Brass 2-8-2 Project

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Espeefan

Well-Known Member
I've had a pair of Mikes on the bench for a while now, brass models, one a paid project for a friend, and one for me. Here's a short photo essay of what happens:
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Still have some fine detail work decals, and a little light weathering to do. More photos when they're finished!
 

Espeefan

Well-Known Member
Those are pretty! Looks like a lot of work, but worth it.
Yes to both! They are a lot of work, but they are also the only way to get many steam locomotives that are correct. Over the years I got tired of foobies. I wanted the right models. Not to be condescending, we all do our best according to our budget, but I wanted what I wanted. It took some 20 years to get some of the models!
 

Sirfoldalot

Product Tester ACME INC.
Staff member
TOM -- I don't think that you can get near the detail in the brass diesels that you do with the steam. Stay with some of the well detailed plastic diesels and save your coin for the brass steamers.
 

CambriaArea51

Well-Known Member
P.S. Your UPS pup trailers are fantastic!
Years ago I went to Bowser in PA. seen those brass CSX and some steam locos and always liked them.Problem is the price has tripled since.
Thanks,I've had them for a few years now waiting on someone to make the shield decals.Finally found some,Not cheap either but one of a kind.
 

Espeefan

Well-Known Member
Years ago I went to Bowser in PA. seen those brass CSX and some steam locos and always liked them. Problem is the price has tripled since.
Thanks, I've had them for a few years now waiting on someone to make the shield decals. Finally found some, Not cheap either but one of a kind.
Vintage brass isn't terribly expensive. These are 1970-1980's models. If you look at the seventh pic down from the top you'll see a third 2-8-2 in the background, no tender. I found that model at a train show. $250.00 in the original box with tender. It'll get stripped and re-painted, a can motor and a decoder which bring it up to my current standards. The total investment will be close to the price of a modern plastic diesel with sound, or still comfortably below a modern plastic steamer or "brass hybrid" by Broadway or MTH. Sherrel is half right, vintage brass diesels don't approach the detail of modern plastic, and the drives can be a royal pain depending on who manufactured it, but the modern stuff is much more prototype specific and very nicely detailed. It is priced accordingly! Opinions vary widely. Some see brass as a "snob appeal" item. I resorted to it because it was the only way to get some of the models I wanted, mostly in steam and passenger equipment. Brass is also a great way to make things happen. Something you want not available in plastic? Buy the brass model. Next thing you know three manufacturer announce a plastic one! That's happened to me a couple of times, but most of what I wanted will never be done in plastic.
 

Y3a

Stuck in the 1930's
Did you swap to modern NWSL gearboxes? I regret not doing that to some of my engines.
 

Espeefan

Well-Known Member
Did you swap to modern NWSL gearboxes? I regret not doing that to some of my engines.
Sometimes but not always. Early PFM anything by KTM and a few other builders have pretty good gearboxes. Korean stuff on the other hand, not so much. Each model gets evaluated.
 

montanan

Whiskey Merchant
You've done some really nice work. Great looking steamers. I can appreciate all of the work that gets into them. Years ago I did a lot of custom painting and the work disassembling and reassembling them can be quite tedious, but well worth the time and effort when you see one going down the rails.
 

Sirfoldalot

Product Tester ACME INC.
Staff member
Very nice work, Alan -- doesn't seem to be many steamer fans on here - guess we are old news?
Chet has a couple that he runs on occasion ... Karl .... likewise!
Here is a foobie - SLSF did not have any 2-6-6-2's :
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Espeefan

Well-Known Member
Thanks fellas. It's always nice to have the work appreciated. I hope to finish the other one over vacation. That one is a paid project, and he wants things I didn't do to mine, so his is taking longer!

Nope the Frisco didn't have any 2-6-6-2's but that's a nice model! Who's? Nicely weathered too! Very subtle.

Not many steam fans, no. I guess we're aging out of the hobby. We mostly model what we remember. Still, at open houses and displays they draw a lot of interest, even and especially from kids. My guess is that the reasons similar to what took the prototype down. Cost vs cost of diesels. Low cost steam that runs reliably and lasts is getting hard to find. The new Broadway Limited stuff is in the $600.00-700.00 range which puts it out of reach of too many. Vintage brass can be had at a reasonable price, but usually requires painting and some work to run well and look good, and like Montanan said, the work required to disassemble and reassemble properly can be tedious and challenging. The skills required take time to learn. Another Forum member who hasn't posted in a long time (remember CJcrescent?) taught me mechanisms which took the longest time to learn. Parts for these older models are also getting hard to find. I've seen models being parted out on e-bay, and bring more in total sales than the intact model would have.

I've been doing brass for over 20 years. I guess it's my favorite part of the hobby.
 

PNKFLOYD

Mikey
Alan-
It is a treat to see your finished paint jobs. You have come a long way since Bob B helped you set up a paint booth in your basement.
I look forward to seeing the "other" paint job. Will it include weathering, too?
Wishing you and your family a great Holiday Season.
 

Espeefan

Well-Known Member
Mi Mikey! Merry Christmas to you and yours as well, and give my regards to your lovely wife!

Yes, I will post the other one when it's finished, but no weathering. That gentleman is a collector. He requires a shop fresh finish on everything. The closest we get to weathering on his projects is a flat coat on the running gear and tender trucks and a matte finish on the locomotive and tender. You should see his collection! He doesn't operate anything, however it is all operable. I visited his house on my recent trip to Monterrey. It was most impressive. All models are custom. With a very few exceptions, nothing is as it came out of the box. He gets details added and/or swapped so each piece is unique. I can only finish one a year for him. They get very involved. He stretches my skills!
 




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