Bachmann 0-6-0 switcher #4439

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flyboy2610

Loveably weird
I have 4 Bachmann 0-6-0 switchers, 2 are DCC On-Board models, and 2 are straight DC models. I have two each of black paint scheme and passenger service greyhound scheme. Someday I may convert the two DC loco's to DCC, but not for now. The greyhound DCC decoder went belly-up so I'll have to replace it. The decoder in the DCC switcher is working fine, so I'm not going to replace it until it needs it.
I do want to do some weathering on this loco, though. It's just too shiny for the service life it had. This locomotive has the distinction of being the last steam locomotive Union Pacific operated in the Los Angeles area. I like to research the prototype before working on a model. I don't always model the prototype, but it's fun doing the research.
And wow, did Bachmann ever blow it on this one! I have a Bachmann 4-8-4 #806 in the greyhound scheme, and Bachmann did a pretty good job on that one. The 806 did in fact spend time in the greyhound scheme, and Bachmann even got the stripe color correct (yellow as opposed to white, which some loco's had.) The 806 also has the inglorious distinction of being the first FEF scrapped by the Union Pacific. :(
#4439 was built in 1918 by Baldwin. It was an oil burner with a Vanderbilt tender from the beginning.
Here is a pic of #4439 as it is today at the Travel Town transportation museum:
UP #4439.jpg


I have already disassembled the locomotive. The rubber band is to keep the rear of the frame together. There is a screw the goes from under the frame into the cab. When the cab is removed, the rear of the frame is not tightly together. I have also removed the roof.
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There are several glaring inconsistencies between the model and the prototype.
1: Bachmann gave the model a slope-back coal tender instead of the Vanderbilt oil tender it had since it's construction in 1918. What is particularly puzzling is that the 0-6-0's in the greyhound scheme, both DC and DCC, have Vanderbilt oil tenders! Why Bachmann could not have used that tender for this model is beyond me!
2: The headlight on the model is a can style light mounted on top of the smokebox in front of the stack. The headlight on the prototype is a parabolic style mounted in the center of the smokebox.
3: The model has the bell between domes 1 and 2, while the prototype has it right behind the stack.
4: The model has the whistle mounted between domes 2 and 3, while the prototype has it mounted on the left side of dome 2.
5: The firebox on the model is silver/graphite color, while the firebox on the prototype is black. This is also true for the smokebox. Only the door should be silver/graphite. Also, the front of the cylinders on the prototype are silver/graphite, while on the model they are black.
I was wondering how Bachmann could have gotten so far off on the details like this, and then I came across this picture, and knew right away what they had done:
up-4454_0-6-0_usra_up-photo-X2.jpg


The above photo is of a USRA type 0-6-0. Note the location of the headlight, bell, and whistle. They all match the locations on the model, but not the Baldwin prototype. :(
Moving the bell and whistle will be pretty easy, but the headlight will be more of a challenge. The model has a Lucite rod going up into the headlight to transmit light form the bulb, which is mounted on a plastic bracket attached to the front of the smoke unit box. I removed the smoke unit and popped the switch off of the back-head in the cab. I plan to highlight the molded piping in there. I'll have to think about this some.
Here's a pic of the current smokebox setup.
008.JPG


I could just drill out the center and mount an LED there with a small 'dish' for a reflector. The headlight could just be cut off, and the Lucite rod painted flat black.
The tender situation is simply unacceptable. As Ernest P. Worrell would say: "Noo, noo, noo, noo, noo!"
It appears I will get to practice painting and lettering a tender! This is the tender for the DCC greyhound 0-6-0. I will actually use the one for the DC greyhound 0-6-0.
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I will also need to make a mechanical modification. On the bottom of the frame there is a bulge where the main gear is located. This bulge hangs up on my Kadee uncoupling ramps. The ramps are located at the correct height above the rails, so I know they are not the issue. I have the installation gauge for the ramps, which places them properly. I will use a small file and slowly file lengthwise across the bulge until it appears that plastic is just about to be filed through. That should give clearance, but still provide protection against debris being ingested into the gear train.
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The uncoupling ramp.
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I think I'll start with the bulge on the frame.
 

