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 Bachmann On30 4-4-0 Bash

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
ba4990 Posted - 12/07/2010 : 1:34:57 PM
Hello All,
I'd like to share with you an ongoing project of mine. The Bachmann On30 inside frame 4-4-0 is a nice running little engine but IMHO detail wise it has some issues. Firstly the boiler is too long for the engine. Americans of the period should have the backhead just ahead of the rear driver axle. Also like many "store bought" engines the backhead is not correct. The area below the cab is way too clunky and the area between the first set of drivers and cylinders should be more open with Stephenson valve gear visible. I would also like to install a Tsunami decoder and hide the wires between the engine and tender. Finally I would like to increase the level of detail as that is were I find my fun.

First is the boiler. I origianally was not going to shorten the boiler. I had stripped the paint and removed all the parts. I was not terribly pleased with the rivet detail on the smoke box so filed/sanded them smooth and replaced with Grant line .030” round-head rivets. Below is a pic after stripping. The large hole in the second course was an attempt to move the sand dome to the taper course. That will disappear later.

Download Attachment: boiler 1.jpg
60.18 KB

After studying the model a bit, I found that if I removed the flywheel from the motor, I could shorten the motor block thus allowing me to shorten the boiler.

Download Attachment: motor block 4.JPG
98.63 KB

Download Attachment: boiler 2.JPG
55.28 KB

I also shortened the frame and milled a slot for a exhaust cam. I will build a new tail piece for the frame that will be attached to the boiler assembly and will be attached by a screw to the rest of the frame.

Download Attachment: FRAME BOTTOM.jpg
64.78 KB

Here are the boiler, motor block and frame together after cutting. The firebox still is a little too long, but it is better. The bit of plastic at the end is my first attempt at the tail piece. I didn’t like it and rebuilt it.

Download Attachment: boiler n frame.JPG
63.43 KB
15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Pacbelt Posted - 01/20/2012 : 5:18:46 PM
That is stunning job!!!! I just don't know what to add!!!
I look very forward to your next project!
ba4990 Posted - 01/02/2012 : 12:55:39 PM
Greetings All,

For you non-On30 types. I just wanted to let you know that I started the Brooks Mogul on the On30 forum if you're interested.

Happy Railroading!
ba4990 Posted - 11/11/2011 : 12:05:10 PM
Thank you all for your compliments. I do appreciate them. Sorry for the delay in responding, I was on a forced vacation with bronchitis, but I seem to be on the mend.

Alan, I too found the orange plugs difficult to deal with. One thing I did, when I was running the engine before the rebuild was to slice off the little tabs that lock the plugs in place. I find that there is more than enough friction to hold the plugs together without them and it makes putting them in and pulling them out far far easier.

For the rebuild I completely rewired the engine and ditched those plugs completely. In their place I used individual plugs from Soundtraxx (cat# 810058 micro-mini conectors) inside the tender. Since I rarely separate the tender from the engine (then only for maintanence) this is not really a problem. The fact is, the way I built this loco, it is almost as difficult to separate the engine from the tender on this model as it is on the prototype. But that's my choice, it happens so rarely, I'm OK with that. It does allow me to completely hide the wires (there are 9 of them), and have safety chains, water lines and an air line.

I did show the engine at a local NMRA meet this weekend and got some pretty good compliments. I was able to meet some pretty nice fellows too. In all a good time.

Take care,
cprfan Posted - 11/06/2011 : 9:03:15 PM
I've been following this topic for a while now, and the results are very nice !.

To me, I find that the little orange plugs for the electrical connections are a bit of a problem to handle sometimes, did you replace them or do you still used them on the engine ?.

Neil M Posted - 11/05/2011 : 7:54:41 PM
Fantastic, Bill. I really like what you have one with the model - it looks completely different from what you started with
Jim Ellis Posted - 11/04/2011 : 9:51:01 PM

I, for one, will be looking forward to your Bachmann-Brooks project!

Jim Ellis
ba4990 Posted - 11/04/2011 : 12:43:18 PM
Greetings all!

Thank you so much for your kind words. It was a long time coming, 2 1/2 years give or take with a move, but sure was a lot of fun.

I'll be starting another build soon. I have the remains of a Bachmann 2-6-0 laying in state in a box under my desk. I think that'll be my next victim. I have a set of drawings for a similar sized 1889 Brooks narrow gauge 2-6-0 from the Quincy and Torch Lake, a copper railroad in the upper penisula of Michigan. Of course mine will run on a little Iowa coal road. I'll be posting this in the On30 forum (yes Andy, Dave, Larry I can be taught )

Also, hope to actually be starting a railroad to run these on as well. I'll probably have something to say about that as well.

Take care all,
andykins Posted - 11/04/2011 : 06:11:51 AM
fabulous! its been a fun build to watch! and the results are fantastic
dallas_m Posted - 11/04/2011 : 05:25:04 AM
Hmm ... after viewing the comparison photos, it appears your version has a "little" more detail. Congrats on finishing the long-haul ... it's a wonderful conversion and this thread provides a wealth of inspiration and detail about getting there.

ba4990 Posted - 11/03/2011 : 2:05:59 PM

Thanks for the info. From now on I'll keep to that limit.

Thanks for the compliment too.
LandNnut Posted - 11/03/2011 : 1:34:26 PM
The guys on dial up tell me that a limit of three photos per post works best for them. Great work by the way.
L&N nut
ba4990 Posted - 11/03/2011 : 1:24:08 PM

Nope, the Tsunami is in there. I ran the wires behind the back head, under the cap floor, through the buffer, through the hollowed out center beam of the tender. Here's a pic:

Had to use some pretty fine wire, but it works.
Jim Ellis Posted - 11/03/2011 : 1:08:57 PM
Ooops...forgot to ask a question:

Did you remove your Tsunami decoder?...I don't see any wires going between the tender and loco.

Jim Ellis
Martin Welberg Posted - 11/03/2011 : 1:07:13 PM
Awsome !!
Jim Ellis Posted - 11/03/2011 : 1:03:11 PM

Fantastic work...thanks for sharing! Hope you will start another project soon.

Jim Ellis

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