A classic Bowser kit: PRR A5

Schraddel Nov 13, 2009

  1. dottney

    dottney TrainBoard Member

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    Marvelous job. I really like all the brass fittings you put on it. Can't wait to see it painted up.
    Dave
     
  2. Schraddel

    Schraddel TrainBoard Member

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    PRR A5 Part 8

    l

    [​IMG]

    So i made the wipers for the tender trucks. At first i drilled 0.4mm holes in the plastic trucks. Then pressed small pieces of 0.5mm brass wire into this bores so it will press fit and give a soldering basis for the wipers. The wipres are made of 0.1mm copper sheet, bent an soldered mechanically to the brass. An electric wire ist soldered too.

    Left of the vice you can see a part of the tender bottom i made. In the rear there ist the tender shell upside down. The two wires come from the LED in the back up light. The plastic sheet inside is for electric insulation to keep the smoke inside the decoder.
    There also are plastic rods glued on the sideswalls to made a pedestal for the bottom.


    [​IMG]

    The weight control by kitchen scale. 273 metric gramms.
    I marked the electric wires for not become confused as all wires are black.
    Also a first coat of paint was applied. Because i have no airbrush this was done with an ordionary brush.



    Next problem was the spark arrestor. On prototype photos you see a kind of sieve in a half globular form.
    But how to made it? It should not be to coarse.
    The idea came when i had to renew the valve of the shower armature in the bathroom because the valve was untight. After installing the new valve, i dismantled the old one anf found this sieve inside:

    [​IMG]

    Hello, i said the structure is just right.
    You only have to give it a new shape. I did it by taking an old bearing bush, a pin with a rounded head and my drill press:

    [​IMG]

    So i pressed.

    (continued part 9)
     
  3. Schraddel

    Schraddel TrainBoard Member

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    PRR A5 Part 9

    Then cut the portion i needed off with a mini drill (! Wear Eye Protection Glasses!)

    [​IMG]



    Glueing it on as the sieve is made of stainless stell and not solderable.

    [​IMG]

    O.k. here is the spark arrestor.



    As an example for wiring this photo of an prussian P8 shows the same what i have done with the A5:
    [​IMG]

    There i made two 8-pin sockets. The first was soldered to the wires out of the loco. The second got the wires from the tender pickups an the tender lamp soldered aside so that the first plug still can plug into the second one. So you can easyly disconnect loco and tender. You also have an NMRA decoder socket too.

    [​IMG]

    After coupling the tender and a blind plug i started test runs on analog mode.

    (to be continued)

    Greetings Lutz
     
  4. rickb326

    rickb326 TrainBoard Member

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    Lutz,
    I have to say that this is by far the most amazing Bowser kit that I have ever seen and it's all because of your modifications. I have a few Bowser engines that I want to build, I could only wish that they would come out half as good.
    Rick Bennett
     
  5. watash

    watash Passed away March 7, 2010 TrainBoard Supporter In Memoriam

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    Hellow Lutz,
    I am proud to see you have great skill and craftsmanship to make for your little emgine tiny Jewelery finding details. Yes!
     
  6. Schraddel

    Schraddel TrainBoard Member

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    PRR A5 Part 10

    Hello Folks!

    This was the phase of test running. At first in analog mode to see in a very critcal manner how the mechanism works. Also the current pick up on switches without live frogs. It worked very well to my satisfaction an runs smoothly even on speeds down to a mere creep.

    The next step was to install a DCC decoder. I selected an ESU Lopi Basic. It has an very good Back EMF, essential for switching by creeping.
    It took me some time programming the CV values to meet my satisfaction. The most time was programming the PID CV values for the motor management. You have to do it in try-and-error mode, programm, test run, programm again, test run again until it fits.

    [​IMG]

    There was still some finishing to do. Painting the crew and fit them. Also painting the smokebox with very dark grey. Windows were cut out of thin plastic sheet from shirt collar packages. Lettering was included as sliding decals in the kit. I chose a quiet day to to fit the jewels to the marker lights casings. At least some painting with clear matte laquer was done.

    Here are photos of the finished model:
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    I hope you enjoyed my report about building this old school kit and the upgradings i made to meet the standards of today.

    Greetings Lutz
     
  7. puddlejumper

    puddlejumper TrainBoard Member

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    Truly amazing. Are you ready to start building one for me?:tb-cool:

    Dave
     
  8. Flash Blackman

    Flash Blackman Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Brass Details in the Bowser Kit

    Schraddel: I linked this thread to some friends in the local club and they also give their kudos on a model most well done.

