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Can one build a particular diesel locomotive from a slightly different diesel without actually changing anything major?

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  • Can one build a particular diesel locomotive from a slightly different diesel without actually changing anything major?

    Hi all,
    I found myself tasked with the request of Turning an HO scale Athearn undecorated SD39 model into an Iowa Interstate SD38-2m #151 Flavor.
    I forgot I had some of these pictures of this build (when I find the files with the rest I’ll come back and post).

    Sometimes a customer picks an un-decorated model without really understanding the model they chose is not the best model they need as a basis for an accurate build. I guess this allows for builders like myself to sharpen their imagination skills right?

    The following pictorial shows how I gave the flavor of the prototype (at the time of this build the model version wasn’t offered yet) many years ago. So looked at the model and saw I could hide wrong details right in plain sight (for the most part).




    1) Athearn stock undecorated model pic. Note: undecorated models have lots of parts to add. The undecorated model came with a parts bag of the most common details for other road name details.

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    2) However to change this model into an Iowa Interstate SD38-2m required me to build and add quite a few more detail parts. The first thing I did was plug the dash 2 sight water glass in the long hood door and move over and drill a new sight glass. It took me a couple of tries because the first time I drilled the wrong size holes.
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    3) Next I started with the trucks & frame by adding brake lines, sanding lines, air lines and electrical cables. Miles of brass rod used here.
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    4) Details Associates soft metal cast plow, m.u. stand/cables, Ditch light deck stands detailed up the front pilot with operating brass walkway bridge and un-coupler lift bars.
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    5) The etched brass diamond plate treads really detailed up this model a lot (I went back after the glue had set with a soldering Iron to flatten down the areas where the edges lifted up. Note: A details west fuel tank detail kit help dress up the fuel tank details also.
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    6) Overall side view of the 1st stage of bigger details completed.
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    7) Overall top view of the model. Next, I will grit blast the model and all parts and prep for paint. Gloss black with gloss yellow ends.
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    8) Prototype conductor side view.
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    9) All hand-painted details completed, less couplers at this point.
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    10) Metal Kadee scale couplers added. I went with a longer shank because the customer ran tighter curve radius’ and #4 turnouts.
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    11) Overall top angled view.
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    12) Front view with working ditch lights.
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    13) Prototype engineer side view.
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    14) Angled top side view of the completed decals. Unless one counts the long hood doors, one might know this model is not exact.
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    15) Overall Engineer side view.
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    16) Side rear angled top view.
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    17) Prototype rear pilot view.
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    18) The model required a special handmade rear headlight cover (which was a pain to make and fit on the angled rear nose), but it’s a neat detail tho. Working rear ditch lights added.
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    19) Overall angled rear side view.
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    20) Close up of the left side of cab view. Click image for larger version

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    21) I noticed with all the details added, I still managed to miss one (the brake chain spring hanger). Damn, I totally suck huh…Click image for larger version

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    ​​​​​​​

    22) Overall finished side view. A two-man crew in a detailed cab was added.
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    While this build was a lot of work to try to make a model look more like a particular prototype, it was a lot of fun seeing the end result.
    When I find the other build files I’ll post with the working lights.
    Thanx Thom…


  • #2
    I think you answered that question with this project. Even though I'm not a big fan of big diesel engines, that engines look great with all the added detail. Now don't wreck it by weathering it.

    Bernd
    New York, Vermont & Northern Rwy. - Route of the Black Diamonds

    Comment


    • #3
      It doesn't sound like it was headed for a display case, so the little things matter much less than the overall feel. I think you got that just fine.
      James

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Bernd View Post
        I think you answered that question with this project. Even though I'm not a big fan of big diesel engines, that engines look great with all the added detail. Now don't wreck it by weathering it.

        Bernd


        I don't discriminate when it comes to models, I like'em all. It's an addiction to me and a curse. This model is as-is and running on the customer's layout for many years now (as far as I know)?

        When it comes to weathering! I think weathering is needed, required & part of the modeling process. Being good at it is the challenge like hiding glue marks and painting. I struggle on every build to become better and at this point in my life, it looks like I need another 50 years of practice in order to start getting it...

        To me, the only models that should remain without weathering are those behind glass or unpainted models (both of which are to simply show either the construction or paint & lettering.

        Thank you also James~

        Thanx Thom...

        Comment


        • #5
          Thom, More good stuff I previously missed finding

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