UPDATE: This model has been upgraded with Tsunami 2 DCC/Sound.
New York Central 4-6-4 Class J1e Hudson 5326 (Alco, May 1931) is simmering on a Fillmore inspection pit. This is a Broadway Limited Imports model – a much older Paragon issue (maybe around year 2002?). This was a used model with extremely dirty wheel sets and a grimy drive. The drivers appear to be made of sintered metal infused with copper and there looks to be much more copper showing on the treads than on other Paragon Hudsons I have. This could be wear resulting from high mileage.
Here is a summary of the work done to make her Fillmore-ready:
Engine & Tender Chassis
- Locomotive chassis and gearbox cleaned.
- All pickups and contacts cleaned and adjusted.
- All wheels cleaned and gauged, faces painted Grimy Black.
- Automatic Train Stop Receiver installed on leading truck, trailing wheel position (engineer’s side) – this is a 3D printed part designed by me and made by Shapeways.
- All trucks soda blasted, painted Engine Black, weathered: sprayed thinned Grimy Black, dry brushed Testors enamel Dark Gull Grey.
- Locomotive chassis (including drivers and valve gear) airbrushed Engine Black and then weathered with spray of thinned Grimy Black, then mottled with Oily Black, dry brushed Testors enamel Dark Gull Grey.
- Wheel bearing and rod journals have a drop of 10-wt Nano oil applied, gear box has Nano-grease.
- Pilot, trailing, and tender truck wheel bearing faces have pencil lead lubrication applied inside the journal bores.
- Tender truck modified with direct wiring for pick-ups.
- Soundtraxx TSU-1000 Medium Steam Decoder installed.
- Factory speakers re-used.
- New Soundtraxx Sunny White LEDs (#810133) added.
- Locomotive completely rewired.
- New locomotive-tender quick connectors: pick-ups and motor Soundtraxx 2-pin connectors (#810012), headlight is Miniatronics (#50-001) two-pin connector. Dots (Miniatronics) and added painted strips (Soundtraxx) on connector ends help ensure correct polarity when assembled.
Engine & Tender Detailing
- New custom close-coupled drawbar (from .031” x .250” brass stock).
- Modified deck plate for close-coupling.
- All molding lines on locomotive and tender cleaned up with file and/or paper.
- Tender lettering soda blasted away, cab number sanded (600 grit) away (I kept the class lettering below it).
- Glatzl (#GLTZ from Sergent Engineering) non-functioning coupler installed in dropped position on pilot.
- New side number boards added to headlight assembly (.010”x.060”x.160” styrene).
- Removed front classification lights (these were not used on the NYC mainline in this era).
- Added Sergent Type E (#EC87K) coupler to tender; filed shank thinner to fit box depth.
- Tender marker lamps removed, brackets retained.
- Coal pusher (Custom Finishing #134) installed with steam lines added (.020” brass wire).
- Handle made for water hatch (.010” wire).
Locomotive & Tender Finishing
- All exterior glass and remaining data masked with tacky putty; interior glass masked with folded wad of paper towel inside cab.
- Locomotive and tender painted Testors acrylic Engine Black.
- Smokebox painted dark graphite (mixture of acrylic Engine Black, a little Tamiya Flat Aluminum, and a little Grimy Black)
- Tamiya TS-13 Gloss Clear lacquer sprayed for decals.
- Decals from Microscale set (#87-78).
- Tamiya TS-80 Flat Clear lacquer spayed overall.
- Weathering: Slightly thinned Grimy Black sprayed under the running boards and pilot, then more thinner added and sprayed lightly, two passes on sides/front, four on tops. Oily Black mottle on pilot and areas under the running boards, lower edges of tender.
- Engine Black sprayed (normally thinned) on exhaust stack and down sides of smoke box.
- Details very lightly dry brushed with Testors enamel Dark Gull Grey.
- Weathered Brown powder applied on all horizontal surfaces and sand coloured powder applied around sand box (excess blown away with airbrush).
- Some Woodland Scenics Lump Coal applied first on top of 50:50 mix of water and white glue, then with Mine Run Coal applied on top of this, held in place with Scenic Cement.
When the DCC was installed on the tender chassis, the engine chassis was connected and tested for basic operation. This included checking the function buttons for sound and lighting, forward and reverse motion and track pick-ups (this was done by lifting the engine off the tracks and then replacing and doing the same with the tender). The DCC Address was then assigned via a Broadway Limited Imports Address Changer. Small tags with the DCC Address printed were made with a label maker and one each was applied to the inside of the locomotive and tender chassis.
Later, at the programming track, I used JMRI DecoderPro to configure the behaviour of the model. I had previously installed a Soundtraxx TSU-1000 in a Paragon 2 Hudson (NYC 5366) and used those settings (I had documented them using screen captures). The only real change was an increase in volume for overall sound – it could be that the speakers are not of the same quality as used on the later Paragon 2 models..
I was surprised to find that the engine chassis construction of this Paragon model is very different than on the Paragon 2 model. The major difference is how the drivers are installed onto the chassis frame. One driver with axle attached is inserted into a bearing bore in the solid chassis material and the other driver is quartered while being pressed on the axle. I suspect that all three driver sets were assembled together in a jig at the factory this way. As a consequence of this construction I am not able to re-install a driver using my NWSL Quarterer, so I left with them as they were. Disappointing. Most typically a driver set is quartered and installed as a two-wheel assembly and has sliding bearing blocks that mate into the frame. Usually this allows one the option to install traction tired drivers or metal ones. It is what it is. Fortunately all drivers are all-metal – I have two more of these early Paragon locomotives to build.
In the end this model runs very well although the motor/gearbox is a bit noisy at speed. Fortunately this is not noticeable with the slow speeds here at the engine terminal and I am pleased with the results. One Hudson done; we’re gonna need more for ops….