7mm US model dabblings

Discussion in 'Area 51' started by Jordan, 8 April 2013.

  1. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Are you sure?, my data shows both trucks to have a 13'.7" wheelbase, the only difference is that the HTC has a rear end beam to support the inner traction motor that was turned around to make them all face the same way, the Flexicoil having two one way and one reversed.

    The wheelbase is the same but the casting is longer on the tail end for the HTC is my understanding.

    The scanned drawing is clearly for a HTC truck with three holes between wheels, rear end beam extension and all motors the same way, so is good for the SD40T-2 and SD45T-2 models, it is not a Flexicoil as originally thought.

    In short the drawing is accurate for the planned models:thumbs:

    Attached two UP official images of both types, the originals are very large and detailed, these are reduced for web browsing.

    Flexicoil....NOTE, some Flexis do not have clasp brakes but a similar set up to the HTC

  2. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer

    Flexicoil is 6' 9 1/2" + 6' 9 1/2"
    HTC is 6' 7 5/8" + 6' 11 3/4"

    Actually you can see the symmetric vs asymmetric wheelbase in your pics.

    You also need to get your head around the various high/low brake cylinder arrangements; that one I can't help you with!

    Pugsley likes this.
  3. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    :rant: Of course, forgot about the spacings LOL, overall length is the same, it's the displaced centre axle :headbang:

    I think SP and D&RGW 40 tunnels ran with the twin cylinders and high brake rod, both classes of which then became UP 40 tunnels, again matching the drawings.
  4. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Well the first of my US outline arrived today (Atlas O F9), courtesy of Ebay and probably paying too much LOL, but it's a start, not sure whether to go P48 or just stick to O-FS and make my flanges and track work a little tighter, dunno yet but just thinking I'll leave my S7 and modelling and US as a detailed train set sort of thing.

    Things to do, first off a total strip down to bare plastic so need to source some sort of paint remover, Isopropyl Alcohol I read on US forums is just the kiddy for that chore, and, I'd like a cab door open so that'll mean new thinner cab doors and a cab floor and bulkheads at the bare minimum (zero cab at all at present), this may be due to the front bogie gear train tower so I may loose that and only power the rear end. Need to add a thin bezel to the cab screen surround to get near flush glazing and really want to thin the plastic inside the portholes to get glazing sitting much closer to the side skin, moulded grab rail removal is a given and might opt for some new fan grills, preferably see through though not sure what P&D offer as yet, or other suppliers for that matter. The gaping hole in the front plough will have to go and some rear end detail added as well.

    Looks like the model is fitted with boiler vents and ports, wasn't sure F9s had them and it's too short to be a FP9 so not really sure what those vents at the back of the roof are. Door headlight removal might be in the offing as well, depending on prototype chosen. I can see a massive web research campaign looming over the horizon LOL.

    The bogie side frames actually look pretty good, which surprised me so I'm definitely going to look out for some spare Atlas side frames for future projects as and when I can find them.




    As for prototype, no idea at the moment.

    May keep as UP
    UP 0509.jpg

    Though ATSF do some nice ones, not a real fan of the Super Chief scheme but there's some interesting hybrid schemes around.
    ATSF 0289.jpg

    ATSF 0315.jpg

    Then BN Cascade green looks nice, simple easy scheme to apply.
    BN 0818_2.jpg

    Or SP which can be nice
    SP 6447.jpg
    Or not so nice
    SP 0624.jpg
    All images retain original copyright.

    Also procured a arm full of US box cars, all 50'ers but differing styles, three as kits to make up and three OOB Atlas ones, all will be resprayed and wheels changed from plastic to metal rimmed, those are in the post, all I need now is somewhere to play with them and kick cars back and forth and find a nice sound chip for my throaty 567 block:thumbs:
    Steve Cook likes this.
  5. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer

    Those Atlas locos were made by Roco and, believe me, shifting the paint can be a real PITA. About the only thing I've found that works 100% of the time is Phoenix 'Superstrip'. Yes, IPA can work some of the time, time to have a discrete little test I'd think.
    I suspect that P48 wheels are already available for this beastie, but I still suggest you don't take too much effort with it, the 'face' of the loco is waaaay off. Just have a look at the shape of the windscreens...
  6. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer

  7. Dikitriki

    Dikitriki Flying Squad

    Oooh, that looks like an expensive list:)
  8. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer


    I did look at the P&D body, cheap enough until you realise that all those holes need filling and they just so happen to have all the bits that fill those holes, and then it starts to get bloody expensive just to get a basic plastic body shell, let alone all the other brass and detail parts. They do do a F9 body kit only (PDF9000) at $99 but I have no idea what that includes or what extras I need to get it completed.

