tips for kit bashing some locos

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Wiredup, Dec 12, 2008.

  1. Wiredup

    Wiredup Member

    had some pretty nice wins on ebay this past week....

    but modeling Canadian steam era is a bit of a PITA because of the distinctive designs that they have...and no one has recreated in n-scale (yet).

    pretty much I wanna turn this:


    into this:


    tips? I think I shave the nose off and do some slight mods to the tender and I'd be fine eh? or at least close enough to be believable?

    then there's this one:

    that wants to look like this:


    which I think is going to be a LOT harder.... even more so than my:




    The 6060 is going to have so much wrong with it when I'm done that it might be blasphamy to all the bullet-nosed-betty fans out there. The wheels are wrong, the cab is wrong.... blah!

    So the noses on all 3 locos are going to be done outa brass tubing/sheets, as are the side skirts on the selkirk and the mountain...

    but any other tips or suggestions on what I can do to make these more believable? I don't have any experience kit bashing, but I've assembled a crap load of plastic model kits over the last two decades.

    P.S. the CP selkirk is a photo I took yesterday. :mrgreen:
  2. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    How close would you like them to be?

    I have a usra 2-8-2 that I wanted to look a bit more like a modern NKP 2-8-2...but I didn't want to completely redetail it, so I just replaced the headlight and added illuminated number boards. I don't really notice the airpumps and such, as those two small changes give it the proper character. The most characteristic details on those engines are the smoke box fronts.
  3. Wiredup

    Wiredup Member

    I'm no rivent counter... but I would like them to have the same general idea.

    The big thing for me is the smoke box fronts, the side skirts, and if possible the cab. I heard that someone used to have a mold for canadian cabs... but I can't find them.
  4. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    You might be able to find some edged brass sides since it is N-scale. They probably wouldn't be as hard to make as you think. Scratch building is 90% intimidation and 10% effort.

    I'd make the CN cab with 5 parts...2 sides, 1 front (probably from the existing locomotive), 1 back, and 1 roof (removed from the existing locomotive).

    The skirting would actually be very easy...just take a strip of styrene and glue it to the edge of the catwalk...possibly with some stiffeners.

    For the front of the CN engine...either find a commercial part...or make your own. You need a cone. You could talk styrene telescoping rods from Evergreen, glue them in place, and then file them to the shape of the cone. Or, you take the telescoping rods and add some JB Weld as a filler to turn a serious of cylinders into a cone.

    You could possibly take a round piece of wood or plastic, drill a small hole in it, insert a screw or nail through the hole, chuck it up into a rotary tool or a drill, and then use a knife or emery board to form it...much like a lathe.

    New tenders are in order. You could bash them, scratch them, or just find suitable commercial ones. I actually think the CP engines would be tougher to build than the CN engine. It is a shame that Bowswer doesn't offer their boxpok drivers in N scale.

    I definitely wouldn't use bar stock for the CP engines...I'd create 3 disks of styrene and sand or fill the profile out. I think it would be FAR easier than to turn it...unless you have a lathe.

    Happy bashin! (btw, perhaps try this in the scratchin' and bashin' might find more advice there...since most of us are in scales larger than N).
  5. Wiredup

    Wiredup Member

    Great tips!

    what do you mean by bar stock?

    I was going to do the cylinder thing for the CN loco, but using brass. But styreen would be a lot easier. Same for the skirts, brass was my original plan.

    The wheels will remain stock, I'd rather not mess with them. But I wanna paint them. Any tips for that? I tried using some Humbrol model paint to paint the edges, but it's not covering very well at all!

    As for the Tenders. I got three Vandy tenders for the CN locos. But their MUCH too long. Problem is all three are fitted with decoders and cannot be shaved down anywhere close to easiliy... so I'll have to deal with that (as much as I don't want too!) Model Power makes shorty Vandy Tenders, but their pickup system is wipers, and they also don't have room for the bachmann decoders)
  6. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    By bar stock, I just simply mean round, square, and rectangular pieces of brass...basically the same as strip wood.