    One of the issues raised was whether or not all the brass in this photo came with the kit? I said that I thought that you added a lot of the brass details, too. Is that correct? Thanks.
     
  9. Schraddel

    Schraddel TrainBoard Member

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    Yes, i can do so Dave. But aware the shipping costs States - Germany and back :shock:.

    Lutz
     
  10. Schraddel

    Schraddel TrainBoard Member

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    Hello!
    There are exact 7 additional brass castings i mounted. 4 brake shoes, 2 leaf springs and 1 injector below the left side of the cab. Also i used additional brass and copper wire. All other brass castings came with the kit.

    And there are several brass parts i don't use; the 3 coal bunker extensions as seen in the foreground right and the brass rail stancions.

    Lutz
     
  11. chooch.42

    chooch.42 TrainBoard Member

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    Beautiful work, Lutz, on this PRR steam work-pony! Just an interjection, Flash...Bowser sold it's steamers in basic form, or as upgraded "Superdetailed" kits, including valve gear kit and all the brass parts (I believe English/Bowser bought Cal-Scale some time ago) shown in the photo. I think Lutz did some beautiful additions to the mechanical and visual details as pointed out in his posts. With your examples and craftsmanship, Lutz, it is doubly sad that Bowser has discontinued these kits due to lack of sales. Thanks for showing us what is possible! Bob C.
     
  12. Schraddel

    Schraddel TrainBoard Member

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    Hello Bob C.

    Really i had another Bowser kit built before, a PRR L1 Mikado. This was a De Luxe Kit with riveted steam gear an all brass parts included. If there are interests, i can describe how i build this kit. But there are only a few photos of the later building phases because i had no camera at this time i start doing this kit.

    I bought this A5 really marked as "Standard Kit" with the all the brass parts included as pictured from my dealer here in Germany.

    Yes it is really a pity that Bowser don't made these kits anymore. But i mean this old school kits have had their time. In comparison with modern RTR steam models they are rather coarse and antique.
    And as you wrote these kits need craftmanship to complete properly.

    If Bowser would offer steam locomotive kits in the future, they should be complete new constructions from ground up. Completely new drive train, new running gear with sprung axles, new castings an detailing items.
    This mean also expensive investments for Bowser and if it would pay herself to the break even point. In times of relatively cheap imported RTR steamers it is an unsafe thing is my opinion.


    [​IMG]


    So long
    Lutz
     
  13. watash

    watash Passed away March 7, 2010 TrainBoard Supporter In Memoriam

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    Excellent work Lutz !!!

    Do you have photos of how you made the drivers to be sprung?

    That would help a lot of us who can not have flat track.

    Thanks, Watash
     
  14. Trace Fork

    Trace Fork TrainBoard Member

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    You have created a gem of a model Lutz. Your work is spectacular!!!
     
  15. Schraddel

    Schraddel TrainBoard Member

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    Hello Watash!

    Yes i do:

    [​IMG]

    This is the running gear of a H0 Fleischmann Class 65 Deutsche Bundesbahn from underneath. In this case i made the Springs out of a brass stripe working on the two inner axles.

    But before you have to mill the axle bearings so that they can travel up and down. But be careful when milling, never allow them to move back and forth! This causes bind and irregular running.
    In most cases i use spiral springs. Above the axles i drill holes with a diameter a little bigger than the outside diameter of the spring. The holes are not going through because you need a fixing point for the spring. So made them as deep as the frame would allow. You will have to shorten the springs by try and error mode until they have the matching tension to press down the axle on the rails and bear the part of the weight of the loco they should do.

    The other part is to made one of the axles rocking.
    This photo may help:
    [​IMG]
    Look to the right axle. A simple piece of brass wire bears now the weight of the loco on the front axle in the middle. The axle now can rock in a sideway manner.
    Thus creating all wheels staying on the railheads even on worse or poorly laid track

    Greetings Lutz
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2010
  16. Tim Loutzenhiser

    Tim Loutzenhiser TrainBoard Supporter

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    Beautiful, Lutz. I built some of the Model Die Casting kits years ago when I was modeling the B&O around 1900. I added some basic details such as sand lines and they still look good. I wonder if any of these kits are still around at some hobby shops or out on Ebay?
     
