Stone Hedge Locomotive No. 7 - the "Mister Calvin"

October, 2009.

The Stonehedge Railway gets a new Locomotive!
Stonehedge No. 7, named after the Supervisor of the Railroad, Mister Calvin:

Mr. Calvin says that he would like his full title to be: "Construction Supervisor, Head Watchman, and Chief Security Officer (guarding against all dangerous trespassers, such as squirrels and birds)" and so it shall be.

Calvin supervises during some early construction on the railroad:

I must give credit for the origin of this project to David Fletcher, thanks Dave! Dave first posted the "Quick & Dirty K27" back in 2002, soon after the Bachmann "Connie"outside frame Consolidation came out.

Here is Dave's creation, turning the "connie" into the "Quick & Dirty K27":

David Fletcher model and photo.

I love the look of that locomotive! Its not a 100% accurate K27, but that doesnt bother me..

Honestly, the Connie "as built" doesnt interest me much at all..I just dont care for the way it looks..And the Full-on K27, with the big slanted K27 cylinders, also doesnt interest me much.(Fletch later modeled the "full-on K27 bash" from the Connie, making it more accurate than the "quick & dirty version)
Photo of a real K27.

And im also not
interested in 1/20.3 scale (Fn3) "Colorado 3-foot gauge" modeling..I doubt I will ever actively model in 1/20.3 scale..(I have never even been to Colorado!) I have enough to last me (probably for life ;) with 1/29 scale diesels and Maine 2-footer modeling..

So im not interested in the Connie "as built", and im also not at all interested in modeling an actual K27..but! something about Fletch's "Quick & Dirty" K27 really "spoke" to me! to me, it looks so much better than a real K27! its "sleek and stylish"..I love keeping the original cylinders (as opposed to the later "slanted" big and clunky K27 cylinders.
(yes I do know the K27's originally had different cylinders! ;)

So as soon I saw the "Quick & Dirty" version back in 2002, I knew I had to build one! (or a similar bash anyway) So finally in September 2009 I was able to pick up a "Connie" for a very good price that I couldnt pass up..and the Connie is perhaps on the verge of being "out of production" I picked one up while I still had the chance..

I'm not even going to consider the finished model a "K27" at will simply be "Stonehedge No. 7", a large 2-8-2. Im not even concerned about the exact scale..using the K27 plans and the Bachman Big Hauler wood cab, it scales out to about 1/24 (if it was a K27)..which is fine with me. (I model diesels in 1/29 scale, but the Stonehedge Steam Locomotive fleet isnt really any specific scale! im simply not concerned about it.)

Photos of the Locomotive as it arrived, before any mods made..this is the Bachmann Spectrum outside frame 2-8-0 Consolidation, nicknamed "connie" by large scale modelers:

On the workbench: Deconstruction is about to begin:

October 29, 2009
Disassembly begins..

October 31, 2009
First step, reduce the width of the pilot. I cut the flat pilot deck away from the beam by "scoring and snapping" both sides, (top and bottom). Then reduce the width of the beam by cutting out 1 centemeter from both sides. overall pilot beam width is reduced from 14cm to 12cm. (the overall total width of the loco will be reduced, because the Annie wood cab is less wide than the original Connie cab.)

Coupler pocket is raised by cutting off top metal posts, insert remaining bottom posts into holes for top post. Annie pilot will be glued on.

I generally work on models only during the winter months..which in Rochester is 5 months long!  (the entire months of November, December, January, February & March) So thats a nice long season, but the other 7 months of the year are just too busy with other things, so this model, like many of my models, will probably be built over several winter seasons!)

November 5, 2009
Complete dissambly..remove boiler and cab from chassis. I used TOC's instructions, found here.

Comparison of the two cabs, (below) Im going to use a Bachman Big Hauler/Annie "wood cab" for the new 'bash. (wood cab on the left), original HUGE connie cab on the right. Thanks to Ralph Berg from MLS for trading cabs with me!  I traded a Big Hauler steel cab for a Big Hauler wood cab..(I still have another steel cab to trade for another wood cab! if anyone is interested..)


A note on Bachman Big Hauler cabs...There are two different versions of the Big Hauler *steel* cab..the older, original version "big hauler" steel cab, and the improved, better detailed "annie" steel cab..however there are not two versions of the wood cab! The older Big Hauler wood cab was already well-detailed enough that they didnt change it for the the older Big Hauler wood cabs, and the Annie *wood* cabs are exactly the same..

First look at the new cab in position:

November 15, 2009
Reduce the length of the pilot by 9mm.
by cutting out a chunck of the pilot deck, You can see the pencil lines, where im going to cut:

Now I need to re-attach the pilot to the frame..probably using some brass strip and screws on the underside. I went through 4 jewlers saw blades! to make 4 cuts.

November 28, 2009
After considering several options to re-attach the pilot to the frame (all parts are metal) I ended up using JB Weld to glue a large chunky square of styrene on the bottom..the pilot will be "weaker" than it was originally, and I probably shouldnt use the pilot to lift the locomotive! (I will have to grab it by the cylinders..) but its plenty strong enough for "normal" service..the photo below shows a custom-built styrene box, to hold the pilot level and horizontal while the glue drys:

December 1, 2009
Then a second piece of stryene was glued to the top of the pilot deck, glued with plastruct "weld" to the main styrene block underneath, for a bit of added strength.

