Nickel Plate Northerns

Stourbridge Lion Aug 15, 2006

  1. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter

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    From: geofross

    Have been quite a few of these engines on E Bay recently. Going for good prices too.

    Considering that they were not the finest examples of the Brass Builders Art, the amount of money they bring amazes me. I bought my first one for $150 and the dealer was glsd to get rid of it. This was in the 70's. The engine likes to shed parts as it limps down the track.

    Be aware that NPP had a recall of sorts for these engines. They offered a replacement front truck so the engine could negotiate 24" curves. The original truck shorted out on just about any curvature.

    The original truck was attached to the screw holding the frame to the boiler. The replacement is hung on a spring arm attached to the plate holding the drivers on. Make sure you get the replacement front truck if you buy one and want to run it.

    FYI for whatever it is worth.
     
  2. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter

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    From: champlaindivision

    I have one of these engines currently in the paint shop. Haven't heard of this front truck issue. How do I go about obtaining one of these trucks?

    Rick Shivik
    HO D&H Champlain Division
     
  3. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter

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    From: dave4664

    They can indeed be cantankerous models to run. If your layout has wide sweeping curves, like 36 inch radius and over....you will not have any "shorting" problems, even without the "new" truck set up. I have owned two of them over the years....it is possible to get them to run fairly well. I converted one of them to "can motor" drive with a flywheel. ( the original motors leave a lot to be desired. They were coupled to the gear box with flexable plastic tubeing )

    The "elephant ears" break off very easy, so if you are not good at soldering, watch out for those things. The driving rod screws should have a little "lock tite" applyed to the treads if you dont enjoy "throwing rods" at speed. No doubt about it...they are a challenge....but I think they look great, and really capture the look of the D&H "K class" 4-8-4.
     
  4. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter

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    From: geofross

    IIRC Nickel Plate Products is no longer in Business. If the Engine doesn't have the replacement truck you are probably out of luck.
     
  5. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter

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    From: geofross

    Yes they are just about the only accurate D & H Steam you can buy reasonably. They do look great painted.

    The rear truck is fragile and might fall apart , as mine did. As well as the ears.

    I converted to a can motor and flywheel, easy to do IIRC. The one thing they did right was the gearbox.
     
  6. Dan Ryan

    Dan Ryan TrainBoard Member

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    Hey I just got 1 of the NKP D&H 4-8-4 on ebay,im fitting with DCC and just finished painting today.Its the Key Imports 4-6-6-4 that are very hard to come by,
     
  7. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter

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    Post an Image when you get a chance

    :shade: :shade: :shade: :shade: ​
     
  8. Dan Ryan

    Dan Ryan TrainBoard Member

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    I just wanted to add so far in my journey with this model I have found what you all have said about its short commings is true(elephant ears" break off very easy,rear truck is fragile and might fall apart ,etc). On My NPK 4-8-4 I have replaced the gear box w/NWSLs 28-1 Mod 0.4 gear box, Im gonna continue to run the orignal motor due to is powerful and quiet compared to other motors out there. As for detailing the model does lack a few parts seen in many photos of D&H northerns. 1) there is a tube(auger unit cab stoker) like item under cab that is positioned wrong,moved to center under cab 2) replaced backhead detail w fresh brass and added PSC fire door/stoker 3144,mdrn brake stand 3179,turret ctl 3341,seats 3228,Cal scale blow off cocks 190-385to fire box sides,started valve 190-293,Air siginal hoses to loco/tender. Also added some fine wire & elec junction box to front of loco . Im running Lenz gold w backup power supply,made a circut board (from Radio ShackPCB etch sys) to elimnate hanging wires.

    Now I got a question for all of you,I painted and am decaling Rd # 300 on side in that same box there are classifcation letting I seen 1 photo showing that front # in that box is 1 the rear I can make out a "K-?" cant see the # any 1 know? I though a 62 cause its a class K-62 but not sure

    Ill post pics when done
     
  9. Geoff Ross

    Geoff Ross TrainBoard Member

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    It would be K62, that is the class of the engine on the D & H. Steam Engine classes during that period were done by Horsepower.

    One thing NKP left out were the lighted Numberboards on the side skirting. Very distinctive.

    On Page 112 of Sweetland's D & H in Color Vol 1 book, there is a closeup of the cab of a Challenger. The J 95 is in the bottom right corner of the box. J 95 was the Class designation for the challengers.

    The other number was a roman numeral designating the division the engine was assigned to.I being the Champlain Div, II the Susquehanna (Albany Binghamton) and III the Penn Division. I could be wrong on the division names, and might have them backwards.
     
  10. Geoff Ross

    Geoff Ross TrainBoard Member

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    BTW way back when I first procured the NKP engines I re motored them with Mashima motors from a diesel repower kit for athearn engines. Even used a flywheel. Used NWSL driveshafts and the original gearbox. Unfortunately I got lazy and stuck the motor mount I made from sheet brass onto the frame with double sided tape . I should have made insulated screw mounts. The double sided tape worked then, but 10+ years of storage the tape dried up. Bad Ju Ju.

