Seattle & North Coast F7A #101: Update 1

#101 on the left, and an unmodified Highliners shell, right.

I was able to sit down the other night and got a good deal of the necessary plastic components attached to the shell that will eventually be SNCT #101. This is what Highliners refers to as a Phase 1b F7A, which has a later style door and gasketed windshield.

I had to make a couple of modifications to the shell before assembly, namely chopping off most of the fuel tank skirting, and removing the plastic draft gear and overhang on the rear. A portion of the skirting around the fuel gauge and fill area was left intact, and the doors from the front part of the skirt were saved in case they are needed on the chassis. The kit went together extremely well, the only gaffe, involving the doors being on backwards, was totally my fault. This happened because it was late and I was concentrating on getting the correct style of door and didn’t pay attention to where the handle was (despite the instructions clearly stating that the handles goes towards the front). I corrected this by creating a new handle attachment area with a small bit of paper and chiseling off the molded on detail (this isn’t evident in the photo’s as I did it after they were taken. Everything else about the door is fine.

A 3/4 view of the shell that will be #101. Note the side skirting modification.

The next step will involve some patching along the vent area on the engineers side. #101 was missing it’s grill for (I believe) the entire time it was in SNCT service, the area that would have been under the grill had some paneling directly behind the cab that isn’t there on the Highliners shell. I plan to simulate this with some styrene and brass sheeting. The farthest aft opening under the grill will also need some screening installed.


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