December 2, 2009
Annie pilot is glued on, and the pilot truck is re-installed..Front end is complete!

A side view:

I will have to trim off a bit of the pilot truck spring supports, because they hit the pilot in curves..shouldnt be very noticable on the finished engine..

And a view (above) showing the original pilot looks much better shorter! (I did not change the pilot truck length..the truck is un-altered, except for trimming the springs a bit)

December 31, 2009
The new trailing truck sideframes are complete! (which also includes the sides of the firebox) Completely scratch built of styrene, and again, these are based on the drawings and instructions in Fletch's K27 bash article.

March 15, 2010
Grinding away at the metal of the frame, with a dremel grinder bit, and a hand file, so the sideframes can be glued on:

And this concludes "Winter Number 1"

February 18, 2011
Calvin "helps" as "we" work on "his" engine:

In the photo below, in the upper left corner, you can see the new stryene cab floor. The width of this piece was based on the width of the Bachmann wood cab. The cab is xxmm across, the floor needs to "stick out" ever so slightly from the sides of the cab (per general prototype practice) so I made the floor xxmm across, so that it sticks out xmm on each side:

Then, (also in the photo above) I cut down the width of the running boards to match the width of the cab deck..I didnt record how much I cut off each side, but I determined the cut positions by measuring the overall width across both running boards, when attached to the boiler, subtract the width of the cab deck (xmm), divide by 2, and that is the amount to trim off each running board, from the outside edge.

First test-fit of the cab with the new deck and running boards! all in proper proportion now..She is looking good!

And this concludes "Winter Number 2"

And now..a brief pause..

While I:
Wait to get laid-off from Kodak, after 17 years working there. (most of 2011)
Get laid off from Kodak (Spring 2012)
Make plans to go back to college full-time and train for a totally new career. (1st half of 2012)
Go back college full-time ( Fall 2012, all of 2013, Spring 2014)
Start an all-new career at age 45. (Summer 2014)

annnnd..four years later, we are back! :)
Here is Spring 2011, four years ago, where we left off:

and now,
Spring 2015:

(the model is exactly the same in both photos! ;) except the cab paint has been stripped.)

Ok then, back to work on this project...In addition to this Bachmann "connie" 2-8-0, I also have two Bachmann Spectum moguls, beautiful 2-6-0's. One I painted up myself:

And the other my Dad painted and weathered for his railroad:

(My Dad passed away in 2009, :( the locomotive is now mine)

The gear on the first mogul stripped..the locomotive wont move..a very common problem with Bachmann large scale engines..Since I already had one stripped gear on a mogul, a second mogul and a connie that will likely strip their gears eventually, and I already had the connie apart for this project, I made the decision to order three gears and just replace the connie gear while I had the locomotive disassembled! even though the gear hadnt actually failed yet...odds are good it will eventually fail, so I might as well just go ahead and replace it now, before I finish the project and put the locomotive back together..makes sense to me.

June 28, 2015.
Took out all the electronics, to prep the boiler shell for painting:

Doing the gear change! I got the North West Shortline gear, and used MIK's gear change directions:
Wasnt bad at all! all went smoothly.

Next, removing the handrails. I popped a question on MLS:
and got them removed.

The boiler is ready to go: up, painting the Russia Iron boiler.

August 22, 2015.

Got the Russia Iron applied! I used Testors Model Master buffing metalizer paint, in the spray can. I tested out "Stainless Steel" and "Gunmetal". The Stainless Steel was too light, but the Gunmetal, No. 1455, was perfect.

I waited for a cool and low-ish humidity summer day. (about 75F (24C) and 50% humidity, gorgeous weather for August!), and following the directions on the can, sprayed the boiler outdoors, waited an hour, then buffed it out with an old soft t-shirt cut up into strips. It turned out really nice! Im very happy with the results:

Before painting, I removed the brass boiler bands, and masked off the smokebox and stack. (a third boiler band will be scratch-built from brass strip) I was hoping there would be a bit more a contrast/difference between the boiler and smokebox color, but I still really like the look.

I have a page about Russia Iron here:  Russia Iron.

Next up, re-assembly will begin!

November 28, 2015.

The partially re-assembled locomotives makes its first test-run in the 2-8-2 configuration. Ran fine on the Garden Factory holiday railroad. This would also be the first, last, and only time the locomotive ever ran on track power.

October 2016

The battery and sound car is underway! :) I'm converting a USA trains reefer into a trailing battery and sound car, that will be used with all my steam locomotives. Airwire for control, and Phoenix P8 sound.

September 9, 2017

The cab is re-painted, and the cab and tender receive their lettering. Calvin poses with his namesake locomotive:

September 13, 2017

First test-run of the sound car! it's working great!


All that is left now is to neaten up the wiring, install the plugs/connectors between the battery car and the locomotive, and get all the details back on the locomotive. The project is nearly done..

December 9, 2017

The locomotive and sound-car are complete! (except for painting of the sound car, I cant do that in the winter, because its too cold outside, so that will have to wait for Spring.)

The completed locomotive and sound car had their first run, in their completed form, at the RIT train show in Rochester on December 9, 2017:

December 16, 2017

And a week later, the locomotive ran again at the Garden Factory Holiday railroad. This project turned out great! i'm very happy with the locomotive and the sound/battery car. My other steam locomotives will now be modified to work with the sound/battery car, this one car will power all of my steam locomotives.


And that's everything! Thanks for stopping by..