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Identifying a vintage Daylight Brass Loco - Help needed

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  • Member since
    July 2017
  • From: Germany
  • 2 posts
Identifying a vintage Daylight Brass Loco - Help needed
Posted by Sphuenf on Saturday, July 29, 2017 10:00 AM

Dear all,

I've been silently reading along on this forum for quite a while, especially enjoying the kit-builds and layout builds that pop up every now and then. I wouldn't consider myself a real modelrailroader, as I've got no layout and no real desire to run trains, but our family has always had trains in the house and naturally we had quite a few temporary layouts as kids.

About two years ago I got me my first brass engine: a really overpriced, beat up Tenshodo ATSF Hudson - by now it's been rebuilt twice, runs on DCC & Sound, been lowered to scale height, equipped with a Faulhaber motor and NWSL gears and runs on new drivers... Eversince then i've collected some more vintage brass that fit my budget and there are quite a few projects I'm working on that I would like to share eventually. Albeit the list of locos in need of an overhaul is long enough as it is, I've just added another one, with which I need some help:

I got this vintage Southern Pacific 4-8-4 Daylight here, that I can not identify a 100%. I've been checking Brasstrains.com and the HOseeker archives, and have gotten quite close. Here's what i've found out so far and some pictures to go along with the words. Hopefully one of you knows more.

Locomotive:

Boiler: All rivets are punched, not etched, boilerbands and hatches are soldered on, all of the oversized details seem to be made from turned brass stock. There are no castings except for the builder plates – the air pumps are fine castings, crudely soldered in place, maybe fixed or added by previous owners.

Chassis: The whole wheelbase is one massive cast-brass piece (!) that has been machined flat to take in the axles. There are no springs or bearings whatsoever. The gearbox is very sturdy and comes with its own cap, it doesn't ride on the axle but is mounted to the chassis by five screws – everything can be dissembled back to pieces made from brass sheet. On the underside there are two markings reading “50”, and one can barely make out the remains of “Japan” on the gearbox cover. The wheels are just massive and appear to be oversized quite a bit, the 2nd and 3rd driver are blind. Following the simple and sturdy construction of this model, the side-rods are actually made in one piece. The top of the motor is marked KTM.

 

The tender features sprung trucks and some etched hatches on the top. Everything else is made from slightly thicker brass sheets. Again all rivet detail is punched and all pieces soldered on separately.

The KTM marking on the motor first led me to early Max Grey Daylight engines. They seem to use a similar pilot truck and the same tender trucks, but the construction itself is completely different and the detailing far better. I'm quite sure now that it a early PFM loco, the boiler and Tender are identical to this one here, the chassis however isn't:   Link to Brasstrains.com  A different run features the two blind drivers, but then again it uses different tender trucks:  different loco, also on Brasstrains

 

Now, have any of you seen a similar construction in a Japanese brass loco?

The PFM compendium by Phil & Ruth Kohl counted two handbuilt models for the years 1955-56, which makes it way unlikely for my model to be one, and 656 models for 1958 alone. If it was a normal model of the first run, shouldn't I be able to find similar ones ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    September 2002
  • From: California & Maine
  • 3,848 posts
Posted by andrechapelon on Saturday, July 29, 2017 2:35 PM

I remember seeing a brass GS-4 at a model railroad club's layout at the Antelope Valley fairgrounds in Lancaster, CA, sometime in 1953 (young, I ain't). There was an early brass manufacturer called Tetsudo Mokei-sha that may have done it. 

Here's a YouTube vid of a Tetsudo engine.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qGydjUj2_SI

Hope this helps.

Andre

 

It's really kind of hard to support your local hobby shop when the nearest hobby shop that's worth the name is a 150 mile roundtrip.
  • Member since
    November 2012
  • From: Kokomo, Indiana
  • 1,463 posts
Posted by emdmike on Saturday, July 29, 2017 3:43 PM

Howard Zane might know, he has been involved in the brass part of the hobby for many years.  He should be along eventually to try to help out.  I will dig out my brown book and see what other early builders/importers did Daylights.  Some of those early models are hard to ID as many didn't put the nice etched builders plates on them like later models did.    Mike

Silly NT's, I have Asperger's Syndrome

  • Member since
    July 2017
  • From: Germany
  • 2 posts
Posted by Sphuenf on Saturday, July 29, 2017 4:52 PM

Thank you for your replies. The Tetsuedo engine was also on my list - the very basic detail and easy construction definetly fit the style and time of my loco. Somehow the easiest way to distinguish these early models is a look at the position of the numberboards. It seems only PFM had them in the front, while Balboa and KTM have them in the middle. Unfortunately I've somehow messed up with the links my original posting. I think I'm actually quite close now, as I've identified these two early PFM engines on Brasstrains' database. They'd be a dead match, if it wasn't for the chassis.

Same Detailing, same Tender, but different drivers and construction

same drivers are blind, but again the different construction. The added detail under the cab makes this one a later run for sure 

The second example also shows what a simple, yet beautiful model this can turn out to be - hopefully I'll be up to the task. Work keeps me busy at the moment, but hopefully Ill soon be able to remove the paintjob and give it a good polish,

  • Member since
    November 2012
  • From: Kokomo, Indiana
  • 1,463 posts
Posted by emdmike on Saturday, July 29, 2017 6:53 PM

Also keep in mind, with a very early model, it could be a one or two off model done just for an American service man stationed in Japan during the occupation years.  That is how many of the brass companies got started initially.  So it might be something totally unique and have traits of several later models.  PFM's models for example,  were made by several cottage industires that were under the "United" label.  In those early years there was little documentation.  Sometimes adds in early model railroad magazines are the only way to find them.  Lobaugh did models in O scale, not sure about HO scale.  His were very crude by todays standards, but ran really well.  I am hoping Mr Zane will have an idea.  You might also forward pics to the gentleman that runs Brasstrains.com and see if he has an idea who built it and who imported it. Cant go by the motor, lots of models used the KTM motors.      Mike

Silly NT's, I have Asperger's Syndrome

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