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Reference for the MPC "General" locomotive

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For those building the MPC/AMT kit of the "General" locomotive, it will take a bit of research and work to build it as it looked at the time of its service during the American Civil War.

Built by the Rogers Locomotive Works in 1855, the "General" , (not "The General") was rebuilt numerous times after the war.  The MPC kit depicts the locomotive after restoration.

A long-out-of-print book, Civil War Railroads And Models by Edwin P. Alexander has some nice 1:48 scale line drawings showing "General" as it looked as built (as well as a wealth of info regarding other locomotives used during the war on both sides, and other items such as lineside buildings and period track).

The link below has some info regarding the probable paint colors of the General, using what is known regarding other Rogers locomotives of the era:


(click on image on page for a larger one)


Several years a manufacturer offered historically-accurate 1:48 scale locomotives and some rolling stock relating to the Civil War era.  Here is their interpretation of the General.  (Note the company is out of business, their webpage inactive.  I had to go back to an archived page to find their pictures of the General.




More here:



The MPC kit can be kitbashed into representations of other locomotives of similar design:



And, for fun here's a scratchbuilt interpretation of the General, in a 1:6 scale diorama at an action figure convention:



Or you could just go with a custom paint job:


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7 hours ago, DonW said:


That smokestack is insane! Can you educate me as to what it's for, you don't see those designs on UK steam trains, just a simple funnel.



I'm not a rail hobbyist but I believe the large stack was an attempt as a spark and ember arrester. These engines were wood burning. Nothing like 'burning your bridges' or cars, track, stations, passengers, and forests (which was needed for fuel) 


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Yes, that smoke stack is for screening out embers.


I'd been looking for this reference link for a while, just found it finally.  It profiles General, and explains changes made to the loco throughout its career after the Civil War raid escapade.  For those wondering of General's significance, here you are:


Here's how she looked at the end of her service.  She would be rebuilt in 1882 for the 1883 World's Columbian Exhibition.


Compare this photo with the large black and white photo in my initial post depicting General as she looked in Atlanta in 1864.  She had been heavily damaged in the fire that leveled that city when Confederate forces evacuated.  You can see how the frame was changed, along with the strapiron cowcatcher.  She was built to run on 5-foot gauge track, but in the 1880's the track was converted to 4'-9".


Another reference link...

General was rebuilt in the 1960s to celebrate the centennial of her role in Civil War history.




General as she looks today (note green cab interior despite red exterior).




And for fun, for reference regarding American locomotives of General's type, go to the following page:   http://www.ottgalleries.com/rivarossi.html

Then scroll down to find "DOWNLOADABLE STUFF FOR FELLOW MODELERS"  for two PDF files of illustrations, scaled for 1:87 if you print them out. 

In "Part 1" you can even find a modern color rendering of how General might have appeared as built.


I provide this info for those who wish to build their kit other than box stock.  ?




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  • 3 years later...

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