Official 2011 Galesburg RR Days Tribute Locomotive Build CB&Q GP40.

Jim Wiggin Jun 2, 2011

  1. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    As I write this, Aerosmith's Back in the saddle again is playing in my head. It's hard to believe, but it has been five years since I last did a "Tribute" locomotive for Galesburg RR Days. That last one was my CB&Q GP30, #974 made famous for the "100 years of Progress" photo that was taken in Galesburg in 1964. I detailed, painted and answered questions here on Trainboard way back in June of 2006. Unfortunately life got complicated real quick and the detailing and painting was put on a shelf. Well here we are in 2011 and things have finally gotten back on track so with Galesburg RR Days less then a month away, lets do what the Beach Boys sang and Get Together and Do It Again

    This years subject:
    So with that I have the following question for you. What does a CB&Q GP40, Cascade Green, the year 1968, BN and New Jersey all have in common?

    CB&Q GP40 #629


    Enter the following and something to mess with the younger crowd. A GP40 for the CB&Q, but in a weird Cascade Green scheme, with a BN logo no less, as it looked in 1968 and to top it off, a connection to where I'm living in New Jersey? Yes. In 1968 in anticipation of the Merger, CB&Q pulled off its six month old GP40, #629 and had it repainted into a Cascade Green, White and black experimental scheme. That is what we'll see here. It was the only one of the Pre-Merger locomotives to have the BN logo on its cab. The SD45's and U23C's were delivered to the "Q" in the Green/White/Black scheme from the factory but did not have the BN logo. The New Jersey connection? Well most of you know I have spent the last few years in Illinois, but I recently moved to Northern New Jersey to work for Carstens as an Associate Editor of Flying Models Some of you probably don't know that magazine but you should know Railroad Model Craftsman and Railfan & Railroad. Well Railfan & Railroad was started by Jim Boyd, who also wrote the book I'm using as my guide, Burlington Northern in Color Volume II which covers the early years of the Burlington Northern. Unfortunately, I never got a chance to meet one of the most prolific railfans of our time as Jim passed away this past winter. So with that I found my fitting tribute to both Galesburg / CB&Q as well as Jim.

    The Build

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    I could not find an undecorated GP40 shell so I started by ordering a complete L&N shell from Atlas. My logic was to get a gray locomotive so that stubborn parts of unremoved paint would not show up. I did get an undec frame and cab so that will help. so first thing to do was dunk the the shell in a tub of 91% alcohol. Sorry L&N fans. I have found that pouring just 91% alcohol into a cheap food container works the best for removing OEM paint. Just stick it in there and put the cover on and let it soak.

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    While the shell was soaking, I got together all the detail parts I would need. I like to use those plastic fishing bait boxes to keep my loose details in. I can even separate the details in the interior boxes by frame, cab and hood.

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    More to come.....
     
  2. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    While the hood was soaking in alcohol, I turned my attention onto the cab. I wanted to use BLMA's Spartan Cab Door on the cab for two reasons, 1. The CB&Q GP40 did not have air conditioning so it was common to see these locomotives with the cab doors open in the Illinois summer air and 2. cause it looks cool. I found the easiest way to open up the door cavity was to use a small square file and get to work. I used a ball point pen to outline the edges of the door and carefully filed up to that point. Don't use a lot of force here, let the tool do the work. You'll find that just using a steady motion will give good results. Now is the time to play your favorite track of music and work away. After about 30 minutes I got this...

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    Clean up the edges a little with a fine file then remove the BLMA door from its runner. I used some cutters and a file to clean up the door. Notice the door already has the #80 hole in it for the wiper. Good thing cause the I'll be adding those to the cab too. Also be careful, the cab is real delicate at this point!

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    While I was finishing up the door, I turned my attention on to the alcohol soaked hood. To my happiness, the paint was lifting off nicely. I took a cheap Testors nylon brush and brushed the decals and paint off then rinsing the shell in warm tap water. Here is the result.

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    I figure that shell was in alcohol for all of one hour. So fear not if you can't find what your looking for in undec or you find a killer deal on a loco at a show. 91% alcohol has worked for me on Atlas, Kato and Micro Trains. The alcohol is cheap and wont harm the plastic. I'll use this stuff too later when we discuss hand rails.

