Tuesday, April 2, 2024

GP7 #439

Following close on the heels of the 434, I put the finishing touches on the 439.  Mainly had to work on the distressing the decals a bit.  Other than that, I used the same methods as I did for the previous units.

Applied the major detail parts, paint, applied the major weathering, decal application, minor details and sealed it.

Unlike the 434, the 439 was one of the unlucky GP7's that never got rebuilt during the CRP and soldiered on until the shutdown wearing this early maroon scheme.

One thing I still may add to the 434 & 439 are the all weather windows.

While I still have several more version of GP7's to add to the roster, these two will be the last major locomotives rebuilds for a while.  I had some unexpected time on my hands for the last three weeks and took advantage of it, but I really need to get back to the layout and work the scenery.

Sunday, March 31, 2024

GP7 #434

Since the 1299 didn't take very long to finish, I decided to push myself to get two more older GP7's done. These were two of the original 12 GP7's that The Rock received in July and August of 1950 and were numbered in the Fearsome Four Hundred series. The first one is 434.  

The 434 it did not last until the shutdown.  It was slated to be rebuilt and renumbered to 4495 but instead was traded to PNC (Precision National Corp) during the CRP (Capital Rebuilding Program) that was initiated in 1974, a program to rebuild the large majority of Rock Island's aging GP7's, which also included GP9's and GP18's.

But it will continue to run on my layout...

Again, I followed the same method of painting and weathering as I did on the previous GP7's and GP40's, I painted them, then did the major weathering followed by applying the decals.

I did not add much for details as it was pretty plain.  The the spark arrestors are a new product that I found on Shapeways designed by Wutter, these are 3D printed and turned out very nice.  I'm trying to decide if I should an All Weather Window on the engineers side? I have a JNJ kit, but it has 3 panes and not two.

One interesting tidbit I noticed when I was applying the number boards, is how the 3 digits are offset to the outer edges and not centered.  Every image I could of the 400 series of GP7's were done up like this.


The 439 is just about finished...



Wednesday, March 27, 2024

GP7 #1299

I just can't seem to help myself...

I just received this new Atlas GP7 a few days ago and I found myself with a little time to kill.  Knowing this wouldn't be a full on paint job since the loco came in the right paint scheme with no details to add, I decided to pull the trigger.

I have a long list of paint schemes to apply to my fleet of GP7's, two have been checked off my list now: the previous GP7 #1201 in the red and yellow and now this one.  

The #1299 is kind of an odd duck, as it's in the maroon and yellow scheme of the late 60's, but yet it carried the speed lettering that was common in the early 70's with the red and yellow scheme.  I did find a few more GP7's with this scheme as well as a few other models like the GP40's, U25/28b's and the U33B's.  Along with the lettering, this unit is still sporting the "Torpedo Tubes", a telltale sign of it's previous life, that  being in passenger service.

This is how it finished out.



Friday, March 15, 2024

GP40 #4711

GP40  #4711 is now on the roster.

As done before, I followed the same process that I did for the #1201 & #389. It'll be nice to have some more RED mixed in with the collection of Maroon units.  Before these and the one GP35, I had a couple of SD40-2's, a U30C and a U25B.  

My roster and yard is starting to look more like a Rock Island engine facility in the late 70's...

The pair

And the Trio

Though I made some good progress over the last couple years adding to my roster, I am far from being done.  I still have the GP7/9's (which will have multiple paint schemes.)  I still want to add several schemes to my fleet of GP40's, U25B's.  Then a couple more U30C's and at least one more GP18.  
So that should keep me busy for awhile?

Sunday, March 10, 2024

GP40 #389

GP40 #389 joins the fleet today.

I pretty much followed the same game plan that I did to the GP7 #1201 

One more red GP40 to go...

Sunday, March 3, 2024

The Winnfield local with the 1201 on point


GP7 #1201

The GP7 1201 joined the fleet today.

I applied a few more battle scars to my version since I'm modeling 1979.  The image of the proto that I used was dated 1976, which was three years earlier and the paint was probably two years old.

I used Tru-Color Rock Island Red and Yellow then toned it down with some Pan Pastels so it wasn't as vibrant and sealed it.

I added Sun Shades, Spark arrestors, a typical 5 chime horn, 1mm jewels for the marker lights and Micro Trains 1015 couplers.  A Digitrax DN163A0 was installed and I added a surface mount 804 LED for a brighter front headlight as I have done with the GP35's and the U33B's and the refurbished U25B's in the past.

Weathering was done with Tamiya black panel liner and several colors of Pan Pastels, along with some brown oil paint for the rust marks.  Decals were Micro Scale. 

Here it is sitting next to one of the maroon GP35's for comparison.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

GP40's and a GP7R

Someday I'll get back to the scenery, just not sure when? But for now the juices are flowing.  After getting the U25B & U28B refurbished, the gears started turning again.

Next up: Two GP40's and a GP7R.

All three will be in the Red and Yellow scheme.

The GP40's will have two different numbers from different orders.
One will be in the high 300 series that got repainted, the other will be in the low 4700 series that were delivered in Red and Yellow.

