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Category: Diesel Projects
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Modeling a Metrolink F59PHI

From John Deere to Metrolink. Athearn John Deere F59PHI from a Wal*mart train set, to Metrolink #884.

When I first saw the Wal*mart Athearn John Deere train set, I had my eye on an F59PHI from one.  I'm modeling Cajon pass, from San Bernardino to Barstow, with Metrolink terminating at San Bernardino. To search out, and pay for a decorated F59PHI takes time, AND money. Undecorated models run the same. This train set allowed me to get it cheep, $49 when I bought it.


To begin, I removed all details, fans, railings, windows, & the air horn, I then stripped the shell with Pine-sol, though it didn't work all to well. The Athearn paint stuck, but all the lettering came off, which was good enough for me.

I skipped primer in favor of Testors flat white spray paint. This created a good enough primed base coat, on the shell & pilot.


Some careful masking of the roof, allowed for Testors flat black spray paint on the roof. At the same time, I painted the side frames flat black, and the fans, plow, air horn cover, and air horn. I hand painted the chassis black (with Testors flat black).



Metrolink calls for Periwinkle however I felt most of the pictures look more blue then anything, of [url=http://www.locophotos.com/PhotoDetails.php?PhotoID=44882]#884[/url] at least. I choose another Testors paint I had available, called Deep Sea Blue. I masked the pilot and painted the lower portion blue. I then masked the side skirts and paint them blue.


The stripes call for a little more work, the Microscale sheet ([url=http://www.microscale.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=MD&Product_Code=MC-4089&Product_Count=&Category_Code=]MC-4089[/url]) does not include stripes, they have to be carefully masked and painted. I noticed the METROLINK test for the sides are about 2 scale feet to long (stretched out), however, its all I got so I used them anyways. I just simply cut the front stripe a little earlier. The curved point was slow work, but it looks great now, some careful masking, then editing with white paint.


I then applied some Gloss Cote, to help the decals. After it dried forever (23 hours), I decaled the unit, #884 under each window, a black number board with white numbers on the nose beneath each window, and the same numbers as the side, in the center of the rear hood end. Now for a final Gloss Cote (Metrolink keeps them clean), then some light weathering. I'll post pictures after the Gloss Cote dries some what tomorrow.


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