    The windscreen does need some work and one option I'd considered from the start was opening out the windscreen openings to simulate the interior structural work and then adding a thin 0.010" sheet over the front with the correctly shaped window opening. The cab side windows and door windows are also too short and need their lower edges dropping down 2mm. Note that some of the images above show windscreens with a rebate around the edge and some without, not sure yet but I think the rebated ones are really F3s that were upgraded to F9 internally.

    I think the photos angle, flash and body sheen is not portraying the screen area very well, it's by no means defensible but I don't think it's way off, maybe I'm missing something LOL It's a toy and at the moment I'm treating it like that, I'm going to detail as best I can a toy and play trains with it, with my S7 I'm going to model a locomotive and run them on a layout :thumbs: Besides, I've really hit the wallet (F9, eight O gauge wagons, books, and a complete Quadcopter kit for aerial photography) these last two days and cannot really justify P&D goodies and their horrendous US postage prices for large items:headbang: I understand what your saying, just that my uber detail US hobby will have to wait until another day.


    Watch For F Units by M. Lastovich, on Flickr

    Comparing the above two I think the roof profile might be out slightly and the model windscreen too deep, I think correctly shaped overlays will help the model a little, thanks for the tips on the paint stripper! looks like its going to be a bit of a task then!

    Kindest Michael

    BTW, your right, it is the Roco Austrian variant, I've not run it yet but I'm hoping some of that Roco engineering has found it's way into the drive train and motor.
  9. Jordan

    Jordan Mid-Western Thunderer

    Feeling a little faint, catching up with this lot..... :)

    Go easy on that F-Unit... it's upwards of 40 years old. Go compare it with HO Tyco or Mantua from the same Era - or even Triang/Hornby..... the trucks are good moldings - better than the current Atlas I'd say - the brake blocks are right up to the wheels. You didn't get that on much, if any, R-T-R in 1970, or for a good few years afterwards.
    I have a 'new range' Atlas F3 & can't see much difference in profiles etc. The worst bit is the hole in the pilot; I really ought to do something about it on my two. :oops:
    The wheels may need changing regardless of F/S or P48.. I found the flanges too deep for Peco track. Drop-in replacements are available via P&D.
    The UP number it comes with is only applicable to some time in the '50s, I seem to recall from a Google search I did some time ago.
  10. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Jordan, fret not I understand its heritage, Steph has a valid point though, there are errors and there are alternatives to correct these, you either accept or tweak those errors or you replace the faulty parts. I have models where I will not accept much of a compromise (08, and some future models) and others where close is good enough and this falls into the latter, so long as it looks like a F unit and more importantly sounds like one I'll be happy:thumbs:

    The pilot does need work and I've two choices, cut this one off and replace with a brass one, trim 3-5mm of the sides and bottom of the current one and add a 0.010" plasticard overlay, that'll give thin edges but retain the thicker original pilot for strength. I'm also unsure of the side skirts, they currently have no tumblehome to them which means the underlying tanks are too wide, depending on prototype chosen will determine if they stay on or off and either way I think they will need replacing with curved ones and new fuel tank....sides....at least.

    Dates, oh boy, do UP like to renumber! they are still doing it now with their modern stock, it's a mine field and that's the current issue I have now, which rail road to pick and which era, ideally I'd like one where F9's were still kicking around in the early 80's so I can model some more modern stock, not really a big fan of wooden sided freight cars of the 50's & 60's. I think BN kept theirs in helper service quite late as did CN I think? It's the usual mental juggling I have before any project LOL, then again, it's my train set so I don't really have to justify any rail road or era;) these days you can see UP, NS and CP locos in southern Florida on occasion.

