7mm US model dabblings

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

  1. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    The stay alive is only capacitors, there's nothing to stop you adding more and they don't have to be fixed to the board, they could easily be elsewhere with flying leads back to the board.

    The ballast doesn't follow usual US switching or short lines where they just lay it on the ground with virtually no ballast, this section looks to be heavily ballasted by looking at the other photos he took.
    Jordan likes this.
  2. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    The (very real) prospect of a new layout area has spurred work on stored projects, in this instance the Atlas 2 rail MP15DC.

    As y'all know it was originally in BNSF pumpkin colours and I first considered a CSX variant, I may still do, but I've grown to like other railroads. The lack of definition means that some details cannot be finalised as there's quite a few variations in cabs and other details. I quite like the idea of roof platforms and Winnebago AC units on top.

    The original cab is okay if you like Panzer thick walls, which really do show when you're modelling switching layouts as you're up close to the models. A new cab was required and one was duly drawn up, it covers the majority of cabs which have the modern double glazed windows fitted with steel bezels, the original cab had the older single pane rubber mounted windows.

    There's still a few more items to add, but one or two small errors (one wall too long by 0.2 mm) and a couple of slots in the cab roof slightly out means this will eventually end in the bin. It'll serve it's purpose to allow me to mock up the interior and I'll add the last few bits just to make sure they're all okay before ordering the MKII version.

    The original rear # and light bar is currently retained, it's not too bad detail wise, so no need to reinvent the wheel, it may need changing depending on the final subject matter.




  3. LarryG

    LarryG Western Thunderer

    The new cab has made a heck of a different. I went through the US dabbler phase in the late 1980's. A nostalgic time for the disappearing SD9's and SD40's and their like.
  4. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Cheers, it is one of the biggest pet hates of mine in RTR models, fortunately most of the US stuff has modular cabs that can easily be removed and replaced with etched upgrades :thumbs: I have several in the pipeline :)

    Mmmmm cadillacs, SP of course :cool:

    Finding a decent one in model form isn't so easy though, even the brass import offerings can be a bit grim.
  5. JasonD

    JasonD Western Thunderer

    Mick, I've had a 'very real' prospect of another layout for twe... no thir... well, nearly forty years and even kit-bashing stock along with importing Nth Am O-scale, along with day-jobs and house moves, hasn't given me a clear conscience yet. So ... stop worrying about 0.2mm dimensional indiscretions by blokes looking to help more of us enjoy the best kept secret in model rail and inspire us with pics of your layout under construction.

    BTW, you already do that with your kit-bashi..., super upgrades, but please don't junk ANY useful parts. Ah well, I'll keep an eye open for useful 3-lid bins: domestic rubbish, domestic recycling, useful recycling.

    Want any help operating the layout at Stafford next year?
  6. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Jason, well the 0.2, nearer 0.4 truth be told does make the cab wonky, luckily though it matches the plastic cabinet and deck module underneath :eek:
    it would seems Atlas are not shy of fudging a few measurements here and there either :)) probably part of the plastic mould shrinkage I suspect.

    I've also made some changes to the doors and simplified the build, the original doors were half etched overlays but most of the real engines have flush doors with a thin gap around them, I've decided to replicate that and it'll save a bit of faffing around and strengthen a weaker area.

    Anyway, I'm happy with the basic core now, it'll do most MP15DC and AC models, SW1500 and I think SW1200 but those two classes I've not checked in detail. Number and light boards vary considerably so that has an impact on the roof and end wall profiles, though most engines seem to have under eave packages at the 'blunt' end so that's what I've gone with.

    I still need to work up the interior package, internal walls are done and a new floor (does it have a non slip tread grip....lozenges for EMD is typical externally...., I suspect it might but I've not found proof yet) will be in MKII as well as some 3D printed control stands and other paraphernalia in due course.