    Thanks for the info Re NWSL gearbox, I need to replace the NKP ones on both my engines.
     
  11. Dan Ryan

    Dan Ryan TrainBoard Member

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    Thank you Geoff Ross for the infoit is much appreicated-ya iv seen the J class on item sold on ebay while back that was painted(I asked the seller befor he shipped off could he take close ups of it)seen a J 95 on it w III in other corner. Th ank you again. By the way im asking a sily question Is your ebay name K80geoff? Mines danr607.
     
  12. Geoff Ross

    Geoff Ross TrainBoard Member

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    :angel:

    That last auction for the Key Challenger was interesting. Same guy won after it was re listed? I got spam E mails offering the engine for less money from someone in England.

    Very strange that the seller could re list like that. Have to watch the Key units, they originally came with tenders that were too narrow. Key offered replacements but some are still out there with the skinny tenders.

    PSC units are much more accurate.
     
  13. Dan Ryan

    Dan Ryan TrainBoard Member

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    So that was you,LOL . Yes that is strange that it could be relisted like that.I watched but it went way higher than I could go 1200. way too much,I was hoping to see it stay down below 500, then I would have chanced it(It would have been a nite on the couch,1200 would be divorce papers lol) Id like to get 1 model of the challenger but a D&H not a UP .Have you seen the PSC Challenger-they must be more rare cause iv never seen. Iv contacted the Eddystone/Bradford loco works on build a challenger.I tryed to kitbash a Rivy to look like D&H ,put it down after some frustration,ill go back at it after the northern is done
     
  14. Geoff Ross

    Geoff Ross TrainBoard Member

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    I doubt you will ever see one for under $900. One sold a few months ago for just under $1000 but most go for around $1200.

    The PSC engines are newer and better detailed, and run and pull better.

    There are only 75 Key units, 50 painted and 25 unpainted. I don't know how many PSC units were made but probably ever fewer that Key. Compare that to 600 NKP Northerns and you can see why they are so pricey.

    Wish Athearn would make one, but they and everyone else insist on producing the larger UP engines. If they would do an early UP engine it would be closer to the D & H units. Oh well!
     
  15. Dan Ryan

    Dan Ryan TrainBoard Member

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    I think im gonna do some research on the PSC unit to see where to find. THe bowser model would be a good base for a kitbashed D&H challenger.Id love to scratch built a challenger out of brass,Stourdge Lion,etc its just the lack of prototype drawings.I have seen the manuel that a guy drawn up in the 40s of D&H locos,not enought info in them to build accurate model

    I just found out that there were only 30 PSC D&H challengers made,so more rare than the key units. I also come across a set of plans for a challenger(little pricey) and ordered a copy,mite throw my hand in at scratch building a brass challenger
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 10, 2006
  16. Geoff Ross

    Geoff Ross TrainBoard Member

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    OK Where did you find the Info, if you don't mind my asking. Only 30!

    The Bowser is probably the best bet, just need a tender. When Eddystone gets around to me I might just ask for a Challenger tender. He does accurate work.
     
  17. Dan Ryan

    Dan Ryan TrainBoard Member

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    I called PSC THey said they produced only 30 of 3 different roads D&H was 1 of them and they were made in 1993,they did not know of any dealer that had 1 in stock or even where to begin to look,they said try ebay , I laughed. I take by the sound that you already have one of those 2 make of model?How long you been on the list for eddystone?I just put my name on for a challenger.I still gonna get him to make me a model but it be cool to try scratch building 1.
     
  18. Geoff Ross

    Geoff Ross TrainBoard Member

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    I have a Key that I originally purchased in 1984 when they were made. Mine never received the correct tender. That's why I bid on the E bay unit, figuring to get one with the right tender and sell the other one. My tender is out there, it appeared on a Brass list years ago but someone else got there first. The original dealer pulled a fast one on me. Engine is nice but the tender looks out of place, too narrow.

    I also have a PSC I picked off E bay in 1999! Got lucky as it was unpainted and a painted one was up for grabs also. They have shown up, two last year but went for $$$! The PSC is a better engine IMHO.

    I guess I should lock them in a vault!

    If Eddystone ever gets to me my choice will be a D class ten wheeler. But I might request a Challenger tender also if he will do it.
     
  19. Dan Ryan

    Dan Ryan TrainBoard Member

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    Good luck in finding the correct tender.Thank you for that info on the lettering,I just finished the clear coat this morning.Ill post some pics when its all done.I you get the chance check out D&H model fourm,I posted pics of my OMI D&H PA4 that i painted.After the 4-8-4 is done ill take back up on my kitbashed rivy 4-6-6-4 to D&H.let ya know how that goes
     
  20. Dave4664

    Dave4664 TrainBoard Member

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    Bowser

    It IS possible to turn a Bowser Challenger into a D&H model. This is one I built around 20 years ago.

    [​IMG]
     

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