Jan 192014
 
I've removed the cab and short hood section in preparation for attaching the blank hood and high nose.

I’ve removed the cab and short hood section in preparation for attaching the blank hood and high nose.

So, this is going to be my first attempt at a B30-7A.  It has been a long time since I’ve worked on any GE power in my shop.  But GE power was still relevant in the era of BN which I model.    I’m going to do an early B30-7A, the easy version.

The later one requires building a doghouse for the dynamic brakes on the roof of the long hood.

I have started with an Atlas Silver Series B23-7 I got off ebay, which someone so kindly undecorated for me.

Here’s my start.

Jan 082014
 
Roof line detail and right side of my HO scale GP10 project.  Most of the small detail parts have been added.  Wiring is complete.  The engine is pretty much ready for decals.

Roof line detail and right side of my HO scale GP10 project. Most of the small detail parts have been added. Wiring is complete. The engine is pretty much ready for decals.

In the introductory post on my GP10 project, I noted that I’d like this project done by October 31.   I didn’t mention what year.  It is well past the date which I originally targeted for completion of this project.  However, those of you that know me know the two little reasons (Twin A and Twin B) for my lack of progress.  The twins are fine and their brother, 2 1/2, is doing fine.  Our life is getting back to the ‘new’ normal.

Any case, I took these pictures on October 6, 2013 and have made progress since then, but I wanted to let you know what has happened with this project leading up to October 6th.

I finished installing most of the detail parts that don’t interfere with masking.  Parts I left off for the time being are the lower grab irons and three pane all-weather window.  Another big task was to install the DCC decoder.   I did a hardwired installation, as this Atlas unit predates DCC ready standards by many years.  I chose a DH163 for its ability to produce rear and forward lights on F0 and a (simulated) rotary beacon on the cab top.  Street price for a Dh163 is about $30.00.

The rotary beacon is functional.  It is lit by the green wire from the Digitrax DH163 installed under the long hood.

The rotary beacon is functional. It is lit by the green wire from the Digitrax DH163 installed under the long hood.

The hardwired installation isn’t at all hard.  Just time consuming.  I removed the factory “board”.  I wired the red wire to the right pickup, black to the left.   An orange and gray wire each to the motor.  I used the white and yellow wires for forward and reverse headlights and the green wire to power the fink light.  I used the blue wire as common for all the wires.  I used Miniatronics 1.5v, 30mA bulbs in all applications here, mainly for their physical dimensions.  I’m always biased toward using LEDs, but in this case, it made sense to use these incandescent bulbs.   The main issue was making sure all those bulbs would be easy to put back into place after painting.

Then it was off to the paint shop, where I shot a coat of BN green (Polly-S) on the body and frame.  I masked using 3M blue painter’s tape and then painted Polly-S engine black on the rest of the model.

A bunch of post-paint work was needed to get the cab to fit down over the main shell and frame correctly.  Remember that this model has been modified, so things didn’t quite fit as expected.    After several permutations of assembly and disassembly and minimal cursing, I got the engine to fit together presentably and functionally.

 

Sep 042013
 

I’m working on a new project a few minutes at a time in the Dakotabranch back shop.

Like the Nose Job project I shared with you this spring, this new unit is based on an old Japan-built HO scale Atlas GP7.

The windshield is a part from DesPlaines Hobbies.

The windshield is a part from DesPlaines Hobbies.

Unlike the TCWR project which has no prototype, this one will be based as closely to BN’s GP10 fleet as is reasonable.
I’ve chosen to use an Atlas unit for this project, mainly for the reliable operation that Atlas diesels are known for.   Also, the handrail stanchions and castings resemble the originals found on the former GN and NP GP7’s that were rebuilt into GP10 units by BN in the 1970’s.

A number of shortcomings exist with the GP7 in using it for a Burlington Northern GP10.  Most notable is the high short hood.  I took my experience from the TCWR project and applied it to this one.    Using a slightly different method, I’m happy with the early results.

The air filter is a details west part, while the winterization hatch is from Cal-Scale.   I could not find a proper very square hatch with a round hole in the top for the fan.

The air filter is a details west part, while the winterization hatch is from Cal-Scale. I could not find a proper very square hatch with a round hole in the top for the fan.

Options exist for addressing this issue, listed from somewhat reasonable to insane:

  • Use Proto 2000 chassis and drive components, with a GP20 fuel tank and air reservoirs.  I’ve owned Proto geeps in the past and know how they run.   I’m not putting a bunch of time into build a GP10 shell to put on a crappy chassis.
  • Mill the Atlas GP7 frame to accept a Proto GP20 fuel tank
  • Re-cast the frame entirely, with a corrected fuel and air tank arrangement

I’ve decided not to do anything about the situation with the fuel and air tanks.   If anybody has a better idea, I’d like to hear about it.

So, as of this writing my progress:

  • Completely disassembled trucks, motor and transmission, and shell
  • Chopped the nose and assmbled or fabricated cab parts: two-piece windshield from DesPlaines Hobbies,   numberboards and headlights, cut from an Athearn Dash-2 cab, filed to profile.
  • Ground off ALL the cast-on detail on the front and rear pilots.
  • Installed 3-cluster MU hoses
  • Installed an anti-climber on the front pilot (is an anti-climber on an early geep bad-ass or what?)
  • Fit a BN GP10 specific air filter housing to the roof.
  • Shaved off grab iron and eyebolt cast-on details and replaced them with #78 holes for wire versions of the same.
  • Removed the previous owner’s decals.  (sorry, I’m a fan of western railroads)

Next steps:

I've ground off all the molded on detail on both pilots and begun replacing it with new super detail parts.

I’ve ground off all the molded on detail on both pilots and begun replacing it with new super detail parts.

  • Install more pilot detail – wire cut levers,couplers
  • Install eyebolts on roof, as appropriate
  • Wash the shell and bare frame to prepare for paint
  • Treat handrails with plastic paint adhesion promoter
  • paint the frame sidesill, handrails and most of the shell green.

All of this work is very slow right now, because I have little time to spare for this project, given my current situation.  But I hope by October 31, I’ll have a finished product.