Building the Glenthorne Harbour Baldwin No2

As the harbour traffic increased, it became clear that more powerful motive power was needed. In 1906, they purchased from Baldwin, USA, at very good terms, a 2-6-2 tender locomotive which became the only locomotive to carry a name; 'Ben Halliday' ..............

This project began when Victors Scale Models announced their intention to release an etched brass kit for Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Baldwin No 19. The principle data is written below.

The kit was dispatched 9th Dec 2008 and arrived two days later. Sadly, Victors are no more but one hopes that the kits will be re-introduced.

Built: 1904
Cylinders: 12" x 16"
Driving wheels: 33"
Total weight: 50,000lbs
Tractive force: 10,682lbs
Tank capacity: 1,500 gallons
Formerly: No.8 of the SRRR
Scrapped: 1935

Instructions for the build of this loco can be downloaded as PDF files here  photos text motor installation

The first part of this odyssey uses the photographs supplied in the PDF files as Jenny was on a cruise and had the camera. The kit arrives in a nice deep plastic box which serves well to keep all the little bits in during construction. At 160, the kit is quite expensive (double that of my Backwoods jobs) so it does have to be good. The first dilemma was whether to out shop the chassis or not. I have failed with Backwoods and always out shop their chassis but I have successfully scratch built chassis in the past. I figured that I had to be able to build this one myself. If successful, the kit is actually cheaper for me than a Backwoods one. If I mess it up, it represents quite a loss!

The supplied instructions are a bit deficient. For instance, the frets contain many tiny parts. There is an image of the frets but there is no numbering and a key to identify all of the bits.....and there are an awful lot of them. The written instructions are 'terse' to say the least and frankly do not explain sufficiently well for a beginner to tackle the job.

For starters, it would have been nice to have a list of the tools required.

I used 2 soldering irons, (medium and small). Baker fluid flux and normal and low melting point solder.
10BA and 12BA taps
wheel press
quartering jig is preferable
selection of small screwdrivers and files
Dremel tool
back to back jig for N gauge

The design of the chassis is as things ought to be. The is an inner chassis where the wheels are retained by a keeper plate while the outside frames are slotted.

The first job was to remove the inner chassis and fold it up. There are several places where small nuts have to be soldered onto the frets. The trick to avoid having solder run into the threads is to shove a cocktail stick into the hole and then it works fine. Pity they did not mention this. I still do run a tap through captive nuts to make assembly easier later.

The chassis should be soldered up on a sheet of glass to ensure that it remains really flat. Once sure that the chassis is properly square, I also ran fillets of solder along the fold lines.

Almost straight away, you will be fitting the drive train. There are two identical gears. One has a clearance fit for the shaft while the other has a push fit. Make sure that the clearance fit gear is used. The gear train is fitted as shown. The gears are designed to rotate on the shafts while the shafts are held captive.

Prior to installation, I tinned one end of each shaft and left a small blob of solder there (here I used low temp solder). Once together I touched the solder blob with a soldering iron fusing the shaft with the chassis. Great care is needed to prevent over heating the gears. I always use plumbers flux which in my mind gets things going with the minimum of heat. No instructions how to fasten the shafts are given. Be sure to carefully wash the gear train with hot water and detergent to remove the flux as soon as possible to prevent any corrosion of the steel shafts. Drop a spot of oil into the gear bearing surfaces.

From then on, construction for a  while is straight forward. The brass castings are good quality but care is needed to clean the cylinder blocks. The slide bars have a locating tag which wraps around the gland plate. Make sure that the casting is properly cleaned up here otherwise it will not fit. At this stage, do not solder the slide bars onto the boiler support.

Quite quickly you will be beginning to have a good looking chassis. The detail is really excellent by the way. The equalising bars for the rear pony truck need to be cranked outward to give sufficient pony truck movement. The instructions show two wires passing across the chassis to fit them. Once soldered up, cut the wires out as they will foul the rear truck.

Once you have prepared the keeper plate you will find yourself fitting the wheels. The instructions suggest that 2 BA nuts are soldered to it. This is where there is an error as the keeper plate extends over the hole that will eventually house the front body securing screw. It is better to shorten the keeper plate so that this important screw is exposed. This means that the front pony truck needs to have its length extended so that it attaches to the front keeper plate screw. At this time it is good to solder the double washers over the end holes as shown. These retain the pony truck arms while still allowing the screws to be tightened. By the way, make sure that the small tags on the keeper plate properly locate in the slots provided. Adjust them if necessary.

The 12 BA screws are all supplied long and you will have to cut them down. Always run up a nut first and then cut and clean up the end. Once you remove the nut, working it a little at the cut, the thread will work.

The top hat bearings are seriously engineered. The instructions do not tell you to shorten a pair to allow for installation of the drive gear. IF YOU DO NOT DO THIS, BUY TT TRACK! First, attach the gear onto one axle, accurately central, locking it in place with Loctite 603.

