Monday, July 18, 2016

Pre-CNR Challenge: CNoR 2-8-0 - Part 1

I officially started working on a Canadian Northern (CNoR) 2-8-0 (CNR Class N). The starting point is a sound-equipped Bachmann Spectrum Maine Central #507 Consolidation.

Using Adobe Illustrator, I compared both the model and the prototype identify where major modifications will be required and to determine the precise dimension and location of new parts. I made a quick mock up of a Grand Trunk 2-8-0 with the lower running board.

Then I made a second mock up for the CNoR locomotiqve. It's that version I'll be building.

The first big challenge was removing the domes. The glue used is incredibly strong and I broke the model in two halves when trying to get rid of a stubborn sand dome.

Fortunately, I found out lacquer thinner was strong enough to molten the glue and pop the domes with a small metal rod.

I'll be honest, I had quite a good laugh when I saw the boiler split in the middle... It was totally impredictable. But don't worry, the fracture is neat and once glued and sanded down, it was no more apparent.

Here a quick shot of the progress so far. The domes have been swapped and the large sand dome is under surgery to slim down enough to fit the prototype. More on that unusual method later.

Most of the work on the cab is now done. The windows are now back to their original dimensions, leaving a nice flat panel to paint the CNoR logo. I used 2mm styrene strips to reframe the opening. Two roof hatches were also sanded down. A second one will have to be built at a later time.


  1. Looks good so far. The steam and sand dome positions are reversed? Always thought the steam dome was located at the highest point on a wagontop boiler.
    The walkway lowering reminds me of the approach Iain Rice and I have used to make CV N-5s out of these engines.

    1. Good observation! The sand domes are not reversed on the prototype. It's just that the stock Bachmann steam dome is closer to the prototype sand dome. Available brass casting are close enough, so I'll alter the plastic ones to the correct shape: simpler, cheaper, closer to prototype. It's part of the fun.

      BTW, we found evidence that Grand Trunk class D2 2-8-0 built circa 1906-1907 had Russian iron (or equivalent) boiler jacket. It will make for a impressive model.

    2. Sorry, my previous reply makes no sense at all (full of typo!). I didn't find close enough brass casting thus decided to reshape the Bachmann ones. The stock steam dome looks quite similar to CNoR sand dome. I'll flatten it with a file and add a sand hatch.