Those of you who have been around the site long enough may have seen my references to a loco I detailed long ago. Well, it ain't a figment of my imagination!
Rooting around unpacking moving boxes I found my baby: JP&T No. 102, a ZP-class 2-6-2 after her 1925 major shopping and renumbering as a "mutt".
Unfortunately, it is in disrepair. Fortunately, I have all the parts.
Here's the story. As a wee lad without the money for brass and yet inspired by Model Railroader and Model Railroad Craftsman, c. 1975, I bought my first steam loco kit: Pennsy 2-6-2 Roundhouse/MDC 2-6-2 . I really like the look of Pennsy fat boilers, Belpaire fireboxes, and the big cabs. (I don't like the PRR locos with the shorter cabs.)
Well, she ran. Grudgingly. Sometimes even through 18" radius curves without derailing. My dad had a friend who loosened up the mechanism some, and ground down some driver flanges, and it ran better.
As much as I like Pennsy steam, I liked better all the piping and external appliances. But I didn't know what it all was. Fortunately, I was able to travel to a well kept medium steam loco on display: 2-8-2 Steam Loco Illinois Central 1518. Unfortunately, back then the loco was enclosed behind a chainlink fence and it was challenging to try to sketch out a diagram of where everything seemed to go. Eventually, I removed the boiler from my kit and used my trusty Dremel to grind off cast on detail. Thus started a long-term superdetailing project. Until I got old enough to get a summer job, my allowance did not allow me to buy more than one or two Cal-Scale / Kemtron /Cary brass detail parts a month. I decided I like the boiler top check valve, lots of air cooling piping, lifting injectors, big steam turrets, smokebox front headlight, marker lamps, and many other gizmos. I attempted to create a full air brake system. I even detailed the cab even though I really couldn't see into the IC 2-8-2. I referenced brass locos in magazines.
I could not (or chose not to) afford pipe unions and such, so I made my own with Squadron sheet styrene.
Ironically, after saving my pennies to buy this kit at the then-princely sum of $40, I ended up buying upwards of $100 in detail parts and items to make this loco my own. I would head to Stan Walter's Stan's United Paints and Model Trains shop; Stan was not only a really good guy, he was also a Walthers dealer, from where I ordered my parts.
While the detail parts slowly went on, I realized that I did not like Pennsy tenders of the era, and discovered that railroads would add coal bunker capacity by raising the sides. I did so with sheet styrene, hand embossing the rivets with my math compass. (I sure didn't use it to study, as my grades showed.) [I also fashioned them while on a date! As it turned out, I was glad to have the model instead of her. Much less trouble and much more enjoyable. ]
Back then I did not develop patience to learn the skill to solder. But superglue had been released! With the new CA and old epoxy, I assembled this loco. That accounts for all the parts that have broken off.
Back then the trend was to heavily weather locos. You can tell I subscribed to that idea.
Enjoy the old girl. Even if I don't get it back together, it will hold down the RIP track as a monument to what I once was capable of. Enjoy No. 102!
Hee hee - note the HO wrench at the upper right of all th parts. I think I'll need it.