    In HO and On3, I've just brush painted them with floquil. I then like to stripe the tires which I do very carefully with a fine brush (don't know how easy that is in N scale). I have found it to be easiest when getting the paint from the top of the lid (where there is more pigment) and then touching a different surface to eliminate any extra paint in the brush.
  7. Wiredup

    Wiredup Member

    I picked up some paint and some styrene tonight and started up on my guineapig lt. mountain loco.

    heres the pic of progress!






    keep in mind this is my first attempt at customizing anything... and I still need to work on the cab and touch up a lot of the paint.

    this was like 30 minutes of work...
  8. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    The character has been distinctly changed...great work!
  9. Wiredup

    Wiredup Member


    I'll be workin on the cone later tonight.
  10. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    At first I was thinking "You can't turn a N&W J into a Royal Hudson... one's a 4-8-4 and the other's a 4-6-4!" Then I noticed that it's a NYC J3 Hudson in N&W colors. Oh, Con-Cor...

    The next one is more like that. You have a 2-10-2 and want a 2-10-4. Where are you planning on taking the trailing truck from? CP did also have some 2-10-2s, but I don't know how close they are.

    Both CN and CP had a number of steam engines so attractive it's almost criminal that none of them have been made in N plastic.
  11. Wiredup

    Wiredup Member

    I can't believe I missed that on the CP Selkirk.... hummm.... maybe I can steal the trailing truck from a DOA Northern that shows up on ebay? Not a big deal, but something that I can do when the opportunity arises while I do the rest of the kit bash first.

    The more I look at it, the easier the CPR's look for kitbashing vs the CNR. And 90% of the difficulty is coming from that bloody nosecone!

    They need to do these comercially... I think it's time to start putting the gears on Rapido or Trueline to develop at least the Royal Hudson in plastic. Afterall it would be a fantastic match for their smoothside pullmans.
  12. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member have a nice 2-10-x mechanism. Great. How do the boilers compare in diameter, length...I'd guess too short and too thin. Still, both have 63" drivers which is huge. Perhaps you can get the four wheel trailing truck from somewhere...such as a manufacturer of 2-8-4s. You are looking at modeling a locomotive that is little more than a cylinder on wheels with a cab and running boards. You've already altered number boards. An 80" boiler is 1/2" in diameter in N scale...a standard size tube from evergreen. What is the diameter on the 2-10-4s? If that is it, you can build a new boiler quite easily. For the boiler bands, you might be able to make your own from 0.005" brass or 0.010"x0.020" styrene strips (you don't need rivets)...or not at all. You then need just a few additional castings/make a few parts for the smoke stack (is that chimney in Canadian?) and domes. Perform a Doctor Wayne on the cab, and perhaps kitbash the existing tender with what are definitely buckeye trucks and a vertical extension. Just take it slow, carefully, and get yourself a set of either dial or digital calipers.

    Triplex, to confirm that it isn't just your national pride showing through :p those CP engines are very fine. It is surprising that even with the Royal Hudson's many years of excursion service, she hasn't been offered. Perhaps either the Brits or your Common Wealth brethren, the New Zealanders, ought to release a white metal or etched kit (of course, the Brits would probably do it in some sort of OO/EM/P4 variety)
  13. Wiredup

    Wiredup Member

    So essentially throw away the bulk of the original loco for the 2-10-2 and build my own from brass/styrene.

    Shouldn't be too hard. As you say, it's essentially a cylinder with wheels.

    A lot of the details can be had from Minatures by Eric too...

    Come to think of it, there is trailing trucks available through him aswell.
  14. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    Right. There are few details on the boiler...the beauty of streamlining. Further, the mechanism is the hard part...and you already have that. If you screw up the mechanism, it will run poorly...but that is not an issue here...because it is pre-assembled!. If you screw up the new boiler, you try again. I've screwed up before (check out the passenger car link in my sig...a complete clerestory roof was scrapped)...and I'm sure everyone else on here has (or they've never done much). If it is close to an 80" boiler, you'll get 4-6 attempts out of a pack of styrene. If you get a boiler together that you can then harvest any usable detail parts off of the 2-10-2 boiler.

    Perhaps, to make the end, you can find something of around the correct profile, and hammer plastic or thin brass over it to copy the shape.

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