Union Pacific "Big Boy" Locomotive

27 posts in this topic

Posted · Report post

I figured since the "Other Models" section has been created, I would share one of my favorite "other" models. This is a Revell of Germany reissue from about two or three years ago of an early 80s Monogram H.O. scale Snaptite kit of the Union Pacific 4-8-8-4 "Big Boy" steam locomotive. I could not wait to get this home when I found it, and also have been lucky enough to find to of the original issues since. I built it straight from the box, with the exception of replacing the kits rather warped roadbed and rail sections with much better 9 inch Kato track sections. Even though it is H.O. scale, which is 1/87 scale for those not into model trains, this is a massive engine at almost 18 inches long.

HPIM1709.jpg

HPIM1711.jpg

HPIM1712.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Matt, years ago, I once had the pleasure of working with a gentleman who used to work as a coalman on a train called the 'Fast Flying Virginian" It used to haul coal thru the mountains of West Virginia. Once, we went to the Henry Ford Museum and saw the real thing. That monster is HUGE!!! It too is a 4-8-8-4 locomotive, and when he tells me it used to shake the ground a 1/2 a mile away from the track, i can believe it.These things musta been a site to see!!!:D;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

That IS one huge engine and a good locking build. I tried trains when trying to get my son into modeling (I always wanted a HO Layout) and painted and decaled a cheap Ahearn diesel and boxcars in New Haven colors. It was a fun break when I was getting back into modeling ,,and counts as a completion for me!! :D;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Matt, years ago, I once had the pleasure of working with a gentleman who used to work as a coalman on a train called the 'Fast Flying Virginian" It used to haul coal thru the mountains of West Virginia. Once, we went to the Henry Ford Museum and saw the real thing. That monster is HUGE!!! It too is a 4-8-8-4 locomotive, and when he tells me it used to shake the ground a 1/2 a mile away from the track, i can believe it.These things musta been a site to see!!!:)B)

You know, George, you really got me thinking about hearing about the "Fast Flying Virginian" being a 4-8-8-4 locomotive, beacause from everything I had ever read, the 4-8-8-4 wheel arrangement was unique to the "Big Boy" and Union Pacific. I decided to do some research, and "Bing"ed fast flying virginian, and all I really got from that was videos of modern trains that must run on a route called that, but then I remembered you mentioned the Henry Ford museum, so I tried their site, and guess what, I found the train you were talking about! According to the site, this was an engine used in the coal fields right here in Wild, Wonderful West Virginia, and it's a C&O Allegheny type, and here's the picture thanks to the Henry Ford Museum site.

allegheny.jpg

Even though I haven't been lucky enough to either have one of these monsters in my H.O. scale train collection or to have seen one in person, they are very close to the "Big Boy", but the wheel arrangement is a 2-6-6-6. I once seen a show on the History Channel that was on the steam giants like these two engines that stated, even though the Allegheny was built for the slow moving coal drags here in the eastern mountains and the Big Boy was for fast freights out west and neither were used in comparable service, the Allegheny was more powerful.

Unfortunately, at least in the northern part of the state, most all of our railroad heratige is gone, with only to active raillines still around, but I've been a railfan since I was born, I first visited Cass Scenic Railroad at 6 months old, and many times since! I also had my first trainset as a Christmas present from my father before I was one year old. I really wish I could have been around in the heyday of these giants, but I wasn't that lucky, but the model railroad hobby at least let's me enjoy it in a smaller scale. I figured I'd pull this beauty out of the box, too, my 3 truck Shay locomotive from my favorite place, Cass Scenic Railroad.

HPIM2805.jpg

I figured while I had it out, too, I'd sit both side by side just to show how massive the Big Boy is.

HPIM2806.jpg

HPIM2807.jpg

Oh, and by the way, the Shay is not a model, it is a powered H.O. scale from Spectrum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

That IS one huge engine and a good locking build. I tried trains when trying to get my son into modeling (I always wanted a HO Layout) and painted and decaled a cheap Ahearn diesel and boxcars in New Haven colors. It was a fun break when I was getting back into modeling ,,and counts as a completion for me!! :)B)

Thanks, Mike, and it sometimes seems railroading and modeling tend to go hand in hand. I've never repainted or redecaled any yet, but I do buy the kit railcars from time to time as a "quick build" when I want to put a model together, but just don't want the hassle of painting. I've always wanted a layout, too, but either had the space and no money or, like now, no space for one. My train collection spends most of the year in their boxes, only to come out for Christmas to run around the Christmas tree! :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Awesome looking Train and HUGE too boot..

