Railflyer Model Prototypes Construction Update, Part IV

BN 2154, now with tread!

I’m getting to a point with BN 2154 where it’s nearly done (as far as the Railflyer portion of the build is concerned. The tread and most underframe detail parts are on, and I assembled a test ditch light (which works!). So there’s just a few final things to add, and I’ll be at a stopping point. Of course I still need to add the air line and my piping, but I’m still doing research on that aspect. It’ll also be getting RFMP trucks, drive and hood, but that’s still down the line a bit.

Air tank installed, but not yet permanently attached.

I put pins in the underside of the walkway that correspond with holes in the air tanks that serve to mount and align them correctly. I haven’t glued the tanks down yet as I want to be able to remove them while adding piping. Once they’re glued there will be a very prototypical gap between the bottom of the air tanks and the top of the fuel tank.

Frame with air tanks and sans fuel tank.

As you can see, the turned brass tanks snug up behind the brass side sills very tightly, something that would not be possible with a thick plastic sill. The brackets do need to be modified however as the plastic deck is of course thicker then the prototype. However, the modification is fairly simple, just shorten the ends of the bracket that attaches to the deck. The thicker deck isn’t noticable, and is necessary to strengthen the whole assembly, however a thin brass deck could be substituted for the plastic one which would give you complete prototype fidelity…

The alignment pins and deck bracket.

For now the air tanks rest loosely on their pins. There aren’t any marks on the deck to guide you when adding these pins (due to the prototype variations in air tank placement) so I made a little template out of styrene to get the correct distance from the edge of the sill and the underframe bracing. I chose to install the deck brackets so that half attaches to the air tank and the other half attaches to the deck. This works well as it insures that the tanks will be perfectly parallel to the sill. I really like these tanks. They are perfectly cylindrical, with the correct weld bead around each end. They aren’t notched to be compatible with a non-scale sill though (as cannon’s are) so if you want to use them on a Kathlasers 2000 shell, you’ll need to either add railflyer sills, or carve out space on the plastic sill

The #8 valve installed.

I have no idea what a #8 valve does… it may have been explained to me at some point, but I’ve totally forgotten. I assume it has something to do with regulating the pressure on the trainline, but that’s just a guess. Regardless of what it does, it’s a very visible detail that hangs down below the edge of the sill. The RFMP part is very nice, with the correct dimple on the bottom and appropriate fittings at the top. As per the prototype, there’s one at the front on the conductors side and one at the rear on the engineers side. These will be fitted with piping.

The front anticlimber and tread.

The tread came next. It’s a bit different from Cannon in that it’s divided into individual pieces, broken at the gaps that are present on the prototype. The tread had a bit of a curl to it when I removed it from the fret, but heating it helps to remove the spring and get it to lay flat. The anticlimber is Cannon. Before I attached the tread, I drilled out the anticlimber to accommodate the ditch lights. Now all I need to do when I’m ready to install them is drill through the treadplate, I don’t have to worry about measuring wrong and ruining the tread.

The rear tread and platform

Included in the tread from Railflyer is a piece that can be folded to create the drop step found on many units, my unit had a fixed version of this step, so I permanently cemented mine to the rear platform rather than using the hinge piece that is included. Technically I believe the extension on my unit was slightly larger, but this will do.

The Railflyer scale ditchlight housing.

Finally, I also wired up an Ngineering Nano LED and installed it in a Railflyer ditchlight housing. It works and looks great, though I need to tint it a good deal more to get rid of the blue tinge it has now. However, it fits really well and wasn’t nearly as difficult to wire as I had though it would be.

Shine a light.

I got a little 9v LED testor from Ngineering, which is what I’m using to power the LED in the above photo. It has a built in resistor, so I haven’t yet added a stand alone resistor to the circuit. I’ll probably wait on that until I know what DCC board I’m going to use, as certain boards already have resistors installed. This light was just a test, so I’m going to wire up two more to actually use on the model.


4 Replies to “Railflyer Model Prototypes Construction Update, Part IV”

  1. Howdy Chris,

    Great Work, always an inspiration!! I am doing a GP38AC (in ICG Bi-Centennial colors) using Railflyer components. The #8 Valve (or #8 Emergency Vent Valve) is indeed part of the air brake system. It provides for the rapid exhaust of air during an emergency brake application. Like the Salem air filters, it is a prominent air brake feature, easily spotted on most locomotives. Chris Howard did an excellent job replicating the part.

    Robert Tomb
    Spring, TX

  2. Hello, this is Daniel Rickett from Little Rock. Arkansas. I’m modeling a mopac SD40-2 and a Rock Island GP38-2 and have two questions. First you metioned heating the treadplate to get it to lie flat. How did you accomplish that. Surely you didn’t put it in the oven!! Second, you said you were going to fit the #8 vent valves with piping. Where, and what size hole did you drill for the piping? Thanks for your help and keep up the great work.

  3. Hi Daniel,

    You do indeed put the tread in the oven, that will remove the springiness, then you can roll it out and it will remain flat, it works quite well.

    I actually haven’t drilled the hole in the #8 vent valve yet, as I’m not sure what size to make it. The Railflyer site does have a prototype photo, as well as a photo of my model which should make it pretty clear where the piping goes: http://railflyermodelprototypes.myshopify.com/products/div-align-center-dp-6217-br-8-vent-valves

    I think the piping should probably be made from .015″ wire, but I’m not positive about that. I’ll post an update once I’m sure.

    Good luck with your models.


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