Locomotive grafting

OK, here's the scoop... I've always liked the looks of the C&O heavy Mikado with the flying pumps & the Elesco feedwater heater on the smokebox. Well,
the other night, I found out that my NKP actually leased some of those very engines from the C&O to ease a locomotive shortage during WWII. While this is not my era, it is an excuse for me to run one on my layout.
So here's my thought... AHM did at one time make one of these engines with that configuration of pumps & the feedwater heater. Does anyone know if I could take the boiler off of that engine and put it on the mechanism of the newer IHC engine with its much improved mechanism? That would be a whole lot easier than cutting off detail parts & adding new ones.
If anyone happens to have both engines, I'd appreciate your thoughts on the matter.
Thanks!
dlm --------------------------- Dan Merkel
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Dan Merkel wrote:

It's worth a try IMO. Mechanisms may be upgraded in all kinds of ways, but the basic chassis is usually not changed much, so the two Mike shells should be (almost) interchangeable. You may have to do a bit of hacking, or add mounting pads, etc.
One can often adapt loco shells of to different chassis. Eg, I just discovered that the Walthers SW7/9 body (at least 40 years old), a heavy diecast brute, will fit onto an Athearn SW7/9 chassis. I'll have to hack the fuel tank off the Walthers body, and figure which coupler mounting pads will work better, etc, but it's very close to a drop-in. The Walthers engine had two trucks, one with the motor, connected with a drive shaft. Didn't work very well, as the gears and driveshaft were nylon, which warped almost immediately. I've kept the loco for sentimental reasons, found it the other day as I was sorting through my stash of stuff, and thought, H'mm -- if this works, I'll have an engine that will haul paint off the wall. ;-)
HTH
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Why bother? The AHM Rivarossi "model" of the C&O K-3a was, like a lot of the Rivarossi offerings, a "look something like" assemblage of stock Rivarossi parts. The boiler is the one developed for a variety of USRA heavy-like pacifics, the tender is the one that was first offered as a model of the B&O S-1 Santa Fe's, and the boiler front with the Elesco and flying pumps was first offered on the C&O sort-of pacifics. You're just as close to representing the C&O K-3a with a lot less work by sticking with the IHC model, and modifying the front end by adding a pair of Cal Scale cross compound compressors and an Elesco feedwater heater to the boiler front. If that's too hard, just look for the Rivarossi boiler front from a junked C&O pacific or mike and swap it onto the IHC mike. Geezer
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There was no response to the above earlier post, so I may be talking to the ether, but here's an additional idea for kitbashing a C&O K3a. Try using parts from the Bachmann J2 USRA Heavy 4-8-2. This model came with a 16-VC Vanderbilt tender that is spot on for the C&O and was used on several of the K3a's. The C&O Historical Society had a batch of these tenders available for separate sale; I bought one in Clifton Forge in October 2003 but I don't know if they still have any. I measured a Rivarossi Pacific/Mikado smokebox at 31/32" diameter, and assume your IHC is similar. The Bachman J2 smokebox measures 1" dia. While a bit larger, the 1/64" overhang won't be too noticeable, especially behind the flying air pumps. The nice thing is that this boiler front is correct for the C&O with more widely spaced compressors than on the AHM kludge, and the Bachmann has the distinctive C&O small oval smokebox door between the compressors as was used on the K3a. As an alternative, you could look for the smokebox front from one of the old Pemco mountains. With their lousy tender drive, they are often available cheap on the used market. They were also patterned after the C&O J2, and have a correct smokebox front, although the detail is not as crisp as the newer Bachmann. Geezer
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Geezer (and others),
Thanks for your replies. I'm not sure what I want to do. I don't have either of the engines but have always liked the looks of the C&O. You mentioned the Bachmann Mountain; I have one of those but it doesn't have the Elesco feedwater heater on it. That is also part of the image for me.
There is one coming up soon on Ebay, but the asking price seems a little stiff for such an older locomotive. But then others have said that those older AHM engines run pretty well. Just don't know what I want to do...
Thanks again.
dlm
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