    Okay, that is it for today. Tonight I want to finish the cab and start work on the frame by adding BLMA cut levers and MU's. If I'm successful, we can discuss modeler filler. If you have any questions on the prototype or my model, feel free to ask.

    Hope you guys are enjoying this.
     
  3. cf7

    cf7 TrainBoard Member

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    Jim - I enjoy all of your projects! Can't wait for more on this...
     
  4. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Well I didn't get as much done in the workshop last night as I wanted, nonetheless progress was made.

    I finished up the opening for the cab door then using my book as a guide started adding some details. The first thing to work on was the roof of the cab. Atlas has the horn on the forward roof of the cab. For this locomotive the horns are located on the long hood so I needed to fill in the two holes where the horns were. I also had a small dimple left over from the molding process. To fill the holes were the horns was as simple as using some Tenerax liquid cement and glueing the horns on the cab, allowing it to dry, then cutting the horns off flush with the roof. I then sanded the plastic down even with the roof. Next I applied a small amount of Squadron Green Putty to the roof. I love this stuff and find it much easier to sand than other brands, although you European modelers are lucky enough to have Mr. Putty and Tamiya's Surfacer. I then sanded this carefully until only a small amount of green can be seen.

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    With the roof out of the way, I next drilled #79 holes into the side and added the sun shades from Sunrise. I used my tweezers to insert the cab shades into the cab, then I used a small dab of Zap Thin CA to the inside of the cab where the mounting pins entered. Once the locomotive is painted the exposed pins will be removed. Next came the Sunrise Fire Cracker Antenna. I drilled a #76 hole right above the headlights, centered per the prototype and used medium CA. I use Zap products CA's. I have used a lot of different instant adhesives over the years in both model railroading as well as RC airplanes. Zap is hands down the best. It sets up better and the bond is perfect. Next was the door. This took a while as there was not a lot of glueing surface to be had. I finally used a piece of Tamiya Tape attached to the cab side, then positioned the door and carefully applied a thin bead of Zap Medium to the door and walked away. I used a small piece of metal as an applicator because if too much glue is used it will seep all over your cab. After about ten minutes the tape was removed and the final product was revealed.

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    Another view of the completed cab.

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    I will be adding windshield wipers but these will be one of the last details added after the locomotive goes through final assembly. I'm using BLMA wipers this time, the size of these looks more to scale than previous incarnations. I also started work on the sill. I carefully removed the molded on cut lever and MU detail from the frame with a new #11 blade. With most of the cast on detail removed, I used a file then finally a fine grit small sanding stick to make the frame smooth.

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    So that is all for today's installment. Now that the weekend is here, I hope to finish the detail work and would love to get the airbrush pumping some primer by Sunday.
     
  5. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    Great start Jim.

    I'll be following along with eager eyes. :)
     
  6. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thanks Mark and Chuck for following along, I figured Mark you would find this, we'll have Cascade Green before too long! Ok, Friday was Chinese food and Ghost Adventures night so the Dearfield Shops were closed but Saturday was open.

    No pictures yet, but I spent the better part of the morning placing the BLMA cut levers on the frame. These are the best cut levers but are demanding on time, your eyes and patience. I'll discuss those later. While waiting for glue to dry on the cut levers, I turned my attention to the nose. CB&Q had nose mounted headlights with a mars light on the cab. I first masked the area with Tamiya Tape to use as a guide, based on pictures from Boyd's book.

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    This will help me center the area for the headlight, an old trick from my plastic model days. With a square file and some time, I ended up with this....

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    Now I'm ready for the light. I believe it is from Detail Associates, honestly it was in my parts bin when I found it and said "Hey thats perfect!"
     
  7. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    A little Zap glue, my magnifying lamp, some tweezers and I finally got the headlight centered and in its new home.

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    I will eventually start with a #80 drill and use progressive size drill bits to allow fiber optics to be installed in the headlight.

    I like working on the hood, it is usually my favorite. It may be cause I'm rusty as it has been 5 years since I did my last detailed locomotive, maybe my eyes and age, maybe cause this new workshop has almost ZERO natural sunlight, but whatever it was, placing the details on this time took a lot more work. After a few hours I had the grab iorns installed.

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    Again, BLMA grab irons. I like his because they have the drop in them where some others are just bent wire. This is one of those details that really gets noticed on my diesels. I'm sure I'm just rusty as I used to put on grabs in less than an hour. I'll be getting plenty of practice, after this I have a B&M GP38-2 going in the shop.