  17. chooch.42

    chooch.42 TrainBoard Member

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    Greetings, Lutz. Remarkable ! My FIRST HO steamer was the L-1, by Penn-Line (in 1958, assembled, no superdetails, about $30)!, unfortunately long since lost. Your A-5 was, if I remember, the last of the "new" Bowser steamers, produced after English bought Bowser's assets. It's tooling should have been better/newer and it was only (I think) sold as a complete with superdetail kit. Much of the Bowser tooling for PRR kits (and RTR) survived with only minor refurbishment, from Penn-Line, including the dated-but-reliable and powerful Pittman open frame motors. Being kits, die-cast, prototype specific and relatively low cost, market competition was non-existent, and so was incentive to invest in updated tooling and technology. With current economic conditions, and most "new" customers wanting everything "R-T-R, in my favorite prototype/railroad", with sound/DCC, etc., the cost to bring these products - even as kits - into the 21st century would be prohibitive. I just wish,for "Old-school" and less pecunious, or more craft-centric modelers, English or someone else, could have - with minimum investment in maintaining quality - continued making at least the kits. Most PRR steam on the market now is beautiful, but expensive and with spotty or limited availability. Brass is very costly, rare, of uncertain quality and mechanism and - other than "used" - unfeasable for even moderate sized layouts. I would love to see the photos of your L-1 project, but your methods of "tuning" loco suspensions and gear is priceless and most enlightening. Please excuse me now - I've a beer to cry into ! Bob C.
     
  18. watash

    watash Passed away March 7, 2010 TrainBoard Supporter In Memoriam

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    Greetings Lutz,
    I understand your method. Your work is great! I was interested in gears and running, so did not really get into detailing like you do. Maybe I will learn from you. Thanks.
    Have you ever experimented with making all of the linkage necessary to "equalize" all the wheels like the real engines were made?
    If you did, it was your best runner and best puller, wasn't it? With each wheel carrying part of the total weight of the engine, it gave greater traction than only 3 wheels, as in a solid frame would.
    My father and I tried different methods, including "all wheels sprung". That got a lot of laughs but was useless as a runner. When starting forward the engine tilted up. When stopping, the engine tilted down making the metal pilot, (cow-catcher), short out across the rails. If the track had any tilt to one side, the emgine would lean way over and sometimes fall over. It was top heavy!
    Your method is the best in the end.
    Mechanically, a 3-point suspension is the most stable.
    .
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 5, 2010
  19. Schraddel

    Schraddel TrainBoard Member

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    Hello Watash!
    In this direction i did some bashing too. There is the typical European freight car, some 40' long, but only 4 wheels and a long wheelbase which made me thinking of this problem. The cheapest way for the model manufacturers is to bear all axles rigid and add high flanges to prevent the wheels from leaving track.
    You know only 3 of the wheels have actually contact to the railhead, the fourth wheel has "airtime". Ever.
    First thinking was to made them all sprung loaded. But thinking really about the problem there are three possibilities:

    1) The weight force of the car and the force of the springs are equal as on the prototype.
    2) Spring force is stronger than weight.
    3) Spring force is weaker than weight.

    To 1): It did'nt work because the mass of the models is to small. And if you get exacteley the balance of the forces it will became unstable. As you about your experiences.

    To 2): Forget it. It is exact the same as if you have no springs. It will stay rigid because there is not any compression on the springs.

    To 3): That is to my opinion the only way to get working sprung action. The springs will be fully compressed by the weight of the car. At a first glance there will be no sprung action, but if the car rolls on uneven track the spring will press exactly this one wheel to the railhead which will otherwisse have "airtime". So all wheels will stay on the rails every time.

    So try to fit your "all wheels sprung" engine with softer springs which will be fully compressed by the engine weight and test run her again.

    I did similar modification on my Spectrum Russian Decapod. The current pick up was rather poor as i run her out of the box although there were wipers on all drivers. I opened the engine and discovered the first, the second and the fifth axle were sprung loaded, the third and fourth axles were rigid. But the springs could'nt work because the bottom plate allowed no sprung travel. So i took a file and removed app. 1mm off from the bottom plate beneath the axles to get the spring loaded axles the needed space to travel up and down. Thereafter the current pick up was excellent.

    Greetings Lutz
     
  20. Schraddel

    Schraddel TrainBoard Member

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    O.K. Bob C.
    I will do so if this baby will let some time for me:

    http://waggonfabrik.eu



    Greetings Lutz
     

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