The GP7 will be a rebuilt GP7R in the 1200 series which was rebuilt and painted by Morris-Knudson during the CRP (Capital Rebuilding Program). Unfortunately some didn't stay in Red and Yellow very long as the Rock Island officials decided shortly afterwards that they were going to start painting their locos in the Blue and White. 

So some of the Red and Yellow GP7R's were repainted as soon as they were delivered back to the Rock Island and were renumbered into the 4400 and 4500 series, but some did retained their original numbers and the Red and Yellow paint until the end.

The images are not mine, I use them for reference only.

Monday, February 12, 2024

Refurbished U25B and U28B

I decided to work on a couple of locos again before working on the layout.

I did up these two U25B's back around 1995, a few years before I switched over to DCC.  These units have been in storage since then.  I recently was deciding how many U25B's I wanted for my fleet and which paint schemes I wanted to portray them in when I remember I had these two.

They're both U25B's but the 253 is actually numbered for an early version U28B, which were for all  practical purposes U25B's except they had 2800 hp.  The late U28B had the cab moved forward which gave the traditional stubby nose look of the later GE units.

Overall these looked pretty good as far as the paint and weathering went, but the only thing I had to do was to repaint the handrails as most of the paint had flaked off since they were made from Delrin and I didn't know about using a plastic adhesion promoter.  

I redid the number boards with Shell Scale decals and also swapped out the older DC chassis for a newer DCC chassis then added an LED headlight.

Not sure how many more U25b's & U28b's I'll paint up but there are at least 6 more schemes I'd like to add, but that's for another time.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Rock Island airslide hopper

Once again, going off on another direction, I'm taking a bit of a break and trying to wrap up another smaller project that I found buried on my workbench after cleaning up from the barn build.  

Delaware Valley released some of these blue Rock airslides in N scale a long time ago, but when BLMA released theirs, the difference in fidelity was night and day difference.  Then when Atlas bought BMLA out, I've been waiting for them to release some in Rock Island, which they have, a stacked block lettering.  Recently I did several up in the 70's speed lettering, but I still wanted a blue car.  

Joe at MTL said they were still planning more of their versions of airslides and would put a request in for a blue version when I asked him recently.  Nothing against Joe or Atlas, but I have waited long enough and with a bit of time to kill due to a snow storm that rolled through here, I have a couple of days off to make something happen.

I started out with a couple of Cotton Belt cars.  I removed the lettering with a toothpick and some 70% alcohol, cleaned them up and dismantled the trucks and couplers.  

I first shot a primer coat using TCP light primer. 

Followed by a coat of  TCP-166 Rock Island Blue.  Once it had dried I gave it a shot of thinned Dullcote so that I can start applying the decals. 

Even though I'm not looking forward to applying all those DATA decals, it should be a fairly easy project.  Easy yes, time consuming, OMG....54 decals per car!

But they're done!

Now Atlas or MTL will release their version...


Saturday, January 6, 2024

Wrapping up the barn

I got the last of the corrugated sheets installed on the roof I then set about to weather it.

I painted the roof  with a coat of Vallejo Neutral Gray and let it dry overnight, after which I sealed it with a heavy layer of Dullcote to seal it and give the surface some tooth.  Then applied a layer of P3 Armor Wash and let it dry overnight.  The Armor Wash is kind of similar to a black wash, which can be left on if desired.

In my case I used a "Q" tip, damp with alcohol and wiped of the biggest share of the Armor Wash so that it just highlighted the grooves (yeah the lighting sucks and doesn't show the difference very well).  When this was done, I sealed it with another coat of diluted Dullcote to seal the Armor Wash in place.

Now came the fun part; the rust.

This time I decided to try another approach to apply it rather than to lather on oil paints and then wiping them off for a finish.  I started with the craft acrylic paint: Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna and Deep Yellow Ochre.

I started off making a wash from the Deep Yellow Ochre and added a tinge of Burnt Sienna and applied this over the entire roof and wiped off the excess with a "Q" tip.  When dry I used a Deer Foot brush to stipple on straight Burnt Sienna in patches.  After that was dry I applied the Burnt Umber in the same manner.  With each color I used less and less to build up layers, applying them to the bottoms and corners of the metal panels.

Once this was done, I came back with some pan pastels and dusted some of the panels for a slight variation in color.  I also applied some Pans to the rest of the outer face of the barn to give it that weather worn look like I did before.

After this was all done, I applied another diluted coat of Dullcote to lock everything in place and used an Exacto to slightly bend up some of the corners.

So far, so good.

Lying in bed I got the idea to try something different.  While it's an old barn and old house, something just seemed to be missing?  These would look great in a dry western scene, but since these be will located in Louisiana, which can get humid and damp, I'm thinking it should have some moss growing on it?  Not much, just a trace.

So grabbed more craft paint and started adding a bit to the house first.  I started out stippling on tiny bit of black to block the area, then I grabbed some dark green and mixed a bit of black to darken it a bit more as I didn't want it to stand out as green as a lawn.  Once this was done, it looked a little to flat, so I used the deep yellow ochre, added a bit or green and lightly stippled it around the patches, just enough to see small dots.  

I liked that, so on to the barn...

With this project to a stopping point, I can now start laying out the positions of the buildings for the abandoned farm scene and know where I can start carving the floral foam to its final shape.