Speaking of eBay deals...

An old Fuji/PFM Southern Pacific E-23 American that I found on auction with no tender and a pilot beam and front coupler that had been glued
back on with silicone rubber! (Ahem!) The feedwater pipes running back past the firebox were also broken free of their solder joints, the bell was gone, and the pilot-truck tension spring had gone missing at some point.
The good news was that the loco had *zero* running time and was from the later run that featured brake shoes, which I'm told the early ones lacked. It was also cheap.
I soldered the pilot and pipes back together, wound a new pilot-truck spring, modernised her a bit with an S.P. style Pyle headlight, added a spare small whale-backed tender, and painted and decaled them both for the Sud Pacifico de Mexico where small old-fashioned steam engines such as this one held out until the mid 1950s. (Oh yeah, I also poured two plus ounces of lead into the cab's roof, thereby balancing her better on the drivers while adding tractive effort as well. She'll now pull circa 8-9 average 40' cars up our 2 1/2% grades, which is all one could ask of a tiny 4-4-0.)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/33885727@N03/3438725853/sizes/o /
Here she idles in the Port Macabre yards, no doubt thinking back to the days when she pulled the varnish.
~Pete
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On 4/13/2009 2:17 PM Twibil spake thus:

Day-um: beautiful. Sparse detail, but just the right amount. Looks like it could be expen$ive bra$$.
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Thank you. After only 60 years in the hobby I'm finally beginning to get it right.

I've since added marker light lenses, glass for the cab windows, and an Engineer and Fireman. There just isn't a whole lot more detail you *can* add to a steam engine that was built in 1900. They were much simpler machines back then!

Brass it is, but not expensive.
~Pete
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If you really want the look of glass, consider slide cover glass. This is avaiable from biology supply places and are some of the thinnest glass that I've ever seen. It is in 25mm square pieces and scales about 3/8" thick.
-- Bob May
rmay at nethere.com http: slash /nav.to slash bobmay http: slash /bobmay dot astronomy.net
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