RE: New Guy on the Block w/Loco question

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by MalletFan, Jul 15, 2004.

  1. MalletFan

    MalletFan New Member

    Hello. I'm new here, and overwhelmed by the size (for me), and the complexity of the forum (I'm also new to the computer). I'm a retired Honeywell factory worker, age: 61, live in Morgan Park, (Smithville) area of West Duluth, MN USA. My main hobby is scale plastic aircraft. As a boy, I grew up near the Proctor, MN DM&IR Railroad Yards, at the end of the "steam" era...I wish to construct a NON-WORKING, HO scale DISPLAY MODEL of an MALLET 2-8-8-4 M-3 Baldwin Locomotive. I am completely NEW to railroading, and don't know a SINGLE thing about the hobby. Now, here is my dilemma. I have the NON-OPERATING - Monogram Plastic "Snap-tite" HO scale engine, (kit #-1602) labeled as a Mallet of the DM&IR. I soon found out that it is really molded as an Union Pacific "Big Boy", and QUITE dilfferent in shape & detail from the DM&IR Mallet. My question is: "Can I get there from here" ? Are there accessory parts (plastic or resin, I hope) that I can obtain to change the configuration...and, where to obtain & at what price. The only documentation I have to work with are, a drawing (right side only), in the Model Railroader 'Cyclopedia VOL-1, Pages 258 & 259. and, the hard-cover book, "The Missabe Road", by Frank A. King; and, KALMBACH'S volumn, "Building Plastic Railroad Models". (by the way, I have 3-each of the Monogram kits...figured I could "graft or lengthen" from the conglomerate).

    I would be very grateful for any advice, (is this a possible project ?), recommendations as to 3 or 4-view drawings, construction practices, books, materials, etc. I can't justify spending the BIG BUCKS for a rare, brass, operating loco, just for my nostalgia. (if I could even find one)!

    Thanks for reading this,

    Jerry Robinson ("MalletFan")
  2. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    I'll have to check out the DM&IR yellowstone when I get home from work, and see just what is necessary to get there from a UP pig....uhhh bigboy. I can reasonably say there will be significant differences in the superstructure, and skyline, as the bigboy was an Alco. More later,
  3. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    OK....The M3 has an all weather cab.That will take some serious scratchbuilding, I don't believe that cab exists in plastic. The Bigboy has 68" drivers, the M3, 63". Not really enough difference to be able to create a reasonable facimile. The boiler of the M3 is shorter, so you won't have to add. Remove the length at the BB's sand boxes, The sand boxes on the BB are larger, and squarer, so shortening them would serve the double purpose of shortening the boiler, and creating more of an M3 type sandbox. The M3's boiler is jacketed all the way to the smokebox front. The M3 has a single stack, the BB, a double, so the BB's smokebox detail can be removed, and jacketed over, and a single stack added. (by the way, the BB is on page 260, for quick comparison). One noticable difference....the BB has walschearts valve gear, the M3 has Baker valve gear (short hanger...the snap-together hudson has the long hanger version, you might be able to use it, with modifications).
    The tenders are very close, so not much work there. The lead engine frame has to be changed to move the cylinders closer to the first driver, and a new pilot truck has to be found/made.The whole pilot assembly will need work.
    Procedure?.... Start with the BB, and make a list of all the details (piping, boiler bands, fittings etc.) that have to be removed from it, to look more like the M3. List each one, and check them off when removed.
    Plan where, and how much to cut the boiler, and lead engine frame. Reassemble the boiler, and frame.
    List all the details that now have to be added (piping, stack, feedwater heater, top feed check valve, sander valves,etc.) Check them off, as added.
    If you can find a copy of Kalmbach's "Locomotive Cyclopedia 1941",( this is not a cheap book!) it will help you identify, and name all the boiler fittings, so you can get the castings you will need. The biggest concern are the lists. If there is anything on the BB boiler, that is NOT on the M3, remove it. Be as meticulous with the adds list. when you're done you should have a reasonable facimile of an M3 that you can be proud of.
    So.......once all that is done, and painted, and pics!! :D
    Best of luck, and have fun in the process,
  4. MalletFan

    MalletFan New Member

    New Guy on the block w/Loco question II

    Thanks for the tips & hints for the Mallet conversion. I've had the kits since sometime in 1985...and a few weeks after buying the kits, I find that it's a "wolf in sheep's clothing"...then began the search for documentation (4-views in 1/87th no avail), just a few "murky, indistinct black/white pictures in drawings dipicting the left side of the loco...etc, and I hadn't made the aquaintence of any local railfans either. As to a source of aftermarket parts, I take it that folks use the WALTHERS "Catalog & Reference Manual" ( I have an 1985 edition - are they published every year? ). It looks like "I've got a LONG ROW to HOE" !

    Again, thanks so very much for the help. If I ever start/complete this 'beast, I'll be sure to forward pictures.

    Jerry Robinson

Share This Page