I'm inspired by the thread about #60's tender to ask for advice about an old PFM HOn3 C&S 2-8-0 I picked up cheap at a local estate sale. It was the only narrow gauge item among an otherwise uninteresting collection:
So, what engine is it? I'm thinking it is a starting point for one of the Rhode Island engines. The drivers are 39" diameter, 2 inches too big. Maybe someday I'll turn down the tires, reduce the flanges and improve the profile, but good enough for now. Among the Rhode Islanders I like # 59. The beaded domes and the smokebox front are basically right, and 59 had this (original?) cab up to at least 1923 (photo p. 372 of Kindig Pict. Supp.), and I'm aiming for 1915-18 so that should be all right- I'll get rid of the huge awning over the windows. I'll need to find or make a correct stack for that time period. The two top air tanks are not exactly right for 59, I can make new ones sometime. The domes are clean one-piece lathe turnings with very nice beading, but were too tall and made with a strange indented section between the bottom bead and the base as the photo above shows. This bugged me so I cut the domes at that point and eliminated the indent, here's the result:
I've started to re-do the soldering, neatening things up, and I've done some work on the mechanism. The motor had been already replaced with a good one. I re-quartered the drivers to get rid of a bind, and I made a new coupling to the tender drive out of .015" piano wire with universal joints on both ends which is quite unobtrusive and the engine now runs very smoothly. You can see the drive coupling in this photo:
My main question is the tender. The water cistern is almost exactly the same dimensions as listed in the #60 tender thread, but the extension is at least 6" too tall, with a flush top plate and a line of rivets around the edge, looks almost more like an oil tank. Lots of other details are missing or wrong too:
So, questions. Is #59 a good choice to go for? I'll rework the tender. In the 1923 picture of #59, the tender looks very similar to the one being discussed in the #60 thread. By 1918, would #59's tender have been this version- flare cut off and with the upper extension, and would the #60 dimensions be correct to copy?
I have that same model, painted by a previous owner as #64 (which it clearly isn’t). I decided at some point that #61 was the closest match, but I can’t remember exactly why.
Interestingly, mine has a different smokestack (with a Ridgway spark arrestor). I had never noticed the indent in the domes, but mine does indeed have those. And now that I know they’re there, I’ll have to fix them. :)
this one came to me with both this stack and a Ridgeway. I think for the time period I have in mind a straight stack is what I want, but this one is not right in detail- needs the C&S style bolted base joint. #61 does look like a good choice too. It seems to have been nearly identical to 59 except it had a different cab by 1924 (the 3-window type) but I don't know when that happened, so for my target time- '15-'18, I don't know which it had.
Sorry to alert you to the dome indent, it's a bit of a pain to cut out. Actually, the shapes of the shoulders of the dome tops aren't right either, sometime I'll do a little lathe work on them.
The original PFM C&S 2-8-0 can't really be anything but a Rhode Island. The only other 2-8-0 class with ringed domes were the Cooke's, and they had straight boilers.
1918-1920 is a fascinating era of C&S locomotive change. The Ridgeway spark arrestors were just starting to show up. Electric headlights were the norm, tho' many were modified old arc headlight housings. Many locomotives retained their original tenders with flared tender collars, though others were having modifications into the intermediate versions. A very few had new tenders with high sheet metal sides.
Some Rhode Island photos from 1916-1923 to ponder:
Number 57 in 1915
Number 57 in 1920, still with old style, albeit much longer, tender.
Number 58 in 1916
Number 58 in 1919 with "intermediate tender"
Number 59 in 1923
Number 61 leaving Denver in 1922, still with old style tender.
Number 61 in 1923 with new sheet metal tender, skipping the intermediate stage.
Number 62 in 1917.
Number 62 in 1924, Silver Plume, still with intermediate tender.
I didn't include any photos of number 60, since it is the ony one that retained its original Rhodel Island smoke box front. Besides, by 1918 the number 60 was sequestered away as the Leadville switcher, where it spent the rest of its days until pulled back to the mainline in the last couple of years.
Seems to me, it might help to firm up your modeling period: Pre-1918, old style tender, Como spark arrestor. Post 1920, intermediate or new tenders, Ridgeway spark arrestors. 1918-1920, mix and match!
this is great, thanks so much for digging out the photos, some of these I had not seen before. This clarifies things. Indeed for my 1915-1918 era the Como arrestor is what I want… though I could put the Ridgeway on once in a while just for kicks. I'll ditch the Pyle headlight for an earlier one. Now you've made clear that the tender should be the original flared version, or possibly the intermediate. That'll be fun, I haven't made a tender shell in 40 years. And I like the looks of it too, definitely differentiates this from the modern era.