    Not sure if you've seen this site http://fcix.info/ref.htm lots of nice info on more modern freight vehicles and may pick up some of their downloadable products, but the free stuff is handy, and no, I've still no idea what an earth they are talking about when it comes to US wagon details...what an earth is a 'dreadnought' end!! LOL This info combined with the recent Plasticard wagon construction thread should go together quite nicely, just need to find a nice cheap source of freight car trucks now?
  11. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer

    Not sure CN had any F9s, although they did keep their F7aum locos running into the eighties. Of course the FP9s CN had went to VIA, but they're a wholly different machine.

    Just a thought - when did Rock Island fold? They had F-units pretty late. And weren't there some ex-Bessemer and Lake Erie units in industrial service until very recently?

  12. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Steph, you could be right about CN's F units being the P version, those images are on another drive and haven't checked them in detail. AAR had some late running ones, but they could be P's as well and I think EMC (Eire Mining Corporation) may still be running theirs but they could be 7's or 9's. It gets very grey the further from the build date you get, many locos were F3's upgraded to F7's and F9's, very hard to tell just by looking at them what they really are or were, the devil is in the detail. Need to re-read all my notes and drift through my images LOL.
  13. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer

    Too true. For my HO scale ones I tend to start with a reasonable chassis (Stewart, Proto1000, re-worked Athearn, Intermountain, etc) and a good 'shell (Highliner, Intermountain, Genesis), some good pictures and a stack of details. In the end I usually end up able to work out what the loco started out as. It gets very complicated very quickly. Attractive locos though and well worth the effort, IMHO.

    Here's a few quick pics of the current crop:
    Genesis F3a in GTW Green. There's another pair of them in Noodle livery just out of shot. Just working out how to get the back-up lights and other GTW-specific details on board. QSI Titan sound to be fitted too. You can perhaps make out a further (unpainted grey) F-unit in the background, this is being finished as a late-running CN F7aum; one of only two F-units I've actually seen in the flesh.

    Intermountain FP7 in ONR. Not as bad as some say, the trick is to lower the 'shell on the frame. Needs a little further detailing. Running with re-chipped, custom-programmed, factory-fitted QSI v2 decoder

    Genesis FP7 as the only F-unit to carry SP's 'Daylight' livery. The Genesis FP7 is a factory stretch of their standard F-unit, so while the shape is bang-on there is a risk of the odd funny joint that needs some work. As you can see the work has progressed so now we're on to general detailing (and DCC+s). Matching the paint was 'fun'!

    Steph (who's perhaps more F-Unit Mad than 'F-Unit Mad', but tend to be pretty subtleabout it most of the time!)

    p.s. Hijack over.
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  14. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Aha, so my 'toy' won't sit well with you then LOL, I'll do my best to appease you, I like F units but not as much as say Deltics or Class 40's which in truth probably fall into the obsessive category;)
  15. Jordan

    Jordan Mid-Western Thunderer

    For late users of F-Units the Mid-West roads are a good bet. BN, CNW, MILW and of course the Soo Line all ran F-Units until about 1980 or so. I have an article in 'Classic Trains' mag that goes into details. I'll dig it out later.....
  16. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer


    I think you will find it is not just the windscreen shape that is a problem. The F-unit nose looks simple but is an incredibly complex shape which was apparently worked out by panel beaters beating steel until the boss was happy. The model manufacturers have proved it to be nearly impossible to model accurately, hopefully something that laser scanning will resolve at some point. Before you spend time on a fancy repaint of the Atlas body you should have a good look at it and decide whether you will be happy with it even as a 'near enough' model. One of the problems with the nose is the radius below the windscreens, it should be a larger radius than the roof ie flatter. Then, in plan the nose is too semi circular, particularly towards the top. And so it goes on. It is hard to describe but it should be possible to file parts, build up other areas and then blend it all together to get it closer to the right shape. But is it worth it?
  17. Jordan

    Jordan Mid-Western Thunderer

    Well there's the million dollar question...personally I'd say 'probably not', but then my standards aren't as high as other's.
    If so many model manufacturers have struggled to get the nose absolutely spot on then I doubt I've got much chance.
    To be honest, nobody has hauled me over the coals for my F-Units either, even on the US "Rustbucket" Forum, where they have some very high standards.
    Here's a pic taken at the 2011 Trent Valley show. The chap who took it told me he showed it to modellers he knows in the USA, and the feedback he got was very positive, commenting on things like the tape around the nose door & vents; nothing at all about "the nose is waaaaay out" or suchlike....

