I've not had the pleasure of scratch building in some months due to other RR committments!┬* Mostly working on Pass. and Freight car kit designs┬*for Bronson Tate as well as researching some original colour schemes for Baldwins built for service in Australia.┬* The first of that two part series has just been released in the latest issue of 'Narrow Gauge Down Under'.┬* Check it out if you get a chance.
Which means I got time in the last 3 weeks to finish my Centennial Mason!┬* This was William Mason's entry into the Exhibition of science and Industry in 1876, celebrating 100 years of independance.┬* Baldwin supplied two locos for that event, and Porter supplied one.┬* All were narrow gauge locos, designed to run on the sharp curves of the exhibition grounds and haul trains full of visitors between the different pavilions.┬* The Bachmann 'Centennial' 4-4-0 is so named because that was┬*Baldwin's demo engine along with a 2-6-0.
It was noted during the course of the exhibition that while the little Mason Bogie performed extremely well, the lead drivers still suffered excessive flange wear despite the brand new patent design Mason had used on the chassis bearing.┬* This ultimatelt lead to the adoption of a pilot truck as first used on the 2-6-6T of the Denver South Park & Pacific RR.
After the exibition the 0-4-4T was dispatched to its new owner, The New York & Manhatten Beach RR.┬* That road bought two more to the same basic design a year later.┬* The only difference essentially was the addition of larger drive wheels.
See the reference at Tom Farin's Mason Bogie site for the photo of the Centennial loco and her sisters on the NY&MBRR.┬*┬*
Similar locos were also bought by the Boston Revere Beach & Lynn RR.
I had so many Mason Bogie bits lying around from the class, I felt I should use some of the left overs, also since we're running the original Mason Bogie pilots and cabs by Vance Bass, as part of the Bronson Tate kit lineup, I had another cab and pilot sample to try out!
The engine was built using the original drawings by William Mason for this loco.┬* The drawings predate the final loco, and as such there are some small changes that need to be made to adapt it to the finished version, but the drawings and excellent and provide a great basis to model from.┬* The 0-4-0 block is a stock Aristocraft Slope Back tendered 0-4-0, with much of my Mason class laser cut valve gear parts added, along with new cross heads.┬* The bell rig is brass casting developed for the class by Jim Barron.┬* All the rest is styrene and PVC pipes, all built basically to the same method as outlined in┬*my Masterclass.
Finally, while the Centennial Mason had 36" drivers, and the Aristo block is perfect for that application, the rest of this 0-4-4T design typically used 42" drivers.┬* If its of interest to you, the stock Hartland 4-4-0 block that can be purchased on its own from Hartland has a wheel size and spacing perfect for the larger wheeled versions.┬* Both versions are posible.
During the 1870s Mason developed a decorative style incorporating the geometric designs of Charles Eastlake.┬* Eastlake was a contemporary British Architect with a passion for Furniture design.┬* His wooden furniture featured neat and simple stylised plant and leaf detail which became very popular in the US, both in funiture style and architectural detailing during the 1870s.┬* Mason adopted some of that decorative style on his locomotives.┬* The famous decorative engines of the South Park are based on Mason's Eastlake designs, as is this Centennial 0-4-4T.┬* Yeah I know some of you will say.."nice but not my style", sure, but you need think about this in the context of the day.┬* So please enjoy it for what is is.
Anyway here's Mason's Centennial Locomotive: