After previewing the two locomotives I'm working on in my last blog, I thought it would be a good idea to take you on the journey on one of the rebuilds from start to finish. I have been into trains for a long time, but it's only recently I have looked at detailing and rebuilds. It's also coincided in me developing an interest in American railroads, and thankfully it's a match made in heaven.
I've sung enough about the detail and quality of American models in the past, but another area in which they excell is the after-market detail parts business. Companies like Details West, Detail Associates, BLMA and Cannon and Co. (to name but a few) offer great products to improve older and less detailed locos, as well as making the newest stuff even better. Another advantage is the brilliant spares department offered by the likes of Athearn and Kato, making getting parts for locos so easy.
As I stated in my previous entry (giggidy) I bought three relatively modern but badly treated locos from Dave who took them as part ex at a show. He stuck up pics on the 1st yuku site (seems so long ago now) and how we all laughed at them. However, I fancied my chances as doing them up, or at least acquiring them for spares. They were nice and cheap and I decided that once the horrific paint came off them there was plenty of potential. On top of that if I made a mess of them in my novice ways I wont be down too much money, far cheaper than trying similar detailing on a brand new model!
The third loco I ended up with was an Athearn RTR GP40X high-hood. Out of the three I bought this was in the worst condition. It was orignally an 'undecorated' loco, which is basically a kit form which comes with lots of additional parts for you to fit. All additional parts were missing, the paint was dreadful, it was missing a bogie sideframe and the additional bogie parts, and it was a bit of a lumpy runner.
I then got to work researching parts and listing out what I need before ordering from online retailers and Athearn's parts department. One nice and easy job was to install the grab irons front and rear as none were ever attached. I got a big back from BLMA and got to work.
Also added were brass horns, MU hoses and couplier cut bars (which I'm not sure about being correct, despite someone telling me they were the right ones to use. I may well replace them.)
Next to go on will be the ploughs and other small detail parts.