I don't care for the design of the cranks/counterweights with the crankpin that relies on the little "caps" to hold the siderods on. The connection between the main pin and the main rod is fine as is. I would like to have cranks/counterweights made that are the same as the MDC ones with the flat key area to match the flat keyed area on the axle ends but made of a strong durable metal that you can tap and thread a crankpin in that has a thread in in to use a hex head screw to hold the siderods on. I'm in the process of checking if this can be done as, I personally, think it would save headaches down the road. In the meantme we'll all just have to deal with the "caps."
I've got the MDC C-21/25 all broken down into different sections for soda blasting, lowering the boiler, prep for detail work, and repainting. While removing the drivers then the main rods I launched the tiny little "caps" that push on to the end of the crankpins and hold the main rods in place. I put out a request on www.groups.io/g/hon3 to see if anyone had any spares but no luck. However, a member on that group said he had designed some for 3D printing and offered to send some to me to try out and report back on how they worked!
Among the discussion on www.groups.io/g/hon3 the topic of brass wheels, like used on this model, came up and it was pointed out that brass picks up and holds dirt very quickly which is a problem for DCC and Sound as it interferes with the electrical pickup which can cause you DCC equipped locos to lose power; especially with the way this model is designed to pickup power from the rails...The right side of the loco only picks up power from the right rail while the left side of the tender only picks up power from the left rail unlike today's more modern all wheel electrical pickup models...
It was suggested that the wheels should be nickel silver as that does not pickup and hold the dirt as quick as the brass. I tried to find a set of nickel silver driers for this model but struck out again so I decided I will try to nickel plate them myself. I will also be nickel plating all the rods as well as the crosshead guide because I just can't stand the look of brass rods! A quick search on Google came up with he following website... www.instructables.com/id/High-Quality-and-safe-Nickel-Plating and from there I went shopping online and purchased the following items..
1: 1" x 6" nickel stock...$17.16
1: 2 AA battery holder...$3.69
1: Set of 4 alligator clips...$4.59
1: 8 oz. bottle of nickel plating solution...$26.55
1: Box Nitrile work gloves
Now I just need to wire up some leads for the battery pack and alligator clips, get some Nitrile gloves, and some pennies to test out this process!