I’ve been slowly but steadily plugging away on the two scratch-built locomotives I posted about back in May. I’m at the point now where most of the major challenges, such as gear tower clearance, coupler mounting, etc. have been solved and I can begin to focus more on the aesthetic side of the model. The last major hurdle will involve the nano LED’s for the ditch and step lights that I need to wire up and attach to the model so that the leads will be sandwiched under the treadplate. That process will likely begin after the holidays. Select images and info are past the cut. A full gallery is available on my Pbase site.
Along with modifying the frame, I also had to modify the trucks. The front of each gearbox had to be angled slightly to clear the RFMP draft gear and the molded on traction motor detail had to be cut off to make room for the Details West replacement. I will also need to carve some material off the gear tower on both rear trucks so that they will clear the end of the long hood. This has been the most frustrating part of this project. Athearn really needs to update their SD trucks, they’re far too bulky.
After attaching the pilots, stepwells and sidesills, I built the coupler pockets and attached them to the pilot faces. They required a bit of filing to get the Sergent coupler shank to fit, but not enough to change anything visually. Next I will add the draft gear bottom plate, then secure the entire assembly with countersunk 1-72 3/8″ flathead screws that I will drill and tap the athearn frame to accept.
That’s it for now. I’m moving in January, so most of my modeling projects are on hiatus until I’m settled in my new place.