d372 ACE 3000 Part 2


Part 2 of 2 for the ACE 3000 saga.

Whether or not I’d build a tender was kind of up in the air for a while as I was already running out of parts even as I got close to finishing the locomotive. Nonetheless, I started building with what I had, and eventually it turned out such that, aside from the 60 1×2 grill bricks needed for the condensers, I only needed to buy a handful of pieces. I was even able to nearly finish off a second nose without much trouble.

While working on the tender, I also decided that both the engine and tender really needed decals. Several of them. Not only would they add that extra something, but they would also break the monotony of the big, flat sides. I laid out the NW logo (as shown in comic 461), railway name, and road number using a 3rd generation UP GTEL as a reference. I numbered the tender as 3001B, but I’m not totally sure if that’s the right convention. I have no idea how steam locomotive tenders were numbered.

After that was done, it was time to fix the appalling rolling performance caused by the heaviness and bigness of the thing. J and I had talked about using vegetable/olive/synthetic oils to lubricate the chassis several months ago, but I wasn’t too sure what to expect. I put a small dab of Mobil “Formula M” synthetic motor oil in every moving joint, and lo and behold it was like the coming of a second Lucky Star season. I was really impressed.

These videos don’t really do the transformation justice, but you can definitely see and hear the reduction in slowing and surging in and out of the turns. I’m also putting way less power into it in the second video:

Later, I also lubricated all the wheelsets under the tender. That didn’t do as much.

For the most part, there aren’t that many exciting construction details about the tender. The cab is exactly the same as the one on the locomotive. I was telling J that, despite the locomotive carbody, the tender still looks like a tender, and I’m not really sure why – it might be the lack of the big hanging fuel tank. The bogies have an articulation rather than a sliding wheelset, mainly because it was easier to build. The obligatory greebles are held on by 1×2 bricks with studs on both sides… in sand blue. There’s an attachment on the front bogie such that the “pipe” that “connects” the locomotive and tender stays aligned in turns. I wanted to put hoses between the two units as well, but they were too stiff and kept fouling or coming off.

The tender actually isn’t that stable when running: there’s a lot of wobbling around turns, and I’m not exactly sure why.

Overall, pretty happy with how this thing turned out aesthetically and functionally. It turned out well enough that I am rebuilding my other locomotive “properly” to scale with brick paper… we’ll see how that turns out next time. Along with the final batch of pictures, I took some video and stitched them together with Windows Movie Maker. I wanted to say that I was really annoyed that Movie Maker can’t crop footage, and that’s why the last segment isn’t cropped in the following video.

Next time I don’t know what. But J is coming back soon, so maybe we’ll see some posts from him.


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