Well, I’ve finally caught up to my progress. These photo’s show what I’ve done as of Jan. 17, 2008. So far everything is going well and this model is really starting to look like the 1:1 #101.
Visible changes between this post and the last are the addition of the Details West snowplow pilot, rear coupler draft gear, Western-Cullen style rotary beacon, Leslie RSL-3L-R3 chime air horn, nail antenna, rooftop air cooling coils (with modifications), flag holder brackets, rear lifting lugs, rear door MU and field box, rear door bumper, and backup light. Added as well were Highliners etched fillets to the top of the rear side doors, nose MU door, class light bezels and front bumper pin. I also drilled all marked grab-iron and lift ring holes, though I still need to make or find templates to drill the holes for a number of other grabs.
Most of the parts I added went on with little or no modification. I did make some changes to the support for the rooftop air cooling coils. After reviewing photo’s from several angles, I determined that the supports should be vertical posts as opposed to the bracket design that comes with the DW part. To make this modification I drilled four small holes on the underside of the cooling coil assembly and attached small lengths of .025 styrene rod with a MEK/Barge mixed to 50/50. Once the adhesive had dried I put a small drop of black paint on each rod and carefully set it on the non-dynamic hatch. When I removed the coil assembly, the black marks left by the paint showed me clearly where to drill mounting holes. One the cooling coils were adhered into place I drilled mounting holes for the intake/output pipes and cemented them in place with CA from the inside of the shell.
The horn, nail antenna and beacon were all added per DW’s instructions. The beacon will be lit from inside the shell by a small LED attached to a flasher circuit. The base of the beacon was drilled out to accommodate the amber lens which falls through the roof and will act as a light pipe. The tiny flag brackets can barely be seen and are mounted above the front windows on either side of the cab. They have pins mounted in holes through the rood making them very durable.
On the nose I drilled holes for the class lights using the handy template Highliners provides, the holes are ringed by the photo-etch class light bezel also from Highliners, once painted the class light will be inserted. I’m not sure if I’ll light these yet, as I don’t think the SNCT ever used them… we’ll see though. Next to the headlight is the MU door attached with my usual MEK/Barge mixture. The plow is installed per DW specs, though I found that it didn’t set perfectly flush with the bottom of the Highliners nose, so I laid down a bit of putty and sanded it till the profiles matched. The MEK/Barge I used worked well as it seemed to soften the putty forming it perfectly to the plow.
The rear of the unit had a good deal of detail added as well. I don’t have any photo’s of #101 from the rear, so I used photo’s of other F’s and have hopefully achieved a close approximation of the prototype. The door will eventually have a photo-etched panel attached which will give it the correct round window. The lifting lugs are above the door fram, and the MU box is under the frame but above the door. The single backup light will eventualyl be drilled out for installation of a small LED.
That pretty much sums up things so far. My next step is definitely going to focus on the winterization hatch and pilot steps, however that may take some time as I need to ask some questions and get accurate dimensions.