    Next up (well that's the plan but it evolves all the time) is the EMD spartan cab, that'll go on the GP60's (I have one, I'd like a couple more, they're quite common for switching these days), SD35 and hopefully some GP38-2 and 40-2 models in the future. I'd also like to do the MLW Canada cab, again suitable for GP40-2 and SD40-2 and even as recent as CN or BCR Dash 8's.

    I do have a Alco C628 in the post, sadly it's PRR so a new 3D nose is required and the cab is crying out for an etch upgrade, The ladder style steps will probably need replacing too, it'll get titivated into a SP West Colton hump and yard transfer mule. If I can find another attractively priced dummy unit that'll get the top chopped down for a slug unit.

    I'm finding the cab upgrades and other niff naff fits in better with my schedule at the moment, easily accomplished targets and only take a few days to progress.

    The layout is coming, had enough waiting around so new 'shed' arrives in due course, space for a 8 x 16' layout, it'll be modular and I will aim to make it exhibition transportable if the fancy ever takes me, either in part or in whole. It's odds on it'll be a switching layout and with that amount of area not too restrictive, it'd be very tempting to fill the space with track but I want to avoid that if possible, less is more!

    I may stick a small two or three road depot in an area at one end, an excuse to have main line engines roll in and out but not go urban so to speak.

    Another option is an industrial concern that rebuilds or SLEP's engines, maybe even crash damage, an excuse to have pretty much any railroad in one's and two's; BNSF and UP are doing a lot of -3 engines now with upgraded electrics and frequent de turbo options.

    If you have that unit/module at the opposite end to the depot then engines would have to go urban to get there. It doesn't need to be big, two tracks and a large back scene unit with one entry, a mix of old and new engines staged outside, say four or five.

    Location wise I'm probably heading west coast, more railroad options, though I have considered Florida as that's what I have seen and explored (sidings, switching and light industry) the most from that aspect.

    Anyway more to come in due course to a station near you ;)
    Compton castle and Jordan like this.
  7. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    Naturally - an SD9 from any other road won't do :rolleyes: ;).

    With your plans are you likely to have surplus EMD cabs suitable for a SSW GP35 and GE cabs for SSW Dash 8-40B ?

    Sunset used to produce an SD9 , certainly in 3R but I think they also produced some 2R versions.
  8. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Cabs, of course, I'm sure there will be some surplus, that's the planned intention anyway ;) Not sure what packages are bespoke to SSW, probably similar to SP so I'll make sure they're in the options break outs. I think there's at least four types of SP cab front window layout for the EMD spartan cab.

    I think GE's also had several variants. The nose will probably have an SP light package cut out, that's primarily where a lot of this started with the SD35 nose specifically for SP; actually I do need to print one of them with the new printer and see if I can finally get the item to print just so.

    It seems to be doing alright with recent items, though none have the mass that a EMD nose does.

    SD9's well I could venture for a white stripe cascade green BN, heavily weathered of course and the D&RGW tiger stripe with orange frames is quite appealing, but SP in the Sierra Nevada and cascade ranges has no equal, the task now would be to design a switching layout with some of that scenery, aka pine trees or trees in general, I like trees and water and rocks lol :thumbs: fun times ahead :D

    Brass models have two in stock, they've been sat there for quite a while now, which makes me think they're not that good or exceptionally over priced, brass import SD7's and 9's usually sell really quick.

    O Brass Model - OMI 0306 EMD SD-9 Phase I w/ Dynamic Brakes - Unpainted - 1984 Run - Ajin | BRASSTRAINS.COM

    O Brass Model - OMI 0306 EMD SD-9 Phase I w/ Dynamic Brakes - Unpainted - 1984 Run - Ajin | BRASSTRAINS.COM

    I've not done any detail checking to see what's required to make them SP units, but with a class so large I'm sure there will be some that are quite close, except light packages of course, SP being pretty unique in that aspect.
  9. JasonD

    JasonD Western Thunderer

    A small reward for kicking off the American thread again:
    Illinois Railway Museum - Wikipedia
    OK, OK, it's only an SD7 ... ... ... but it is SP!!

