Model:160

n-scale model railroading
It is currently Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:05 am

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 29 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:23 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:42 am
Posts: 195
Hello all....
working on my N scale modelling 'mojo' when I'm finding the time...
Back when, I used to love detailing locos and rolling stock...wasn't sure I still had the eyes and 'touch' after a 10 year hiatus...but with the start and progress of the HCD layout for the "Santa Fe" room, and the acquistion of the original releases of KATO's "Super Chief" and "El Capitan" passenger sets, I knew I would doing my best to super detail the locos that will be pulling these gorgeous trains..
(I've already started modifying and detailing a LL E6 set
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=168
here are some pics of the work I've done (so far) to my two KATO F7A units (these are from the latest run...I plane to purchase another A-B-B and A-B-B-A set from the recently announced run....want some F3's as well...but will have to pass on the latest announcement of these-too much work is needed to modify the F3's to resemble the way these units looked during the mid to late 50's-the best, easiest way is to use an F7 shell, and 'paste' an F3 'roof'....)
I love that BLMA is around these days...their 'ultimate' E-F unit detail set is fantastic!-with simple #80 drill-bit 'drilling'..the KATO units can be superdetailed very nicely...the only items I won't be adding are the seperate door and nose grabs...careful painting and shading will pop the detail on the KATO units.
After lots of research into how these units appeared duing the mid 50's I came up with a list of items I wanted on the cab units...
lift rings
FARR 'vertical' grills
windshield wipers
side mirrors
cab window sunshades (on one unit in the L-A-B-C set)
Z scale front couplers (Red Caboose-formerly Unimate) couplers in the between consist units for 'prototypical' close-coupling...
Train air hose(s) and MU cables appropriate to the era (ATSF F's evolved quite a bit in this respect-most pics from the 60's and on show a whole array of pilot mounted MU hoses on both sides of the coupler pocket....)
coupler cut levers on the front pilot
Trucks and pilots sprayed with Tamiya Flat Aluminum paint
light weathering to accent the details

I've worked on both units concurrently to keep them as similar as possible.
Here's what I've done so far-
drilled and backed the pilot hose openings, peculiar to the ATSF (and perhaps more)..the 'as-delivered-from-EMD' pics don't show these openings at all. I drilled and filed the openings, backed them with thin sheet styrene, then painted the openings and backing black. At this point, I drilled and glued a plastic air hose and etched brass MU cable into the appropriate openings (both these items from BLMA-VERY NICE!)...painted with Tamiya flat aluminum.
with #80 drill bit, drilled for and added BLMA windshield wipers (I varied the orientation between both units).I tried Gorilla brand super glue for the first time...I love it...it seems to be a medium, gap-filling type...dipping the end of the part into a drop of decanted super glue leaves enough glue to tack the part into the hole...I use a microbrush to apply a tiny drop of glue to the back side of the hole from inside the shell...this gives the join a little more tooth.
At this point I applied the cab window sunshades...rather than fabricate actual scale sunshades, it's quite easy, and very effective, to simulate the sunshades with decal strips applied to the inside of the windshield glass; in my case I trimmed some Microscale white decal film toslightly different thicknesses, and applied them to one side of one of my cab unit's windowshields...I varied the height between the two to effectively simulate the sunshades being set at slightly different angles...through the 'scale' 6 inch windshield 'glass'..the decals work very well.
After much thought, numerous shims, modifications, and some 'consternation'...Microtrains Z scale (903's, I think) were added to both front pilots...the trick, it seems is to have them mate at the exact height, without 'sagging'...it required filing the top of the coupler pocket opening (fortuitous- as all my pics show the opening, on the prototypes, actually HIGHER than the KATO units!)
The couplers still 'sag', just a tiny bit, but this is only obvious (under the macro lens) in the lead unit...the trailing unit, connected to the rest of the train-'pulls' the coupler perfectly 'level'...more importantly, they mate, EXACTLY, in the center of all properly installed Micro-Trains and KATO knuckle couplers...they are suprisingly strong!

Still left to do....
Add, if I decide to do so, an air hose and MU cable to the right hand side of each pilot (photo references during this era show a lot of variations)
Drill, using the supplied template, the 4 #80 holes needed to mount the front pilot coupler cut levers
apply the Plano model Products Farr 'vertical' grills to the existing painted grills (These are beautiful and fit perfectly-being designed, specifically, for the KATO units)
Carefully shave the molded 'blobs' that represent the roof lift rings, then drill and install the ones supplied by BLMA.
Then, all that's necessary is to pop 'off' all the trucks, then spray them with Tamiya's Flat aluminum...a very nice 'scale' representation of the spray that ATSF used to keep these trucks, and pilots, looking 'new'
(I'll do this with all of the passenger car trucks as well...the 'silver' (more like gray) molded trucks don't capture the look very well...)

Thanks for looking!
Bruce

Image
Image
Image
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:13 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:11 am
Posts: 140
Outstanding work.

