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Darkstorm
10th Aug 2009, 11:40 PM
For those of you who model GN / Pennsy or traction:

Anyone have interest in a prototypical Y-1 (FF-2 for Pennsy) model?

I've decide to kitbash a couple for myself. It looks like the best way to do it might be to mold and cast pieces. And while you're doing two, might as well do two dozen...


This is not a commitment to build (and I have no idea when/if I'll be complete), but:

- What would a prototypical Y-1 (RTR: motored, painted, decaled, DCC) be worth?
- What would a kit that could convert an existing well-known model (cut/assemble/paint/decal yourself) to a Y-1 be worth?

If there's serious interest, I might do a bigger batch.

taz-n-rr
15th Aug 2009, 08:12 PM
Neat locomotive, I would like to be interested, but it would be difficult for me to fit it into my plans! So many locomotives so little space and money!

All the best,
Charles

ranulf
15th Aug 2009, 09:27 PM
What are you kitbashing it out of? Just because it's well-known doesn't mean it is widely available, eh?

Darkstorm
16th Aug 2009, 12:12 AM
What are you kitbashing it out of? Just because it's well-known doesn't mean it is widely available, eh?

I'm currently trying the Kato GG-1 frame, which is widely available right now. I grabbed several on eBay for less than $100 each (including shipping). Since Kato mechanisms have good pulling power and reliability, they're an excellent start.

The driver size and spacing are virtually identical to the Y-1. The leading/trailing trucks/platforms needed to be scrapped, and the frame length/height shortened to match the Y-1.

The issue I'm having right now is figuring how to remove enough frame material to allow a Loksound decoder and speaker. The Kato PC board (and location for the drop in Digitrax decoder) had to be removed to match prototype height. I could definitely fit a non-sound decoder with ease, but there's not a lot of room left for a speaker cavity.

The GG1 pantographs are excellent and will be reused, they'll need a few extra pieces soldered on to match the GN ones.

All of the shell and decks are going to have to be scratchbuilt. Other than some obscure Japanese models, there's nothing out there that looks like a Westinghouse shell.

ranulf
16th Aug 2009, 01:42 AM
Wow, that would be a pretty cool kitbash. Looking forward to seeing it. I remember several years ago my friend who models GN was looking for one of those Con-Cor models or the Kato loco they repainted with little success. They were hen's teeth at the time.

Darkstorm
17th Aug 2009, 08:20 PM
Okay, now that I have your attention... ;)

A few quick shots of the project progress:

* Kato GG1 frame, unmodified, with original trucks/wheels
* Frame milled to Y-1 size (no lead/trailing trucks, sideframes pruned for investigation)
* Overlay of Y-1 silhouette over modified frame

As you can see, there's next to no clearance inside the frame for a decoder, and removing more material is problematic. I'm going to solve this issue before starting to build the trucks and body shell.

landscaping wiz 808
28th Nov 2009, 12:47 PM
I would love to have a more accurate model of the Pennsylvania FF-2! Right now I'm using a repainted Kato EF57 as a stand in. Key Imports announced a possible run of the Y-1/FF-2 a few years back, but it didn't generate enough interest so they didn't produce it - instead they released yet another (3rd run) GG-1!:rolleyes:

I'll be watching this thread, and if you do decide to make a few available for sale I'd be very interested...especially if it looked like this:

http://i336.photobucket.com/albums/n326/landscapingwiz808/prr-ff2.jpg

Keep up the good work!:D

BOB

Fullsteam88
14th Dec 2009, 11:08 AM
Well, you have all grabbed my attention.

I have had a deep love for Electric Locomotives for a long time. I have looked into doing several possible ventures with them, but none to great success. The Y-1 was one of the originals that peaked my interest when I first researched. However, nowadays I am doing more research into NYC's Electric...and even here more recently the South Shore Line.

Two of them that I have been trying my hand at coming up with something on have been the NYC R-2:
http://www.northeast.railfan.net/images/nyc1212.jpg

Those saw service with NYC and then later went on to the South Shore Line.

The other one (that I really think would work) are the NYC P-1a's that were stationed not far from me at the Cleveland Union Terminal:
http://www.northeast.railfan.net/images/cut1050.jpg

I think the MicroAce EF57 or Kato EF58 JNR Electric's would be a good start. The only trouble is that the wheel spacing and truck side frames are incorrect. I can't decide on how prototypical I would try to be with the build.

