7mm US model dabblings

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

  1. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    That's easy - somewhere around LA or San Francisco - DRGW units ended up everywhere since they owned the SP in the later years.
  2. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Okay, parked the W1 for the festive period and now some me time.

    I did toy with starting something new in true Western Thunder style, the SD24 or SD40T-2 but decided that the GEVO needs more attention. There were a few issues with the Beta cab and I've sorted most of them such that a new etch can go off shortly. I'm having a little rethink on the hood doors and openings, it's a little delicate and there maybe a better way around things.

    I'm also going off large areas of overlay, especially half etched as they tend to curl once released from the carrier etch, they're also a big of a mare getting to stick down consistently or smoothly.

    Either way, it all needs a chassis to sit on and rather than run up cost in an etch for what is basically simple shapes I'll have a whizz at knocking something up here, perhaps even a basic cab interior.

    A quick look at the calendar reveals it's only 121 days until I go back here,


    or here


    A slight miscommunication domestically means I won't get the four weeks out west as planned, only three :( but that does mean that with my extra hours from the overseas deployment I can go again later for two more weeks all being well :).

    I'm not sure if I'm going to get as far east as Winslow or Flagstaff this time, I'd like to, even if it's only for three or four days, bit of a trek out and back for just three/four days, roughly 900 miles.

    I'll certainly cut out Needles and Kingman this time, except maybe one or two shots as I drive through. I'd like try to do some more around Barstow and out into the desert at Ludlow and Siberia, maybe head up the Las Vegas sub or kick over to Tehachapi and Bakersfield; problem is, neither the LV sub or Tehachapi see the traffic Transcon 2 gets. Either way I've at least a week or ten days to explore Cajon a bit more.

    Still plenty of time to plan the details as yet :thumbs:
  3. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    I kind of changed my mind on the GEVO chassis lol.

    After packing away the W1 so it won't get damaged I decided to clear up all the lamps I'd been using for photography, the plan is a little reshuffle of the study and a general good tidy up to be honest.

    Of course being Xmas space has to be made for new toys (kids) which mean the old toys have to go in the loft.....along with all the other old toys.....supposedly kept for grandchildren or future sale, fact is they're so old and crappy they should really go in the bin :rolleyes:

    Anyway I espied my O gauge stuff and it was feeling a little damp up there so I decided it really need to be in the warm, necessitating a mini shuffle in the study ahead of the main one shortly. Box after box descended through the loft hatch which got me thinking, how much have I actually got :confused: it would seem, quite a lot :eek:




    What isn't here is another Atlas F... thingie and two more Red Caboose GP9 kits.

    There's a few items here that really need progressing before getting back to the GEVO, namely the MP15, GP9 and F9. The Dash 8-40B needs a new fuel tank to fit around the speaker as the cast one is a bit chunky.

    The U25B has no effective under frame or bogies so they'll need sourcing/fabricating at some point, either way it'll end up as a SP model so a little research there for fittings is required.

    The GP15 will be repainted into UP colours at some point and no doubt require light cluster and fitting alterations here and there, but for now it's staying in mint boxed condition.

    The SD35 will have a new low nose and be placed into SP service, I'll also probably replace the cab shell with an etched version of the spartan cab, I really don't like the thick plastic window surrounds. The SP SD35 didn't L shaped windscreens which is a shame.

    The MP15-DC will also come into the SP fold, it'll need some extra work for the light clusters and I'll probably work an etch cab for that to give thin window frames. Once of these (2700) was painted nicely in the pre merger SP - SF Kodachrome colours.

    The GP9 I'm still bouncing off the walls on, I've got three and quite a few choices. I want to limit the number of panel or grill changes so there are a few possibilities there. Very few UP engines (300-321) match the out of the box Red Caboose model for engine vents, all are high nosed and most had small coffin tanks, though some had larger later. The batch also includes the rarer B model, not many railroads purchased B model GP9's. Adding the extra grills does open up the possibilities of Omaha GP20, GP9M and those converted to run on Bunker C oil alongside the turbines.

    Southern Pacific seems to have a better hit rate regarding grills, mostly high nose but also the odd low nose, not sure on ATSF yet. Either way, I think I need more models and a whole host of etch supplements, specifically the cabs and interiors.

    The F unit will go into SP F9A fleet, the other I may convert to a B unit or look into a ATSF variant.

    The GP30 isn't mine, I'm just holding onto it pending a possible purchase or joint sale, it needs a lot of work and I'd probably just use it for general dimensions and then we'll let it go. I do need a decent GP30 and B model at some point.