The bearings need to have a flat sanded on them and this is used to retain the bearings under the keeper plate. The wheels are simply pressed on making sure that all of the bearings are fitted the right way round. Make sure that the axles extend equally both sides and that the correct back to back measurement is maintained.

If you have a quartering jig, fit the cranks at this time. The 14BA screws are held in place with Loctite 603. While scale cranks are supplied in the etch, Victors also supply push on plastic ones for idiots like me.

The wheels then happily drop into the chassis (make sure that the bearings are all of the way up the slot) and the keeper plate installed. The gear train and wheels should turn freely and mine did first time.

Again, omitted from the instructions is the explanation of the electrical pickup. For Lord's sake get all the wheels fitted the right way round. Otherwise the dead short will be very disheartening when you put it on the track. Confirm each time which are insulated wheels. I painted a red spot on the live side to remind me.

The body and chassis is live and the tender will be the opposite polarity so the link must be insulated and the tender and locomotive must never touch! I chose to modify this arrangement and the pillars supporting the bogies were built in solid plastic. The bogies rub on an 8 BA washer and a thin wire is soldered to this and lead to the cab. I found this a far better arrangement than the suggested method and obtained more reliable electrical pickup.

Check that the wheels all touch the glass plate. If any distortion has happened, a small twist of the chassis is all that is needed to adjust things correctly.

I did find that although the chassis sits flat on a sheet of glass, it is a bit too flexible and could easily go out of kilter. I soldered in an additional cross member once the outer frames and wheels were fitted which had made the chassis far more rigid. One can also see how the rear pony truck beams have been cranked out to allow for sufficient pony truck movement.

click on image to enlarge

If you do not have a quartering jig, the cranks are then added on one side. These can be attached using epoxy or Loctite. The right hand cranks lead. Once the glue has hardened it is time to add the other cranks and quarter. This can be done by eye, using Loctite which takes some hours to go off: 20 minute epoxy would work too. The connecting rods need to have the holes opened out a tad, and I very slightly slotted the holes except those on the drive axle which I left an accurate fit. These should be temporarily fitted, being attached by a 14BA nut on the centre driver. Check that you have the cranks properly quartered before the crank attaching glue goes off!

The forward pins have to be cut back to clear the slide bars. After about ten minutes of jigging the arrangement around, I succeeded in getting the quartering right and the chassis move backward and forwards without binding. One then leaves it a while to allow the glue to go off.

The forward and rear rods are attached by soldering a washer onto the pin. Put a thin piece of paper between the rod and the washer to prevent soldering the lot solid. I always hold the chassis upright when soldering here which reduces the risk of solder seeping down onto the rod. At this time leave the centre bolt as is and remove the temporary retaining nuts.

I then installed the motor. As the kit stands, the motor is a bit offset to the gear. I slotted the bracket so the the worm gear was aligned directly over the gear. After checking the mesh...gears should never bottom out, the chassis was run for four hours each direction. Check that the motor does not over heat at regular intervals. Perfect running straight off! Hey! I can build this!

One error and a crankpin might have to be replaced. I would have liked to see a couple of spares included.

The crosshead is riveted onto the connecting rod and assembled. The last washers finish the job. Finally, the slide bars are soldered onto the boiler support.

the coupling arrangement - click on image to enlarge

The next job is to fold up the cab. This is not as easy as it should be as the fold line is not sufficiently etched.

The real fun starts with fastening the boiler wrapping around a brass tube. Firstly, I annealed the sheet with a blow torch and gradually bent the sheet around, soldering as I went. The job is a little difficult but the end result was just fine.

this shows my alternate way of fixing the front of the body - I can get away with this solution as my loco is freelance! -click on image to enlarge

Now, talking about modifications, our loco is representing a Baldwin delivered to the Glenthorne Harbour Authority which is an awful long way away from Maine! In Devon they do not even put bells around cows so why should steam engines have them. The 'Casey Jones' oil lamps are also a casualty. These have been replaced by more modern electric lamps and a steam generator. These are fitted with LEDs and will be directionally operated by DCC. I cannot find the safety valves either...ours are being fitted on top of the dome and of course we are fitting a proper whistle.

The sandpot will also be installed with sandpipes and an operating lever running to the cab. I am sorry, Victors, I am incapable of building a kit without modifying it, even if a gun was put to my head!

Now I do understand why Victors produce this kit in HO scale, but we are 4mm scale, so a few changes have been made. The holes in the boiler wrapping etch to take the footplate brackets were filled with solder and new holes drilled 1.5mm is just that our 4mm/ft guy are that much taller! To fit the footplates, I used an old US modellers trick of passing .75mm rod right through the boiler and soldering the footplate onto these. It is far easier to get things level and a lot more robust. The rod will be shaped later. The rods were set into the boiler with epoxy.