I will be interested to see how this comes out as it definitely makes for an interesting build.

Cheers,
Ryan

Darkstorm
24th Dec 2009, 12:36 AM
Well, you have all grabbed my attention.

I have had a deep love for Electric Locomotives for a long time. I have looked into doing several possible ventures with them, but none to great success. The Y-1 was one of the originals that peaked my interest when I first researched. However, nowadays I am doing more research into NYC's Electric...and even here more recently the South Shore Line.

Two of them that I have been trying my hand at coming up with something on have been the NYC R-2:

Those saw service with NYC and then later went on to the South Shore Line.

The other one (that I really think would work) are the NYC P-1a's that were stationed not far from me at the Cleveland Union Terminal:

I think the MicroAce EF57 or Kato EF58 JNR Electric's would be a good start. The only trouble is that the wheel spacing and truck side frames are incorrect. I can't decide on how prototypical I would try to be with the build.

I will be interested to see how this comes out as it definitely makes for an interesting build.

Cheers,
Ryan


The R-2 looks like a relatively straightforward build, except that the axle spacing on the trucks is exactly reverse what the Japanese prototypes, use, so modeling that would be tough.

The P-1a looks like it might have identical wheelbase and trucks as the GG-1, so it's possible to rebuild just the frames and shell, detail the decks, and have a near-prototypical model.

Darkstorm
24th Dec 2009, 12:40 AM
Well, this project has been on hold since September, due to a variety of distractions. I'll likely pick it up after the holidays, but the only place that i have to do ventilated casting or painting is outside-aired, so it's too cold to be effective at the moment. Focus will be on getting the frame/decoder issue resolved (addicted to DCC sound), and getting back to how to mass-produce shells, since I don't want to scratchbuild every side of every model.

Darkstorm
24th Dec 2009, 12:42 AM
I would love to have a more accurate model of the Pennsylvania FF-2! Right now I'm using a repainted Kato EF57 as a stand in. Key Imports announced a possible run of the Y-1/FF-2 a few years back, but it didn't generate enough interest so they didn't produce it - instead they released yet another (3rd run) GG-1!:rolleyes:

I'll be watching this thread, and if you do decide to make a few available for sale I'd be very interested...especially if it looked like this:

Keep up the good work!:D

BOB

That exact image is one of the prototype photos I'm using.

NH2006
22nd Jan 2010, 01:50 AM
You go Darkstorm!

I still could not cut up a GG-1 (well maybe one of the old ones...if I bought it for cheap)

fliegerin
22nd Jan 2010, 04:09 AM
I know I am way late to the party, but I would most certainly be interested in seeing a FF-2. Keep us posted!

Darkstorm
20th Mar 2010, 05:04 AM
Okay, I've picked this up again, right where I left off:

I've milled down both sides of the frame to accommodate a Loksound micro DCC sound decoder and a pair of 16mm speakers. The wire for the motor and power are soldered to brass strips, which fit under the brush spring covers on the motor and under the frame connectors (contact fit, no soldering). Loksound supports a GG-1 sound profile that I'll be modifying to match the 1940's (no radio squawks, etc).

Realistically, I don't think this is worth doing to all of the locos: I will most likely equip just one or two of these, and I will let the others be silent. I love sound, but I think that taking this much material off of the frame will decrease pulling power significantly. Usually, the Y-1's operated in pairs or trios, so this shouldn't be a big issue for this one, but for a real power puller milling out just enough for a small decoder should be sufficient.

You might notice a lead truck under the left side: That's a trailing truck from a Kato Mikado. The truck and wheel appear a little too big to be prototypical, and there's almost no clearance for a deck. I'm still figuring out how to construct the other pieces.

Since there's a fair amount of detail in scratchbuilding and casting the cab sides, I'm going to start a new thread for the full kitbash project.

Also, I have ordered some F-shells from Kato to see whether a Y-1a is feasible. The streamlined shell cannot be molded easily, and would likely be a one-time build.

dcswift
20th Mar 2010, 09:57 AM
Looking great thanks for sharing your progress so far.

landscaping wiz 808
20th Mar 2010, 01:40 PM
Looks Good! Have you had a chance to run it after you installed the sound decoder? If so, how does it sound?

Bob

Darkstorm
21st Mar 2010, 12:00 AM
Looks Good! Have you had a chance to run it after you installed the sound decoder? If so, how does it sound?