KB02

Well-Known Member
The older versions of this loco didn't have that hump but rather were open to the air. I kept wanting to turn mine into a Cog Railway engine.
 

flyboy2610

Loveably weird
I have a steam engine that the gear is open to the air on the bottom. I think it's a Mantua. They're downstairs and I'm upstairs. But I think that's the one. I'm going to file this one down and hopefully get it to clear the uncoupler. Not tonight, though. It was a long, stressful day at work. I'm just veggin' right now.
I decided that instead of using one of the tenders I have for this project, I'm going to see what I can find at the train show in Beatrice, Ne. this Saturday. I've never been to this show, but my LHS owner says it's a pretty decent event. I also want to find a tender for the Athearn snow plow I bought last summer.
http://www.modelrailroadforums.com/forum/index.php?threads/athearn-up-rotary-plow.30478/#post-439238
 

flyboy2610

Loveably weird
I have not abandoned this project. I'm too pig-headed for that (just ask my wife). I filed down the hump under the drive gear and now it clears the uncoupling ramp just fine.
I couldn't find a tender at the Beatrice train show, so I decided to use the one from the non-DCC greyhound 0-6-0. I disassembled it and soaked it in denatured alcohol for a couple of days. Most of the paint came off with some scrubbing with an old toothbrush, but there were a couple of places where it just wouldn't budge! It was at that point that I did something stupid (yes, I know, what else is new?). I used some acetone. The paint came right off, and the plastic softened in spots. I immediately rinsed the tender parts off with water, but the spots where I had been holding the shell do show some 'irregularities', shall we say?
I think I will paint the tender with my airbrush tomorrow, using Testors Model Master Flat Engine Black. That should give a good finish. The spots that don't look so great will be explained away as battle damage. Both the tender and loco shell have been cleaned with soap and water, scrubbed with an old toothbrush, and thoroughly rinsed. They have since been handled only while wearing rubber gloves. The painting stand is adapted from an idea I got from Ron Marsh in one of his YouTube videos ( https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDIjWTVFM8adgHWDPwjrY0Q ). Hope you don't mind, Ron!
I used a piece of 2x8 lumber 12 inches long, and drilled some .140" holes 1/2" apart. I used a drill stop to drill them all the same depth. The uprights are 3" long pieces of 1/4" dowel. On the tender they are inserted into the truck mounting holes. You can also use bamboo skewers if the holes are small. The hole spacing allows me to adjust the width of the supports to use it on various items. I made the turntable from a couple pieces of 3/4" plywood and a bearing I got from the hardware store. The setup works quite well.
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I removed the headlight, bell, and whistle from the locomotive. I used some Testors contour putty to fill in the holes, and some 220 grit sandpaper and a hobby file to smooth the areas out. If they aren't perfect, that's OK. This switcher has had a hard life. I still need to mask off the smokebox door, and I'll put a piece of tape over the road number. I'll blend in the new and old paint around the number and weather it well. The roof will get painted as well.
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I used some styrene to fill in the hole left when I removed the smoke unit switch in the cab. This will be painted as well, then I will add some paint details inside the cab. I haven't decided yet whether or not to add an engineer and fireman. There's not a lot of room in there!
004.JPG


In the background you can see the locomotive sitting on the test track. I tried to run it on the track and adjust some CV's, and it wouldn't respond. No headlight, no movement, nothing. I examined it and found that one of the wires had broken off of the tab which is crewed to one side of the frame to pick up power. I soldered that back in place and put a piece of heat shrink tubing over the joint to strengthen and protect it. Almost immediately the OTHER side wire came off it's tab! I was getting ready to repair that one as well, when one of the headlight wires broke off, at the decoder. I barely touched the other headlight wire, and it broke off as well! I removed the heat-shrink tubing that Bachmann put over the decoder, and found that none of the wire locations are marked. While I was looking at it, one of the motor leads came off the decoder. At this point, I just clipped off the remaining wires and decided I will just get a new decoder.
So the loco will be painted, but it won't run until I get a new decoder.
 

