Restoration Projects: Steam Locomotives

Restoration of #312 4-6-4 (sit) from 1946

  • I purchased the 1946 312  smoke in tender at a local model train dealer here in town. I need a project to install the DC 1/2 speed can-motor and Dallee reverse unit into. I was looking for (sit) American Flyer model train in poor condition. I did not care if it ran or what it looked like. Ken  had the perfect basket-case for me. The train had no numbers on the engine. It had long been painted over. Who ever had it before hot wired the smoke in tender. The wires were missing or in very poor condition on engine and tender(insulation was missing or broken on the wires). Just what I was looking for in a "basket case". The best part of it, all the parts I needed were their for this restoration project, all most. As most restoration projects I remove all part off the engine and tender. And remove everything from inside the engine and tender. I like to start from the beginning, just like they did at AC Gilbert 65 years ago. Know wonder those wires are old and brittle!
  1. First I removed all the paint from the engine and tender. I repainted the engine and tender a flat black. I want to go with the Rio Grande paint and letter logo.
  2. The engine chassis was good shape. It has the brass button of the 1946 4-6-4 (sit). The reverse unit was in the engine and bellows smoke unit was in the tender.
  3. I went ahead and mounted the Dallee electronic E-unit on the engine chassis (as pictured below). Connect the Red and Brown wires to the the two terminals on the Can-Motor.  I connect the Yellow and Orange wires to each other and insulate by putting (heat) shrink tube over the very ends of the two wires as in the photo below. I will be connecting Blue wire to the truck rivet that has the metal wheels on the right side of the engine when facing forward and connecting the Black wire to the other truck rivet. The two yellow wires from the light will be connected to the rivets power off the trucks.
  4. I had to completely go through the bellows smoke unit. The wiring was all shot or missing. Had to make a new wire pickup for the brush. I used the electrical wire pickup off American Model for the trucks (added an extra loop and some tweaking). The on/off switch was hot wired. The frame was bent on the tender, when someone try to fix the smoke on/off switch. I took the smoke unit off the frame to re-tightened the trucks, soldered new wires to the truck rivets and straightened the frame.
  5. I bench checked Dallee electronic e-unit and 1/2 speed can-motor. Everything worked as I hoped they would with lots of smoke. That is why I wanted to shut the smoke off. There is times you don't want to keep the garage door open for fresh air? It even gets COLD in Arizona. 

 It's a smoker! You can see the garage door is open.

412 Rio Grande 4-6-4 
I used HO scale decals from Microscale 87-28 Rio Grande. 

After repainting the steamer shell with flat black paint. I sprayed (air brushed) the areas where the decals will be applied with Micro Gloss. I used Micro set to float the decal to the desired location. Then I used Micro Sol to set the decals over any irregular surface and make them more permanent. After letting the shell dry for 48 hours. I over spayed (air brushed) the entire shell with Micro Flat. This returned the shell back to its flat black look and eliminated any film from showing thru on the decals. 

 Rex Engineering & MFG. CO.
Birmingham, Mich.

Bert Carpenter started Rex Models back in the mid fifties with the introduction of the Rex "S" Gage 0-4-0 Dockside  Kit (Baltimore & Ohio C-16 Switcher) and later with the Rex "S" Gage  2-4-4-T Double End Suburban Locomotive Kits (model numbers 3&4) 

After Bert Carpenters death, Rex models continued under Howard Phillips and John Sudimak.

S&P Distributors
Northfield, Ohio 

Assembling & Operating Information for Rex "S" Gage 
 Dockside Kits C-16 Switcher

 Assembling & Operating Information for Rex "S" Gage 
 Suburban Locomotive Kits Model # 3&4


Union Pacific 332 4-8-4, Smoke, Sound and New Electronics

UP 332 4-8-4 with all new updated electronics that gave use controlled speed, with sound and smoke. This restoration project was a calibration of members from our "Valley of the Sun" S-Gauge Club here in Phoenix. We all enjoyed the engines great operating capabilities with its newly installed features which brought the very best out of this Northern. 
  • Newly installed AF Smoke Unit / Lots of Smoke!

  • Newly installed DC 1/2 Speed Can Motor / Runs Great!

  • Newly installed Dallee #400 Universal E-Unit / No Hiccups!

  • Newly installed True Blast II Sound System / Whistle (Horn) & Bell
  • Newly installed DHB-8 High Bass Speaker / Great Sound! 

  • Newly rewired Engine & Tender for AC Operation

  • Newly repainted Engine & Tender / ready to add our road name.