Bob

Loksound decoders have excellent quality, the only better is the Tsunami. I already use several of them in my steam locos. This is the first time I've used the dual 16mm speaker configuration, but the setup gives great volume. I'm confident that I'll still have reasonable fidelity and loudness after the shell goes on, despite the lack of a resonance cavity.

The GG-1 sound profile however, isn't exactly a "stand up and salute" experience. Electric locomotives have all the noises of diesels, minus the joyful throb of the IC engine. I'll be looking around to find some more samples to mix into the profile.

I brought out the scale, and did some measurements:

Kato GG-1, stock: 135 grams
Kato GG-1, no shell: 125 grams
Y-1, w/decoder&speakers: 101 grams

I didn't do a measurement when I cut down the frame for just the shell size, but I'm guessing about 2/3 of the weight loss was due to shortening the frame, and not for adding the decoder. The resin shell will significantly heavier than the Kato plastic one, and the transformers above the cab can probably made hollow an filled with tungsten putty to make up the weight difference. I expect that the final Y-1 will be still be slightly lighter than the stock GG-1, but not by a significant amount.

Darkstorm
29th Mar 2010, 12:35 AM
Okay, the admins have done me a favor and switched the type and name, so I'll keep everything together on this thread. (Thanks Bryan!)

Here's the pilot truck work: I'm using a pair of Kato Mikado trailing trucks (PN 941022). Several modifications are necessary to make them fit:

1) Lower the leaf springs, to match prototype and make room for end decks
2) Cut the center out of the trailing side, to provide space for coupler mounting
3) Trim the edges of the pivot, so that it can swing more freely

Cutting a 1/8" copper tube to a 3/32" height provides a perfect pivot, and another 1/16" tube makes a retaining pin. There's a little slop that could be filled by nesting a 3/32" tube inside, but it doesn't appear to be absolutely necessary.

By immense luck, the pilot axle to driver axle spacing matches the prototype within a scale foot.

Darkstorm
29th Mar 2010, 01:07 AM
There's actually two different positions for the headlights on the Y-1. The first is the "as-delivered" version from 1927, with the headlamps mounted above the cab (see original post picture), and a modified version from 1935, where the headlamp was moved to the post above the electrical linkages, so that the 11,000V bus bar could be mounted in its place. (When Pennsy acquired the seven remaining Y-1's and renamed them FF-2's in 1956, they removed the bus bar, but kept the headlamp position. See wiz's photo.)

For the units I'm building, I'll be doing the second version, which gives three different paint schemes that match (GN Pullman Green, GN Empire builder, Pennsy Brunswick Green).

To create a lens, I use a soldering iron (proximity heat, no contact) to melt the tip of plastic optic fiber. Once the lens has formed and cooled, I clip it off. Very easy to do, and you can experiment to get lens of various sizes.

With the lens ready, I'm using a post made of copper-clad fibreglass. This basically a single-side circuit board. I've cut a groove through the copper down the middle of the post, creating two wires. I soldered a surface-mount golden-white LED (603-size) across the wires.

Add a short piece of 3/32" styrene tubing with one end bored out slightly, and the lens fits perfectly, completing the headlamp (no visible wires!!!) The whole thing will be super-glued together after the post is soldered with brass strips to the upper-deck piece (also made from copper-clad board).

More pictures as I complete it...

landscaping wiz 808
30th Mar 2010, 06:35 PM
That light looks GREAT! Ingenious design! I would've probably settled on a non-operating version. (still might :o) Where did you get those drawings you're using? I would love to get a set!

Keep up the good work!

Bob

dcswift
30th Mar 2010, 07:49 PM
Looking good, please keep up the updates.

NH2006
30th Mar 2010, 10:07 PM
Dang, somehow got unsubscribed to this thread.

Great work DarkStorm! I always like the use of lights where possible.

Darkstorm
31st Mar 2010, 03:31 AM
That light looks GREAT! Ingenious design! I would've probably settled on a non-operating version. (still might :o) Where did you get those drawings you're using? I would love to get a set!

Keep up the good work!

Bob

I'm working from many sources:

1) Great Northern Railway Historical Society Reference Sheet #58 (http://gnrhs.org/reference_sheets.htm)
2) Mainline Modeler, November 1987
3) "Great Northern Steam and Electric In Color" by David Hickcox (http://www.amazon.com/Great-Northern-Steam-Electric-Color/dp/1582480125/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1270019957&sr=8-1)
4) Web photos of prototype
5) Web photos of brass models (PFM or Tenshodo, HO & O scale)

The first two have schematic diagrams of the cab body and side frames.

