Well thankfully what I thought to be a junked shay kit came in the other day. I found the kit on ebay, and what was described as an incomplete kit turned out to be just the opposite! All that was really missing were the instructions. This was a huge blessing on my little Ocalla Shay, as it was a 2-truck kit, so I won't have to make the awful surgery i was going to have to do with the three truck kit. Though I will have to drill a few new holes so I can mount the shay engine in a more ideal position and optimize the locomotive's tight turning radius. Along with a multitude of parts to salvage from. Although I do feel a slight hint of guilt considering how increasingly rare these kits are becoming. I hope that one day SOMEONE will begin reproducing the MDC Shay kits. Despite their cantankerous reputations, they're extremely fun and I've gotten many hours of pleasure from working with them.
Not too long ago I was able to get an AHM old time 4-4-0 tender shell. I cut the shell in two, right behind the tool boxes. After test fitting everything on the new 2 truck frame here is what the outcome was, shy of the engine and line shafts.
As you can see the locomotive is REALLY starting to come together! Even if the cab is a mock up made out of paper. Though there is one thing that concerns me just a bit. With the mock up cab in place as well as the tender, the back of the tank is actually resting atop the end beam. I'm really liking the cab dimentions... but if I shorten the tank, I think it will look too short proportionally. Though I could alter the cab dimensions and shorten it by 3 to 6 scale inches. I'm just not totally sure what to do there, but I'll think of something. The issue is hard to see in these photos, but the side view below will give a better illustration.
As can also bee seen, I've been lazy and have yet to fix the "Off Side" of the truck frames to the trucks. My focus has been to get the line shafts to turn freely under push power alone and reduce as much binding as possible. The reach ruck still needs a little work, but turns fairly easy. just not easy enough yet. I still have quite a ways to go, but at least the shay is starting to look like a respectable locomotive! Thanks for tuning in, and there's more to come!