Railflyer Model Prototypes Detail Parts

DP-6052, the $12.49 Pilot plates I ordered from Railflyer, with which I’ll be able to exactly model the pilots on BN GP38-2 2154, without any modification, measuring, cutting, speaking with the Atlas parts department or other tedious activities.

I arrived home from work last night (at midnight) to find a long awaited package from Canada sitting on the porch. With all thoughts of sleep banished from my mind, I opened the box to find most of what I need to complete my two RFMP Walkway Modules. More photo’s and descriptions are under the cut.

DP-6108, GP treadplate for units with an 88″ nose, wide anticlimber and DP-6016 style steps.


DP-6126, SD treadplate for units with an 81″ nose, small anticlimber and DP-6015 style steps.

First out of the box were the two sets of treadplate. Unfortunately though, I ordered DP-6126 instead of DP-6129 which is what I need for my SD unit. So I’ll have to send it back to be replaced. The treads are considerably different from Cannon & Company’s offering. Each section is an individual part, which will make modifying it for unique locomotives considerably easier, but will necessitate a good deal of care in laying it down so that everything goes on straight (time to play with alignment is another good reason to use Barge I guess). There are also a number of drop steps included with the tread, which represent a style not currently available elsewhere. The media is photo etched brass that is .006″ thick. Unfortunately I don’t have any C&C tread that’s not installed on a model to compare thickness with, but I did compare it visually (using a magnifying glass) with unpainted C&C tread installed on an Athearn shell. The Railflyer etching is considerably better, each raised diamond in the plating is distinct, whereas on the C&C tread the diamonds blend together to create more of a zig-zag pattern. I’ll have to see if the microscope at work can focus on something this large, if so, its got a camera and I’ll post a photo of both treads under magnification.

DP-6015, steps for SD40-2’s (and probably other models as well).


DP-6016, GP steps, notched with a low middle step.

The steps are, for the most part, the same as Railflyers earlier offerings, though the etching looks cleaner, and the top plate has been enlarged to fit the openings in the walkway modules. The sides and top of each well are etched from .008″ brass, while the steps themselves are .006″ which is a nice touch. The contours of both styles look extremely precise, though I don’t have prototype measurements to compare with. I’ve built the old version of DP-6016, and they went together quite nicely with a little AC. This time, if I can figure out how, I’ll solder them. I think that would be fairly easy if I can come up with a jig to hold everything in place.

DP-6184, Coupler buffer plate, E knuckle type.

The coupler buffer plates are composed of 4 slide injection molded plastic pieces and a PE top piece. I realized after I took the photo that I should have used one of the ancient DW coupler buffer plates I have as a comparison instead of the penny, oh well. The DW part was useful for covering up the disgusting openings on Athearn BB pilots, but it’s lack of scale becomes immediately evident when placed next to Ralflyers offering. The entire assembly consists of two sides, a bottom, piece, with part of the rear structure and a slanted top that the PE lays on. There’s no flash or other artifacts to speak of, and they go together in about 2 minutes.

DP-6192, SD Tall Jack Pads.

The jack pads are a single piece and are also slide injection molded, meaning they’re pretty much pristine right out of the package. To my eye they are exact, with impressive contouring that matches the prototype as advertised.

DP-6205, Pillow Block for traction motor cables.

These are something I’m really excited about. After seeing how Brian Banna used them on the Railflyer walkway module he built, I’ve been wanting to see how well they work. Etched from .010″ brass, there are a few different styles that are used at different locations along the locomotive. Each block has a mounting pin so it can be mounted securely in a small hole.

DP-6215, Traction motor cable circles.

These are small .010″ etched brass circles with four holes in them, that are used to frame the area where traction motor cables disappear into the chassis. That’s pretty much all there is to them.

DP6216, Traction motor cables (otherwise known as 10′ of .015″ solder).

I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to get this stuff through each pillow block (Edit: I tried running a strand of this through a pillow block and a circle. It fits like a charm). I guess that’s half the fun of building a model :-). I think this size solder is also available at Radio Shack and other electronic stores, but I’ve never been a big fan of Radio Shack, so it was nice to be able to get it when I ordered everything else from Railflyer. You can also see the new detail part packaging here. It’s much nicer than the old stuff as it matches the width of other manufacturers packaging, making organizing the stash considerably easier.

Top and End Plates for dual end fill 4000 US Gallon fuel tank.

This would normally come with the fuel tank, but as with the tread plate I requested the wrong part and this is the replacement. The only difference between this type and the standard type is the extra slots on the end of the top plate where two additional fuel filters can be added. It’s .006″ PE.

DP-6170, Angled Corner Waste Retention Tank

This part represents one style of the waste tanks that are attached to the fuel tank on many 2nd generation EMD units. I assembled one of these at the Amherst Railroad Hobby Show, and found that despite its appearance it goes together pretty easily in about 15 minutes. It could be soldered I suppose, but since strength isn’t a huge issue as it is with the steps, AC works just fine. It’s composed of a piece of .010″ etched brass, and contains enough parts to make two tanks and also includes all the necessary hanger brackets and hatches. It’s a huge improvement over the Hi-Tech offering in appearance.

DP-1207, Walkway Light Enclosures

These mount at the end of the duct on the left side of just about all EMD hood units, they’re .006″ thick and are cored to accept a fiber optic strand so they can be lit prototypically, something I’ll have to consider.

Well, that’s it. I also got some nifty tools from Mission Models, but I think I’m going to do a “Tools necessary to build a walkway module” post, so I’ll talk about them then. There’s a lot of good stuff here, all of which are a huge step forward in bringing US model railroading out of the toy train realm, by finally allowing model railroaders to build diesel locomotives that are as detailed and accurate as the finescale structure kits currently available. Hopefully this development won’t be limited to Railflyer either, it would be great to see other manufacturers take a risk and offer something that will change the status quo, and open up some new possibilities.

– Chris

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