CNR 3737 :: Tender

I’ve been tardy in updating my blog because it’s been very busy lately, so this is actually a report on two work sessions with my friend Andy Malette. Both focussed on the tender for CNR 2-8-2 number 3737

Let’s start with a reference photo – the stock tender that came with the URSA light Mikado from Overland:

CNR 3737 - stock tender

In the first session (held at the end of January), I reshaped the side walls forward of the coal bunker. On the stock model, these slope back to the deck. But CNR 3737 has a semi-enclosed cab, which meant these needed to be modified. The trick is the fine strip of beading along the top of the side walls: We wanted to preserve that.

A careful application of heat and a single-edged razor blade lifted this off, about one third of the way back along the bunker. I was then able to cut and file away the angles on each side. Finally, I cut and shaped new wall sections to build up the front of the side wall. Once these were soldered in place, I carefully re-bent the bead and soldered it down. Here’s the result:

CNR 3737 - tender mods

When I got home, I realized that the tall walls to either side of the coal bunker doors would also interfere with the back of the semi-vestibule cab…

CNR 3737 - tender mods

… so, off they came:

CNR 3737 - tender mods

The deck to either side of the coal doors is pretty messy now – but the good news is, my prototype photos show spilled coal all over these small decks, so I’m not going to worry about it. I will have to do some clean-up and filling around the side wall extensions that I added, though.

While I was doing that, Andy was prepping for our next session (held yesterday). He cut some channel and angle to length and drilled it for me so I could build new steps at the front of the tender. Thanks to his prep work, the assembly went quickly. Compare this image to the stock photo:

CNR 3737 Tender - front steps

Each ladder assembly consist of 14 pieces. Andy tells me his took a lot of time to assemble, and he was surprised mine went together relatively quickly. Of course, what goes around comes around: The other project during yesterday’s session was building a three-piece assembly for the rear number board. It consists of two C-shaped brackets and the number board itself… and for the life of me I could not get everything to solder properly. Andy eventually stepped in and got it mounted – and I will have a lot of clean-up to do on the rear wall of the tank:

CNR 3737 - tender number plate

The tender still needs a ladder on the fireman’s side, plus railings, power conduit, rear light, and other details. But it’s already looking a lot more like it belongs on the CNR.

4 thoughts on “CNR 3737 :: Tender

  1. This project truly brings us back to the original meaning of “building”. I can’t help but imagine the particular relation you are developing with this locomotive. It has a soul.

  2. Technically, that’s not building, Matthieu. It is modifying.

    But the distinction is irrelevant: it is *creating* a close-to-scale model of a specific model. It doesn’t matter if the starting point is ready to run, a kit, or sheets of flat material, the key is to look at where you want to be, then at where you are, and to consider if that is the best starting point.

    Then you plan on the route from A to B. We are lucky, in that if we ask for directions and we are told the old saw, “Well, I wouldn’t start from here to get there,” we can find out where we should start from, and consider how to get there. Will it require time, money, and/or new skills?

    • I find that building a loco from the ground is way easier. It takes way more time to take something existing apart, move things around, cut and shape things to existing structure than simply making something up that is correct from the beginning. In this case, we had to rely on a model that was not quite accurate in some areas but it is the only one available to work from in Scale form and the closest thing in S Scale to a RTR CNR prototype mikado. If I had been building an S-1-c from the ground up, it would have been farther along by now.

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