Thursday, December 14, 2023

The Tender Behind...An SP 90-R-7 tender for a Bachmann HO 2-8-0

I have been forced to do very little these past few months due to medical issues. I resurrected a project started in 2022 to build an SP 90-R-7 tender on the chassis of a Bachmann 2-8-0 tender.  I am pretty satisfied with the current construction.  I used drawings from Arnold Menke published in the SPH&TS Southern Pacific 4-8-0 Locomotives.  Arnold kindly sent me a scan of his original drawing for the 90-R-7 tender based on the preserved tender in Bakersfield. From photos I gathered there was some variation in the front platform and I used other photos for a different approach that was frankly easier to model. 

This is the model as it stands on December 14, 2023. 

The next step is to add Archer rivets to the bunker.  I also need to bend the tender handrails and add a rear ladder.  I am looking for help to set up a working backup light on the tender. 

The bunker is built from plastic shapes and sheet material from Evergreen and Plastruct. The tough part was getting the rounded front end to the main body and then the water filler hatch behind the bunker. 

 These are some of the late construction photos before the Tamiya grey primer was sprayed on the tender body and bunker.  I scanned the Menke drawings so I could print working copies during the build process. 

The engine in the first two photos is a my yet mostly unmodified Bachmann 2-8-0. The number is fictitious.  I have another 2-8-0 that is being used to test bed the parts from Owl Mountain Models for conversion into a "stand in" for a Harriman Baldwin 2-8-0 of the C9 or C10 class. It is in disassembled state while I work on a more accurate version of the SP boiler running boards. 

I am looking for a third used but working Bachmann 2-8-0 DCC ready (not the latest sound version) with most parts including the tender intact to complete the SP 2-8-0 fleet for the little Port Costa layout. I have a brass 90-C-1 or 2 Vanderbilt tender to adapt and restore with either DCC or LocoFi control and re-paint and decal. I have a working factory painted Sunset C-9 with a 73-SC-1 tender. 

Owl Mountain Models has announced a 3D bunker print that will drop in to the Bachmann tender. I had already started this project and was interested in a much more accurate version requiring a slightly different approach.  And I just like to fiddle with plastic on my workbench. 

There is also a project by a couple of 3D printers to build HO 73-SC-1 tenders commonly known as Whaleback Tenders for the same 2-8-0 tender chassis. I have had early samples but the final versions do not yet seem to be available.

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