Pennsylvania RR 4-8-2 M1 and M1A Project coming up

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#1
Well, the boys were right. If I bought one Brass model, more would follow me home and I would be hooked like a bass..... I picked up a couple Sunset Models Pennsylvania RR 4-8-2 brass models. The M1, and the Extended range M1A Mountain haulers. I did a few minutes of research and found out that the M1 was built circa 1923-25 and evolved into the M1A (and eventually into the M1B) which added among other upgrades, a longer tender which nearly doubled it's range with extra water and coal. I thought these would make a nice addition to my modern set up and I plan on putting in a City park area adjacent to the rail with a couple old steamers for a tourist attraction. I want to paint and decal them so this is where I'll post up some before and after pics. I've watched Hal online prepping and painting and although I don't have all his resources (paint booth, blaster etc...), I'll make do with what I have and I'm fairly industrious so we'll see what works and what doesn't. The last painting I did a couple months back, turned out excellent except for the fact that I went through 5 iterations of painting. I didn't like a color or texture or whatever, so I stripped and repainted it until I did. I'm retired military and I have the time. I expect to start collecting supplies and start in the coming week. Wish me luck...

Here are the 2 sets I just bought, they should be delivered in a couple days. I think they will be a great place to start. Anybody think that I shouldn't mess with pretty much NOS units built in about 1980??? I've never seen these in factory paint so......

M1.jpg
M1A.jpg
 

Attachments

ianacole

Well-Known Member
#2
As I've said to others on the FB Brass Collectors and Operators group, it's yours, do with it what will make you the happiest, even if that means painting it hot pink with green and yellow polka dots. I've added sound and DCC to a 1 of 3 DVP KM so that I can run it. Enjoy it the way you want it.

And yes, it's a slippery slope. I purchased my first, a Snow Dozer, back in 2011. 14 pieces later I'm still looking for more. Brass Trains has a nice tool for logging your collection.
 
#3
As I've said to others on the FB Brass Collectors and Operators group, it's yours, do with it what will make you the happiest, even if that means painting it hot pink with green and yellow polka dots. I've added sound and DCC to a 1 of 3 DVP KM so that I can run it. Enjoy it the way you want it.

And yes, it's a slippery slope. I purchased my first, a Snow Dozer, back in 2011. 14 pieces later I'm still looking for more. Brass Trains has a nice tool for logging your collection.
I'll be doing some measuring to add an Athearn style Flywheel motor (DCC Decoder is easy with a tender to hold all kinds of stuff). Thanks Ian
 

Espeefan

Well-Known Member
#10
One last helpful hint: It's common sense and you were probably going to do it anyway, but since these are both Mountains they'll have the same chassis. Do them one at a time, so if you should get stuck, you have a reference piece. I once had a client send me four Santa Fe Northerns he had disassembled for painting and never gotten to. He had gotten older and was liquidating so the deal I made was, paint one, reassemble the other two bare and keep the fourth as payment. Sweet deal right? Well when everything showed up the parts were all in Kadee box car boxes. All tender trucks in a box, all wheels & drivers in a box, and so on. All valve gear and side rods for all four pieces in a baggie. All other hardware for all four, in a baggie. You can imagine my reaction. Well, maybe you can't. I took his name in vain. Several times, each more creatively than the last. The only thing that saved my bacon was that I had just finished the same model for a local customer, so I had a reference piece. I arranged to keep it for a little while until got one back together. Without the reference model I'd have figured it out, but it would have taken a long time and many swear words! Here's my fee for the project:
Santa Fe 4-8-4.JPG
 
#11
One last helpful hint: It's common sense and you were probably going to do it anyway, but since these are both Mountains they'll have the same chassis. Do them one at a time, so if you should get stuck, you have a reference piece. I once had a client send me four Santa Fe Northerns he had disassembled for painting and never gotten to. He had gotten older and was liquidating so the deal I made was, paint one, reassemble the other two bare and keep the fourth as payment. Sweet deal right? Well when everything showed up the parts were all in Kadee box car boxes. All tender trucks in a box, all wheels & drivers in a box, and so on. All valve gear and side rods for all four pieces in a baggie. All other hardware for all four, in a baggie. You can imagine my reaction. Well, maybe you can't. I took his name in vain. Several times, each more creatively than the last. The only thing that saved my bacon was that I had just finished the same model for a local customer, so I had a reference piece. I arranged to keep it for a little while until got one back together. Without the reference model I'd have figured it out, but it would have taken a long time and many swear words! Here's my fee for the project:
View attachment 37240

WOW!!!!! Even though it was a PITA for you, it looks like it was well worth it. very SWEET, Yes, one at a time and photos of everything. Can't wait to get to work.
 

Espeefan

Well-Known Member
#12
Another hopefully helpful hint: When they arrive, make sure you test run them. Any mechanical issues need to be addressed before you start painting, and you need a baseline for how the model performs before you take it apart. I know, common sense, but I made a lot of rookie mistakes when I started out because I was excited and in a hurry to get to work.
 
