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Thread: GN Y-1 kitbash

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    Default GN Y-1 kitbash

    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.
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    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

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    What are you kitbashing it out of? Just because it's well-known doesn't mean it is widely available, eh?
    "Do Not Hump!?!?! Does that mean what I think it means?!?"--Michelle Blanchard

    "People saw wood and say nothing, but railroad men saw trains and say things that are better left unprinted."--Charles De Lano Hine

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    Default Model base: Kato GG1

    Quote Originally Posted by ranulf View Post
    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.

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    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.
    "Do Not Hump!?!?! Does that mean what I think it means?!?"--Michelle Blanchard

    "People saw wood and say nothing, but railroad men saw trains and say things that are better left unprinted."--Charles De Lano Hine

    Down with UP

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    Default Naked photo shoot

    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.
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    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!

    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!

    BOB

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    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
    "He attacked everything in life with a mix of extraordinary genius and naive incompetence, and it was often difficult to tell which was which." - Douglas Adams (Story of my life...)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fullsteam88 View Post
    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.

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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by landscaping wiz 808 View Post
    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!

    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!

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

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    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)
    I heard the Denver and Rio Grande locomotive howling off to the mountains. I wanted to pursue my star further. - Jack Kerouac

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    I know I am way late to the party, but I would most certainly be interested in seeing a FF-2. Keep us posted!

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    Default DCC sound equipped, still no boxcab

    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.
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    Looking great thanks for sharing your progress so far.
    Doug S.

    Proudly Serving In The US Army

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    Looks Good! Have you had a chance to run it after you installed the sound decoder? If so, how does it sound?

    Bob
    Bob Porter


    ~Just because you're paranoid, don't mean they're not after you!~

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    Quote Originally Posted by landscaping wiz 808 View Post
    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.

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    Default Pilot trucks

    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.
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    Default Headlights, Part 1

    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...
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    Last edited by Darkstorm; 29th Mar 2010 at 02:43 AM.

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    That light looks GREAT! Ingenious design! I would've probably settled on a non-operating version. (still might ) Where did you get those drawings you're using? I would love to get a set!

    Keep up the good work!

    Bob
    Bob Porter


    ~Just because you're paranoid, don't mean they're not after you!~

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