta evolved from what I had in the "scratchin" box, The side and front walls are heavily modified DPM panels. The entrance steps are made of card stock. The tin is ready made panels and was aged with PE etchant solution.

    Yes, the loco is the one I was having trouble with. I fixed it using the suggestion's from here. Vic's axle nurling combined with Tyson's glue on the insilated side. Bill your machine shop advice was at the ready.

    It's running smooth now. :)

    Shamus, You can't go wrong with black, but the engineer insists he whats white walls on the drivers. :D :D .

  11. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    I respectfully defer to the "brass master". That's one area I've never felt competent in. Beautiful work!!
  12. t. alexander

    t. alexander Member


    Sumpter, Hope I don't get in trouble for an off topic post, but thought you might like this.
    It's a two masted top sail schooner that is in my shop for some restoration work.
    Built in 1920 by the owners grandfather it measures a whopping 4 1\2 ft. by 5'. I was told it was a good sailer in it's day.

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  13. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    Hi t. alexander,

    My hat is off to you. I shudder to think of some of the frustration you went through in producing such a fine steamer. I'm particularly impressed with the pilot! Do you have any hair left on your head? :D
    Do you use a soldering iron or gas torch? I always thought etching flux was the best way to get solder to "take" precisley where you want it and I've been toying with the idea of using this in making handrails on stairs.
    I can't even replace a ladder on a brass HOn3 caboose I have (and I've tried three times already) so I know the effort you put into that beauty! ... Well done sir!

  14. Bill Stone

    Bill Stone Member

    The schooner restoration aught to be a neat project, t.

    I don't think it's too far off topic at all. But then I speak as one who for five years in the 70's, lived aboard my beautiful old 42 foot motor sailor --- one of those periods in which I didn't do any model railroading.

    But one must get one's priorities straight. At that time it seemed important to me that the boat attracted far more interest from young ladies than model railroads ever did!

    (But, on the other hand, if I had all the time and money I poured into that hole in the water called a boat, I could build one spectacular layout!)

    Bill S
  15. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Resistance Soldering

    Hi Errol, The problem with using an iron or a torch on small brass parts is that the heat cannot be concentrated in the small area that is required for a good joint. It tends to spread out over the entire surface, even to the point of unsoldering other parts already attached. Try placing a piece of twisted wet paper towel around the area that you are going to solder to, leaving just enough room to solder the part on. That will act as a heat sink and will allow you to get the part and the surface hot enough to make a good joint. Make sure that both the part and the surface are clean and shiney and use a resin or jeweler's flux as an acid flux will eat the brass up.

    If you really want to get serious about soldering brass check out resistance soldering. There's a great explantion of it at
  16. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    Thanks for the reminder Vic,
    I had forgotton about that technique, my brain was thinking about RF (induction) soldering but as that is jolly expensive industrial equipment, I didn't mention it.

    Someday I'll get around to experimenting with the resistance soldering, I imagine 24 watts of heat over an area of 3 to 4 sq mm should be enough. Now you have me thinking! I have a variable PSU goes up to 32 volts at 2 amps max! ... Wow, with up to 64 watts at my disposal I might just have some success!

    Now if I can only clear away the tip I call my workspace..........
    Nah, that would be a three day job...... (wonder if there's any beer left in the fridge....:D)

  17. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Hi Errol, Looks like you've got the making of the "whizbang" right there!!!:D Add a foot switch and a ground clamp to the outputs and make an insulated probe out of a piece of PVC tube and a piece of sharpened stainless rod and you are good to go. Might want to put a 50 Volt meter in the line to find the best setting on the PSU:)

    On the other hand....the beer sounds better:D Its 100 degrees F here right now:eek: ...join me in a "cold one":D :D :D
  18. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    I'll take a guess, that schooner's close to 3/4"=1' scale. Not a work boat, but a well appointed yacht, lines similar to the later Grand Banks schooners. Fast, and good on the wind.
    Best of luck on the restoration, email me some pics when done, and thanks for the post.
  19. t. alexander

    t. alexander Member

    Vic, I saved that resistance solder page.

    Kettlestack, thanks for the compliments. I used a torch.
    In areas where two different parts close together where going to be soldered but at different times in the construction, I would use a harder solder on the first assembly. I also did the wet tissue thing alot. The most difficult soldering was attaching the steam and sand domes as these were solid. I kept the flame on the dome until the right moment and quickly moved the torch to the underside of the boiler. Sort of a fast "sweat" solder technique.

    Bill Stone, I understand completely. A box car is'nt exactly a babe magnet. :D .

    Sumpter, Yes your right it has the lines of a Grand Banks Schooner. yet I imagine the only thing it caught was pretty ladies. (Bill) :D

  20. t. alexander

    t. alexander Member



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