    I'll have more updates today I hope. I only need to install the frame mounted bell, rear fan grab iron, two more lift rings and the horn and it's ready for the Undercoat light gray. If that goes well, I would love to paint the white and green today. I need to get the decals on soon as time is ticking.....
     
  8. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Always a pleasure to see your modeling, Jim. Very nice product.
     
  9. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Well not as much progress as I had hopped for, editing and updating the blog entry for the Galesburg RR Days information took a lot longer than originally thought. Also my spray booth has been sitting idle for about five years in various garages and storage places so the rest of my night was spent cleaning that.

    I think after taking these pictures this morning, my main problem has been the sunlight, or total lack of it, in my workshop. I prefer natural sunlight, and this workshop has ZERO, hence the really bad pictures but hopefully you'll see what has been accomplished.

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    Frame Bell, front cut lever, (MU and air hose will be added after paint), grab irons.

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    Lift rings, three chime horn.

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    Better view of three chime horn, lift rings, rear fan grab iron, rear grab irons, cut lever.

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    Grab irons, opened cab door, sun shades, fire cracker antenna.

    Now ready for the paint shop. My goal if I can get the booth cleaned, is to spray primer tonight along with white. Tuesday, Cascade green, Wednesday, black and then clear. Thursday, decals.
     
  10. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    You make it look so simple Jim!

    I've got an undecorated SD9 that I keep meaning to get to. Though, I want to make it into BN #6158 which has a GP38 cab, making it a bit more involved.

    Perhaps your tribute build is just the motivational inspiration I need! :) :p
     
  11. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Mark by all means, do it! The reward in knowing you painted it is satisfaction enough. I just sat down from airbrushing the primer undercoat gray and white. I have not airbrushed a locomotive since 2006. Yeah, Back in Black as AC/DC would say. Just like riding a bike. The new Badger 150 worked great. I'll post pics tomorrow morning and tell you how I did one of the most trying colors, white.
     
  12. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    White is by far my most trying shade to spray. I'll spray any other color anyday. Looking great, Jim! When you said Cascade green, are you referring to the premerger green Burlington scheme?
     
  13. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Hemi, yes this will be GP40 #629 as she appeared in 1968. It was painted just six months after the "Q" took delivery of it. The wide white stripe would not last on the anything but the F and E units but for a brief time, this was the official Burlington Northern scheme.

    Like I said earlier, I had not airbrushed a locomotive since late 2006 because of several life altering things. My girlfriend was able to get me a new Badger 150, and my spray booth and Iwata compressor were cleaned up and used once again. It's nice to hear the internal filter fan of that spray booth again!

    I first wanted to paint the entire locomotive with a Polly Scale Undercoat Gray. This will unify our many detail parts as well as cover the putty that was used to fill in the cab.

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    The same was done with the sill.

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    To make life so much easier, I use small 1" foam brushes to hold my work when I'm spraying. You can get a bag of these brushes for a $1.00 or less at Walmart or a dollar store.
     
  14. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Now onto white. For years I hated spraying white, even avoided it altogether. It wasn't until I forced myself to paint up the BN SD60M Desert Storm locomotive that I finally came to peace with that color. White is a color that just needs to be understood. Yellows are another color that works the same, sometimes.

    A few problems modelers do when applying white is, too much thinner, too high a PSI, too much coverage. The last one is a mistake that will ruin your work. I first stirred my bottle of Polly Scale Reefer White. Next I set up the Badger 150 with a #3 needle and set the air pressure under load at 16 PSI. Then I poured the un thinned paint into the color cup. I don't need to thin the paint for two reasons, 1. White is already really thin. 2. We want the white to dry fast on the shell, so using a thinner with a reducer will work against us. Now start spraying before you spray the shell and make a pass, about 4 to 6 inches away, then do the other side, the end and in my case, the sill. This is where good light helps because white is hard to see on a gray shell. Do not be tempted to make two or three passes on the same surface at the same time. Spray, 1 side, the other side, end and repeat. This gives the white enough time to set up before accepting the next coat. Patience is key here. If you do start to get a run, hit the area with full on air and work the run like a wrinkle down away from the shell. The Polly Scale and Tamiya paints will surprise you and will self level. After using the above technique, you should have something like this.

