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Arii C53 – October 2017

Posted by Mark Hembree
on Monday, August 21, 2017

Per Arne Rikvold

Tallahassee, Florida

 “The C53 class engines were three-cylinder passenger-express steam locomotives serving on the Tokaido and Sanyo main lines of the Japanese National Railways,” writes Per. “The three-cylinder design (the third cylinder was mounted under the boiler, between the two lateral cylinders) was temperamental and difficult to maintain, so only 97 were built between 1928 and 1930. The last C53 engines were retired in 1950. I found a 1/50 scale Arii kit in a hobby store in Tokyo and decided it was time to branch out a bit from my usual ship modeling.” He brush-painted details with Tamiya, Vallejo, and Model Master acrylics, finding that Tamiya smoke (X-19) worked well for oil on chrome parts. He says, “Unfortunately, most of the scratchbuilt details inside the cab (including missing instruments and copper-wire pipes) are hard to see once the tender is attached. If I were to do this again, I might make it a cutaway model.” He replaced the kit-supplied track with Lionel American Flyer S gauge tracks, shimming inside the rails with toothpicks to make the gauge fit the wheels. “I think you really have to know they are there to notice,” he says. 

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