After modifying several of the old Gilbert Reading Atlantics to install full valve gear and eccentric rods I began to think about the possibility of stretching one of Gilbert's Atlantics and making a Pacific. The real Reading Pacifics looked just like the Gilbert Atlantics, just longer.
I started out by cutting the boiler into three pieces. The top section was made so that the domes could be moved to reflect the actual positioning of the real locomotive's sand and steam domes.
The boiler was stretched by about 1 3/16 inches. Modifications of the boiler mounting points had to be made to accommodate the Pacific frame. The boiler pieces are held together by a piece of copper pipe that was cut along one side and opened out into an inverted U shape. The copper pipe had to be formed and cut to ensure the boiler pieces fit tightly and the internal components (smoke unit and motor) would fit after it was all put together.
The pieces were test fitted and then "welded" together using JB Weld. After a lot of filling and sanding to get the shape looking right various exterior details were reapplied. This included piping, an air reservoir tank, bell, generator and longer handrails.
A plastic tender was used in place of the original tin tender. Additional handrails include one across the front of the pilot. Marker lights were added to the boiler front and rear of the tender.
A full set of valve gear and eccentric rods were also applied. The end result is a nice addition to my collection of custom-made locomotives.