So this was born of a sad situation, and I will probably only end up keeping one of these, selling the other. I know where I'm leaning but would be curious if there's any major knowledge I should know about since brass generally isn't my thing... but it was time to get at least one.
Anyway, here they are: a Westside Models B&O T-3a...
And an Overland C&O J-3a...
Both will need some work since the motors spin... a common problem since the 40+ year old rubber coupling have probably hardened to plastic. So I'll have a ways to go. And oy, what a project painting will be! But for now, they are fun to look at. So much craftsmanship in their construction!
Last Edit: Aug 13, 2018 15:32:12 GMT -5 by Deleted
Those locos are works of art, Tony. I've always been curious about how people paint those things - do they shoot it as one big assembly or break it down into smaller components? Just the process of painting the the wheels and all the rods, valve gear, etc. is a bit intimidating to me.
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Post by 1rustycuda on Aug 13, 2018 19:32:43 GMT -5
They are something special.
OK let me ask a dumb question, if your gonna paint it why bother with brass, I just leave my brass, beautiful shinny brass, Brass! Just doesn't make sense to me why you would even want to paint it, now no offense meant, it's just my thoughts on it. They are just so amazing as is!
Post by redneckjustin on Aug 13, 2018 20:08:53 GMT -5
Brass goes back to postwar Japan. They were imported as kits in the early years. They're all hand built piece by piece. They're all in Korea now. That started in the 70's as costs raised in Japan and started getting expensive. Brass models have features non brass will never have. Sprung drivers, etc. I prefer brass over the new non brass. In my opinion, the Japanese models are the best all around. Very rugged and run well. Westside Model Co closed in the 70's or 80's I believe. Martin Truesdale, the founder died not long ago in his early 90's. The builder, condition and box all effect the value. Early Korean models were the worst. Thin brass, poor materials, craftsmanship and communication.
Y6bHeck with counting rivets, TRAINS ARE FOR FUN! And not called the mad scientist for nothing!
Post by The Jade Fog, formerly: Dave on Aug 13, 2018 21:22:40 GMT -5
Beautiful just beautiful. Your photos really showcase the detail. I’ve never seen well-lit closeups like these photos. Randy, hold on and take a few breaths. Maybe view a few other threads till your heart rate returns to normal.
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Jerry: Yeah, I've been wondering how to paint them myself... looking at it up close makes me appreciate the ones I *have* seen painted all the more. But I figure it can't be too much more difficult than any other model you might have to paint. Even a plastic steamer would have to be disassembled, perhaps quite extensively depending on the paint scheme. I'll have to dismantle both to get them running again so that will demystify part of it. I've learned how to paint drivers from restoring 3 Penn Line Reading Crusaders over the years so while you are correct that those are the most intimidating aspect, it can be done.
Rusty: Funny, I keep asking myself the same thing. Part of me looks at them as a work of art: the shiny monochromatic finish really calls attention to all the surface and component details. And yet! I'm a modeler at heart. I can't afford to simply collect brass. Even a Tyco Chattabooger is more realistic looking on a layout than unpainted brass so if I ever want to run a B&O T-3, there aren't any plastic ones. I truly am undecided.
Justin: They are both in near-mint original boxes with paperwork and parts bags. But both need some mechanical attention.
Jade: Wow, usually I'm pretty critical of my photos (ugh I hate taking them for the mags), but thanks. Just my cell phone in workbench lighting for these because I was being quick dirty and lazy.
Randy: I was worried you might feel a tick! I felt the same thing which is why I have them...
