I finished all but the final decal on the General.
First, the continuing saga of the headlight. The 1.5V bulb in the headlight burned out after a few hours of test running. I decided to replace it with a LED. This was a bit tricky as I had to machine the diameter of the LED to fit the headlight housing. Once I had it installed, I discovered that it would turn on nicely, but when I turned it off, it remained very dimly lit. I decided to change CV57 and CV58 to 2 based on a recommendation from George and that solved the problem. The headlight is now controlled independent of direction, that is, you can turn it on or off regardless of which direction the train is running. Railroads in this era did not burn their headlights in daytime, so it will be off for most op sessions. The LED gives a nice warm white color.
Next I painted the resin woodpile with acrylics and washes.
I dug through my stash and found two figures that were suitable as engineer and fireman. I repainted them in shades of brown, dark blue, and gray. I added a piece of firewood in the fireman's arms. Both figures are now glued in the cab.
I made a new extended link for the cowcatcher. The new one will allow crews to use it during op sessions. The old one disappeared into the carpet monster even though my floor doesn't have carpet.
Finally, I lightly weathered the model with some chalk, enamel grease paint from MIG, and acrylics. I added a bit more rust than normal to the ankle rail. I carefully sprayed the painted (vice russia iron) surfaces with dull coat being carefully to not get paint on the wheels.
The last step will be replace the decal on the tender. I ordered a new decal paper than might make that job a lot easier. We shall see.
I also discovered a few places where the gauge was off. The most serious was a kink that developed in a joint in the flex track in Stares tunnel. That caused the rails to be slightly out of gauge, but it only affected a couple cars. I tried to remove the kink and get the track back in gauge using large track nails driven in the plywood roadbed. To be extra sure, I added a guard rail on the inner rail to keep the wheels on the rail. So far so good. It should be ready for the op session next weekend.