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Reading G-1sb 204

Reading G-1sb 204


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Reading G-1sb 202                   


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    Reading G-1sb 204



In putting more “R” in my PRSL modeling, in 2015 I started significant projects to better represent the Reading in my rolling stock. I have been casually buying Reading rolling stock built by others over the years. With the passing of Frank Titman and liquidation of his layout, I bought a lot of Reading freight cars. Besides the Reading I-8 Camelback, and I-10sa, I had no true passenger locomotives. When Frank’s G3 was sold many years ago I had no interest in the Reading. Later when my focus changed to mostly PRSL modeling, I knew I needed a Reading Pacific. I made a deal with Fred Rouse, former owner of S Scale Loco & Supply to build it.  The book “The Reading Railroad’s Mighty Pacifics” by Benjamin Bernhart was heavily used as a reference in this project.





My intention was to build a very nice representation not a rivet for rivet brass model. The loco arrived February 2015 for me to take over and finish it. Fred chose to use the American Models Pacific for the starting point. It was an excellent decision as it runs very well.


I also bought a detailed American Flyer tender shell years ago from John Hall in anticipation for this project. It is stock American Flyer length instead of Frank’s custom chopped and reassembled shells. My tender is not really correct length for a G1 in this era, but again “good enough”.




I would like to thank Fred Rouse for building this loco for me.

I have been having such a great time running it.


This is the first major project I completed since I got my own 3D printer. It was very convenient to be able to design and print the parts needed the same day. If the part was not quite right, change it and print again.


While I did not make the loco, the start to finish effort was a very involved significant project only second in effort and complexity to my PRR K4 5495 project here. I did more “bodywork” with auto body putty, multiple coats of primer, and wet sanding than ever before.

First Photos

These are the first photos when I got the loco only from Fred Rouse.


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Threaded Inserts

The American Flyer screws are very large. I wanted to use 2-56 screws. I tapped some square brass tubing and glued them as threaded inserts in the tender shell. It worked very well.

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These are some of the parts I designed and 3D printed.

The face of contact with all the supports is usually the worst and mostly not usable without significant clean up. This needs to be considered in the design process.


Coal Bunker

Most of the American Flyer tenders I have on scale locos have a heaping coal load with coal sprinkled on top of the fake plastic load. I wanted to show a partially consumed coal pile so I cut out the plastic and printed a coal bunker. The effect was so worth the effort. It wound up being watertight as well when I was making the coal load.


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It was very easy to make varied lengths in Solidworks until I got what I wanted.

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Motor Mount

I angled the bottom a bit to help with the very offset driveshaft. There are 2 nylon screws on the top holding the motor in place.

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I used 1 I had cast in brass for the boiler front. The tender numberplate was right from my printer.

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Power Plug Bracket

This bracket holds the Miniatronics 2 pin power plug form the tender to the loco  in place on the frame at the drawbar of the loco. Just having fun making parts!

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Tender Floor Base

The tender base is the largest item I have ever printed. It JUST fit in the build area of my printer. I don’t claim the tender base is completely accurate but I really like it.



This is the first round of designing for the tender floor. There are always changes and things you cannot account for until you try it. Getting the coupler height correct is always a guess.


The first photos are of the first floor just completed and still on the base of my 3D printer. You can see how it JUST fits! This was the fastest print speed to get it done which was still 3 hours. There are 2 slower speeds that give a much better finish. The tubs are alcohol which cleans and cures the material. The whole base and lattice like support structure is waste and cannot be reused. The U shape near the drawbar pin was a design feature as first point of contact to the build plate. It is also waste.


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After some changes this is the final version. I had to remove some ribs because they hit the wheels.

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And the final print after painting.

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Water Deflector

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I made the first test tender base and temporarily put a decoder in for some test running. I had to get some Reading cars out for a proper first run!


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Some Primer and Bondo


Actually I used Floquil primer and an auto body product called NitroStan. It is a one part filler that dries quickly. It has a finer consistency than the Squadron putties. Some significant effort was made here with puttying, and repeatedly wet sanding with more primer sprayed, only to be wet sanded again. It was very time consuming. At some point you just have to say enough and call it done.


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Another quick test run before final paint.

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Power Pickup

It is very time consuming but mandatory to have good operation. I make as many wheels as possible pickup power. I use phosphor bronze wire for the pickups. I cut grooves in the back of the wheels to keep the pickups from wandering and shorting. Everything is isolated with nylon screws and washers. There is some difficulty in getting the pickup tension just right so it picks up power but does not create wheel drag. I also regularly oil the grooves. It does not seem to have any effect on the power pickup.


I am also showing where I mounted the decoder. It almost fit on top of the motor but I had to make this bracket instead. Note I use a lot of Miniatronics plugs throughout the design for easy maintenance.

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Decoder and Electronics

I used a TCS WOW Decoder for the first time. I mostly use Soundtraxx Tsunamis previously. The WOW was recommended to me because I did not have a sound cam to utilize. It was a bit difficult at first as 1 change takes multiple CVs to program. I have warmed up to the WOW a bit and might use 1 again. There is a very slight random change to the chuff sound and rate when running at a constant speed that I like. With this loco forward I am using all LEDs for lighting. The Railmaster Deep Bass has been my speaker of choice for many years now. They come already sealed in an enclosure baffle and sound great to me. I put the speaker right under the stack pointing up. That is where the sound really comes from anyway.


Completed Model

Rods Down Portraits

8-2 to 9-6-15

I have taken a LOT of photos of the finished model.

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Updated 2-25-18

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