I don't have a functioning layout so, at the moment, all my pleasure comes from buying junkers and getting them back into respectable operating condition.
My current project started out with the purchase of a Mantua 4-6-2 from an acquaintance on a Facebook group of which I am a member.
Here is what I started with.
The original intent was to scrounge whatever was good from the kit and garbage the rest. However, upon inspecting the contents of the box, it appeared that everything was in there including all the screws and detail parts. Therefore I decided to assemble all that I could and see what I ended up with.
First I assembled the tender. Everything was there including a Kadee coupler and box. Whoever painted the model had also painted the coal load green. I have heard of blue coal but green? I painted the load black. The posts where the trucks attach were lightly filed (the contact points were painted over) and sanded with 400 grit wet/dry emery paper as well as the contact area of the trucks to improve electrical contact and the brass pickup wheels were polished with 600 grit wet/dry emery paper.
I then began work on the frame. It was intact except for the pilot and step unit. It was plastic and was broken. I rummaged through my junk box and found a die cast unit that was intact and used it. The wheels, axles and side rods were in good condition, with the wheels still in quarter. The bearings showed some corrosion as were 2 of the axles. For the time being I used them "as is" as I didn't want to start filing and mess something up. I applied a goodly amount of Labelle oil during assembly. The valve train required some attention as several of the parts required straightening. I also tightened several of the rivets with light pressure from a pair of pliers.
I have ordered a fiberglass burnishing pen to complete the clean up of the bearings and axles.
The motor was terribly noisy but a little Labelle 107 fixed that and the motor runs smooth as silk. The motor was then added to the chassis and some Labell gear grease to the motor shaft worm and axle drive gear.
I hooked the power pack directly to the motor and slowly increased the voltage. Everything appeared to be functioning as normal so I applied a full 12 volts to the motor. All was good. I let it run for about 10 minutes and reversed the motor and ran another 10 minutes.
I removed the pickup wire from the motor and shortened it (there was too much hanging between the cab and tender) and re-soldered it along with the headlight wire to the motor. I installed the cab, the light into the boiler and placed the boiler onto the chassis and secured it with the required screws.
The bell and hand rails were installed and the job was complete with what I had. I still need some more hand rail posts and some wire to complete the throttle linkage.
When my burnishing pen arrives I will completely dismantle everything again and clean it all up and relube properly (I currently have too much to compensate for the rust/corrosion). I am also debating whether to strip the green paint and go grey firebox/black boiler.
Anyway this is my result to this point in time. I hope you enjoyed my adventure and that I didn't bore anyone.