    What's missing, well a SD24 and B unit is a certain, they'd be UP with a possible ATSF and I'm keen to add the solo UP SD24M model with it's humped engine covers. I'd also like some SD9, those would be SP which seemed to favour that model.

    Some Alcos would fit in well with the SP theme, Alligators or Camels, both would find a home easily and some more larger GE's, U33C or U36C etc.

    I'd also like a Turbine, standard but preferably Veranda and you can't model out west without tunnel motors, dash 2 40 or 45 and then throw in a stock 45 with elephant ears. Finally you have to have a Centennial DDA40X, Whirly bird U50BB or Locust U50C and just to round that fleet out a DD35 and DD35B.

    So, what does one do with all that stock, clearly some back water branch line is out, or even a shunting layout, though several of the list could be employed on a shunting layout and many saw their final days trip working around LA.

    A depot would be ideal, many SP depots in the 60-80's still had turntables, some used traversers to access sheds, some workshops were built next to running lines so two tracks only fueled, watered and sanded mixed lash ups. They roll in at one end, get serviced and roll out the other, you could add interest by chopping in and out engines, either to match HP/tonnage or switch in and out engines to and from servicing.

    Finally I dug out this box, I knew it was a hospital case when I bought it, it was cheap enough but the postage was a little excessive but I got stung even more by HM customs, pahh. I'd not opened it until today, some times you just have to look on the bright side! To say the original description was cleverly worded is to polite.


    The side frame appears to have been left too close to a heat source, it's all warped and blobby, the tank has been stuck on....attempted...with what looks like Uhu.


    The other side isn't much better. To be fair I only wanted the drive mechanism and the description did say it got stuck at every revolution, I'm suspecting a slit gear or cog somewhere, neither of which are a major issue. It's a shame about the trucks, as they're not to dissimilar to the standard and veranda turbines or whirly bird U50BB. Either way it'll be a strip down and component recover before binning the rest to the insatiable plastic bin monster.

    Last edited: 28 December 2018
  4. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Productive day today.

    Both the GP9/SD9 and GP20/SD24 cabs worked up, I've only shown the outlines as they're easier to see, the masters are all tabbed and filled and will go to PPD in the new year.

    GP9-SD9 cab.jpg

    GP20-SD24 cab.jpg

    I'm expecting a couple of tweaks to make it fit the RC GP9 100% accurately, hence keeping the first test shot small and simple. The idea is to be able to have both cab doors open, though that will require some surgery around the front bogie mount and removal of the drive train and allow a full flat floor cab.

    There's a hand full of Omaha GP20's that retained the original hood doors and grill layout, even after conversion to bunker c fuel and their massive pot belly tanks. Of the three batches the AiResearch turbo is the easiest to replicate, the Elliot requires a bit more hacking and the EMD ones had their hoods modified, that format becoming standard on the EMD GP20 model. All were high nose models and included several B models.

    The low nose will have to be a SP unit with the GP20 cab. The low nose also changes the front battery boxes, being cut back to a basic shape that remained virtually unchanged until the safety can became standard.

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  5. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    SP low nose GP9's - as you know were a separate order. They are phase III units with three 48'' fans and will also require a revised sill. I looked at converting the RC version but it was the revised sill and additional louvers required for them which scuppered the idea. The louver maneuver (UK = louvre manoeuvre) can be done as on my T&NO GP9.

    SP high hood GP9? Pick your loco and stick with it - as we know virtually each one had their own detail variances.

    And of course there's the SP light package :). It's worth considering a fold up etch for this.


    On your etch you appear to be missing the front angled steps for the GP/SD9 - the ones halfway between the sill and battery boxes - and small steps from the walkway to the rear driver side cab door. These ones.
    Step 1.jpg
    Step 2.jpg

    Are you also looking at producing etched steps for 2nd generation EMDs and the GE dash 8-40B?
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  6. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer


    The revised sill isn't such an issue, I'll cut the section with the slots in and add new etch panels with knuckle dusters. The hood grills are identical to the RC version and that was my primary criteria, ergo, finding engines where I don't have to hack the hood doors and pressed grills. I've only managed to get a couple of hundred SP GP9 web images so far, but confirmed candidates are 2883, 2890, 3275, 3709, 3711, 3713, 3718, 3727, 3882, 3883. I've also not checked all my books yet so that number may well go up.

    The low noses do require different battery box covers, they're not hard to work up and I'll do that on the final set of artwork.

    As you note, all have triple 48" fans, as do my prospective UP 3xx bunker c oil engines, in which case I suppose I really need a couple of roof covers to convert from dual 36" to solo 48", but, I may make those from plasticard to save etch real estate.

