Category Archives: pictures – diesel

Mantua/TYCO Alco C430, circa 1966-’67, original ads and Model Railroader magazine product review

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Hard to believe it will be turning 50 next year. My examples include the rather hard to find Presidential Seal version, pulled from the shelves on demand of the White house for TYCO’s unauthorized use of the seal. It was soon replaced with a more simplified version…it was a gift from an online friend.

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This one was part of a freebie lot that came from a local police evidence locker…

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This one, the oldest of the four, was another gift, and dates back to the original release.

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…even Canadians have one…

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New life for a TYCO Bicentennial C630…

Having received a C630 shell in a lot of train stuff, I sought to get it running again. In the same box lot was the frame to an old Athearn Trainmaster. With some careful cutting and filing, I stretched it to fit the shell, thus giving me a fine running (if not somewhat noisy–the shell appears to act as an ersatz amplifier) C630 for my Bicentennial trains.

Checking the length necessary…

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I built up a block of styrene from sheet stock to be used as a filler…

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…then epoxied it on with JB Weld, using zip ties as temporary clamps…

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There are stress factors that must be addressed. A better way would be to do it with a metal rod as a reinforcement between the two halves. I understood these factors and went ahead anyway, as I wanted to see if this could be done without a lot of precise drilling and fitting. With a couple of minor splitting problems in the beginning, the block is now very solid and works just fine as is…

Some sanding, fitting and shaping came next…

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Electrical continuity was achieved by soldering a jumper wire between two brass screws set into the frame halves. Motor and shell clearance issues were resolved with a bit more carving…

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Before…

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After…

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The bottom motor clip was attached at this time, before the motor was mounted…

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The front drive shaft was extended a half inch to cover the new length…

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Then the whole assembly was bench tested for a half hour in each direction…

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I hard wire all my Athearn locos by removing the top clip and replacing it with 18 gauge wire…

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The finishing touches…painting the frame, replacing the missing hand rails, etc…made for a nice looking locomotive once finished. Painting the sideframes silver kept it within the spirit of old TYCOs with their silver plastic frames.

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Yes…it has been awhile, hasn’t it?

Been in a bit of a course correction, map setting mode spiritually of late.  I have no patience for anyone who cannot see what is going on around us, making me rather enthusiastic dinner company to have around.  But…the purpose of this blog has always been to propagate the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the modeling community, and it is in that vein that I shall continue to run.

I have not been without projects being done in the interim, just haven’t had the gumption to post about them or set up my diorama to get good pictures.  So, in pictures that would make Pulitzer sob like a school girl, I shall post what I have of upcoming projects that I will do as I get better pictures in the coming weeks.

First up, an HO scale 1951 Varney yard switcher repower…the locomotive came to me for repairs, only to be further devastated by the Postal Service…

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 Next up…an HO scale circa 1990s Bachmann Spectrum Dash 8-40C that sports a fuel tank I scratchbuilt from sheet styrene and bits from the scrap box…

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Then a junkbox HO scale Marx Hustler gets a makeover….

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Not to forget the many gifts that keep coming in from fellow modelers around the country…

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 In short, it’s been a tough start spiritually this year, but a blessed one.  As the demands of a closer walk with my Saviour wrest with the demands of this temporal life, my hobby and little farm grow and fit into the future in the way God wishes it, leaving us to marvel at His works in our lives and rest secure that the future is not so bleak so long as one keeps their eyes on The Great Shepherd…

Blessings, grace and peace to you and yours…

(HO)bbyline HO scale Fairbanks Morse H-10-44 and T.Y.C.O./Mantua 4-6-2 pacific…

…the Pacific is a classic from 1953, the (HO)bbyline diesel from a bit later.  Both have just been thru thorough clean and lubes and were caught taking laps before the Pacific was sent back to its owner, yet another opportunity to run classic, hard to find models on my layout.  I’ll be looking for wheelsets to get rid of the traction tire equipped ones on the H-10-44…this will improve electrical pickup with the addition of wipers to those wheelsets…

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Hobbyline HO scale Fairbanks Morse H-10-44 in Lehigh Valley colors…

…a gift from an online modeler friend. I’ve wanted one of these for awhile, in any form, from any manufacturer. The look is pure brute and the car body was designed by the same guy who did the Pennsy GG1.

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Made in a time when the hobby was less refined…come on, can you imagine the caterwauling from the peanut gallery if Atlas stamped their logo on the SIDE of any of their models. And check out the screw on the top of the hood…shameless, I tell you, shameless…thinking some goob could actually enjoy the hobby with such a blatant display of non-scale hardware. That boxing glove for a coupler actually mates with most knuckle couplers today and was only used by HObbyline on their equipment. It just gets cooler with each inspection…

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This torpedo tube is actually a device to eliminate light bleed thru the shell and concentrate it towards the headlight, a rather forward thinking detail that sees little use still today.

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Then there’s these giant spur gears in the cab, just waiting to puree some hapless HO scale crew that manages to fall into their clutches.

A great piece of modeling history, it appears to have been offered as part of several sets in 1955 — in Lehigh Valley, C&O and AT&SF paint as a passenger train and in C&O and AT&SF paint in two freight sets. Pennsylvania paint eventually was offered but it wasn’t long afterwards that HObbyline became Bowser and the diesel models stopped, most likely before 1960.

Many thanks buddy…it will be a cherished beastie in my fleet…

American Train & Track Corp. HO scale Plymouth diesel…March 1968…

…finally identified, won in a friendly bet with a hobby shop owner, $5 if it didn’t run, $10 if it did.

I won…

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The company only lasted about 10 years and is most well known for its model of the Alco Century 415, later picked up by Life-Like. It used mechanism parts and truck sideframes from the AHM RS2 locomotives.