flyboy2610

Loveably weird
I got the engine and tender painted with a base coat of Testors Model Master flat engine black. I probably should have stripped the decals off of the cab, but didn't. I painted the engine with the engine black, and let a bit of it get on the numbers to represent smoke and soot. A friend had a set of UP steam engine decals he used to do a steam engine. He had a lot left over on the sheet, so he said I could use what I needed. The numbers are white, not silver like the cab numbers on this model are, so I gave the engine another coat of paint to cover the numbers. There's a very light shadow if you look hard, but I think once I get the decals on and the engine weathered, it will be fine. I used a brush and repainted the smokebox door a flat steel enamel color, again from Testors, but in the little tiny bottles. I think it looks good. I decided not to try to detail the boiler backhead. I will let the engine dry for 24 hours, then tomorrow evening I will give the engine and tender a coat of clear gloss acrylic, Aztec brand from Testors, in preparation for decaling. After the decals are on, I'll give both a coat or two of Testors Model Master Acryl clear flat. My LHS owner is ordering me a bell and whistle. They should be here next weekend. I'll probably give them a brush coat of Testors brass enamel, along with the valve in front of the cab that got painted black. :oops:
I'm also going to add tender pickups. I like how this guy did them, and bought some centering springs to use for this project. The plan is to have pickups on all wheels.
http://www.pacificcoastairlinerr.com/1905/tender_wipers/
Is the Neo-Lube really necessary, though? I'll be using Intermountain wheels on the tender.
I also found the proper headlight and bracket for this switcher. I will be ordering those.
The left side.
001.JPG


The rear.
004.JPG


The right side.
002.JPG


The front.
003.JPG
 

Y3a

Stuck in the 1930's
If you plan to add decals you should have painted it GLOSS black (Scalecoat II). You can always go over it with a clear flat, sealing the decals in.
 

flyboy2610

Loveably weird
I got the decals on, and 2 light coats of matte finish applied. I still need to fix that rear brakeman platform, though. The whistle and bell didn't come in yet, so I had the headlight https://www.trainz.com/products/cal...ht-brass-castings-switcher-type-front-or-rear
and bracket https://www.trainz.com/products/cal...-bracket-brass-casting-standard-w-numberboard
added to the order. Those look like the closest I could find to the prototype. And if they aren't exactly correct, well... it's my railroad! But I think they'll do nicely. It's going to be fiddly getting those numbers on the number-board, though!
I spent the day finishing up the yard work, so now winter can set in and I won't feel guilty about spending time with my railroad stuff... not that I ever did anyway.
The left side.
001.JPG


The front.
002.JPG


The right side.
003.JPG


The rear.
004.JPG
 

flyboy2610

Loveably weird
Still waiting on the brass detail parts. :(
They've been ordered, but just haven't arrived yet. While I was at the train store, I bought a Digitrax DZ123 decoder for this project. The original Bachmann decoder is in the round file now. I also bought two two wire mini connectors, Miniatronics #50-001-02. I hope these prove flexible
I have decided to go a different route for the tender pickups. I installed the wheel wipers on one of the trucks, but to get good electrical continuity I gained a lot of rolling resistance. While this is a switch engine and will probably be moving no more than three cars at a time, I would still like to retain as much free rolling capability as possible. Some research turned up this idea:

These are available pre-made from modeltrainsounds.com, but I decided to make my own. I bought a piece of 1/8" diameter copper tube, K&S #8120, to make the pickups from. The inside diameter is just right for use with the Intermountain metal wheelsets I am using. This style of pickup will not work with Kadee metal wheelsets, because they have a plastic axle shaft. Because this style of pickup draws power from the axle and not the wheels themselves, it won't work. The pickups referenced in post #5 will work for Kadee wheelsets, but the non-conductive coating on the back of the Kadee wheels will have to be removed.
I first removed one wheel by pulling and twisting it off the axle shaft. On all 4 wheelsets, the insulated wheel was the one that came off. I recommend using some type of glove when removing the wheels, those flanges don't feel too good on bare skin! Here is one wheelset with the copper tube.
001.JPG


I cut 4 1/4" lengths of copper tube, and deburred the inside radius so that the axle spins freely in the tube. There is still a bit of resistance but not much. Using a larger diameter tube would reduce the resistance even further, but then the tubing could slip over the wheel insulator and cause a short circuit. I soldered a piece of small gauge, flexible stranded wire to the piece of tubing.
002.JPG