    With no disrespect intended to anyone here, I do think it's possible to get a bit too pedantic about diesel profiles at times. TBH I'm reminded of the Heljan 31 thread right now..... when errors are measured in thou, or less than 1mm to three decimal places, personally that's close enough for me.....
    Dog Star, Steve Cook and mickoo like this.
  18. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    As mentioned above, I think the roof profile is too much and thus as the bonnet follows the roof is also too high at the centre, so you'd have to flatten the roof profile as well, at least Atlas were consistant in their errors:thumbs:

    I also said near enough is good enough for my current needs, if I want to get uber detailed at the front of the class I'll pull out my 08, Standard 5, Jubilee or Princess Royal, but, those will take months maybe years to finish and in the mean time I've nothing to run.

    In fairness if you compare this model with some of the current US O gauge offerings then this is the crown jewels, many still produce models to go around 2 foot curves with pilots and drag beams, steps an all, all connected to the bogie and the ensuing massive gap between the two.

    To be exact what you need do is build up the areas at the side of the nose and roof cant rail, the crown of the roof and crown of the nose is the correct height but it's the shoulders of both areas which are too low by about 2mm, thats my take on the affair.

    Is it worth it, yes I think it is, will it win any medals, no, because that's not the game plan, the game plan is to have fun and even knowing the errors when I look at it it still makes me grin, maybe I'm easily pleased.

    I think you need to pick your battles in this hobby, and this isn't one of them. Y'all probably cringe in the corner when you see the wagons after I've finished with them LOL.
  19. Steve Cook

    Steve Cook Flying Squad

    [off topic]
    Will you lot stop please :headbang:
    I thought I'd got over my US interest, it all sits nice and quietly up in the loft and provides no distractions . Then I read this lot. F Units, mutter, mutter, goes off 'internet shopping'...
    [/off topic]

    As for livery Mick, I'd discount the BN one, even it looks bored with itself :)
    Jordan likes this.
  20. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer

    The truth is that we're all correct (and therefore in some form of violent agreement). The true fidelity F-unit is, of course, never going to happen and there have been some great attempts. It's a great example of all the things to watch out for when model making.

    As an example the Stewart models (undoubtedly best in their time) were developed from works drawings. The problem was that the works drawings covered only the framing, windows and other 'infrastructure' of the nose section. EMD nose panel drawings are a 'form to fit' outline, so some of the subtleties didn't make it in to the model. And they certainly didn't make any allowance for the (occasionally several inches) layers of 'Bondo' splodged on top to form the final shape. Just have a good look; where's the nose crease? It's not on the Atlas (HO or O), Athearn or P1k models either.

    The next big step was the Highliner shell. For some (myself included) it's the one that best captures the appearance. This was produced by extensive measurement of the surface, with very expensive tool design undertaken by someone who really knew what they were doing and what they were aiming for. But it's arguably 'too perfect'. For a start it's symmetrical and apparently all EMD bulldogs were out of whack. The Intermountain model of the same era is also very good, just doesn't sit on the chassis properly (easily solveable though!).

    The 'too perfect' result may also be the case with the new Rapido FP9. It's a hugely impressive model (successfully replicating the underframing and plumbing I typically add to my locos) and it was created from 3-point laser scanning so should be pretty good. It certainly seems to look the part!

    (The Proto models can be considered clones (IMHO). The P1k F3 has much in common with the Stewart model, but runs on a development of the old Athearn mechanism. The P2k F7 is a slightly heavy-handed Highliner shell (shape good, details a bit overdone), which is running on a pseudo-Stewart chassis.)

    Of course, it does cause some consternation when FTs or E-units are bought in to the equation. They should have the same nose shape, in model form none do. It's very depressing to put the P2k E7 up against a Genesis F-unit (or even the P2k version) and realise the amount of work that's required to get an E-unit to the same standard...

    Jordan likes this.