That should pull a hill with no problems..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Wow! Those two are simply Amazing! Great likeness and Detail! I Love it! :) .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

Awesome looking Train and HUGE too boot..

That should pull a hill with no problems..

Thanks Rodney!

Wow! Those two are simply Amazing! Great likeness and Detail! I Love it! :) .

Thanks David, but like I said in the relpy to George, the Shay is just as I bought it. The only one I can take credit for is the Big Boy! :D

EDIT: By the way, David, the next time you get a chance to get to Cheyenne, stop by Holliday Park on U.S. 30, you'll find Big Boy 4004 there!

up4004a.jpg

Edited by highway

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I figured while I was looking things up, here's a site that is going to be helpful to me in building the other two kits I still have left to do.

http://www.steamlocomotive.com/bigboy/

That gives the history of the engine, and also the locations of the surviving locomotives, such as 4006 in St Louis, MO, which is the one mine is numbered after. Also, if you noticed, 4006 also logged the highest mileage of the Big Boys on the Union Pacific line at just somewhat over 1,000,000 miles! Here's a pic of the real 4006 from the site.

4006.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I figured while I was looking things up, here's a site that is going to be helpful to me in building the other two kits I still have left to do.

http://www.steamlocomotive.com/bigboy/

That gives the history of the engine, and also the locations of the surviving locomotives, such as 4006 in St Louis, MO, which is the one mine is numbered after. Also, if you noticed, 4006 also logged the highest mileage of the Big Boys on the Union Pacific line at just somewhat over 1,000,000 miles! Here's a pic of the real 4006 from the site.

4006.jpg

Hey matt Union Pacific is also the only line that has a working BigBoy that still pulls, Im a N scale train modeler and I model UP. I'll have to show you my layout one day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Hey matt Union Pacific is also the only line that has a working BigBoy that still pulls, Im a N scale train modeler and I model UP. I'll have to show you my layout one day.

I was aware they had a Challenger 4-6-6-4, (#3985 if I remember correctly offhand) which is more or less a smaller Big Boy, still running occasional scenic passenger runs, but I didn't know they still had an operational Big Boy, too! I'll be very interested in seeing your layout, too, I've always been a fan of UP. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

EDIT: By the way, David, the next time you get a chance to get to Cheyenne, stop by Holliday Park on U.S. 30, you'll find Big Boy 4004 there!

Okay I sure will. I did not know one was there, I do now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

Even though it is H.O. scale, which is 1/87 scale for those not into model trains, this is a massive engine at almost 18 inches long.

In the early 90's I travelled to Omaha, Nebraska to see the Big Boy they had there, and it was massive, next to it they had the later Union pacific DD, which was a monster ....

Edited by GeeBee

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

I love those old Big Boys- looks like you did a great job on this one.

Most people alive today have no idea how truly flippin massive these monsters were. The main driving wheels, of which there were sixteen per side, were 68" drivers- that's 5' 8" tall. There were a total of thirty-two of them on the locomotive. The locomotive itself was 85 feet long with a 72 foot wheelbase. Add the pilot gear and tender and the overall length is about 130 feet. At about 16 feet tall from the rail-head, it's longer and taller than most single story homes. Seeing one of these behemoths in person, resting cold and dormant, is an impressive sight to say the least. To see one of these titans alive, breathing fire and hot steam, would be truly awe-inspiring.

edit: I was curious, so I crunched the numbers and found that a 1:25 scale Big Boy would be about 5' 2" long and around 7" tall! B)

Edited by David G.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I love these big guys, you really did it justice.

4006 is about 15 miles from where I lived. I remember climbing all over that puppy as a kid.

G

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Thanks everyone for the compliments. :)

In the early 90's I travelled to Omaha, Nebraska to see the Big Boy they had there, and it was massive, next to it they had the later Union pacific DD, which was a monster ....