I installed the pickups with the solder joints on top of the pickups, and the wires going towards the center of the tender. The two front wheels on each truck pick up power from the right rail, and the rear wheels of each truck pick up power from the left rail. The wire from the outside wheelsets passes over the axle of the inner wheelsets. Make sure to install the wheelsets so that power is picked up from the rail you want. I realize that standard practice is to have both insulated wheels on the same side, but that would have had power from both wheelsets on one truck drawing power from the same rail. I fired up the DCC system on the test track and placed the tender on the rails. Nothing shorted out, so we'll see what happens when the loco goes into service.
003.JPG


Now, I need to pull the tender apart again and do the wiring.
 

wheeler1963

Aurora & Portland Owner
Very nice project. You're making very good progress. One observation on the wiring pickups though. You might want to consider a smaller gauge wire for those pickups. Those thick wires might lead to derailing problems on curves and switches.
 

flyboy2610

Loveably weird
Thanks, Jerome! I had thought of that, but these wires will be moving somewhat as the trucks turn. I am afraid that really small wires, such as are attached to decoders, might not stand up to the motion and break. I'll try these and If I run into issues, I'll replace them. They are pretty flexible, though.
 

flyboy2610

Loveably weird
Oh, my goodness! I haven't posted on this since December, 2018! :eek: :oops:
Of course, I haven't really done anything to this loco since December, 2018, either.
I tore down the old layout, moved everything around in the basement, been busy with life priorities, got to kit-bashing a loco shed into a shipping/receiving building.....
I must confess, too, that this loco got sort of buried under some piles, and well, you know how that goes!
I used a small drill and a pin vise to drill a hole through the center of the headlight casting. This was actually my second attempt at this, and my second headlight casting. No matter how steady you try to hold the casting, using a drill press does not work too well. 'Nuff said on that subject. Using a pin vise took a while but the hole came out where I wanted it to!
With the help of my faithful assistant, Wally, I got the casting soldered to the mount. I drilled a couple of holes through the smokebox door, and found it easier to just sort of combine them into one oblong hole with the aid of a very small round file. A bit of Gorilla Glue CA gel glued the casting to the smokebox door, after I had painted it engine black.
A full frontal view:
001.JPG


From the inside:
002.JPG


From the top:
003.JPG


Wally is bit perturbed because some paint got on his hand. I promised to clean it off with some denatured alcohol. (He can be so sensitive sometimes!)
004.JPG


I gave the front of the headlight mount a bit of gloss clear to help the decals adhere properly. I seem to have lost the '39' I cut from the decal sheet that Randy let me borrow. I think I'm going to order a sheet for my self, as I have a couple of other UP steam locos that will eventually make it onto the bench.
The plan for the headlight is to use a grain of wheat bulb with a resistor. After all decals are applied, and the loco weathered and sealed with flat clear, I will use some gloss silver paint inside the headlight casting to increase the reflectivity of the bulb. The bulb will be pushed through the hole in the headlight casting, and the wires secured inside the smokebox door with some putty. I will put a short length of heat shrink tubing on the wires to protect them.
If I can find the time this weekend, I want to start installing the decoder. We'll see.
 

flyboy2610

Loveably weird
Thanks, Patrick! I know it isn't perfect, but for the era I sort of somewhat kind of model, this little guy has been switching cars for almost 40 years! In that time it's bound to have gotten some dents and dings. I ordered the decals, so when they arrive I can put some numbers on the front. I think this will look good in the yard (when I finally get the layout built).
 

Espeefan

Well-Known Member
Nice to see others working on steamers. Good work! Bachmann bills this model as a USRA switcher, so it isn't terribly surprising that it doesn't match the UP model, but then you wouldn't have a project! Sometimes that lower priced stuff is often a composite model that follows no particular prototype. I have an MDC kit in my basement with a load of detail parts in the box that I have to get to some day if I can ever get all these others painted and layout ready! I've already filed off the cast on details, but it has sat for a long time, while other things displaced it, so don't feel like the Lone Ranger! I don't know if these will help you, but if I have issues, I often go over to Brasstrains.com and look for photos of the model I'm working on. They are a good place for resources and you can download their pics. They are also doing something railroad photographers didn't always do: show us details from all sides, top and bottom. They have several UP 0-6-0's up for sale at the moment. Here's one of them: Hope they help, if you need any!
UP 0-6-0 A.jpg
UP 0-6-0B.jpg
Tender A.jpg
 