...SIGH LONG "WHY DOESN'T GIC EVER STFU" STORY TIME FOLLOWS
So as you all might recall, my dear Chicago stomping shop, The Golden Spike, closed down last fall. Over 30 years, the owners became like family to me, and vice versa. Toward the end of my last visit before the closing, Bud showed me a tiny closet I never even noticed, full of a stash of brass he had never sold: dozens of models of 70's vintage. He said he'd make me a deal, but between everything I'd already piled up, and the sign he was giving me... and not knowing enough about brass, I was already overspent and overwhelmed! Most of them were western prototypes but I saw the boxes marked B&O and C&O and figured "well, if I'm going to take the plunge on a brass loco, one of those would make sense for me". But even then I couldn't pick on the spot, and didn't want to hassle with opening the boxes and all of that. So! Bud told me to tag the boxes and he'd set them aside and follow up with me on a price so I could pick one or both on my next visit to Chicago, when we'd be visiting him and Liz at home.
In late March of this year he called to ask if I'd be able to visit soon and I told him, yeah, actually: the girls would be on spring break in a couple weeks in early April, and we could make it then. He was looking forward to the visit, as was I!
The day before we were going to leave for Chicago, the 95-year old matriarch of my wife's family passed away. So the trip had to be canceled, even though every weekend from April thru June had something scheduled. The next chance to visit would be during our annual trip at the end of July.
In early June, Liz called to tell me Bud had been seriously ill for some time and was not looking good. She was strong and hopeful but I could read between her words. We bought a card and the girls drew some pictures and we sent him well-wishes (it was actually a scramble sine the girls weren't here the week Liz called... and I had a bad feeling)...
On the last Monday in June, she called again to tell me she'd been giving him good natured grief about him owing her 62 years of marriage, and he passed on that exact anniversary, the evening before. So even in sorrow, she was displaying humor and grace. Me being on the short list of people she called first, ought to tell you something.
I owed to clear my calendar to drive up for the services in early July. It was small but beautiful and I learned things about him I never knew. He was a gifted talent and spirit. An amazing poet, a humanitarian, and a modeler's modeler. Liz took me aside and told me how happy the card and pictures had made Bud, he LOVED the pictures: they lifted him into maybe the last good day or two he had before passing. She also promised me some of the buildings they kept from the store layout, and perhaps other such things if/as/when she might encounter going through his collected estate. Obviously, there was no rush.
But we would still be back in Chicago a few weeks later (a few ago) so I called to let her know we were in town and check in. She invited us over... her son found the buildings I mentioned interest in. Then she pulled out the brass locos Bud had indeed kept aside for me, even after selling all the rest as part of a deal with the store months before. She said at the end he was selling things for 40% off shelf (shelf on those locos was pushing $500 ea), so I could take half off... she didn't know if that was what he had in mind for me or it might have been better but as she put it, "take each half off, or buy one get one free". Ha! Of course she'd learned a bit about keeping a struggling business open
To be honest even that was a bit of a stretch, but I wasn't going to haggle with a widow. But I still couldn't decide! So I figured to do the deal for both and I could always hopefully sell one if need be. She actually offered a lower price based on two conflicting tags on one box, but I paid the higher. Her son eventually brought me to Bud's train room and garage and I was blown away: he could have almost stocked another Golden Spike, and it was a veritable history museum of 70's and older HO! But I'm not chomping at the bit: it's an overwhelming task, and she has more local folks there to assist; even if I had time it would take me days to sort through, and I couldn't afford it all. And her son still gave me a few more goodies including a Rivarossi Mallet so I won't complain.
So yeah, my first brass is all overwhelming, bittersweet, and unexpected, but beautiful. In each box I found some short notes Bud had carefully written about tweaks each will need - apparently all the tales about 70's brass being a mixed bag quality-wise are true. Perhaps that's why he never sold them? I feel it would be a fitting tribute to get them going, at the very least.
I'm kinda leaning toward keeping the C&O since it's so imposingly impressive. And for some reason the B&O has plastic drivers, which are disappointing. But there IS a plastic C&O J3a.... but not a B&O T3... and the B&O's sleek tapered boiler is pretty interesting in its own right... arrrgh, decisions...!
sorry for the novella. This is why I don't come around much... when I do, I can't shut up and there goes the time.
