Roster Advice (Model Steam Locomotives)

Discussion in 'HO Steam Locomotive General' started by rjthomas909, Jan 26, 2019.

  1. Thanks Greg. I’ll email you.
  2. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    Perfect. Just ordered a pair for the 0-6-0 and 2-8-0. Thanks for the great advice.
  3. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    The Bachmann 4-6-0 that I purchased originally had ATSF lettering:

    I am looking in the Frisco Archive and other posts for a close match. I am thinking about 514 or 680 for a number for the loco, and maybe moving the bell forward.



    Any thoughts on a closer match?

    Edit: Just leave it as 498?


    -Bob T.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
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  4. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    If you would get your scale rule, and measure the length and diameter of the boiler courses, the distance between the dome centers and stack, the wheel center distances, and the driver diameter, I will look through the diagrams. The valve gear will be the principal discrepancy to overcome. The Frisco's ten-wheelers with D-valves used Stephenson VG. The HO scale, brass locomotive importers in general have done a good job producing a range of steam models for the Frisco modeler. However,I have always wanted a good model of a Frisco 4-6-0. The scores of Frisco ten-wheelers were the mainstay power used on the road's numerous branch lines. Depending upon the class, the locomotives had a Cooper's rating of E27.5 - E40 , which made them ideal for the branch lines.
  5. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    Thanks Karl, I will make some measurements tonight after work.

    -Bob T.
  6. patrick flory

    patrick flory Member

    I’ve just come into this conversation and it is congruent with many of my thoughts and experiences as a only-steam modeler, not many of us left.

    In the days of yore, pre 1980 maybe, if you wanted a prototypical steam locomotive, you had two choices. Try to modify and superdetail a “Zamac” pot metal American made lump of lead kit, or get an actually prototypical brass import if you had big bux, and were lucky enough to like a popular road. In those days of DC operation and open frame motors, smooth slow speed operation was generally a remote possibility at best.

    Then Bachmann
  7. patrick flory

    patrick flory Member

    Oops, sent accidentally just now.


    Then Bachmann Spectrum engines came along with near brass detail and astronomically better operation (and pricing). They came right when brass was starting to recede as steam modeling began to fade. So what we ultimately got was fewer more generic engines, but ones that could actually operate at prototypical slow speeds with DCC fine tuning.

    I re-entered model railroading in 2007 after 41 years out, thinking I was going to have to deal with jerky operation Zamac engines again. DCC Spectrum engines were a wonderful surprise.

    Here I must confess that, as a primarily MP modeler, I am a guest here but hopefully some of my ideas may be found helpful.

    I began the same quest as Bob to achieve some kind of relatively prototypical MP steam roster. Having a solely branchline interest I started with Bachmann 2-8-0’s and 2-10-0’s. I realized quickly that the Bachmann 2-8-0, while somewhat resembling MP practice, was much heavier than anything MP ever had. I also noted that 2-8-0 numbers started at 1 and stopped at 173. So I invented the lost MP 180 class of heavy 2-8-0 and to this day four 180 class MP consolidations rock along my branch, engines that Bachmann copied for their model .

    MP had 8 Russian decapods but they were very significantly differing in many details from the Bachmann model. They were numbered 941 through 948 so I made my two the two that were lost in poor record keeping , numbers 94o and 949.

    I also opened up my branchline to USRA light 2-8-2’s since several nice models are available. I have two on my railroad now. I’ll talk about my other steam engines, including Frisco, soon.

    Pat Flory
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  8. patrick flory

    patrick flory Member

    ⚡️. I obviously don’t know how to post photos.
  9. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    I usually post to media album where you can then edit orientation and crop.
  10. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter


    Here are a few dimensions:

    Forward Boiler Course: 63" Diameter, 120" Length
    Rear Boiler Course : 72" Diameter, 120" Length (to forward cab wall)
    Overall Boiler Length (to forward cab wall): 288"

    Central Dome is Just Forward of Center Driver (~6" forward)
    Central Dome to Stack (centers) : 159"
    Forward Dome to Stack (centers): 57"

    Driver Spacing: 72"
    Driver Diameter: 54"

    Measured with calipers on assembled locomotive, so maybe +/- 3" for some measurements.

    Thanks Again,

    -Bob T.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
  11. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    The wheel base dimensions and driver diameter would be helpful too
  12. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    Sorry Karl. See edit above.
  13. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    I fixed it for you using Microsoft Office Picture Manager.
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  14. patrick flory

    patrick flory Member


    This one came out right for some reason
  15. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    Here's my start.

    I have a four-day weekend scheduled, and upon my return, I hope to get back to the spreadsheet.

    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
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  16. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    Thanks Karl! I will make the remainder of the measurements and fill out the spreadsheet completely for this model.

    -Bob T.
  17. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    Here are the dimensions of most of the Frisco Ten-Wheelers. I need to check another diagram book for some of the locomotives that are missing from this table. When the figures western clear, I took a best guess.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
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  18. patrick flory

    patrick flory Member

    I posted this in a media but it’s probably appropriate here too -

    These new standard line Bachmann ten wheelers are a big step down from the previous Spectrum engines, starting with molded on plumbing. The old Spectrum version with separate detail is a lot nicer, also includes cab figures, sliding cab windows, and tender footplate not included on the new ones. The headlight on the new ones looks brighter though. Not enough for me to be turned off by Bachmann ‘s downgrading of the nice former Spectrum Model. They also quit putting in alternate pilots and tender fuel loads. Plus the “sound Value “ decoder is on a starvation diet feature-wise compared to the Soundtraxx decoder in some of the Spectrums, basically now just choo-choo/woo-woo and that’s all. Be ready to want a Tsunami if you get the Sound Value one.

    I have 5 of the Spectrums and cannot bring myself to get one of the new ones.... even though the TP one kind of gets me going. There are Spectrums all the time on eBay and if I needed another one I’d go that route.
  19. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter


    Thanks for all of the advice. Been working on some initial decaling for a Bachmann Spectrum Consolidation and a Proto 2000 0-6-0. While the decals still need a little work to remove some areas of silvering around rivets, and a clear coat, they are coming along. Need some advice on the tiny decals for the headlight number boards....coat them with something first to stiffen?

    While difficult to say that these exactly match any prototype, I selected a couple of road numbers for coal burners. For the 0-6-0 the valve gear is not correct, I picked something with a coal tender. Also, the bell would need to be moved forward.

    At least we will have moved the needle in the right direction, adding more Frisco to the model railroad world.

    Still working on a road number for the ten-wheeler.

    Karls notes say 516-530 might be a better fit. I think it also will need tender wheel power pickups. Any advice on a source?

    Take care all,

    -Bob T.
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  20. patrick flory

    patrick flory Member

    I must say, these Bachmann locomotives run so smoothly, I can live with detail variations.

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