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flyboy2610

Loveably weird
Thanks, Alan! Those are some nice looking models! I know what you mean about manufacturers taking 'liberties' with the models they produce. I just can't figure out why Bachmann gave this a sloped-back coal tender instead of a Vandy tender, when they sell that tender with some of the other 0-6-0's they produce. Oh, well.
 

flyboy2610

Loveably weird
Very nice project. You're making very good progress. One observation on the wiring pickups though. You might want to consider a smaller gauge wire for those pickups. Those thick wires might lead to derailing problems on curves and switches.
I tore apart some computer cables, got some pretty small gauge stranded wire, so I went ahead and swapped out the wires on the tender. That proved to be something of a pain in the neck, but I got 'er done!
001.JPG


Next I can wire in the decoder.
I might start weathering this loco once the paint booth is available. I have another project in there right now.
 

wheeler1963

Aurora & Portland Owner
I tore apart some computer cables, got some pretty small gauge stranded wire, so I went ahead and swapped out the wires on the tender. That proved to be something of a pain in the neck, but I got 'er done!
View attachment 37370

Next I can wire in the decoder.
I might start weathering this loco once the paint booth is available. I have another project in there right now.
You'll be glad you did in the long run. I know I had many problems using way too heavy wire when I first started doing my own fleet.
 

flyboy2610

Loveably weird
I started wiring in the decoder this afternoon after I got home from a long, hot, dusty day at work.
I got the motor leads hooked up, and the red and black power leads hooked up. I still have to wire in the cable from the tender. Preliminary observations lead me to think it will have to come out the backhead. I would like to leave it a few inches long so I can get the shell off if needed. Totally detaching the shell will involve some de-soldering. On a larger locomotive, I could connect another plug inside the shell, and just unplug the cable when the shell needs to be completely detached, but there isn't that kind of room here.
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I put the loco on my test track, fired up the NCE system, selected 'program track', and programmed the addresses, and CV's 2, 5, and 6, the three primary motor control CV's. I selected the loco, made sure it was in forward, and turned the thumbwheel to step 1. The 0-6-0 moved down the track with no problems at all! :D
My order from Microscale decals has shipped, so this weekend I should be able to put the loco number on the headlight bracket. It's gittin' thar!
 

flyboy2610

Loveably weird
Look what came in the mail today! My Microscale decals! I ordered some for this project, and I have an Athearn Alco PA A and B unit combo I need to do some work on. The A unit actually started as a powered Delaware & Hudson unit. I got that and the dummy B unit at the same time. I kept looking during train shows and found a dummy UP A unit for cheap. I bought it and swapped the shells. I now have an A&B set for UP. I'm thinking I'll repaint the D&H A unit into UP colors, and have an A-B-A set.
For the 0-6-0, I'm not sure which number size to use. The set that looks like it would fit best is pretty small. The next size up might be a bit too big for the front of the bracket. I guess I'll just have to see which works best. I'm not doing it tonight, though. I had a Monday on a Friday at work, and I'm done. Knowhutimean, Vern?
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flyboy2610

Loveably weird
Getting these little numbers properly positioned on that headlight bracket is just kickin' my butt! I have a nice lighted magnifier, and it's really helping, but this just ain't going too well!
There was 1 number on the sheet, 8444, of the correct size to fit the bracket. I managed to cut it wrong and ruin the "44" I was after! :mad:
Oh, well. There are several numbers for the 4000 class Big Boys. I carefully cut a "4" and applied it. Once I had it positioned, I let it dry thoroughly and tried to do the second "4". In the process, I messed them both up! :mad::mad:
By this time the bracket was showing some scratches, so I repainted it yesterday afternoon. After lunch today, I cut the "39" from the "3985" number and applied it. It stuck and seems to be holding. This is where it is staying! I'll let it dry overnight, then tomorrow after work, I'll give it very light spritzing of clear to seal it on. Then I'll apply the "4" to the left of the "39". I'll let it dry, spritz it with clear, and do the final "4".
This wasn't supposed to be such a pain! :(
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I also need to add the "UP" above the tender number, and the decal set includes water capacity decals. This tender has a 7,000 gallon water capacity, and I do have the correct decal.
I will complete this project! ;)
 




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