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Author Previous Topic: Painting Zamak Topic Next Topic: Maine Highlands
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Posted - 07/28/2014 :  2:08:59 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bernd's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Over the years I've started several motive power scratch builds, modifications and kitbash projects. So I thought I'd share some of these adventures with the members on the forum. I'll post the first adventure in the next post.

Comments and questions are encouraged.


Country: USA | Posts: 3373


Posted - 07/28/2014 :  3:03:17 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bernd's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I started this kitbash several years ago. I got inspired by the November 2006 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman on page 70 and was written by Rusty Recordon entitled Modeling a DL&W FTA-FTSB-FTA set.

Here's a picture of the finished modification I did to the shell and frame. Not very noticeable, but the rear (furthest from the "A" unit)of the "B" unit. You will notice the rear most stirrup step missing on the corner of the "B" end. That's the end that was shortened.

Here's the two "B" units. The one on the left has been shortened while the one on the right is unchanged.

Another picture of the modification.

I made a wooden block to help support the sides when cutting. It's a snug fit into the shell. Also a slot was cut on both sides of the block approximately where the "shortening" cut will take place.

Starting the firs cut. Here I'm starting to cut off the rear part of the shell.

I scribed a line for the saw to follow about 1/32" from the end.

Starting the saw cut following the scribed line on the first side.

Saw through both sides as far as the saw will allow.

A small section is left on top of the roof section that needs to be cut before the back end is separated from the shell.

Cutting the roof section using the two side cuts for alignment.

And there you have it. The end cut off. This is done to both "B" units.

More in the next post.


Country: USA | Posts: 3373 Go to Top of Page

Engine Wiper

Posted - 07/28/2014 :  3:24:24 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Bernd that block of wood is a clever idea. How do you keep it in place when making the cuts, snug fit?

Country: USA | Posts: 177 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 07/28/2014 :  3:35:32 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bernd's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The next portion.

Next I measured 5.760" inches from the other end of the "B" unit. I made a couple of marks to follow with a scribed line.

Scribing the line between the two scribed marks made earlier.

Next I used the wooden block to give a nice firm surface to cut. I followed the scribed line I made earlier.

Next is to cut through the roof section. The Exacto knife and the arrow mark the two saw cuts on the sides.

Using the two saw cuts to line up the saw and finish the cut across the roof section.

The unused portion cut off.

The 'B" unit on the right has had the rear part glued back on after trimming the saw cuts. The left "B" unit still needs the saw cuts trimmed. That will be described in the next section.

The next installment will show how I trimmed the ends pieces before gluing them back on.


Country: USA | Posts: 3373 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 07/28/2014 :  3:37:48 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bernd's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by lv4142003

Bernd that block of wood is a clever idea. How do you keep it in place when making the cuts, snug fit?

Yes, it's a snug fit so it makes it very easy to cut the side with a razor saw. The slot also helps when you get near cutting through.


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Engine Wiper

Posted - 07/28/2014 :  3:45:14 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes, I like the wooden block also. Such a simple (and now obvious) way to work. Bet it works well for plastic buildings too.


Country: USA | Posts: 237 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 07/28/2014 :  5:18:32 PM  Show Profile  Visit acousticco's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Great stuff Bernd, I'll be watching this thread closely.


Country: Canada | Posts: 1673 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 07/28/2014 :  7:24:25 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bernd's Homepage  Reply with Quote

Haven't tried it on buildings, but if it worked well on the engine shell it should work well on other plastic models.


The next post will be the last pictures of what I have done to the FT et so far. I've had this project setting idyll quite a while. I'm posting it in hopes of being motivated to finish it. I'm going to post a few more projects that I've started and are sitting in different stages of construction. I'm thinking if they are out in the public view I might be more inspired to finish them, with a little help from the forum members.


Country: USA | Posts: 3373 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 07/28/2014 :  8:17:41 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bernd's Homepage  Reply with Quote
These are the last pictures of the modification to the Stweart FT engines.

Here's were I may loose some of you. Since one of my other hobbies is home shop machinist, I have several machine tools in my model shop. One being a Sherline lathe with a mill conversion for milling. It comes in handy for modeling purposes in model railroading. Not everyone is interested in buying and learning machining. For me it's easy since that was my vocation for over 30 years. So bear with me as I proceed.

