Modelling a more accurate ATSF E8m from Kato's release

arbomambo Mar 22, 2016

  1. arbomambo

    arbomambo TrainBoard Member

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    I've acquired a number of the excellent Kato E8/8 unit drives to use as power for various ATSF E3/E6 projects, and was fortunate enough to come by a couple of Factory painted units for Santa Fe (later release with improved paint-numberboards, kick plates, builders' plates).
    The units are beautiful OOB but don't accurately represent the Santa Fe E8m (rebuilt from the original Amos and Andy and E1s), in that, the Santa Fe units didn't have dynamic brakes. (the trucks used were original E unit trucks and also differ, slightly, from the Kato E8/9 trucks).
    At the time, Kato did not make the particular body shell that featured the combination that represents the ATSF units- 'freight pilot', two headlights, no dynamic brakes. (they do now; the latest release for IC now features this configuration). One hopes that Kato will, one day, re-release the ATSF paint scheme on this new body shell.
    [​IMG]

    I would, indeed like to have a couple of these units in my 1957-era fleet (running on some of the local and shorter and connecting routes), so I'm beginning the process that will allow me to have more accurate ATSF versions from pre-painted Kato shells.
    As with all of the E/F units (except the FTs) in my 1957 era, Santa Fe modified the pilots for air and trainline hoses, so these were cut out and added, using BLMA parts (where are we going to source these now that Atlas owns BLMA?- glad I acquired many multiples of these sets in addition to the brass Precision Scale versions!) I also added photo-etched windshield wipers and decal windshield shades
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    To my eye, the biggest modification I could make to mark this as an ATSF unit, was to remove the dynamic brake fan and housing...
    so that was the next procedure.
    I did want to try to use the fan for some late model F units, so I removed the entire housing rather than 'covering' the area with styrene.
    Here, I've drilled holes in the corners, then masked the surrounding area to protect it from inadvertent xacto blade 'slippage'
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    Then I lightly scored from hole to hole, using multiple light passes to completely remove the panel...
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    then I cut a piece of Evergreen styrene to fit the square opening; using Tamiya extra thin cement to secure it to the open area. I made sure to glue the piece in such a way to have some protruding above the surrounding roofline (it's much easier to remove this excess than to attempt to fill a depression without damaging the surrounding rivet detail)
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    there are very small gaps that must be filled before painting to match the surrounding roof, but I first scraped a very sharp Xacto blade across the piece, blending into the roofline...helping to reduce the amount of sanding that will come next. I'll paint some Mr Surfacer into the small gaps, then sand flush after masking the surrounding rivet detail.
    [​IMG]
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    You can also see that I removed the molded steps in anticipation of replacing these with GMM etched versions...
    Much more to come...
    PE cut levers
    diaphragms
    PE lift rings
    two single chime 'Blat' horns to replace the multi-chime horn
    and a renumbering to "80"
    Thanks for looking,
    Bruce
     
  2. cf7

    cf7 TrainBoard Member

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    #80 had the big F - unit style number board boxes. So, don't forget to add those. JnJ used to make some. One time I made a casting of a Kato F unit nose just so I could make castings of the number boards. Pain to do, but they really do make the model.

    Good work so far.
     
  3. arbomambo

    arbomambo TrainBoard Member

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    ...not during my era...as you can see by the photo above...
    All of the rebuilt E8ms were delivered with original-style E8/9 'flush' numberboards ( #87 had no number boards at all, and had an early E and PA style '87' in the first porthole window)...
    as they received the ATSF F unit upgrades during regular shop overhauls (eyebrow grabs, side nose grabs, MU hoses, rooftop antenna platforms, etc), they received the F style 'cheek' numberboard housings...
    number 80 seemed to get its F-style boards even later than the rest, if this pic is any indication...

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2016
    acptulsa likes this.
  4. arbomambo

    arbomambo TrainBoard Member

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    here's a photo of #80 later, with the F-style numberboards, and all the ATSF mods...

    [​IMG]

    and some pics of others in their later stages of life...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. cf7

    cf7 TrainBoard Member

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    I knew that they weren't delivered with that style of number board, but when they were rebuilt in the early to mid 50's, I thought, and also read somewhere years ago, that is when the larger number boards were installed. I guess not! The photo you posted above shows the original boards, but it also has no date to reference the year.
     