    The front battery box steps are up in the top right of the GP9/SD9 etch, they are also on the GP20/SD24 etch but with a revised shape as they do not have the extra fillet that the high nose engines have. The low nose has this area cut back and has normal width steps here.

    Cab rear steps, they're on there, same size as front and rear steps. There's enough on there a few spares for a whole engine; I also think I may have space for Blomberg slack adjusters. At the moment the etches are not laid out to maximise the space (commercial orientation) but a quick knock up (enthusiast orientation).

    I've also noted that my brow number board unit does not have the lower bulge in the centre for the lower lamp, I'll correct that tomorrow. Only the SP versions have this, which is odd as it is a 2nd generation spartan cab fitting, the first generation brow number board housings have a flat bottom, as seen on SD24's and GP20's.

    The primary purpose of these etches, and I'll only send the high nose one first, is to check that they fit the RC plastic shell accurately, it'll be out by the odd 0.1-2 mm here and there, once I know where and fix it then that info will be transferred to the second etch and any extras added to fill it out. Couple off the top of my head are SP antenna ground plane (though that could be part of the main roof and just trimmed back where not needed) and the light cluster mount you noted above.

    Second generation is coming along, I need a replacement SD35 cab and low nose for my model and I want to develop a full SD cab package for my tunnel motors. So yes steps will be in there as well and anything else I can think of to tart up the Atlas models.

    Same goes for the Dash 8-40B, need to work out what I need to bring that up to scratch, prototype railroad is as yet undecided, ATSF, SP or UP, and, I really really want a GP60!

    Last edited: 29 December 2018
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  7. JasonD

    JasonD Western Thunderer

    So Mickoo ... you want a GP60 ... CottonBelt's an SP subsid isn't it ... P&D brass trucks fit under nicely ... take out the Atlas mech, mess around with the chassis holes ... put in some other bits from Pat ... just ask me how I know ....

    OK, enough of that, I've also got a MoPac (UP colours) PRB GP15. Needs a bit of repair work - sunshade on one side, etc. May be a bit too recent? Anyway I got a prezzie from the kids last week, must have been over a tenner, 'cos they had to get together on it. It's a torch with a phone, but they reckon I can take pics with it too and something that sounded like 'down low dapps' whatever they are. They said even I should be able to take pics of trains, so I can practise on those two when you've finished all the others! Have you come across Gilmaur etched kits?

    All this is gurgling out 'cos I've got two unfinished kit-preparation projects: Whitcomb 25-ton diesel (0-4-0) and MLW M420 and the New Year celebrations reminded me I achieved sod all with them last year!

    Happy New Year to all!! Next meet NMRABR at Benson Sun 13 Jan.
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  8. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    That makes me laugh like a drain! In the 1980s/1990s I was working for the UK company of a multi national in what could broadly be called the communications industry. I was their technical controller so should know all there was to know about the way communications was going. I heard on the radio during my morning drive in that someone had come up with this concept of putting a camera in a phone.

    When I got in to work I delighted in telling everyone how phone technology had lost its way - after all, anyone wanting to take photos would buy a camera, wouldn't they?

    This is also the man who, a few years earlier, had heard during his drive to work about how, in a few years, everyone would have a computer and this thing called a "web" would be in existence with all the knowledge in the world freely available. Oh, how we laughed......

    Despite my best efforts the company still survives.:)

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  9. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Well, you do get odd turns of events :eek: now and again.

    I've been after a SoCal Gator for years, even have a couple book marked on Ebay, but both are overseas, a touch too expensive, high shipping costs and coupled with the risk of the men in grey intervening.

    So, setting up for Bristol this morning I was surprised to see on the stand next to us, not one, but two....my initial reaction was 'impossible!' can't be true, followed by 'bet they're 3 rail'. Casually sauntering over, well nigh on stampede and asking tentatively if they were two rail, indeed they are sir, SOLD.

    Have to confess I only picked one (Cotton Belt) up, as it was a cash sale, it was duly placed to one side as I roamed the campus looking for the cash machine, there came a point during that stroll and the extraction of funds that one turned into two, there must of been a cognitive decision making process somewhere but I wasn't aware of it :p

    I duly returned, paid for the first and took the second much to the sellers surprise, he did also mention he had a 3rd rail UP 4-12-2 in bare brass and smoke deflector fitted grey tone Challenger, I politely declined :cool:



    They're the usual Atlas run models, if you look long enough you can probably discredit a large portion of the model but overall and generally they look like Alco Gators, they're also prefect for my layout theme and location, the SP ones worked in and around LA on yard transfers (Colton - Taylor etc) and as hump shunters, either solo, with a TEBU and often in pairs sandwiching a TEBU. Addendum....or not as the case now turns out :rolleyes::confused:.

