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Why 1905? There were two boom eras in narrow gauge, the mid-1880's and the early 1900's. I originally was trying to model narrow gauge in 1885. Bachmanns introduction of their wonderful Outside Frame 2-8-0 consolidation forced a move into the later boom era. Most common carrier narrow gauge was dead by the end of World War I and electrical headlights. The stock headlight can be modified into the earlier acetylene headlight of the early twentieth century.
A real acetylene headlight on the left and the stock electrical headlight above, we convert the stock headlight easily into the earlier headlight. There are commercial versions but are a pain to put the LED into them.
Below the spiffy Pcalrwy No 31. in 1905, cleaned and polished.
Removing the Headlight
Remove the smokebox front and disconnect the wires to the headlight leads and pull off the headlight
Pull the pipe out of the generator.
Remove the generator by cutting the front lugs with a NEW razor blade.
By leaving a large nub from the generator blending the nub into the smokebox is made easier.
Use a #55 drill (,052 dia) to drill a small hole in the back of the headlight to push out the lens and LED.
Remove the lens and the LED.
Making the base
Click to Download the Hole Template PDF requires Adobe Acrobat Reader
A template was made with the hole pattern of the original light. Rubber cement was used to glue it to a piece of 1/8" thick by .281 plastic. I am using a piece of Plastruct ABS but styrene will also work.
Mark the hole location with a scriber. Also mark the line which will be the centerline with the scriber.
Use a #55(.052 dia)drill bit for the six holes.
The two punch marks determine the centerline of the headlight.
Carefully connect the punch marks with a razor saw.
Deepen the groove with a half round file.
A #11 hobby knife handle is the right 5/16" diameter to finish the groove. Wrap it with sandpaper. Start with 220 grit. The groove should be about .040/.050 deep. Test fit the headlight as you work. Making sure it is parallel with the mounting holes.
Test fit the headlight in the holes. Snap the visor off the headlight.
Nip the mounting lugs of the base flush with the surface.
Clean the lug remains and the paint off the bottom of the headlight.
The headlight should seat down into the groove. It doesn't have to be perfect. The headlight should be level.
Glue the mounting lugs from the headlight into the holes from the bottom with liquid plastic cement.
Fill the topside of the holes with ACC Gel as a filler.
Test fit the headlight mount on the locomotive headlight bracket. Mine had to be adjusted to lie flat. File the lugs so it is a press fit. Eventually it will be held in place with a drop of ACC. Since the bracket is Delrin, the headlight can be removed later since the glue will not permanently stick to the bracket.
Cut the base to a width just inside the bend of the headlight bracket. The base is shaped with angled sides indicated by the yellow.
Glue the headlight on the base and enlarge the wire holes with a 1/16 dia drill.
Place the headlight on the bracket and make any adustments to the mounting lugs to align the headlight with the centerline of the loco.
Assemble the LED and lense into the headlight. Bend the leads to make it easier to feed into the hase.
The base should narrow toward the headlight.
Automotive putty is used to clean up the gaps. Sand the base smooth.
Carve a chimney out of 1/8x1/8 styrene and glue it to the top of the headlight.
Make chimney top out of .005 thick sheet metal and glue it to the chimney. Paint the headlight black. ACC it to the bracket.
I use a surface gauge to insure horizontal alignment of locomotive parts.
Filling the Smokestack Hole
Taper a piece of 1/16 dia rod to fit the hole in the smokestack.
Dip the rod into liquid plastic cement until it is gooey. Shove it into the hole. Let dry and file smooth.
Removing the Generator Nubs
Carefully sand down the remains of the generator nubs on the smokebox. Being black they will almost blend into the paint.
I take black and white acrylics and mix in metallic silver craft paint to match the paint on the smokebox. Apply it first to the stack because any mistakes will look like weathering.
Bell and Whistle Ropes
The cords are .008 dia wire taken from stranded wire. Strip the wire back about 2 inches.
The wire was dipped in Blacken-it to make the black. In handling them some of the finish comes off and they need a repaint.
I made a support from balsa to drill a hole in the whistle arm. It will break if you don't support the arm. If that happens flatten the broken end and glue it to the bell. That works. Use a #80 drill for the arm.
Tie a small piece of styrene to the wire. ACC it in place.
There are two holes for the ropes. Insert the wire from the inside of the cab by going through the cab window. Tie the ropes at the bell and whistle. Gently put a curve in the wire. It is soft enough to bend down and appear to be rope.
Filling the Tender Deck
Back-up lights were uncommon on 1900's locomotives. I removed the light from the tender and filled the hole with a piece of .040 thick styrene painted black
Adjusting the DCC
DCC should be adjusted for non-directional lighting. A Soundtraxx Tsunami needs the light to come on without the gradual buildup and the dynamo sound switched off.