#13
Another hopefully helpful hint: When they arrive, make sure you test run them. Any mechanical issues need to be addressed before you start painting, and you need a baseline for how the model performs before you take it apart. I know, common sense, but I made a lot of rookie mistakes when I started out because I was excited and in a hurry to get to work.

got it, makes a lot of sense to baseline them before so there is something to compare it too when the work is done. Gathering tools and watching some videos you recommended. The units will be here Thursday and I plan on starting on the first one Monday evening after it cools down. It gets kinda warm here in southern Zona so the evenings work the best. Thanks for the help.

Perry
 

Espeefan

Well-Known Member
#15
ALL the Sunset Brass seems to run smoothly. I have 2 N&W M 4-8-0's that are small pieces but they run so quiet and smooth!.
Yeah I doubt he'll have any problems, but I always run first. Handling things after painting is a pain and you almost always end up having to fix something. I also got one with a bum gearbox once. The rest have all been pretty good.
 

Espeefan

Well-Known Member
#16
Recommended tools:
Foam cradle
Jewelers screwdrivers. Cheapies from Harbor freight work fine. If you want quality stuff Wiha is nice, and there are others. You can literally spend as much or little as you want here.
Needle nose pliers
Tweezers. I buy good ones. I have a pair that can bend wire or pick up a human hair
Hemostats for clamping and holding
Jewelers files
Hobby drills, 61-80 sets are everywhere
Pin vise
Scribe
Small mechanical fingers, a must for placing and starting screws.
Soldering iron, a 40 watt pencil type is fine. If you have the budget, a variable heat station is nice.
I use wire solder and separate paste flux. Acid for brass joints, rosin for electrical. Don't mix them up!
Dremel
A good volt/ohm meter. You'll need to check continuity (keep all the insulated wheels on the same side). One with a tone for resistance is nice. As a rule, right side of the loco is hot, left side of the tender is hot.
Airbrush of course. There are tons of threads on here about those, and they happen to be a specialty of mine. If you don't already have one, get the best one you can afford. A quality one is a one time buy.
If you don't have a quartering jig get one now. There are techniques for quartering without one, but they take practice!. You won't use it on every project but it's one of those tools that you will need sooner or later!

Options: ( I did without these for years, but they do make some things a lot easier!)
Down the road, if the bug bites you bad and you really get into this, consider resistance soldering gear. It's not cheap, but when you need it, there is no substitute! American Beauty or PBL are the only two choices. I use the tweezers and the probe hand sets.
Jewelers drill press and drill press vice
NWSL Puller
NWSL Sensi-Press An upgrade from the puller and more accurate.

Some of these like the Sensi press and the resistance gear are more for repair than painting. Much of this stuff is probably already in your tool box.
 
Last edited:
#18
Recommended tools:
Foam cradle
Jewelers screwdrivers. Cheapies from Harbor freight work fine. If you want quality stuff Wiha is nice, and there are others. You can literally spend as much or little as you want here.
Needle nose pliers
Tweezers. I buy good ones. I have a pair that can bend wire or pick up a human hair
Hemostats for clamping and holding
Jewelers files
Hobby drills, 61-80 sets are everywhere
Pin vise
Scribe
Small mechanical fingers, a must for placing and starting screws.
Soldering iron, a 40 watt pencil type is fine. If you have the budget, a variable heat station is nice.
I use wire solder and separate paste flux. Acid for brass joints, rosin for electrical. Don't mix them up!
Dremel
A good volt/ohm meter. You'll need to check continuity (keep all the insulated wheels on the same side). One with a tone for resistance is nice. As a rule, right side of the loco is hot, left side of the tender is hot.
Airbrush of course. There are tons of threads on here about those, and they happen to be a specialty of mine. If you don't already have one, get the best one you can afford. A quality one is a one time buy.
If you don't have a quartering jig get one now. There are techniques for quartering without one, but they take practice!. You won't use it on every project but it's one of those tools that you will need sooner or later!

Options: ( I did without these for years, but they do make some things a lot easier!)
Down the road, if the bug bites you bad and you really get into this, consider resistance soldering gear. It's not cheap, but when you need it, there is no substitute! American Beauty or PBL are the only two choices. I use the tweezers and the probe hand sets.
Jewelers drill press and drill press vice
NWSL Puller
NWSL Sensi-Press An upgrade from the puller and more accurate.

Some of these like the Sensi press and the resistance gear are more for repair than painting. Much of this stuff is probably already in your tool box.

I have most of that. I restore 1970's stereo equipment (Carver, Phase linear etc...) And build circuit boards. I am going to pick up a small media blaster and an airbrush kit. I am the master of "Piss Cans" but I have wanted to try one of these for years.

Perry
 



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