Next is to get the saw cuts nice and square for gluing back on to the shell. I used my Sherline set up in the mill configuration to do that. Here I'm milling the excess plastic left from the saw cut off the back piece.

Next are the sides. I squared up one side and clamped down the shell. Note the block of wood inside the shell.

And last the top or roof section.

Sitting on the bench are the two "B" unit chassis' and the shells. The back portion glued back on to the shell.

Note that the one in the upper middle already has the frame modified. The one to the left does not. That's next.

I discover that I could not mill off the whole section at one time with the mill. The material was to gummy. I could have taken my time and done it in several cuts, but I was in a hurry, plus it gets boring only taking little cuts.

So I cut it off with a hacksaw and milled the end to size and smooth.

And the shell fits perfect.

And this brings us back to the first picture of this part of the thread.

This set of engines has sat on the shelf in this stage of build for several years. Somehow I get interested in another project and never complete the one I started. The plans for this set is battery power with radio control. More on this later.

In the next installment I'll show how I scratchbuilt a drive for Atheran Hustler with a Carry shell.

So get your machine tools warmed up because the next one will be machining intensive.


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Premium Member

Posted - 07/28/2014 :  10:01:17 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Nice work on the FTs. I don't see any parts I recognize from the Athearn Hustler in your last photo, but I can't see the truck sideframes...

Country: USA | Posts: 6074 Go to Top of Page

Neil M

Premium Member

Posted - 07/29/2014 :  06:19:57 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The gearbox on the hustler is very nicely done, although it is hard to believe there is much of the Athearn original left at this stage!

Built a waterfront HO layout in Ireland http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=22161 but now making a start in On30 in Australia http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=52273

Country: Australia | Posts: 2501 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 07/29/2014 :  11:52:00 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow Bernd', I cant wait to see these babies painted up, lettered and on the track....Very cool.
Did you find the B units a little too long? Great milling machines.....Boy what I could do with such tools...

ted :<)

Country: USA | Posts: 5921 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 07/29/2014 :  12:04:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow, one of my passions! No, I don't have a machine shop at my disposal, but used to do a lot of engine kitbashing back in the day. The last one I did I posted here on the forum... somewhere. I still have to finish that one up. Maybe this thread will inspire to do just that.

Interesting build Bernd. I'll be following along and picking up some tips and tricks along the way.


Country: USA | Posts: 13728 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 07/29/2014 :  12:26:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Bernd, you do some very nice work. I have a Taig lathe at home and do some machining, but I am truly a hobbyist and everything I do is a learning experience. I am looking forward to see how you did the new Hustler frame and propulsion area. Did you get the gears from NWSL? Please don't tell me you machined them yourself.
Regards, Vic Bitleris

Country: USA | Posts: 1437 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 07/29/2014 :  2:05:53 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bernd's Homepage  Reply with Quote

Thank you very much for the compliments. I was going to do the Reader's Digest version on the Hustler/Cary bash but I think I'll give the full version for you guys. It's quite long and involved. There a total of 75 more pictures depicting the build.

Here's a the last picture I took of the locomotive readying for a test run.

And here's one of my early videos of the engine running on my test track.


I'll start getting the thread together to post soon.


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Posted - 07/31/2014 :  4:31:33 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bernd's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Here we go.

Here's the parts of the Hustler chassis, minus the shell. It had been cut off a long time ago. I just never got around to doing anything with it because at that time I didn't have a mill or lathe. I think it did do the qualified 400 Scale Miles per Hour MR advertised at one time.

The frame comes apart buy unscrewing one side of the chassis. You can see plastic inserts on the part in the upper section of the photo. That's how the two sides were insulated from each other.

These are the gears I'm going to use. They are out of a Hobby Town RS drive. The helical gears makes for a 1:1 ratio 90 degree turn of power transmission.

Instead of using the sintered wheels that came with the Hustler I'm using a set of nickel plated ones I had in the spare parts box. The gears are from a Hobby Town drive. The new axles are .092" drill rod. The brass tubing is used to space the gear and wheels properly. The long tube is used to space the gear in the center of the axle and the short tube is used to space the heel from the outside of the axle.

Since the gears and wheels are a sliding fit I had to secure them to the axle. I use LoctiteŠ 290 Thread Locker.

That's it for now. I'll post more later tonight perhaps. If not I'll post on Friday morning after I stop in the Lounge and have breakfast.


Country: USA | Posts: 3373 Go to Top of Page
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