The cultural differences in the various scale modeling interests has always fascinated me.  On 22 July 2016, I wrote a post about how our hobby is quite different than other kinds of scale modeling (aircraft, military, ships) in that we railroad modellers can and do revisit our models, retro-fitting/upgrading them as we desire (just like the prototypes were are trying to emulate).

In that post I described the changes I made to class J1d Hudson NYC 5366 long after it was built (the post can be found in CATEGORY: TECH-LOCOMOTIVES “BACKSHOPPING 5366 PT1).  Having learned a thing or two along the way since she was first completed, I made some upgrades to the model at that time.

Since the NYC Hudson is my all-time favourite steam locomotive, I am lucky to have good reference material on hand.  Here are some very useful books…..

THOROUGHBREDS (Stauffer, Stauffer, 1971) – the bible on the New York Central Hudson


KNOW THY HUDSONS (Gerbracht, Gerbracht, 2016) – already a classic, technically detailing the NYC Hudson, a fantastic companion to THOROUGHBREDS


NEW YORK CENTRAL STEAM (Stover, The Railroad Press, 2009-2013) – 8 volumes, featuring period photos of Ed May and others with excellent commentary


NEW YORK CENTRAL STEAM IN COLOR (Sweetland, Morning Sun Books, 1994) – great colour as usual, mostly post-war but some outstanding pre-war Emery Gulash photographs


Of course, there are many good reference photographs of NYC Hudsons on the web too.

Some time has passed since NYC 5366 was last backshopped and I have learned more about New York Central J1 Hudsons and how I would like to prepare them for operations at Fillmore.  With my recent Hudson J1e fleet additions (5326, 5330, & 5341), it was time to revisit 5366.


While I like what Broadway Limited Imports offers, I do not like their method of making the electrical connection between the locomotive and tender (pictured below).  I find this tight fitting connector is very difficult to disconnect and I worry about damaging the wires (and model) in doing so.  Damage could also result when assembling them.


I have replaced this with three separate connectors.  Soundtraxx (#810012) 2-pin connector for the motor and track pick-up wiring and a Miniatronics (#50-001) 2-pin connector for the headlight.  I attach them as shown below; I reversed the pins for the motor/track-pickups so they connect only one way.  I also add yellow and white paint to help with assembling them to the correct polarity.


I had mentioned in the previous post that I would like to replace the drawbar with a slightly shorter one to improve the appearance of the gap between the locomotive and tender.  When preparing the first of the recent J1e’s (5326), I made up enough short drawbars for the entire J1 Hudson fleet (planned at eight locomotives).  The new drawbars are made of .031”x.250” brass with two appropriately-sized holes more closely pitched than the factory close-coupling option.  I believe the distance decreased by .050” from the Broadway Limited Paragon 2 drawbar.  I noticed a difference in Paragon and Paragon 2 drawbars; the Paragon (older) ones have a greater close coupling distance so those engines, the aforementioned J1e’s, benefit the most from the new drawbar.  I like the resultant scale 2’3” look.


Broadway Limited offers their NYC J1 Hudson in two sub-classes, J1d & J1e.  As far as I can tell, J1d’s did not have the distinctive booster exhaust stack in front of the main smoke stack as the J1e’s did (pictured below).  This item is included in the BLI J1d model.


NYC 5366 is a J1d (the higher road number is a result of the system-wide renumbering made in 1936; 5366 was formerly subsidiary Michigan Central Railroad 8221).    So I removed the small stack and replaced it with an even smaller pipe as seen in prototype period photos (below).  Also evident is the sunken Elesco feedwater mixing drum all J1d’s had.


Since the last backshopping of this Hudson, I have learned about 3D printing as detailed in my recent ATS trilogy (CATEGORY: TECH-LOCOMOTIVES “ATS”).  Having made up enough Automatic Train Stop receivers for the entire Fillmore mainline fleet, it was a simple matter to apply one to the lead tender truck of 5366.  In the picture below I removed the two trailing wheels of the truck and CA’d the ATS receiver in place.  The wheels are removed for airbrushing the receiver (I applied tape on the track pick-ups to avoid getting paint on them as well).  At the same time I also upgraded the tender from L3a Mohawk NYC 3004 with a receiver and it is seen above the Hudson tender.


ATS receiver on completed model…


I added armrests to the window openings from .010” x .060” strip styrene, pictured below.   The custom brass close couple drawbar is shown.


I also upgraded the headlight side number boards with proper font numerals.  They are a bit too small, but fit and are better, for me anyway, than the roman characters previously applied.

IMG_4746And here she is ready for more fun, until a future backshopping calls again….