Greetings friends and forumgoers, I'm back with the completion of another colonial-industrial locomotive project for my roster, this time taking one of Bachmann's Lil Big Hauler 0-4-0s;
...And turning it into something a bit less bright and shiny.
Starting this project requires stepping back in time a bit, to the time of ongoing work on my Aristo Columbia 2-4-2. The donor of a smaller 2-axle tender for that engine came from this chunky and squat friend, and is the second instance of tender robbing I have done with the LBH series of engines, since their tenders are nice and simple and generic and have the likenesses of real 2-axle tenders that have existed behind prototype motive power on real railways.
The result of such robbery turned a non-tank engine into a solo unit, which necessitated the need for water tanks astride the boiler, which prompted the acquisition of a saddle-tank shell from Bachmann parts.
Putting them together, resulted in this colorful clash.
An obvious detail, lack-thereof rather, that has always gotten my attention with these models, is the complete lack of crossheads and connecting rods, done in regards to the original intended market of younger generations. Some have added such linkage parts, but I personally liked the look of what could be an inside-cylinder locomotive, like that of a Bell Locomotive product.
Naturally, the next step was to see how one could emulate inside cylinders. This resulted in the removal of the green cylinders from their original mountings, and chopping them apart for test fittings.
The cylinders fit together beneath the frame, and even have open space between them to allow the long screw between the smokebox and frame to remain for (dis)assembly purposes.
The tops of the cylinders found happy homes on the otherwise blank sides of the cylinder saddle. Coinciding with these fittings was the cutting and mounting of factory-provided lowered coupler mounts front and rear to allow the locomotive to pull normal large scale rolling stock.
Very little space remains front and rear with the cylinders in among the motor block and pilotbeam, so additional detail work for otherwise unseen crossheads and motion gear was not necessary.
Next on the itinerary was removing the impish plastic bell-thing, as well as the plastic whistle and safety valves, and the front number plate. Then, following the immortal words of someone in the hobby online, I found that these models ARE much improved with coats of flat black paint.
After drying, a spare bell and hangar from a Hartland locomotive was mounted atop a round dome/hatch cap, and affixed to the original bell's place.
A bit more dignified, and still more work to come.