Here’s a nearly completed project I’ve been working on for my friend Alan S, who I operate with once a month.
These switchers came from original Athearn Missouri Pacific units. Alan stripped the original decals from the model, leaving a very similar blue to what is used on the PGR units. Alan had already determined that he wanted to do PGR 36 and PGR 38. I was in luck because photos of both these units are plentiful online. Action points included:
- Painted the side sills and running boards engine black
- Set Highball Graphics decals on the models
- Replaced the stock blue truck sideframes with Athearn flexcoil trucks (also airbrushed engine black before installation).
- Painted the wheels and couplers roof brown to simulate rust and dirt.
- Added a rooftop air conditioner on PGR 36. I used a Santa Fe style one which I know is probably not right, but rooftop shots of this unit are in short supply.
- Added all-weather windows on the engineers side only
- Moved the firecracker antenna on PGR 36
- Painted the handrail ends and step edges reefer white
- Custom fabricated spark arrestors, starting with 3/16″ brass tubing, tube styrene, and on the PGR 36, some plastic washers out of a Kadee coupler kit.
- Cut sheet styrene to fit the CP placards for the handrails near the noses of both engines.
- Lightly weathered the whole model with Polly-S Roof Brown
Having handrails already molded in MP blue was nice, but I didn’t feel that starting with decorated units in this case bought us a whole lot. There were a few bumps in the road to completing this project, but overall, I feel like they have turned out well. Here are the units on my layout.