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A surprisingly easy project

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  • A surprisingly easy project

    I have a somewhat different project today. A while back, I was browsing through Railroad Picture Archives.NET when I stumbled upon this creature. It's called a "sweep." It combines the chassis/cab of an SW1200 with the hood of a GP9. Since the image is copyrighted, here's the link.

    Canac 7103 "Sweep"

    I decided I had to have one, right now. Since I didn't have an SW1200 I substituted an SW1500 which I had purchased last summer simply because it was so inexpensive. I also had a dummy GP9. Here are the victi... er, uh, volunteers.

    First I removed a portion of the front of the SW1500 and chopped the stacks off. You'll see the reason in a moment. I also cut off a portion of the hood from the GP9.

    Here's the time-saving step. The GP9 was an old Athearn wide body. Without the stacks on the SW1500 I was able to slip the hood of the GP9 over the hood of the SW1500. This saved me quite a bit of time since I didn't have to remove the hood of the SW1500. It also maintained a great deal of structural integrity.

    Then I notched out the hood on the GP9 to allow for the steps on the SW1500.

    Next is where I made a mistake. All of my trial fittings had been on the body only without the chassis installed. Once I had the chassis installed, I discovered that I needed to mill off a small triangular portion of the frame to allow the body to fit. If you do this project, you may want to cut the GP9 hood just a little longer. On the other hand, cutting of portions of the frame only added about 5 minutes to the project.

    Here's the completed project.

    Total time from the first picture to the last was 1 hour and 15 minutes. It still needs to go to the paint shop, get handrails and couplers, and tune the chassis. Obviously it's not complete yet and one could spend hours adding details, re-motoring, re-gearing, etc., but it was a fun and easy project. One could also use a more accurately scaled hood for the GP9 and it really wouldn't add much time to the project.


  • #2

    That is a neat project which has created you a unique piece of motive power for your layout. Please post some pictures once you have completed it.


    • #3
      A couple of photos from the Small Layout Design Yahoo Group - Sorry, I can't remember who built the model

      Download Attachment: sweep1.jpg
      88.04 KB

      Download Attachment: sweep2.jpg
      87.17 KB


      • #4
        Tom,Like I said elsewhere that is one strange contraption..I'll add this..Strangely I kinda like its looks.


        • #5
          That's a very interesting project and a unique piece of motive power for sure.

          Louis L&R Western Railroad
          Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast


          • #6
            Great project! What a unique looking locomotive.


            • #7
              I alway like the unusual in motive power, good job!


              • #8

                Very nice, Canadian National converted a bunch of SW's this way. I used to see them all the time when I lived in Toronto.

                I seam to recall a slug version as well.



                • #9
                  I made a SWeep about 24 years ago, all I had as a reference was one small 3/4 front view in "Extra 2200 South". My article appeared in the November 1987 issue of RMC:

                  Enclosing a roof shot to show how the prototype did the exhausts. After I completed the model I was able to borrow some slides of the prototype, and one was a roof shot. So I had to re-do the top of mine:

                  I used Athearn SW-7 and GP-7 models, with Juneco detail kit for the SW1200RS details.

                  Good luck on your model!


                  • #10
                    Well, I got it done, such as it is. Here's my "sweep" switching a car into Puppy's Pet Products.

                    Lessons learned:

                    1. Use a good quality tape and make sure it's snug against the surface when masking off areas for painting.

                    2. Paint is not a hole filler.

                    3. Accu Flex #16-601 is not flat. It dries to a nice gloss which would make a nice surface for applying decals.

                    4. I wish I would have known about step 3 before I put the decals on.

                    5. Do NOT use 40 year old decals. They have turned yellow. Buy some new ones!

                    6. Do not blow on decals while they are still wet with solvaset. They will disappear at hypersonic speeds.

                    7. Don't rush the painting. Take time to follow the steps above.

                    8. Using Pearls Drops or other gritty tooth paste really does smooth out an Athearn drive. It also leaves the drive train minty fresh.



                    • #11
                      Bob. nice work there. I saved the picture of the top as a reference. If I re-do it, which seems likely, I will try to do it better.

                      Thanks all for your kind words.



                      • #12
                        Nicely done kitbash. I'd never heard of "sweeps" before. Were they used by many railroads?

                        Also, what was the logic for using part of a long hood from a GP9 rather than the lower hood with greater visibility of the SW series? Was it for space for dynamic brakes?
                        Built a waterfront HO layout in Ireland but now making a start in On30 in Australia


                        • #13

                          There are always lessons learned when we do a project. The key is remembering them the next time.

                          Once everything is dry, is it much of a hassle to remove those old decals?

                          I really do like the looks of your "sweep".


                          • #14
                            Neil, according to information I received on another forum, the sweep used an EMD 645 prime mover as opposed to the 567 which came with the SW1200. The only railroad to perform such a conversion was CN which did about 7 or 8.

                            Bruce, I'm afraid removing the decals would pretty much entail stripping the model. The decals are under the Accu Flex clear coat which is under the Testors DullCoat


                            • #15
                              CN must have done more than 7 or 8 this way, as Savage Services has that many or morepurchased from CN by their predesessor, Canac. These units no longer have dynamic brakes.
                              Tom Carter

                              Battleview & Sandalwood Valley Railroad

                              in On30 Scale