    I'd never been a fan (D&H never had any, even leased/borrowed), but getting close to the IRM example changed all that.

    Lessismore is the name of the depot at the end(?) of the branch that comes out of the shed isn't it? And there was me thinking you were actually referencing a 6-axle Nth Am diesel on its way from Dapol?! BTW I'm sure I heard they were looking for inexpensive, cycle-pump inflatable modern image stock for British unit trains. Can keep the cost down - or bring back manifest freights what with the shortage of truck drivers.

    Your project number 94 for CN wide-nose safety cabs.... I find as I get older coincidence and guilt go hand-in-hand, there's a Kaslo Shops kit sitting on the dining table(!): Weaver GP38-2, Des Plaines 3-fan etch insert, Kaslo cab, saw, file, glue. I'm sure it used to be that easy.

    Another BTW, Canadian friends, oh and an Australian thought I'd mentioned the M420W bits that were acquired 20 years ago and stalled as a project (shown as an etched brass prototype at many shows ... yes, with correct brass trucks). So I've asked Photo Etch Consultants to look in their phototools archive, but Rob hasn't come back yet. Anyway, I never throw anything away, it just becomes harder to find, or worse in Apple format, Steph may remember.

    All those fascinating shortlines with modern (to me) hand-downs from Class 1s. Susquehanna with a Tunnel Motor, Vermont Rly with an SD70M-2, what a hobby!
    soo4513, mickoo and Jordan like this.
  10. Big Train James

    Big Train James Western Thunderer

    This type of cab would be applicable to the sw1000 and sw1500, plus any of the mp variants. It also can be used on the Canadian gmd1 lightweight road switcher, which is an interesting model. The sw1200 has the earlier cab design, with the more deeply arched roof line and shaped-to-match upper corner rear windows.

    I can't say with certainty, but my experience with the light packages and numberboard housings is that the only typical variation is on the SP/SSW units. Of course there could be some home shop modifications over the years, the sw1500's especially have ended up all over the place in the secondary market.

    The front light package on the SP units necessitated the relocation of the numberboards to above the cab windows. This new housing mimics those found on EMD road locos, except only 15" in height, and features full sized numberboards versus the small numberboard typical on non-SP units. The placement of the housing on the cab front then results in changes to the roof overhang, actually eliminating it, and also relocation of the horn and cab vent to the roof top.

    The cab rear light cluster is also different on the SP locos, and affects the rear edge of the cab roof. The rear housing has the same geometry as the front housing, so includes shorter sloping faces at the outer ends and a wider flat in the middle. It also has a peaked roof on it, matching the geometry of the long hood. On the typical units, the wider sloping faces fit underneath the roof overhang, while on the SP units the different geometry means the housing protrudes past the edge of the roof. The resulting sheet metal top closure on the SP units overlaps the roof line ever so slightly.

    This photo shows just about everything. Rob Sarberenyi photo, used for reference only of course.

    From the other end, a typical housing, a clip of a Matt Adams photo from RRPicturearchives.net
    typical rear light housing.JPG

    And a clip of an SP example, attribution unknown at this point
    SP rear light housing.JPG

    On the cab floors, I've seen both tread plate and linoleum examples. If I recall correctly, the EMD parts catalog, or it could have been a drawing, specified the linoleum. Perhaps the tread plate is a shop refurbishment. The units were around for a long time. Perhaps indicative of this, the photos I have that show tread plate throughout the cab, show the later "criss-cross" tread pattern, while the tread plate outside the door on the end platform is of the earlier "plus sign" pattern. I might infer from that information that the cab plating is not original.
    mickoo likes this.
  11. Jordan

    Jordan Mid-Western Thunderer

    The Soo Line had a solitary SD9, I'm sure you were all keen to know that ;)

    I did do a model of it in N Scale many years ago, but not in the market for an O Scale version, mainly the price of brass & lack of anything cheaper, but also due to my rough track sections I avoid 6-axle locos these days anyway.
    As for Panzer-thick cab sides they are just something I live with; hopefully I have many more years of life ahead, but for now my modelling life is far too short. :oops:
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  12. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    We were :thumbs:
    I think six axles might work on your track.....Mmmm....maybe not :))

    Surprised those axles boxes didn't bottom out :eek:

    I've seen some RTR SD9's recently, could be 7's though, MTH I think, not pretty, not to me anyway.