By the way, is that a D&RG gondola behind #57 in your first photo? Where is this?
My very first narrow gauge model was just like this, with the Ridgway stack. My Dad gave it to me for Christmas in 1965.
The list price for the 2-8-0 was $49.95, the 2-6-0 was a mere $39.95. Like the On3 2-6-0 PFM released in about '62, and unlike model projects from about 1980, these models did not follow any specific prototype locomotive. An exception would be one which was unique like C&S/RGS #74, but these were generic.
I believe the boiler taper is more typical of the B-4-D class, #65-#70, but if you prefer the B-4-C class Rhode Islands, go for it! The tender is designed as much to contain the old dinosaur open frame motor as it was to follow any specific prototype.
There are several parts which could seriously upgrade this engine from Precision Scale. This would include domes of your choice.
This will be a fun project, feel free to post your progress and ask any questions!
Good luck, the sky is literally the limit. This could easily be a gateway project to other challenges. One thing I learned early on as a builder was to not take no for an answer.
PS, those drivers are the correct diameter for the moguls. Probably saved a few bucks.
The photo is a little confusing between headlight and stack: The handles for the Como spark arrestor and the S-shaped exhaust pipe from the generator behind the headlight are co-mingled, giving that "wacky" look.
There is one more modeling note. Before 1925-27, all the C&S engines still had their wood slat pilot. The earliest photo I've seen of the "modern" steel boiler tube pilots occurs about 1925:
Two Otto Perry views of C&S 7 at the same location, Clear Creek Junction. Top 1922, bottom 1925.
C&S number 5 still had a wood pilot in 1926, as did number 8, also photographed at Silver Plume that year.
Years ago I scratch built a C&S wood pilot in HOn3 out of styrene. I also did three "Como" spark arrestors out of brass screen and flat wire formed over the sharp end of a pencil. Both projects were tedious, but do-able.
Mike is right, there are many HOn3 C&S specific castings to upgrade the old PFM engines: marker lights on brackets, generators, sanders, possibly rounded domes if you wanted to convert a second PFM engine to a Baldwin B-4-D.
I always enjoy browsing through the Precision online catalog for HO and S scale parts, always find something that I could use that I'd previously overlooked.
I suspected this might bring out some good old memories- I hope if you still have those models you'd share a picture with us!
I still remember the ad on the back page of Model Railroader that showed the C&S mogul. I really wanted one, but I was an impoverished student at the time, and $39.95 was big money. Around that time I somehow got fascinated by the F&CC, and in the late '60's I began to scratchbuild one of their 2-8-0's that later became D&RGW C18's. I still have that model and have begun working on it again once in a while, have put in a modern motor that frees up the cab so now I can have a detailed backhead, etc…. So, I will be working on this PFM model too, but don't hold your breath for results!! I try to keep this, unlike my professional life, as low-pressure as possible; I never finish anything, and it doesn't bother me. When I sit down to do something I look around my work table to see what catches my eye that day, and then it's off to find out what to do and how to do it. I like to make stuff, so, as with the F&CC engine, I like to make rather than buy anything that I have enough information and skill to do. This does not lead to quick results, but so be it. So, Jim, it's nice that a wood pilot is needed, I made a boiler-tube one for the F&CC engine 40 years ago, so this will be a new thing for me!
Can anybody steer me to good drawings, or photos, of the original tenders for the Rhode Island engines, especially the front end? I think I'll start work with the tender, and that means first deciding what to do about repowering the model, because the present motor wouldn't fit in the original tender, and anyway I'd really like to get rid of the encumbrance of the drive connection to be able to do good backhead and cab detail eventually.
I'm not sure about the PFM tender tank dimension. Years ago, I back dated an HOn3 Key #71. I cut everything off the top of the modern tender, above the tank top. I then laid out a new one piece tender collar in styrene (no soldering skills in those days), designed to bend/roll at the rear corners and flair out on the back and rear.
Could you not do the same?
It occurs to me that Robert Stears models the same era in On3. Any chance your could share any photos of your locomotive models, Robert? Perhaps the tender of the Precision number 57?
Thanks for posting the folio sheets on these engines.
Oddly, despite their relatively similar size and identical boiler pressure ratings, the copy I have of tonnage ratings for various classes of locomotives (1926, I believe) shows the B-4-D class rated at 110 Tons on a 4% grade (same as the B-3-C Class), while the B-4-C class which includes #60 is rated at only 80 Tons on a 4% grade. That's a pretty big difference. The B-3-B class rebuilt Brooks engines (#21 and #22) are also rated at 80 Tons.
Any ideas why this might be? The only thing I can think of is that they downgraded the Rhode Island engines due to age.