Jake


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:55 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:42 am
Posts: 195
Hello all...
some further progress on the two F7A units...
air hose and MU cable added to the right side of the pilot
Rear view mirrors (BLMA)
and...most importantly, drastic improvement to the Z scale couple mount and appearance.

I wasn't content at all with my initial mounting of the couplers...they 'stuck out' too far forward and had a 'sag/droop' to them...this was a result of trying to use the hardware that KATO is using for their latest F unit releases (if one is using KATO couplers or Micro-trains couplers, the new coupler mounting method is a Godsend...but I found I needed to carve the Kato pilot insert/ headlight viewblock to more resemble the part used on the older, initial releases of the KATO F units...a simple .060 shim and Micro-trains screw later, the Z scale 903's were affixed to the unit in a much improved and more prototypically correct appearance...
..still left to do...
roof lift rings
FARR grills (I have it in mind to paint/decal the prototypical 'cutout' areas on the carbody before gluing the Plano grills to the units...I think black paint, or decals (flat coated) will do a lot to give the units a little more 'depth'...(the Intermountain units actually model this feature...in this respect the detail really works...I feel the KATO units capture the subtle 'looks' of the F unit bulldog nose just a little bit better...hence my use of the pre-painted KATO units for my railroad...also, the KATO mechanism is without equal)

Here are some pics, posed on a section of my in-progress door layout (forgive the blue foam)...I've placed some carved samples of blue foam rockwork in the shots to give some perspective...

Thanks for looking,
Bruce

Unit 40 (L)

Image
Image
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:00 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:42 am
Posts: 195
Here are shots of unit 40C


Image
Image
Image
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:05 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:42 am
Posts: 195
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 12:04 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:42 am
Posts: 195
..and I shouldn't forget the ALCO's!................

Image
Image
Image
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:52 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:11 am
Posts: 140
Very nice work...........wish I had the time to complete a project.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:01 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:42 am
Posts: 195
Hello all...
with a little spare time last evening, I 'bit the bullet' and dove into the one part of this detail project that intimidated me...applying the cut levers to the pilots of the F units...I had decided that I wanted to add the beautiful BLMA levers (they show up on EVERY pic of EVERY ATSF F unit 'post-delivery')...IMHO, they add to the 'busy-ness' of the pilot, yet don't detract from the 'sleekness' of these beauties...
I was hesitant, more from never having used these before, and not being sure about their 'robustness' i.e. whether they would hold up to the regular handling of the units, and their ability to take the bends necessary for them to fit properly w/o breaking or causing the mounting rings to detach from the pilot...
Again...installation requires the requisite drilling of #80 holes...4 in this case, for the mounting 'lugs'. BLMA supplies a jig, which is supposed to be taped to the pilot face-two different sets of outboard lug positions are available, depending on the angle that one desires for the cut lever. A bonus, to my thinking, was that the ATSF units seemed to have a variety a mounting angles and length of cut levers...this would work in my favor, absolving me of extreme accountability to the 'rivet counters' among us (me being 'somewhat' included in that group...lol)
A quick note...I'm finding that I'm really enjoying using this 'Gorilla Glue' brand super glue/CA...I've used it during this project for the first time; it seems to produce a much stronger (and forgiving) bond, and, although it's closer to a 'gap-filling' viscosity, I've not had any problems applying it sparingly, using a microbrush or a finely chiseled toothpick.
I decided not to use the drilling jig, for two reasons, 1) the jig doesn't have an 'arc' built into the bend- it's not accurate, and won't produce correct alignment of the mounting lugs, and 2) because I had already applied the air line and MU hoses, using a properly oriented jig would be difficult at best, so I used to MK I eyeball to make the first (outboard) holes...using some of the 'lines' of the pilot, and photos, it is relatively easy to mark this spot accurately, a pair of dividers helped me make the inboard holes using the first as a reference...
Carefully using fine tweezers to hold the lugs, I dipped the ends into a small decanted drop of gorilla glue CA..dipping the end a few times produces a tiny 'blob' of CA that helps fill the hole (another benefit of this Gorilla Glue, is that it allows 10-20 seconds of 'fiddle' time to orient the parts perfectly). I usually apply a tiny drop of CA to the hole from the backside as well to help create the strohgest bond possible, and I did in this case.
Oh, i should mention, also, that this Gorilla Glue CA doesn't seem to fog, i've applied it sparingly, so as to prevent as much fogging as possible (having not used the product before)..but so far, with the sparse application, no fogging yet...
Now for the 'tedious' part...bending and affixing the cut lever itself...this part was a little frustrating...the bends required to mount on the 'bowed' pilot face, AND angled 'down' toward the underside of the cut lever, all the while, doing my best to not upset or break the hoses already mounted.
Also, understand that the BLMA etched stainless parts are gorgeous, with subtle relief, allow bending in the plane to which they're manufactured, but resist bending in the other plane, in this case, the vertical...however, between the two parts, left and right, I managed to bend, coax, curse under my breath, and glue the two levers to a pretty 'symmetrical' appearance...to the eye (with readers and magnified ottlamp) they looked good...only the camera, with macro feature, would really tell the tale...a benefit, and curse, of having the macro feature available is to point out deficiencies in paint and work that i wouldn't have seen otherwise...quite frankly, I've used it to 'go back' and fix something that I thought was 'done'...