Darkstorm
18th Apr 2010, 02:17 PM
With the headlights and MU masts created, they now need to be attached to the main body. The flooring between the cab end and the MU connections is a trapezoidal floating deck, a little more than a few feet long. However, the part is really an extension of the interior cab floor and the structure below, so it's much larger than it might appear. Using the schematics as a guide, I created two octagonal pieces out of the single-sided circuit board, and added a groove down the center to create two conductors. (I also added a split in one of them mid-way to accommodate a surface-mount resistor to protect the LED. It's not in the first photo, but you can see it in the later photos.) Two strips of .002 brass and a little soldering create the angle joint, and a little CA or epoxy fixes the MU mast in place.

The MU electrical connections are .047" styrene rod cut at a 60-degree angle and glued to .01" styrene strip. The whole MU piece is then glued to the front. A wedge-shaped piece of styrene is added for the number boards. (In the future, I'm considering to create a one-piece MU/lamp/number-board piece and casting it. Not sure whether this will be feasible in that small a size with the materials I'm using.)

For the top, a small piece of BLMA diamond-plate is cut to fit. Before super-gluing it in place, I used a Dremel to carve out four short channels that I inserted .01" brass rod for the railings. These are sandwiched between the plate and PC board, creating strength. I also glued the railing to the back on the MU mast.

With everything dried, I coated the entire assembly in flat black, and used a small amount of paint remover to clean the lens. The bottom and top the of the back of the board are sanded (the top so it can be glued, the bottom so it can be soldered). I sanded the bottom of the plastic that holds the two frame pieces together, and glued them together with epoxy. Once the wires from the decoder are sent down between the frame halves, they can be soldered directly to the circuit board, and the bottom repainted.

This has been a while coming, sorry to keep you waiting! Next step will be creating the truck side frames, lower deck, and railings.

Darkstorm
2nd May 2010, 10:43 PM
To reproduce a complex piece like this, I'm shrinking the schematics to 1:160 and printing them on sticker paper. I adhere the paper to .040" styrene, and use a razor knife to cut the exact shape. Using a small drill press (and sometimes a pin vise) I cut holes to match the cutout pattern on the trucks.

The holes here are .040" and .062", which are larger than the actual holes in the trucks. However, cast steel trucks have reinforcement around the holes, so I'll be cutting brass or steel tubing to fit, leaving a slightly raised profile to match the prototype.

To duplicate the design, I stack multiple pieces of styrene, cut holes to match the existing pattern, and thread brass rod through the hole to hold it. A bit of trimming and filing later, and I have four copies of the same template. This method is a little time-consuming, but produces a very accurate result.

I could use these pieces as is, but I'm really creating a pair of frames to use as model for making molds. Once I have them complete, I will use them to make a large number of trucks.

Still missing here are the other truck details, such as the journal boxes and the brake cylinders, as well as the main deck. Again, I'll be prototyping pieces out of styrene to make a model for casting.

NH2006
2nd May 2010, 11:58 PM
I saw someone had rivets that could be applied:
http://www.megahobby.com/surfacedetails2478headdiarivetsnscalearcher.aspx

Might be useful for the New Haven EP-3 that Bob built too...

CodyO
3rd May 2010, 12:03 AM
Looking great I would defly love to get one if you mass make em
Defly if its DCC I would get one!

Darkstorm
3rd May 2010, 01:08 AM
I saw someone had rivets that could be applied:
http://www.megahobby.com/surfacedetails2478headdiarivetsnscalearcher.aspx

Might be useful for the New Haven EP-3 that Bob built too...

Nice, I didn't know they had those...

The truck sides are cast, so no rivets there, but keep watching: I've got a rivet solution coming up for when I do the body pieces. Not just decals but actual relief rivets.

NH2006
3rd May 2010, 01:20 AM
Nice, I didn't know they had those...

The truck sides are cast, so no rivets there, but keep watching: I've got a rivet solution coming up for when I do the body pieces. Not just decals but actual relief rivets.

Oh don't worry about me watching. As soon as I can get some Electrics, I will get one of these!

landscaping wiz 808
3rd May 2010, 02:10 AM
HOLY GUACAMOLE!!! That's a level of detail well beyond what I'm doing!! :eek:

That said, if your willing to make four more of those sideframes I would love to pay you for them so I can make my rudimentary PRR FF-2! Yours is obviously going to be WAAAY more prototypically correct than mine, but I would love to have some sweet looking sideframes like that. Please PM me if you're willing to do so and either way keep up the amazing work!

