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.

Scratch-bashing a Locomotive Pilot

How I made new pilots for my Bachmann Spectrum DD40AX

Simple quick tutorial on constructing new pilots, in two different ways. This article refers to HO scale, but can be used in other scales if you'd like.

Modeling P&W 2008

P&W 2008 is a GP38-2, which I built for a customer.

Paint & Weathering Athearn GP38-2 stripped, detailed, and painted for P&W 2008.

A customer of mine requested a semi-detailed GP38-2 modeling Providence & Worcester #2008. #2008 was purchased new by P&W, and originally was painted orange & white. P&W switched to this, brown & orange scheme, and subsequently all units have been repainted.

The basis of this article is to inform other potential modelers of the colors I used to paint this unit. However I'll also supply a list of details used.

The customer provided an Athearn GP38-2 in BN colors. The orange paint is Boyd "Sunburst", the brown is Model Master "Raw Umber". Decals are Microscale, MC-4067.

Identifying Distinguishing Details on a GEC Alstom SD40 Rebuild

Part one of a 4 part series detailing GEC Alstom rebuilds.

Part 1: Identifying details (this article)
Part 2: Employing the details (future)
Part 3: Paint, & decaling a BNSF rebuild (future)
Part 4: Finding and modeling other GEC rebuilds (future)

To begin a project like this, we need to know what we're up against. The following pictures are of two
BNSF units, and the details vary by unit, so it is pertinent to research the exact unit you'd like to model. In
parts 2 & 3 we'll be following the time line of BNSF #7311, which is one of 6 I intend to model.

Here we have an engineer's side/front "roster shot" of BNSF #7324. We'll look at the details here first.


Painting Fine Mesh Grills (HO & Smaller)

How I painted the Fine Mesh etched grills for my SD50F

Just showing you an interesting way to get a good paint coat on fine mesh grills. Very useful for HO & smaller scale, scratch or kit builders.

During the process of building my Kaslo HO Scale SD50F, I realized I needed a way to paint the fine mesh grills included in the kit. Kaslo says to paint them before install, so this is what I chose to do.

I picked up two of these Elmer's "Painters" from Wal*Mart one black, one silver, for detail use on my models. I use the silver to do the window frames on many units. The black got used here. They also have a other basic colors, but RR specific colors, such as BNSF green, or Santa Fe blue will not be there.

Construction & painting of a BNSF GP7u

Step 1 Unpainted
Step 2 Primer
Step 3 Blue
Step 4 Yellow
Step 5 Blue and Yellow
Step 6 Decals and Bonnet
Step 7 Some Details

Step 1
This unit began as a Life Like Proto 2000 GP7 highnose. The cab was constructed from an Athearn non-dash 2 cab, and some styrene. The nose is chopped down from the high nose, and the head light has been built into the nose. The chassis weight also had to be cut down.

Modify a Sergent EN87 to fit in a RailFlyer chassis

What I did to mate the Sergent coupler with the RailFlyer chassis
Fairly simple modification to fit in the coupler pocket.

This seemed like it was going to be a tall order. The Sergent EN87 is designed to fit in an Accurail
P:HO narrow coupler box. The RailFlyer chassis is deigned to prototype specs.

The first thing you'll notice is the Sergent EN87's coupler pivot hole is too far forward to fit in the
RailFlyer pocket. I figured I could just file the rear of the coupler, or the rear of the box to make due.
However this turned out to be an impractical idea, as the coupler would nearly brush the coupler plate
when done! Here's my solution.

Removing Athearn Blue Box or RTR Trucks, Simplified.

Something I've been thinking about adding for some time now, finally got around to it. More Athearn topics to come.

Installing Cannon Fans on a Kato Shell

This article focuses on Kato HO Scale shells, however the technique doubles for Athearn Blue box, or any model with cast on fans.

Kato, and Athearn in their earlier models (some current RTR and Roundhouse too) used a fan on diesel locomotive that was cast on to the model in the shell molding process.  While these are often well detailed, they cannot match the detail and scale fidelity of Cannon & Co see through fans.