Last Edit: Aug 14, 2018 10:04:36 GMT -5 by Deleted: clarity 2
Post by NickelPlate on Aug 14, 2018 2:59:07 GMT -5
Thanks, Tony. Now I need a drool guard for my keyboard.
Wow, what a pair of beauties. I have heard from one of the guys at my LHS that some brass steamers need to have detail unsoldered to be disassembled, so just be careful.
Having taken many fan trips behind C&O 614 and even working as a car host and getting a cab ride during a runby, I definitely wouldn't mind having that J-3a.
It was Chicago, Burlington, & Quincy 5632 that was painted gold for a fan trip in the early 60's, so you don't necessarily have to paint them, Tony.
Unfortunately it was cut up for scrap in 1970 when the owner was unable to come up with storage fees and was hospitalized during the long restoration process, and the railroad made sure to cut it into chunks too small to be reassembled. The owner brought several pieces into the courtroom as evidence during the trial. It's one of the most notorious cases in the history of steam preservation.
gic. why sell one? unless your in a bad spot of course. they are non replaceable. just in sentiment alone. you have them. they are in your home. there is no reason to let one go. if you do ill bet it will be a regret for a very long time. nope. not worth it. keep em both!!!
mph: Had the same problem with my car shop doors when I tried to pull a hi-cube boxcar in.
Apr 4, 2021 9:38:15 GMT -5
JNXT 7707: Electric locomotives are also high pieces with their catenaries, even when not raised.
Apr 4, 2021 10:09:43 GMT -5
dastumer: Not necessarily, it depends on the locomotive. Foreign designs such as the ACS-64 and AEM7 keep a low profile, with the pantographs lowered they're shorter than a GP.
Apr 4, 2021 12:26:36 GMT -5
yardmaster54: My grandson cut the grass today for the first time this year. I'm on light duty until May, so he'll cover for me until then.
Apr 4, 2021 17:53:45 GMT -5
newbieho: if ONLYI could get my grandson to do that....
Apr 4, 2021 20:35:57 GMT -5
newbieho: WAIT!!! I do NOT have a grandson!
Apr 4, 2021 20:36:19 GMT -5
oldtimer52: Maybe that's why you can't get him to cut the lawn for you!!!
Apr 4, 2021 22:46:38 GMT -5
newbieho: There is just something about lighted train carriages, running in the dark, that warms the soul. I am working in the basement and the trains are running in the dark nearby.
Apr 5, 2021 11:58:37 GMT -5
ZeldaTheSwordsman: It's why I want to put lights in all of mine
Apr 7, 2021 14:50:27 GMT -5
The Jade Fog, formerly: Dave: Those last comments reminded me of when I was a kid, we had a Tyco floodlight car and a C-430 with a bright cab light. We would run trains in darkness and set buildings and other trains to make a shadowland world passing by on the walls.
Apr 8, 2021 10:10:37 GMT -5
rbturner: It was warmer here than in Texas yesterday.
Apr 8, 2021 10:50:40 GMT -5
wks: I remember doing a similar situation with the floodlight car. Telephone poles and trees would look nice in those shadows. Can be recreated today.
Apr 8, 2021 14:11:41 GMT -5
yardmaster54: There is nothing like the light of a locomotive shining down the rails in the dark on your layout.
Apr 8, 2021 18:41:07 GMT -5
ZeldaTheSwordsman: Anyone own the Vollmer roundhouse and a protractor?
Apr 9, 2021 7:33:26 GMT -5
ZeldaTheSwordsman: I don't want to buy it just to measure the angle between the berths And even if I was up for buying it, don't have the cash right now.
Apr 11, 2021 0:06:07 GMT -5
ZeldaTheSwordsman: Thanks for the link tho, because the measurement info actually gave me the angle measure I was after. The berths are at 15-degree offsets which makes the outer angle at where they meet 165 degrees.
Apr 11, 2021 0:09:14 GMT -5