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

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Dummy GP-7 and RS-2 Models for the OO Orient

The newest engines out of the shop are these two brass dummy diesels. They have both been a while coming and long wanted.

In the front we have a Schorr RS-2, described a bit more in this article. In short it was an imported brass model made in Japan and came to me in sad shape. The drive that was in it was one actually meant for a Kemtron GP-7, and that drive is at present in the locomotive in the lead in the second photo.

The engine in the back is a Kemtron GP-7 (more here). This brass model was marketed as a kit and came to me from eBay with no trucks. I have some Schorr F-3 truck parts I could have used but they seem too rough/heavy (in part because they are sand cast) to suit the detail level of the model. I eventually hit upon modifying two unpowered trucks from Tyco GP-20 models with OO sized wheelsets added. This truck has the correct wheelbase and the sideframes look great in OO but much too big in HO. They are not as free rolling as the Schorr dummy trucks on the RS-2 (which came to me mounted on a passenger car [!] and are slightly modified) but still I am pleased with the visual result. Click on the photo for a closer view of both models.

I stripped and painted both models, and I added custom decals for the Orient, my road. For more about my version of the Orient see this article.

The exciting thing for me though has been to run a trio of brass diesels around the layout. One element of setting up the engines to operate was a bit of a challenge but sorted itself out, that of mounting Kadee couplers. The GP-7s both required overset shank type couplers to try to get the coupler height down to close to standards. They ended up the same height but a bit too high. So what I did was intentionally mount the short hood side coupler on the RS-2 too high (to match the Geeps) and at the correct height on the long hood end. As a result it will be the trailing unit for many a train on the layout. I also have a couple of cars with the same general setup to give operations a bit more flexibility, in particular more modern ones of the era when RS-2s were being retired. I hope to feature these models in operation in another video in a month or so.

UPDATE 2014: I reworked the truck mounting on the RS-2 and also located a set of Kemtron trucks for the GP-7, which rolls much better now! And I tweaked the coupler height issue as well. Great models.

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