Kitbash a N&W Class W2 2-8-0

Discussion in 'HO Scale' started by scopewime, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. scopewime

    scopewime TrainBoard Member

    Hello al together,

    as the N&W and the coal roads in the appalachian, I am a mining engineer by profession, are my favorites i needed to get some small steam power which commonly served the tipples an hollows in the coal fields.
    As the N&W not really used Baldwin 2-8-0 I had to look out for something different. I found an old Bowser kit of a more generic 2-8-0 loco. This engine had the total length, boiler configuration and engine block shape of the N&W 2-8-0 Class W2. The photos of these engine were available in the net til a few month ago and so I had some references.

    The biggest concerns about the kit where...
    1. the boiler center line was way to high
    2. the cab was totally wrong
    3. the tender was not correct
    4. the driver size was to big

    I want to show here the progress I have made with this kit til I started the project some 3 jears ago.
    The problem with the driver sizes I decided not to change, because I do not have the tools and the expertise to change the driver wheel base by myself.
    So I assembled the drivers as the kit suggests.

    After that the boiler needed some reshaping, as on the engine 944 for instance the boiler side way was mounted in two parts, where the front part was lowered to the level of the cylinder block. The second, much bigger alteration was lowering the boiler for about 4mm. The kit had the boiler center line at a level of 10' 11", which is higher than most other engines in europe an US and far to high for an old fashioned 2-8-0. So I lowered the center line for about 4mm which resulted to a prototype hight of aout 9' 8".
    Here you can see the difference and I think it makes a more balanced impression of such an engine.

    Before the change 10' 11":

    After the change 9' 8":

    The next thing was to rebuild the cab. I made a lot of experiences in soldering brass and now I understand the price to be paied for a brass loco. Than I applicated some more details to the boiler. The next photo shows the loco fully equipped but still with the wrong tender:

    The tender is actually exchanged with a brass N&W Tender of the correct size and shape, which was soldered by some japanese supplier of excellent brass models.
    The next step I have to take is to get some paint on the mashine...
    the dcc sound decoder to be installed is on the way to my engine shop, as the motor is insulated, the pick-up is extended to all wheels (drivers and tender wheels), wiring is prepared...

    so stay tuned till the next post
  2. scopewime

    scopewime TrainBoard Member


    here are some brand new shots of the class w2 project.
    The engine already has some primer.

    the engineer is already looking forward to enter the cab:)
    looks like a good engine...
    the yellow cables are the preparation to install the sound decoder in the tender.

    I have a question concerning the wheels/ are they to painted/airbrushed best? rotating? or static? how do you paint your engines?

  3. scopewime

    scopewime TrainBoard Member

    For everybody who is interested and can read german ... here is a link to my private homepage....
    Have fun out there...

  4. scopewime

    scopewime TrainBoard Member

    Hello all enthusiats...

    now the monster from the coal fields has its habbit...

    IMG_6867.jpg IMG_6869.jpg
    Its black and shiny

    I love it, although my minor experience in airbrushing is evident i am proud of this black thing.


    greetings from germany

  5. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Thanks for sharing. It looks great.
  6. scopewime

    scopewime TrainBoard Member

    Another small step is taken...

    The stripes at drivers and platforms are ready...
    isn't that engine nice...
    and the red thing in the back is an oldtimer caboose kit from roundhouse which I build up parallel to the 2-8-0.
    Next will be to put some decals and get some weathering onto the scene. Has anybody hints concerning the "standard" numbers and data to be displayed on an engine like this?

    all the best from germany (we will win the eropean soccer championship)

  7. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    The W2s were numbered 673-799, 843, 866-869 and 880-949. They had 56" drivers, 40,163 tractive effort and weighed 175,100 lbs. I don't have any information on the tender capacities.
  8. scopewime

    scopewime TrainBoard Member

    Thank you r_i_straw,

    as I plan to use this engine on an virtual railroad called "Algoma & Wolff Creek Railroad AWC, the engine number will be different. But concerning the other data, what of these data were printed on which part of the loco.
    Actually I only know that the road name "Algoma & Wolff Creek", engine number "problably #10" and the road name abreviation "AWC" were displayed on the engines.
    On german engines there were sooo much data, everybody gets confused.

    Can you help me
  9. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    The Norfolk & Western was not know for putting a lot of data on their locomotives like many other railroads did. The locomotive number was the only showing on the side of the cab and "NORFOLK AND WESTERN" was all that was on the side of the tender. They put a small badge on the side of the steam cylinders that showed the locomotive class. The back of the tender showed the coal capacity in "TONS". That was about it.
  10. scopewime

    scopewime TrainBoard Member

    So now the decision is fallen,

    the engine displays the Class W2 N&W 948 from heavy mine run duties weathered but well maintained by the crew...


    therefore the white stripes where removed, rust and other operational stains applied and a light coat of dirt covered the whole thing.

    IMG_6882.jpg IMG_6884.jpg

    I am very pleased with the result so far. Only the decals keep to be somewhat shiny (?) any hint to tackle this problem?

    Next I will go and apply some matt clear finish, so I can grab the thing again, without heaving fear to decolor the engine again :)

    Greetings from germany

  11. scopewime

    scopewime TrainBoard Member

    Just for the fun of it,
    some better focused pictures of my monster from the mines.

    168-6887_IMG.JPG 168-6888_IMG.JPG
    168-6886_IMG.JPG 168-6889_IMG.JPG

    It is hard to believe, that this engine is originaly a roundhouse hariman standard 2-8-0 with much to big drivers, to high boiler, the wrong cabin, to small tender and produced at a time, when model railroading was more a fun-thing for kids. Today I have a lot of fun with this nice, but heavily altered 2-8-0 .... hihihi ...
    and in a few weeks it will have dcc and sound ....

    railroading is fun

  12. scopewime

    scopewime TrainBoard Member

    The few weeks are over, the dcc-decoder supplier was late -realy late - but finaly the engine has got a CT-Elektronik SL51-4 Sound decoder installed and operational. It is just a great feeling to have finished this project. The engine is a great shifter, because it starts to run at step 1 with a velocity of approximately 1" per Minute, which is really slow.
    I hoped to get this marvelous result and I am pleased with the reality. Still there is one thing to be done...
    I will install an extra weight inside the tender, as this part is too light and looses contact to often.

    Actually I start my next engine project - a Bowser Kit of the PRR L1s 2-8-2 - alterd to a sold engine for my projected branch line the

    Algoma & Wolff Creek Railroad (A&WC RR)

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