Aug 15, 2006
I received my Hallmark UP Veranda. Thanks a lot John Cubbin!
Here are some pictures...
Looks nice don't they! Jeff Merrill and myself got them a couple weeks ago from the Hallmark store too. For the price, they will make a nice background model, or something to put near the roundhouse.
I got mine for the trucks alone.
The Tender looks really nice and sure for this price you can't expect a better deal.
If we could only get somebody to step up and contract this Chinese supplier that Lionel supposedly contracted, we could get something done. The tender is much more detailed than the loco but the trucks look good on both. A shot of dull coat on the loco will kill that shine.
For me, the thing that kills the look of the engine is the railing. Its way too think. Maybe somebody can make some metal etching for it.
i was looking at the turbine again to night -- this is NOT going to be a difficult conversion to power. after looking at the trucks i think i've figured it out and it looks to be simple! i mean that. if i could catch half a day i could have this thing running -- BBBB -- no question.
warning: you have to cut the long screw lugs out of the turbine body to fit the GP-35 chassis. DO NOT BEND THEM TO BREAK THEM OFF, THEY WILL TEAR AWAY FROM THE TOP AND LEAVE A HOLE. i know.
cut with a dremel tool around the base however you can (even cut into both sides with a wide cutting disk) and rock the lugs side to side but ONLY if they look like their going to stress and break at or above the cuts. once this much is done you can grind down the nubs to the level of the top of the shell. then grind off about 1/16" of the center lug (where the "eye" for hanging it as an ornament was) and a GP-35 will slip right in. there's more to do, obvoiusly, but this is hardest part. more later.
Has anyone measured the trucks for sizing onto the GP-35? If Robert could do a GP-30 mod, and put those sideframes on it, and paint it Milwaukee Road, now that would be nice!! Didn't the Soo Line have GP-30's with Alco trucks too? Hmm.
the details on the turbine trucks are the closest (and best) thing to date. the trucks are just a little long, but they can work. when i used MTL BX trucks to make my GP-35 have the "alco" look, they were just a little short!
to fit new frame details on the MTL trucks, first file the MTL truck side frame details smooth (as thin as i could without breaking them). after removing the individual side frame from the "new" (turbine) truck frames, file the inside to thin them a bit. i used Pliobond to attach the "new" frames to the prepared MTL truck. you need to retain as much of the MTL truck frame as you can for durability and strength.
on thing you might do is trim (if necessary) the very END details from the new sideframe (the brake detail hanging down). this can buy you a little more correct truck length but at a compromise on the detail. i wouldn't think it would be necessary to do this for a GP-35, though with modifying the trucks to fit/swivel on the turbine setup i think it may be required. we'll see.
hope this helps.
What I want the trucks for is to make a couple RS-1's out of GP7 mechanisms when they are available. Since the GP7 is not going to be the TT version, I can modify the tank to box it up a bit leaving the air tanks, do Dave's truck sideframe mod with the veranda trucks, and I only have to worry about making the shells.
The shells will be a hard project, so it will not be a weekend project, but I think I can do it.
The AAR B trucks or ALco trucks were actually about 1' 3" longer than the Blombergs weren't they. That won't keep me from using them, but just something to think about. The trucks on the Hallmark "model" are what I used to scale it out to about 1/209 scale (at least that the number I remember it coming out to).
Does anyone know if the Veranda turbines were used at all with the bigger, less cylindrical, converted steam loco tenders like some of the other turbines used?
Here's a few links on the UP turbine program in general for anyone looking for more info on these unique units:
I picked up a set of ornaments today and have been staring at the Turbine. I think I'm going to convert one to a full cowl unit:
This solves the issue of fitting a mechanism in the center, solves the problem of carving off the cast in railings and maintaining door detail, and also moves the steps away from the center trucks that will end up being powered. I'm no turbine expert, but the roof and nose should be similar if not identical, and cutting out the veranda sides and building them back with styrene will be simple enough. It also looks like N scale Plano E/F unit grills will give the proper look for the stainless grills on these units.
Veranda-less Screen Door Version ;-)
While you are at it Mike, maybe you can do something about the windows. Once you drill out and dremel them clean, there will be a huge dash area. Another possibility is to cut clear plastic sheet to fir, and paint the inside black?
This is definetly going to be a good project, and if yours works out OK, I might do one too! I did not buy the tender, just the loco, and really only for the truck sideframes, but the X57 looks like a good project choice!
Yeah, the windows do need to be flushed up... Notice I also have to create cab doors, and a rear door with window. I may do something goofy like fill them all in with putty to bring them flush and then cut some gloss black decal paper to the shape of each window and put them on last after weathering. They will be flush that way, and the illusion may just work.
I've got my shell sitting in alcohol now. The paint is very thick, so I'm curious to see how sharp the casting is under all that paint. I may be filing some rivets and other details off just so it doesn't look so "prickly."
That looks very promising. Great Idea. Regarding the paint It could be powder coated, if it is your only choice will be to burn it out or use some very strong chemicals, Keep us posted on your progress.
wow, way to jump into Z scale head first. You gonna do some etching for the sides? and how about a power chassis, which one?
If Mark ever does a Berkshire shell for the Marklin 2-8-2, those tender trucks will be handy.
Just looked and Hallmark makes a Berkshire ornament.
It's been sitting in 70% alcohol overnight. The "paint" is soft enough to scrape off with some persuasion, but is certainly not falling off in sheets. I picked off what I could, and tossed it back in. The mounting lugs for the piping on the top are plastic, and it looked like they'd get destroyed trying to remove them, so I'm hoping I don't have to bring out the brake fluid or anything.
The good news is that the casting looks great underneath the paint. There are more rivets that dissapeared, and there is even the outline of a front nose door that was entirely filled smooth with paint. I hope the roof is nice and sharp too, but the two layers of paint arn't coming off yet...
Looks like I won't need to if I want to leave off the bling:
As far as a power chassis... I have no idea. I looked up the discussion on the yahoogroup and most were talking about the GP-35 chassis. I know how to change truck sideframes, but I doubt the turck centers are correct without shortening the chassis. Don't even know if that's possible with the MT mechanism. My F units should get here tomorrow or Tuesday... maybe there's some tweaking that could be done there. With styrene sides I would assume the F chassis would fit under there... and you did say that they pull really well.
Hallmark made a Berk? Most of their steam offerings in this series have been closer to N. The NYC Hudson and Reading T1 Northern certainly were. They've done an 0-6-0 and a N&W J and an SP GS-4... but I don't remember the Berk...
And since when has a lack of proper boiler shells ever stopped you?
can you post a photo of the naked shell?