Well, we know that the instructions need to be reworked. In the meantime, the pony trucks are fabricated from the nickel silver parts which have a long slot. The end tab folds over to trap the wheelset. The pony wheel sets also have one live wheel so for heavens sake fit it the right way round. Remember to extend the front pony track arm if you have modified the keeper plate.

The rear pony truck has this outer fret that has been fitted. This needs to be cranked outwards otherwise there will be no room for the truck to swing. I painted the inside of these with epoxy to prevent shorting. The wheelsets have a small part of the axle protruding and this should be removed. I added additional lead weight to the pony truck.


The back to back measurements of the small wheelsets are incorrect and need resetting.

The electrical pickup bears as it should do on the back of the driving wheel sets. The clearances are very small and it would be only too easy to get a direct short onto the chassis. I glued a very thin strip of plastic strip onto the chassis to prevent this happening.

The tender was harder than I thought. The outer wrapping should be annealed with a blowtorch to make the bending easier. It is still quite a challenge to get right.  I did not bother to have the tender body separately screwed to the base but soldered the whole lot up together, leaving a largish access hole into the tender cavity. I chose to incorporate a few dents in the tender.

If built to the instructions, the link to the tender must be insulated and the tender is of opposite polarity.  Remember all of the wheels pick up on one side unless you opt to incorporate the modification previously described.

the 'British version' close to completion (pony trucks not fitted here) - click on image to enlarge

Having fed the light wires through it, I filled the boiler with lead shot mixed with epoxy. The tender was also weighted as it was far too light.

So it is now going to be run for quite a few hours (it is still DC) until is is really run it. It works, does not waddle and has good slow speed characteristics which will improve with running. However, after 8 hours running I noticed that the bearings had slightly worn the retaining slots and had begun to move around slightly. Knowing that all was well with the alignment, I degreased the chassis and fastened the bearings onto the inner chassis with 5 minute epoxy, taking real care to make sure that none of it involved the drive gear on the rear axle. The glue could be easily removed if necessary but it firmly retains the main bearings in the slots.

In all, the chassis has logged 12 hours running without further problems showing up.

running in - click on image to enlarge

all that is left to do is the chipping, GHR decals and name/number plates - click on image to enlarge

After painting and my usual weathering, the glazing was installed. This was given a wash of thinned black to simulate dirty glass which will hide the motor somewhat. I also painted the armature of the motor black.

At which point, Whinge jumped on the work bench and dislodged the chassis where is was running. This jammed the flywheel and the motor burnt out  ..... thanks Whinge turkey for Christmas!

I am also concerned with the very fine flanges on the bogie and pony wheels for running on Peco track. This model was designed for the US market. The wheels have now been replaced with similar size but with 009 Peco profiles.

I have had similar problems with Backwoods pony wheels and have always replaced them. I am hoping that a different wheel profile is available when ordering the kit. There is a country mile of differences between test tracks and real layouts and the derail rate is too high to be acceptable. I tried the model with alternate pony trucks and it works fine. The wheels that come with Greenmax bogies are perfect for the job as they have the correct profile and are grounded on one side. They are supplied by Wellington models.

The next problem is that the traction of the engine is very low. It is just too light to haul heavier 009 loads, despite having been stuffed with lead wherever possible. Below is a photo of the amount of extra weight needed to make the loco as heavy as our 'Lyn'. 3 large sheets of lead and 10 into 2 does not go! With this ballast, the loco works perfectly. I have to say that all County Gate stock is heavily ballasted including rolling stock and of course we have some quite stiff grades.

The most sensible solution for me was to convert the loco into a tank engine so that a lot of additional ballast can be added.

No 19 alongside Lyn (that has solid lead tanks) very similar in size and easy to convert - click on image to enlarge


I had not looked at a Langley 'Lyn' body kit before. The brass frets go together very well but the one piece casting of boiler and tanks left quite a lot to be desired, with some distortion and flash that obscured some rivet detail. The tanks were cut away from the boiler and the assembly went together in two days. There is now sufficient weight for the engine to perform extremely well. A Langley bogie from a wagon kit was modified as the rear 4 wheel truck.

ready for the paint shop - click on image to enlarge

click on image to enlarge

click on image to enlarge

painted and awaiting lining and decals - click on image to enlarge

LED lights

We used warm yellow 'lighthouse' LEDs supplied by Express Models . The body of the light is quite large although the bulb is only 2mm in diameter. The bodies were 'lost' in the smokebox and bunker. A resistor must also be fitted to bring the voltage down to that required. I have to say that the yellow light looks so much better than the ghostly blue tinted normal white LEDs. I simply set the LED in epoxy and form a lens with a drop.

LEDs only work with the current running one way. It is important to ensure that you wire them both the right way round, otherwise your loco will remain 'dark'. The Digitrax DZ 125 chip is used.