Here are the latest...'lead' unit 40L is still in process, but now that the first one is under the belt, the others should go faster
...still to go...FARR grills, roof lifting rings, and, now, etched foot stirrups (already ordered)

Thanks for looking,
Bruce


Image
Image
Image
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:49 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:11 am
Posts: 140
The "rivet counters" can not say anything about what you have done........outstanding detail work.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:57 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:42 am
Posts: 195
just finished the 40L unit levers....
as I suspected, this install went a lot quicker than the previous due to being a lot further along the 'learning curve'...
going to take a small break from these units now...waiting for the stirrups....
I'll do some more cutting on the foam for the layout this evening...
and, at some point, during the weekend, going to work a little on the E6 units, now that I found my stash of decals!

I'll post these pics in two stages....(I see a small smudge of CA on the pilot that needs a little polishing...lol...before the very light pilot weathering these units will recieve, the entire pilot will be sprayed in Tamiya Flat Aluminum...so i'm not sweating the visual difference between the etch steel detail parts and the color of the painted pilot...)
Thanks for looking,
Bruce

Image
Image
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 12:36 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:42 am
Posts: 195
Not forgetting the PA's....
added a few more details...windshield wipers (after shaving, sanding, and polishing the molded ones from the windshield...and some more ALCO style sunshades, done with whitew decal striping...
much more to do, but these units, during my era (1956-57) remained pretty 'clean'..
still need to replace the stirrups with GGold Medal Model versions (not quite as easy as the F unit stirrups, as the Alco handrails protruded below the body and was somewhat integral with the stirrups...these will have to be very carefully trimmed from the shell before attatching the etched stirrups in order to preserve the molded handrails)
The center mounted ATSF numberboards have to be added and decalled, and, finally, the easiest but most effective addition to a stock ATSF unit...painting the truck sideframes 'silver'...I'll use Tamiya Flat Aluminum as it best represents, in scale, the way the the painted trucks looked.
I'll do this last, just before final weathering...
After each little detail addition, I like to photograph the units on the 'in progress' layout...it documents the additions and helps me to visiualize railfanning the layout...instrumental in determining future scenery...
Thanks for looking,
Bruce


Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 12:41 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:42 am
Posts: 195
Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:05 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:42 am
Posts: 195
another one...this one with the original font...

Image

Image

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 1:27 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:42 am
Posts: 195
Have finally painted the trucks on all the ATSF passenger units...
IMO, this is the easiest and most effective way to make these units look more prototypical...
I used Tamiya's Flat Aluminum acrylic...
still need to replace the stirrup ladders, new lift rings, pfoto-etched grills, then light weathering...
Thanks for looking,
Bruce

Image

Image

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 11:34 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:42 am
Posts: 195
First couple of F units have the new stirrup/ladders...even before painting these really do make a difference!...only 10 more units to go....lol...while doing these I also realized I'm going to have to paint the fuel tanks flat aluminum as well...oh well, the list keeps growing, although they're in the home stretch now. The next big detail will be simulating the car body openings before adding the Plano etched grills.
Thanks for looking,
Bruce

Image

Image

Image

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 6:34 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:11 am
Posts: 140
Can sure tell the amount of time that has been put into this project. Looks great. It is just like the Lionel train set my Grandfather gave me some 60 + years ago.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 10:55 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:49 pm
Posts: 7
Location: North Carolina
WOW! Very nicely done. Those Zscale couplers really make the difference. (I've only installed two of them on my GP30 units and agree they really make a visual difference.) The hoses and cut levers really make those F units look good. The Alco's really jump out at you now. Quite an improvement on the original detailing.

You've got me wanting those F units for my Super Chief...and start detailing them as you have. :D


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:42 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:42 am
Posts: 195
Three pilots done...two to go!

Image

Image

Image

Image


The BLMA cut levers and MU hoses are beautiful....however, it appears that the only access to these is by purchasing the "E and F ultimate detail set"...which provides but 3 sets of cab unit cut levers...I really wish that these would be made available seperately, however, I'm sure I'll find uses for all the extra grabs and handrails that come with these sets...
Thanks for looking,
Bruce


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:26 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:42 am
Posts: 195
just finished adding the roof-mounted centered numberboards on my last two Kato PA's...giving my eyes a rest before work!...after adding the silver trim (decal stripes), I'll be ready to lightly weather these!
Thanks for looking,
Bruce

Image

Image

Image

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 8:38 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:11 am
Posts: 140
Like the number boards.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 29 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group