The online magazine on the history and operation of vintage scale model trains in American OO gauge

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Restoring an Early Brass Import in OO—A Schorr RS-2

One of many ongoing projects is the restoration of this Schorr RS-2 to operation. This model came to me with a heavy and damaged paint job and the drive for a Kemtron GP-7 installed. That drive was moved to this model last year. Then the idea was to move the drive from an Athearn HO FM Trainmaster to this model, to approximate an Alco RSC-2, but that would have required more modification than I wanted to do because of modifications the builder had made to the RS-2 (and I decided to try to modify the FM for OO also).

Basically what had been done was the builder had put some extra weight in the long hood end, a LOT of weight in the short hood end, and also extra weight in the top of the cab by melting some low temperature alloy in place. It was really way too much and the cab weight was actually visible through the upper windows. The only way to get it out was with a torch and very carefully! This photo shows that model “after” the melt out but before the reassembly this weekend. I decided to leave the weight in the long hood end and will balance it with additional weight on the short hood end.

As is visible in the photo the short hood and cab needed a bit of touch up soldering, needing in particular the two side overlays reinstalled and the end. My torch is really a bit too big for the job (I usually use it for repairing brass instruments) and my iron is too small (big enough for electrical work) but with care and clamps and wire I was able to get it all tacked back together with solder, which I then reinforced with super glue. I also worked in a similar fashion on the frame, getting it all as close as possible to the original model. The next step is clean-up and painting. This unit will be built back up initially as a dummy unit as I have a pair of the original dummy trucks for this model ready to go. Potentially it will be rolling on the layout in a few weeks.

The model with it, at the top of the photo, is a recent eBay purchase of a mint version of the same model. This one I will hold for now but I would love to get it running with a good drive as well at some future point.

For those readers not familiar with Schorr, Fred Schorr imported a series of great OO models from Japan in the post war period. Run sizes varied; the RS-2 seems to be relatively common but certainly still desirable not only for OO gaugers but also for general collectors of early brass models. An overview and links to photos of other models from the Schorr line may be found here.

UPDATE: The finished model may be seen here.

No comments: