Jawn Henry

NW Modeling List nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org
Thu Feb 28 13:29:10 EST 2019

Hi Guys,

I’m kind a new to this list, really a Pennsy guy, and, with a very few exceptions, not at all familiar with N&W steam locomotive classes.

That said, I’ve long been under the impression the “Jawn Henry” was N&W’s foray into steam turbines, but all the attached/posted photos I seen in this thread are of reciprocating steam engines.  I’m I missing something here? 


Ralph Brown
Portland, Maine
PRRT&HS No. 3966
NMRA No. L2532


From: NW Modeling List via NW-Modeling-List 
Sent: Thursday, February 28, 2019 12:27 PM
To: NW Modeling List 
Cc: NW Modeling List 
Subject: RE: Jawn Henry

I too have an alco jawn henry needs work to run, who does it.  Also have the the e2b that needs work and g1. Please contact me off list.



Bob Anson

USAF, Retired, TSGT

Jacksonville, FL


From: NW Modeling List
Sent: Saturday, February 23, 2019 2:43 PM
To: NW Modeling List
Subject: Jawn Henry


I have a rebuilt ALCO Jawn Henry that runs excellent. How did we get there,,, first all gears, drive shafts need to be replaced with NWSL parts. I am blessed with a heck of a rebuilder and he did the work. It took a couple of years of running for jawn to Quiet down. We used brass gears vs the plastic ones NWSL offered thinking we did not want the brass gear problem to rear its ugly head. WE used two soundtrax decoders one sound and one mobile as Jawn has  two motors.


To get the sound we wanted we turned off the chuff on the heavy steam decoder and turned up the dynamo to simulate the turbine sound and the pop valve blowoffs to get close to whoosh sound. The SP horn is used but is not the 5 chime horn that Jawn had but it is the best we could do at the time.


As for the weight we had lots of room and packed it with lead,,, well that did not work well as Jawn has an attitude as we all know decided not to go around curves etc. A reduction in weight helped a whole bunch and Jawn runs well.


the bottom line here is that the shell and trucks will cost you and the rework parts also will not be for  the faint of heart.


Another Chicago modeler just so happened to do the original drawings for ALco and I swindled him out of them and now hang in my layout room and den. The frame work cost about as much as Jawn cost.


If you ever come to Chicago metro area stop by and give Jawn a test drive.


Mike Ritschdorff


From: NW-Modeling-List <nw-modeling-list-bounces at nwhs.org> on behalf of NW Modeling List <nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org>
Sent: Saturday, February 23, 2019 4:17 AM
To: 'NW Modeling List'
Subject: RE: EXTERNAL: RE: Bored with steam 


Erik: I have been a brass dealer since 1973, and a lot has gone thru my hands.

The main problem with  modeling discussions is that there are those in the minority that has the dollars, skills, time etc. We are not the majority.

That is why massed produced models are made – for the majority.

We are the exception! I am talking about the majority here!

As your comment about the Jawn Henry. The Alco model is a very poor runner and there are several articles on how to replace the drive. Did you add the one pound of weight that is recommended? 

Did your Alco model come with the copy of the actual locomotive manual?

I have been on the inside of the brass market for years and owned over 300+ models (every piece that was ever made known and unknown).  How many N&W V1s have you seen?

I am very experienced with the secondary  market and repowered and repaired many. 

As for plastic or brass there will always be fobbies produced.

Stephen Rineair

From: NW-Modeling-List <nw-modeling-list-bounces at nwhs.org> On Behalf Of NW Modeling List via NW-Modeling-List
Sent: Friday, February 22, 2019 5:59 PM
To: NW Modeling List <nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org>
Cc: NW Modeling List <nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org>
Subject: RE: EXTERNAL: RE: Bored with steam


I’m not comfortable with your characterization of “secondary market”.  Yes, you could pay $4000 for a really stunning DP Jawn Henry.  (Or $4200 for one of Jack’s recently re-released models, new.)  You could also pay $1000 for a serviceable Alco Models Jawn Henry.  It’s certainly lower in detail, but I’m not aware of any gross inaccuracies.  The flexible coupling between the adjacent trucks does require tuning to run well, but the OEM motor is not bad, and I haven’t heard of bad gears being a problem in them.  At $1000, I’d expect no bent/broken/missing parts.  I’ve bought plenty of brass models at $350 and under that only require painting and DCC to be gorgeous models for display and running.  Even if you get a bad motor or gearbox, the cost of a used Faulhaber, A-Max or Escap motor (all with rare earth magnets that will outperform a Genesis motor) and the NWSL sleeves and dog bones that allow replacement of an old open frame motor and drive set are between $25 and $60 combined.  A repair person who has a quarterer will generally do a gearbox swap for 1 labor hour, say $60, and the gearboxes might run another $30 for a good one.  The best quartering jig available costs $200, if you want to learn that skill for yourself.  And all these most often aren’t necessary—it’s possible to understand the brass market well enough to have a pretty good idea what will be required for a given model.  About the only way you can end up with a disaster is if the driver insulation has gone bad.

OK, then if you buy an unpainted brass model and don’t have the wherewithal to paint it yourself, it’s going to cost $350 - $400 for a typical black/graphite/iron oxide professional paint job—at which point you will have your (potentially unique) road number on it, plus any specific livery features you specify—in other words, a truly unique model.  And if you don’t do DCC installs yourself but that’s what you run, it will cost you another $250 to have DCC/lights/sound installed.  So if you started with an NWSL E-2 at $250 in decent cosmetic condition (used market value these days), and had motor, gearbox, custom paint and DCC done, it would cost you $1000 for a model you could be pretty darn proud of because nobody else would have one exactly like it.  To get a painted Key Y-whatever, you’ll pay $1200 for a model that has a good motor and a good gearbox, factory paint (or about $1300 if you buy one unpainted and have it custom painted), very good detail, runs well and quiet, but has no DCC or lights.  Or an unpainted NJCB Custom Royale model with superb in-cab detailing, plus custom paint, for about the same price.  How much did those 4 Genesis GP-9’s cost you, that 1000 other people have the exact same detail set and road numbers of?

I have done this a lot, and I can say with authority that most secondary market models are not incorrect, do not have bad motors or broken gears, are not poor pullers/runners, and do not lack good detail—much less all of these problems in a single model.  Sure, you can get screwed if you don’t understand the market or try to bottom-feed, or if the stars align against you.  I’ve personally had about 3% clunker experience in the used brass market for all reasons combined, but in 2 out of 3 of those bad experiences the seller made a material misrepresentation that allowed me to use eBay or the seller’s own policies to cancel the deal.  In comparison, when one of the plastic model producers makes a truly bad model (consider the Intermountain steam locos or the True Line Trains steam locos), what recourse have the buyers had?

Somebody in this thread stated that one could make a decent S-1 out of a Proto-1000 USRA 0-8-0.  I don’t know enough to judge that, but I would dispute that it’s going to end up looking better that a similarly modified PFM USRA 0-8-0—just considering the appearance of brass vs plastic piping alone.  But since PFM made a really nice S-1a, what would be the point of modifying an USRA prototype to an N&W-specific model?  And if one is going to modify either a plastic OR a brass model, fresh paint will be required in any case.

Now I proud to admit that if a model is well produced in plastic, I will go for it in preference to an early brass model of the same prototype.  I will gladly throw away my Van Hobbies CP D-10, when the Rapido model I have on order arrives.  I have several brass NH FL-9’s and still bought 2 Rapido FL-9’s when they were announced.  But plastic is not always better, or even remotely close.  Want to talk about “incorrect”?  I don’t like that mass market models of steam locos eliminate ash pan details and show ridiculous open space between trailing trucks and fireboxes so that a Y-6b, or a Milwaukee S-2 model (to pick two examples) can go around 22” radius curves.  I doubt their prototypes were ever asked to negotiate even 10 degree curves (that’s roughly 79” radius in HO scale.)  I despise shortcuts like painting a 2-8-8-8-2 in Virginian colors so no die changes need be made to an Erie triplex model to sell a few more.  (Oh, and btw, in that MTH model, only two of the three engines are powered!)  I despise that a company will sell an USRA light pacific model in 16 different RR liveries with not one single detail change.  But that’s inescapably the “incorrectness” you are going to get when you decide you can’t spend more than $300 for a small steam loco, or more than $600 for a large one.  

Now I will agree wholeheartedly that the Genesis diesel models, and the latest Bowser diesel models, and several other brands of diesel models, are superb.  They can be because they can accurately represent hundreds of prototypes that were, other than paint, identical to each other, and therefore have broad markets for their identical models.  I would not buy a brass diesel model in favor of a great plastic diesel model.  OK, so show me a great (or any) plastic DR-4-4-1500.  No?  How about a DR-6-4-2000?  No?  I should scratch-build one if I don’t want inaccuracies, bad motors, bad gears, missing parts, bad detail??  Should I buy an Athearn UP veranda turbine with 4 axel drive, instead of an OMI model with 8 axel drive, to get away from “poor pulling/running”?

I don’t think so either, but everybody gets to vote with their own wallet.

-Eric Bott

From: NW-Modeling-List [mailto:nw-modeling-list-bounces at nwhs.org] On Behalf Of NW Modeling List
Sent: Friday, February 22, 2019 14:06
To: 'NW Modeling List' <nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org>
Subject: EXTERNAL: RE: Bored with steam

Brent: A DP Jawn Henry just went for over $4000.00. Secondary market is great if you have a good piece.

Most Secondary market models are incorrect, bad motors, broken gears, missing parts, poor pullers/runners, lacking good detail.

So your cheap brass model becomes an expensive model after repairs and updating. Which the average modeler cannot afford.

Stephen Rineair

From: NW-Modeling-List <nw-modeling-list-bounces at nwhs.org> On Behalf Of NW Modeling List
Sent: Friday, February 22, 2019 2:54 PM
To: NW Modeling List <nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org>
Subject: Re: Bored with steam

You have a W6?  I'll give you $2,000 for it.

Although I'm sure you meant that you have a W2.  But if it's really a W6 my offer is genuine 


Dr. J. Brent Greer

From: NW-Modeling-List <nw-modeling-list-bounces at nwhs.org> on behalf of NW Modeling List via NW-Modeling-List <nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org>
Sent: Friday, February 22, 2019 1:14:57 PM
To: NW Modeling List
Cc: NW Modeling List
Subject: Re: Bored with steam 

I have 2 of the sunset 1st run M class.  They run great.  

I also have a Z1, and a W6 from NWSL.  

I built a K2a from a Bowser USRA mountain. 

I made some Sudo-G1’s from MDC  Old timers.

Bought ONE CF caboose and 8 Gloorcraft ones that I matched to the Brass one.


Mark Lindsey

Stuck in the 1930’s

From: NW-Modeling-List <nw-modeling-list-bounces at nwhs.org> on behalf of NW Modeling List <nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org>
Reply-To: NW Modeling List <nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org>
Date: Friday, February 22, 2019 at 11:43 AM
To: NW Modeling List <nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org>
Subject: Re: Bored with steam

On 2/22/2019 9:56 AM, NW Modeling List via NW-Modeling-List wrote:

  Unfortunately, the “Big Manufacturers” haven’t done the M class.  It would be a GREAT loco as it could be modeled as built, or later with a larger tender, and different pilots, and finally in Strasburg paint.  The BEST PART is that those can be run on smaller layouts.  Sometimes the manufacturers are just missing the point.

    A few years ago was a good year to be in O scale! Scott Mann came through on his father's promise to do the M class. Big tender, little tender and Strasburg.

Jimmy Lisle


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