Hudson castings arrived on Saturday and I unpacked and inventoried today. I have to tell you, John, I’ve built or helped others build quite a few locomotives over the years from castings made in the UK and Canada. I helped one friend machine castings for a [different supplier's] Hudson years ago. The tender trucks were made from 3 castings almost like you would expect on an O gauge locomotive. Side frames were 3/8 inch thick bronze castings that had the appearance of Commonwealth trucks but were basically no different from toy trains, flat on the back with raised areas to simulate truck castings. That’s not to say the other locomotives were inferior, just a lot different from yours.
I vacillated for months before buying castings for your Hudson mainly due to cost. When I unpacked the tender truck, trailing and pilot truck castings the finish, lack of porosity and almost no washing of sand in corners, I was impressed. All I could think of is, “Wow, this is a real locomotive, not a toy like so many other locomotives and definitely worth the price I paid.” Don’t know who does your foundry work, but tell them I said, "Well done, guys!!" Outstanding castings, core work, etc. They seem to have hit them with a grinder to remove most of the parting line flash, so there will be minimal clean up before I start machining. Again, I can’t tell you enough how impressed I am with the quality of this first batch of castings from Friends Models. There is a lot of work in ramming these up, setting the cores, cutting the gates and setting the risers to get castings in iron and bronze with this quality of detail and finish. I’ve done foundry work, so I get it. Great stuff, John!