The DD is another UP engine I've always loved, and both it and the Big Boy are reasons I've enjoyed UP equipment, UP just seems to have the biggest engines! :) I wish I would have remembered when I was still driving over the road, I was in Omaha quite often with a company I drove for headquartered there, I would have made it a point to go to the UP headquarters!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Cool Big Boy. i love trains, I have all N-scale stuff. no room for it yet. cant wait to get a house . Trains will be going along the walls of my man cave. N-scale of course.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Train looks awesome, we have a place here called Heston Steam Show , its a working train museum, we are going there this weeknd to ride the trains they have a holloween thing this weekend, anyway they have a Shay that they just restored, i will get pictures of the trains for u, oh they have a website to

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Matt,

I had this model a LONG time ago as well! Then I got the Con-Cor/Riverrossi unit and remotored it with twin Sagami cans. That thing would PULL.

But anyway, I actually went through all the trouble to drill out all of the ashpan holes and weather the 4-8-8-4. It was destroyed in a move. Hobby Lobby currently has this on their shelves and I was thinking about picking it up and recreating my old build. Thanks foor the memories. And as long as we are talking big Locos here, the 2-10-10-2 is another monster, along with the U.Ps Gas-Turbine prototypes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Looks great Matt! I have always wanted to build one of these. I like your Shay too but I have never come across a good deal on one yet. Toy trains is not a cheap hobby.. I'd know :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Wow!

:rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Thanks for the compliments everyone. :lol:

@Scalper: I used to have a few N scale trains, too, but I've always seemed to go back to HO. I can't wait until I can get a larger house so I can finally have a nice layout. I have barely enough room for models, so the trains reside in their storage bins most of the time!

@gray07: Thanks for the info, and that sounds just like how Cass Railroad is. Cass started out as a logging town and now they use the right of way originally used for the logging railroad for the scenic route. As far as I know, all the Shays there are original to the old logging rairoad, too.

@whale392: It's funny you bring up the gas turbines, I picked up the new issue of Model Railroader this week and they have a review of a turbine in HO scale that is new from Athearn. I always wanted the Riverrossi unit, but just never had the money to get it, as is the story now. One of my LHSs is the only one of three to carry a very nice selection not only in kits, but has a very nice train selection as well. Not only (at least last I was there anyway) do they have another one of the Revell of Germany kits, they have the Athearn Genesis series Big Boy, too! At almost $400, though, it's a little out of my price range, and since I'd have to have the Union Pacific Challenger they have as well, I don't have the $800 for both! :rolleyes:

@Ralifreak78: Yeah, for being older snap kits, they are very nice to build. Also, I wouldn't exactly say I got a good deal on the Shay, I paid over $200 for mine, but it had been one of my "Holy Grails" of my railroad part of the hobby. The only one I ever wanted was the Cass version, and I was lucky to find this on the shelf and I had the extra cash at the time, so I finally got it after all these years. At least one of my other "Holy Grails" wasn't as expensive! :D I had spent 10 years since I lost everything in a house fire in 1997 trying to replace my original train my father had bought for my first Christmas, a Lionel HO scale Burlington Northern diesel. Even though I knew nothing could replace the original, I had to have that engine just for sentimental value, and finally replaced it in 2007 after finding it new in the box for $10 at a local train show!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I think I paid $200.00 for the Con-Cor unit, and almost that in Sagami Can motors and heavy metal to add to the frame/inner locomotive body. I re-wired it as well. On flat-level grade, it can pull 145 NMRA sanctioned/ruled 60' Plate F Autoboxes. That equates to roughly 180 40' wooden reefers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I think I paid $200.00 for the Con-Cor unit, and almost that in Sagami Can motors and heavy metal to add to the frame/inner locomotive body. I re-wired it as well. On flat-level grade, it can pull 145 NMRA sanctioned/ruled 60' Plate F Autoboxes. That equates to roughly 180 40' wooden reefers!

:) Wow thats a beast.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

She does OK Brian. Haven't ran her since I moved to Ohio though (she is still in Florida). I do have an Athearn SD40-2 that I have canned and added a lot of weight to (and a LOT of aftermarket detailing to) that I pull with at the moment. She was a CSX unit, but I have added the SD50/60 series blower duct, the GP50/60 series Dynamic brake blister (2 GP units cut and spliced to form the SD40s proper lengthed housing)..............all sorts of mods. She pulls 110 NMRA wieghted 60' boxes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now