Building an MDC Shay

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by dwdean, Feb 16, 2008.

  1. dwdean

    dwdean New Member

    Greetings all,

    Yes, I'm building one of these beasts (OK, honestly, it's not all that bad.)

    I lucked out and actually found a copy of Jeff Johnston's book in a hobby shop for the original price of $17.95, and have almost recovered from the whiplash I gave myself getting my hands on the thing and getting to the cashier before anyone saw..;) Browsing the book shelf in your local hobby shop pays off sometimes...

    In any event, finding the book has lead to a number of other quests and at least part of this post/question.

    First the book talks about a brass detail kit that includes a firebox/ash pan that looks alot better than the one in the kit. The book also indicates that the kit is (I'm reading was) available from a gentleman named David Hoffman, and gives an address in Woodville MS. I'm planning on writing Mr. Hoffman regarding the kit, but I was wondering if anyone knows if the address is still good. (For instance the address that the book lists for NWSL is different from what's currently accurate.)

    OK, honestly, I'm being "lazy" about this, I'm thinking about other mods to the kit and would rather buy this part...

    The other mod that I'm thinking about has to do with moving the steam dome on the boiler. I'm going after a look like the one in the attached picture. Has anyone tried something like this. I've got a couple of ideas (basically cutting the existing dome off, filing down the boiler, and gluing a new dome back where I want it), but wanted to see if anyone else had tried something like this, or had any experience that might be applicable.

    Thanks in advance for any advice anyone can provide....

    Attached Files:

  2. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    If your Shay is like the ones I built when MDC first released them, you can use a hacksaw to remove the cast-on steam dome, then file away any remaining traces. While that's not a modification that I made, I did use a mill file to remove the "shoulders" of a Belpaire firebox from an MDC 4-4-2, making it look a lot less "Pennsy". ;):-D Keep in mind when you install the new part that the steam dome should be on the highest part of the boiler, in order to allow the steam to collect there.
    These locos can be made into nice-running models, but do require some "tweaking".

  3. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

    I'm about halfway through a rebuild of a narrow guage version. while I'm not performing surgery on it like you plan to Modifying the steam dome should be fairly straightforward. Just keep checking on your fit as you fill off material. It's always easier to remove that add .
    I also have the book by Jeff Sohnstone and it's worth the MDc steamer that I traded for it.
  4. dwdean

    dwdean New Member

    Thanks for the input, and helping me realize that I'm not completely crazy. I'm still not entirely sure I've got the guts to take a saw to the boiler yet......

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