I had already tested the new drive train and motor (less boiler) on a short piece of test track, but now it is time to reassemble everything and test the locomotive on the layout. As I have learned the hard way, always work out all the mechanical issues before painting the frame and wheels. It’s far too easy to nick up a good paint job while making adjustments.
So after reassembling everything I put the locomotive through a few test laps on the layout. The locomotive runs great and has no trouble with 24” radius curves. The new drive train parts are QUIET!, the noise of the wheels on the rails is louder than the motor and gearbox. In both forward and reverse the locomotive can creep along with no hint of any binding.
Here’s a photo of the locomotive on the track:
Now that it’s all together and running its time to take it all apart again and paint the frame and wheels…
When I paint the underframe I take everything apart and spray each part separately. So after taking everything apart, I dipped the frame and each wheel set in lacquer thinner to remove all traces of oil. I then scrubbed everything with soap and water and let it dry thoroughly.
For each wheel set I made a holder from a piece of cardstock. This served two functions, it made it easy to hold the wheel set, and it also protected the axle and bearing area from paint. I then applied Micro mask to the tires to protect them from paint. I also masked other areas including the crosshead guides and bearing seats. After masking everything I then airbrushed the parts.
Here are all the parts just as they are ready for baking:
After baking I sprayed a coat of dull coat on everything except the drivers. The drivers received a coat of gloss coat to prepare for the axle stars. After the decals were applied I finished off the drivers with dull coat.