Bob

Darkstorm
3rd May 2010, 12:17 PM
HOLY GUACAMOLE!!! That's a level of detail well beyond what I'm doing!! :eek:

That said, if your willing to make four more of those sideframes I would love to pay you for them so I can make my rudimentary PRR FF-2! Yours is obviously going to be WAAAY more prototypically correct than mine, but I would love to have some sweet looking sideframes like that. Please PM me if you're willing to do so and either way keep up the amazing work!

Bob

Your inbox is full, so I'll post it here:
Since I'm casting the sideframes in resin, once I make the molds I should be able to produce them in droves. It should be no trouble to create an extra set.

This will be my second attempt ever at casting, so I expect some hiccups there. Bear with me, and thanks for the support!

landscaping wiz 808
3rd May 2010, 02:39 PM
Your inbox is full, so I'll post it here:
Since I'm casting the sideframes in resin, once I make the molds I should be able to produce them in droves. It should be no trouble to create an extra set.

This will be my second attempt ever at casting, so I expect some hiccups there. Bear with me, and thanks for the support!

Oops, apparently I got a bunch of PMs last night and they pushed my mailbox to it's limit. :o Oh well, it's empty now.

Great news on the sideframes! Just let me know when you start casting them and how much you want for a set (or two).

Thanks again - Bob

Arved
22nd Aug 2010, 02:53 PM
I've got a Kato EF-15 I've been thinking about this for. Very interested in anything you're doing, but as a newbie, I get a permission error every time I try to click on thumbnails. Hopefully that will change soon.

You mentioned the Y-1a. GN used FT cabs, so I'm trying to look for the same. I've written Intermountain to see if they have shells. Worse comes to worse, I may have to buy some MicroTrains FTs just for the cabs. :-( I thought about the Kato and Bachmann F-unit shells, but they have the more modern number boards. Are the FT style number boards available as a detail part?

I've also been thinking about getting the GG-1 trucks, and seeing if I can mount them to the EF-15. $16/ea is a bit steep. Those who don't want to buy the whole GG-1 for this mod can look at 2 trucks at $16/ea plus $50 for the mechanism minus trucks and lightbar:

http://www.katousa.com/images/925210.jpg

(The 925210 part of the URL is the part number - you can look up all the GG-1 parts that are available on the Kato-USA web site).

Still, that's $82 for the mechanism and trucks. Seems you can get a whole GG-1 for not much more.

Lastly, while the GG-1 pantograph might be quite good, it's missing the outer loop common to Milwaukee and GN pantographs. Keith's Pans and Poles (http://teamsavage.com/ncat/keithspanspoles.html) advertises an N-scale Milwaukee Road pantograph that might be more authentic.

I'm new to N-scale, but I've been an avid HO modeler for 35+ years.

Hope this helps,

- Arved
From a little too close to CSX milepost 666

ted_roy
23rd Dec 2011, 11:56 AM
Was there any more updates to this thread? I love the updates so far!

Ted.

jlaboda (RIP)
23rd Dec 2011, 04:15 PM
I, too, am interested in what is going on...

Arved, while the MILW pantographs would be good for the GN model the GG! pants would be accurate for the PRR engines, which apparently were changed when these motors were acquired.

Celidude
2nd Jan 2012, 01:44 PM
I just happened to stumble on this on eBay, not sure if this is what the goal is or if I'm confusing two types of engines but...
http://www.ebay.com/itm/170756622462?ssPageName=STRK:MESINDXX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1436.l2649
6 hours to go, might be good for duplicating the shell at least.

Darkstorm
21st Jan 2012, 09:38 AM
Okay, mea culpa.

I ran into a brief lack of enthusiasm, followed by another hobby intruding on my time, followed by a move halfway around the world. I am at a lack for raw materials and tools, so I'm pondering how to make progress.

My current thought: CAD with 3-D printing for the shell and trucks. I have a computer, schematics, a Kato GG-1, and a set of calipers.
I will get back to the detail bits when I return to the US.

GNPACIFIC
20th Jun 2013, 08:59 PM
Have you considered the Kato/Tomix EF57 or EF15 as starting points? Also NCAT information may also still be available. I believe someone in NCAT did a reasonable GN Y-1 kitbash. That was some time ago though.