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    Nice even coat of white that doesn't obscure your details.

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    Yes, it is light and really not too easy to see here, but once the green and black is on, the white will really stand out.

    Thats what I have done for years with white, try it on a scrape box car to get used to it. If you have any questions, please ask.

    Next time we'll discuss masking and Cascade Green.
     
  15. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    A fine tutorial, Jim. The technique he used for laying white made my white woes wither away. :p I used to have significant issue spraying white. This will be a very unique loco!
     
  16. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    My left hand is Cascade Green:D The wide Tamiya Tape worked well for the masking of the white. Took longer to make a paper template than it did spraying the loco. Pics and more info tomorrow morning, off to clean the shop and get ready for bed.
     
  17. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Well after spending a fair amount of time in the workshop last night for today's installment, I see why the Burlington Northern did not keep this scheme. While the scheme is attractive, the white was too labor intensive to apply and got dirty real quick. FWIW, the scheme we see here was designed by the same firm that designed the Great Northern Big Sky Blue version.

    Onto to how it's done.....

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    In this picture, I have gathered all my items I will need to mask the white stripe. I recommend a plate of glass, Tamiya Tape, (I used 18mm), paper for cutting out a pattern, a new, sharp hobby knife and Boyd's book on the BN. I studied the pictures of #629 and saw that the white stripe was just under 5 scale feet wide, top to bottom. Using door details on the hood as a starting point I drew out the paper template, then careful measuring between pictures and model, I came up with the arch and curve. Once I was happy with this, I cut the template out of the standard printer paper and placed it on the shell and compared it with the photos. I was happy with my fourth attempt so now it was time to make a mask.

    For this step, I like to use a small piece of glass from an old photo frame. Clean the glass, then place a piece of Tamiya Tape on top of it. The 18mm tape was wide enough for me to place my pattern within it and produce sharp edges on all sides. I used smaller pieces of Tamiya tape to hold the pattern down in four places. Using a metal straight edge, I carefully cut the top, bottom, front, and back then carefully and slowly free handed the cut around the curves. Out comes the prototype picture again, and using certain details on the hood as reference, I applied the tape. Now the locomotive should look like this.

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    Use a toothpick or something small and rounded to burnish the edges of the mask. Now we are ready for some green
     
  18. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Now for some Cascade Green. Why Cascade Green? In 1968, the original BN scheme was going to be a variation of the Great Northern's Big Sky Blue. But the Northern Pacific as well as CB&Q were not in agreement of those colors. In the end, the Cascade Green was chosen to reflect on the roads NW and forest backgrounds.

    The BN Cascade Green I got was fresh and didn't require a lot of stirring, so the airbrush was set up at 18 PSI under load, paint was added with a few drops of thinner. I sprayed the sill, hood and cab as individually so I could get paint in every spot but kept the items close to make sure they all matched with the right hue. For the hood, I focused my attention on the bottom and front of the hood as the top of the locomotive will be black. Remember, light, quick passes, away from the mask. Once coverage is good, carefully remove the mask while the paint is tacky. Pull the mask towards the area painted. Also, when I applied the mask, I made a small pull tab on the Tamiya Tape. Just place a set of tweezers on the end of the tape, fold the tape back on itself and pull out the tweezers, instant pull tab. This made pulling the mask off that much easier. One small section on the sill had to be masked too, again per the prototype. After I cleaned the airbrush, I had this.

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    Keep in mind, the assembly was is three separate parts, this is just a staged shot.

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    Here is the rear area. From the top of the white stripe up will be black.

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    Starting to look the part. The Tamiya tape works the best for this type of mask. I have been using Tamiya Tape since at least 2003, I will not use anything else. It is a fine mix of tacky, but not so tacky as to lift paint, it is straight right out of the package and it conforms very well to any surface. I highly recommend this stuff.

    Ok, so that's it for today. Tonight's goal is to paint the trucks, fuel tank, handrails, sill and top of the locomotive black. After that I'll ad a clear coat and I'll be ready for my second favorite part, decals.

    Hope you all are enjoying this.
     
  19. W Neal

    W Neal TrainBoard Member

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    I can see it now, sitting next to a model of the Q depot...
     
  20. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    It will Neal, right next to Bill Selleck's Galesburg Station he scratchbuilt in N.
     

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