    Oddly Panzer cabs are not something I can live with, even more oddly there are other aspects I can glibbly ignore, gauge and wheel sets for starters, though biscuit tin wheels are a certain no no, but ultra scale wheels are not a necessity.

    Your missing panel door is in the post :thumbs:
    Last edited: 9 July 2021
  13. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    On my frequent web trawls I've noticed quite a few heavy muscle units downgraded to regional and short line level, there's a cement plant that uses a ES44AC as a switcher, it even has radial trucks which for an ES44Ac is reasonably rare. Only CSX has that option on a mere 500 units, not many considering the thousands of GEVO's running around, they were more popular on earlier AC44 models.

    The thing about SD9's is the engine block, you just can't beat a 567 for audio, the 645 and GE 4 stroke are close seconds :thumbs: Also, being only 1750 Hp means you have to give it plenty of beans to move even the shortest manifest :D
    Last edited: 9 July 2021
  14. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Oooh lots of # and light cluster variations there. I have to confess not seeing those large cab front number boards on anything else other than SP units, or SP units sold elsewhere. For the floor I might just go with the criss cross lozenge style, if users want smooth then they only need add a thin sheet on top.

    I won't tread plate it all, no need under the control stand, it'll also give a smoother surface to fit the stand, there may be other areas under heaters that are not tread plated, in short it won't just be one big expanse of tread plate.
  15. Big Train James

    Big Train James Western Thunderer

    I suspect there's no need to tread plate any of the cab floor actually. But then you have mentioned in the past an intent to have some open cab doors, so it may make sense in your case. It wouldn't be just one big expanse of tread plate anyway, since most of the time the floor is covered by either an electrical cabinet of some sort in the middle and/or platforms under the seats.

    In my case, it's the proverbial "where do you draw the line" issue. I'm often foolish about details that only I know are present or missing, but I'm also recognizing that bringing a cab interior up to the level of detail I want on the rest of the loco is most likely a fools errand. Especially since across the full spectrum of EMD 2nd gen switchers, the cab interior details are incredibly varied and woefully under-documented. I'm coming around to the perspective that perhaps I will have to let some things go eventually. :eek: Just the thought of it, I must sit down for a moment and calm my nerves.

    I would like a control stand, seats, and electrical cabinet where applicable. The stuff you can see through the windows. But I'll worry about all that down the road.
    Yorkshire Dave likes this.
  16. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    Seconded :thumbs:

    The first 8 mins of this is why... and how to carry out switching!

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  17. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    Some ship modellers are well know for this. They will detail the cabins and as soon as the deck in in place they are hidden from view.

    However, like yourself I will detail a cab interior with much as I can fit in which can be seen.
    Big Train James likes this.
  18. Compton castle

    Compton castle Western Thunderer

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  19. Jordan

    Jordan Mid-Western Thunderer

    :thumbs: :thumbs: :thumbs:
  20. Big Train James

    Big Train James Western Thunderer

    An old friend of mine had much the same idea about a CUT layout. He had a particular interest in modeling passenger operations, not just the pretty trains but the behind the scenes work that went on as well. There really was a great variety that all met or passed through CUT, plus a whole ecosystem of support facilities.

    The station itself is obviously architecturally impressive, but it is also logistically quite clever in its integration of multiple modes of transportation and management of pedestrian traffic. It's been kept up wonderfully in recent years, and well worth a visit, although for the most part the trains will have to be imagined.
    Compton castle likes this.