  6. arbomambo

    arbomambo TrainBoard Member

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    The pilot cutouts and trainline hoses date it post delivery; The antenna platform dates it post '59...
    the 3rd quarter 2015 warbonnet has an incredible article detailing ALL E units...with mods throughout their lives, in addition to dates performed.
    Bruce
     
  7. cf7

    cf7 TrainBoard Member

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    Interesting. I learned something new today! Don't believe everything you read...

    Carry on!
     
  8. arbomambo

    arbomambo TrainBoard Member

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    I'll tell you, the last few Warbonnets have been VERY informative to modelers...the latest issue deals with Freight F units (albeit in HO scale) , and gets into some pretty gritty detail.
    Bruce
     
  9. cf7

    cf7 TrainBoard Member

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    I haven't gotten a Warbonnet in several years. Maybe I need to look into them again. My not-so-local LHS has them.
     
  10. Virginian Railway

    Virginian Railway TrainBoard Member

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    Sweet! I think the Warbonnet looks better on the Es than the Fs.

    Your mods may come in handy if I ever getting around to modeling some cab units.
     
  11. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Staff Member

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    One thing of note: Most Kato shells are made of ABS plastic. While it is possible to get a reasonable bond between it and styrene using a solvent cement, I try to salvage a piece of ABS from another Kato shell or use some of the old Plastruct gray stock which is also ABS. It gives a much stronger bond.
     
  12. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

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  13. DaveD

    DaveD TrainBoard Member

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    Nice article. Funny, I've never noticed an F unit with the antenna ground plane table before. I've always been curious what their thinking was behind those. I originally thought that maybe they didn't want to drill the roof. But that doesn't make sense, because they'd have to drill it more for the platform. It kind of makes sense for the Fs, since the roof isn't perfectly flat. But they also had them on flat roofs as well, and they had plenty enough space to create a good ground plane, as is. I also thought maybe they wanted to create a proper 1/4 wave tuned ground plane with a certain size plate, but... you would think they'd have made it a circle, if they were concerned with that. So the square ATSF antenna platform tradition is a mystery. Technically, it really isn't necessary. I'm wondering if somebody just gave them bad technical advice from the start, and the habit just stuck over the years.
     
  14. arbomambo

    arbomambo TrainBoard Member

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    photos of Santa Fe E unit A-B-A lashups are not uncommon, but the vast majority of them depict a situation like the one you've posted here; a mix of E8m, E6, and E3 units...in every combination one could imagine...E6A, E8mB, E3B...E3A, E6B, E8mB, etc...
    FAR, FAR more rare are actual E8m A-B-A lashups in actual service...I've seen one pic, ever

    [​IMG]
     
  15. arbomambo

    arbomambo TrainBoard Member

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    ALL Santa Fe E, many F (especially freight units), and all PA units received ground plane antennas, sometime during their early 1960(s) scheduled overhauls-in addition to MU connection/receptacles, assorted nose and roof grabs, and additional nose steps, and twin sealed beam headlights(?)...look at any pic of cab units post mid-60's...
    Bruce
     
  16. arbomambo

    arbomambo TrainBoard Member

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    I failed to mention that I backed up the inside bond with CA, talc powder, and accelerator...there was plenty of room as the styrene piece was a little more thin than the roof wall.
    Bruce
     
  17. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

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    Well this antenna expert can tell you that the flat plate helps to keep the the antenna isolated from the contours of the body. This helps to minimize signal scattering off the contours of the the body. The plate is sized based on the frequency of operation.

    It originally started as a monopole on a ground plane. In later years this evolved for several different types of antennas. In each case it is used to improve the communication signal by isolating the is from the the body shell of the locomotive.

    This type of antenna implementation is common practice. Transmitters on weather balloons use them as do commercial trucks. They have had GPS antennas set off on a groundplane too.

    There is lots of physics to this, but this is not the place for going that deep.
     
  18. Spooked

    Spooked TrainBoard Member

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    I'm so bookmarking this thread. There's some great information and pictures here - pretty incredible. Thank you everyone. (And, arbomambo - continued good luck on your project! (y))
     

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