Barry Bogs'  1/22.5  scale

Union Pacific  Big Boy  4018

Backhead & Cab - May 2021


Here is the latest from the boys in the shop! As I have said before, this is the most intense loco build the boys have ever done. I directed the boys to work on the backhead first, before attempting to put a cab around it. I don"t think the boys nailed it 100%, but it comes close to what a Big Boy backhead should look like. The appliances are all so different from what the shop has built in the past, so it required some creative ideas, as to how to make the parts and mount them. I think once it is painted and detailed, it should look a lot better. 

Once I approved the backhead work, it was time to address the cab. Wow, it is not a square box, like most other models! The guys cut out the wall panels, and assembled the basic cab with 6 different parts. I had them add additional reinforcing braces in various places to add some strength to the assembly. Once the basic cab was assembled, it was time to mount it to the cab deck and put the roof on it. The roof consist of three layers, to get the curvature the way it should look. Once the roof was attached firmly, the boys added the U shaped channel on each side that holds the upper cab handrail. The boys then had to figure out where to cut the opening over the channels. I was nervous, but the boys nailed it on the first try.

With that done, the handrail was installed and the half round trim on the roof edge was added. I like the look of the cab smoke lifter on the rear, so I directed the boys in the fabrication shop to make one to fit the roof. While they were making the smoke lifter, I also had them make the roof vent with a working hatch cover. With those parts mounted on the roof by the boys in the erection shop, the boys in the fabrication shop were busy on the windows, both the sides and front of the cab. With all the details added, the rivet crew took over and added the million of rivets to the cab and roof!

The Big Boy has multiple doors on the back of the cab and they can be removed for summer operation. I thought the crew should stay warm, so I directed the boys to add the door panel on the back of the cab and make two of the doors open and close. Well, there you have it for this step in the Big Boy soga. I hope you will stay tuned for the next part of the build, as I am thinking that the running boards should go on next. Again, fabricating them will be intense, just like the rest of the engine due to all the holes they have. Thanks again for your time, interest  and comments in this continuing Big Boy project.   - - Barry

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