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Category: Diesel Projects
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The Beginnings of a BNSF (BN) GP28M

I've chosen to use a Life-Like Proto 2000 GP20 chassis, and Kato Walkway

The Morrison–Knudsen built for BN, GP28M has its beginnings in retired GP9 and GP18 models from EMD.  I've been tossing around the idea of building one, because they looks like a cross between a GP35 frame, and GP38 hood.  But that's not the case!  That's only where the complexity begins.

The GP7/9/18/20 all share a common frame length and truck centers.  The GP28/30/35 again share a common frame and truck centers.  Where the confusion begins to arrive is the frame length! Every EMD GP from the 7 through the 35 line shared a common frame length, but to accurately model the GP28M, not the EMD built GP28, we need the correct frame length and truck spacing.

I've chosen to to model a BNSF 1500 series GP28M with a Proto 2000 GP20 chassis and a Kato GP35 walkway, here's why.

-The Kato walkway will better approach the correct dimensions and blower housing setup of the GP28M, than a modified GP20 walkway.

-The Proto 2000 GP20 has a shorter, correct truck center for the GP7/9/18/20 which was used as a core by M-K for the GP28M rebuilds.  Te fuel tank is also more usable than what comes with the Proto 2000 GP7/9/18 models, or even a Genesis GP7/9 if you were to go that route.  Should one choose those, you would still have to source a correct fuel tank.

-I had though of using the Proto 2000 GP30 walkway, and chassis originally, as I have a "spare" one available.  I didn't because the GP30 has a unique blower duct setup (both sides) and an odd cab shape unlike the standard 35 line and later EMD's, which M-K replicated in their rebuild.

-The cab will be a Cannon & Co EMD Dash 2 kit, with a Dash 2 sub-base, and an 88" Cannon & Co nose.  There's speculation that the nose, fabricated in house by M-K might not be nearly 88" but it's certainly longer than the EMD 81" nose.  These 3 kits, although not exact to M-K build, are close enough to replicate the unit.

-The hood will be scratch built from .020" styrene, I learned long ago to use square grid sheet, but I'm noticing that's only available in .040" sheet, which may be too thick for my use. So two layers of .020" sheet.  Andy has a nice demonstration here.

As you can see, I drummed up some data, and did my research, to discover that the GP30/35 have the right walkway/frame length and look, but wrong truck spacing.  The GP20 has the right spacing, but will take more walkway rework to accomplish my goal.  The shell must be built up by hand to get the correct look.  I'll go through different techniques on the construction of the locomotive as time goes on.  I have a ton of ideas so it might be some time before a complete locomotive is shown to the world!

© 2019, Josh Baakko, https://www.modelrailroadtips.com