    I'm not sure of the SSW field of operations, my initial gut feeling is that they were not in California but more toward Texas, that'll be tomorrow lunchtimes reading material. The cabs are also blanked out where the second motor sticks up so all things being equal they'll be solo motored and then I can add a cab interior, which then leads to the thick frames and moulded mirrors, which leads to, yes you guessed it, an etched cab.

    If you're doing a cab then yo may was well do the steps and new pilot faces with correct draw bar opening, new couplings, foot boards and MU pockets. All simple stuff to do and add a little finesse to the engines, ohh, and some replacement handrail stanchions.

    All in all a nice twist to the day, all be it a little more expensive than I thought it would be when I walked through the door.

    Last edited: 28 January 2019
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  10. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    SP alligators.... well between you and Steph you have the Espees entire fleet of three!!!!:D. These were quickly shipped off to the T&NO. The SSW had 10 units.
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  11. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer

    Yeah, but mine is going to be Canadian Pacific-ised, so Mick's still got one to go.

    Or cut it down to an RSD12? :p:cool: Now, there's one that needs careful research.


    P.s. I should perhaps mention at this point that Dave is sat about 5ft away. But, of course, after getting stuffed on Beef Massaman and London Pride it's easier than actually talking! :D:))
  12. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    SSW alligators operated out of Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Another 11 of them and you can have the entire SP and SSW roster.

    ATSF alligators lasted in to the 1970s.

    Anyway, rule #1 applies.
  13. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Well I thought there were more and in hump service in LA, which now means I'll have to find the photos I was thinking off and actually see which locos they were. Mind, as you say Dave, rule #1 could see them shipped back to Colton with the other Alcos staged there as a central point.

    Maybe one can change to ATSF bit more work but would certainly look nice.

  14. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    Like this...
  15. JasonD

    JasonD Western Thunderer

    I'm going to the Chicago O-scale Meet mid-March, so if any Weaver gears, etc, etc are needed from P&D, or parts from Des Plaines, let me know. One of the guys on the American O-Scale in the UK Facebook group has an Overland SD40-2 if anyone's interested?

    Never noticed that air intake(?) halfway down the long hood on that Santa Fe unit. Best paint scheme of all time? Runs for cover....
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  16. Big Train James

    Big Train James Western Thunderer

    I was about to mention the same thing. Only about six weeks out now. Perhaps we should make a point of introducing ourselves at some point over the weekend.

    And the usual offer is extended to WT'ers as in years past, much as Jason has already done, for collection of parts from various vendors at the show. His shipping might be a lot cheaper though :oops:.
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  17. JasonD

    JasonD Western Thunderer

    Hi James
    I'm flying out (£267 return Norwegian Air, well OK the empty suitcase is another £50, should have booked it one way OHD-LGW I suppose and bought one out there!) Wednesday 13th, staying till the following Monday 18th probably at the Meet hotel all nights. Like many oldies I have enough projects to last me, but there's a Denny's for breakfast and choice of Mexican for chicken Mole around ... hmmmm ... Jason, snap out of it! What was I saying ... oh yes, like many oldies I'll still want a shopping trolley!!

    Are you staying in the Meet hotel? OK, I'll be the one wearing something with a D&H logo on it. SEE YOU!
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  18. Jordan

    Jordan Mid-Western Thunderer

    Jason - you know the standard Western Thunder Unit of Currency:-

    Take lots of Photos :) :thumbs:

    If - & it's a big 'IF' - you happen to find a Plano etched Walkway for the Weaver covered hopper, I'd be interested, although I know Big James here made enquiries for me last year & "rare" doesn't even begin to describe it!! :rolleyes:
  19. Big Train James

    Big Train James Western Thunderer

    It's actually a Des Plaines product, rather than Plano. For whatever reason, Plano steadfastly refuses to enter the O scale market, which is unfortunate. And you won't find one on the Des Plaines tables either, as they have no intention of making them again. So you'll have to hope for the best with one of the other vendors.
  20. Big Train James

    Big Train James Western Thunderer

    I am staying at the meet hotel. Every year I struggle with the internal battle to choose between looking for somewhere else close by that is cheaper, versus the convenience of having a room right upstairs. Usually, the money I can save isn't enough to make it worth booking at another hotel.