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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    Glad you guys are finding this helpful!

    Onward! As reported last night, the front chevron stripes were bugging me so I carefully removed the two grabs and softened the old decal with solution and removed it. New decal added and we have something I can live with.

    [​IMG]

    Much better. I will now cut out the square area around the headlight and add the two grab irons again. And I can see where the grab irons go because the decal is snug enough to show the micro holes. This puts me back a whole day, but it is better to have it done right. Rule number one, always leave enough time.

    I originally had planned to get a lot done this weekend, but with other Galesburg commitments I did not get as much done as I wanted. I also am constantly reminded on how much fun it is to move. I spent most of the afternoon in my garage looking for my locking tweezers I use for painting. With these tools found, I went on to paint the MU's and air hoses and installed them.

    [​IMG]
    Black is black, I want my MU's back, if gray was gray, I'd see those air hoses today. What can I do? Cause I, I'm posting you!


    Hard to see I know, but they are there.

    The front was more of a challenge. Lets just say I had to redo a bunch to the front cut lever before it looked like this.

    [​IMG]

    Yesterday was frustrating as I was doing more work over again and progressing slowly forward. It happens. Just don't get frustrated, walk away. I did and two really critical locations that could have ruined the model were saved. Again patience and working within a reasonable time line. I still have over a week before I hit the road, we're fine.

    So with that said, lets hope I can get the flat clear on tonight and progress to the cab. This is where the most time will be spent.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 13, 2011
  2. dave n

    dave n TrainBoard Supporter

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    Excellent work on a challenging paint scheme! Nice play by play also. Looking forward to seeing the finished product. Nothing like the satisfaction of having a one-of-a-king model, eh?

    I've used the decal technique that you show to clean up messy mask lines successfully on numerous occasions. Glad to see I'm not the only one that 'cheats' ;). It's not cheating, it's good modelling and finding unique solutions to challenges, right?
     
  3. W Neal

    W Neal TrainBoard Member

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    Nope, there is something missing...
     
  4. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    Apparently I'm missing the thing that is missing. :dont-know:
     
  5. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Dave, glad your enjoying the thread. Yes there are all kinds of tricks we can use to enhance or "cheat" on our models, as long as the end result works, it's all good.

    Something IS missing! We'll have to wait and see what it is.....

    Unfortunately I did not get as much done last night as I wanted. I worked a little late at the office trying to get the magazine out and didn't get started in the workshop until 8:00PM. Progress was made, and in the end, progress is better than inactivity.

    First stop. I installed a speed recorder on my lead truck frame. This was as simple as sanding the front journal, drilling a #78 hole and using some ZAP glue to secure the part to the truck frame per my prototype photo. I soaked the truck frames and fuel tank in some alcohol to remove mold release and human finger oils and fired up the airbrush. One tool that has proven to be a great asset is my locking tweezers. I can hold small detail parts and airbrush or hand paint without disturbing the part or painting my fingers. A quick run through the airbrush and the parts were ready.

    [​IMG]

    Next up was the clear coat of the entire shell. As you know, the front decal was replaced. With a brand new #11 blade, I carefully cut the area around the headlight assembly and removed it by using the decal solution. I next reinstalled the two grab irons and stirred up my clear coat. For years, I had used Polly Scale Flat Clear. It was dead flat and I liked the way it sprayed. The Testor Corporation, has from what I can find, has deleted this product along with other Polly Scale items. I instead used the Model Master Acryl Flat Clear. I will let you judge as to what you think. Without causing too much of a bias, I'm glad this is a new locomotive. I do not think this is a very good flat. In the future I will use Tamiya flat. With the "Flat" applied, the truck frames, fuel tank and sill were carefully installed.

    [​IMG]

    Hard to see, but the bell on the frame was a tight fit. Careful wrangling of said parts and it all fit and nothing interferes with the primary mission, running on a layout! Next is another item that is so simple yet enhances the look of your model, that I encourage you to do it. Even if it's a factory fresh locomotive you have done nothing too but remove from the box. It is very important here because some one left the cab door open! I painted the hoods area where the cab will be Polly Scale Undercoat Light Gray as illustrated here.

    [​IMG]

    Next, I carefully painted the inside of the cab and door. Be careful here, blissfully sloshing the paint about will get gray paint on the exterior of the cab. Take it slow. Both pieces will need two coats.

    [​IMG]

    See how much easier that door is to see? A simple step that makes a huge difference in the finished model.

    So that is it for today's installment. I have not decided if I want to keep the egg shell finish or go with dead flat. In all honesty, it is a NEW unit. It will still see some light weathering too. Stay tuned, we are reaching ever so close to the end of this build!
     
  6. Logtrain

    Logtrain TrainBoard Member

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    You can also use clear coat too!
     
  7. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Yes you can, I learned that from an old Control Line Airplane pilot, however the Tamiya tape has never let me and many others down and why add another layer.
     
  8. mcjaco

    mcjaco TrainBoard Member

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    Yes, Clear Coat works, I just prefer the paint color so I can that I've hit the tape!

    Great thread, Jim.
     
  9. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thanks everyone for commenting and encouragement, it does help. Well, we are getting very close to the end. This GP40 is almost ready to leave the shops. Last night was the finiky night and why I usually will have started another diesel project. Last night consisted of model, wait for paint, or glue, then move on. Some last little tid bits that I hope you will enjoy and use on your next model follows.

    Number boards. Sometimes the bane of model railroaders, very much so the N scale modeler. Centering three or four numbers the size of a MM or two on a small clear plastic piece is enough to make any one cross eyed. Fortunately I have found a three step process that makes this procedure, more bearable.

    STEP 1: In the old days, I would paint my number boards white or black, depending on the prototype, until I found Microscale had number board backgrounds. Microscale #60-904, has every number board you may want or need for N scale EMD, FM, Alco and GE. Get out the locking tweezers, hold the part. I cut out the white ones for EMD on this build, centered the decal on the clear board, added a drop of solvent and went to the next board. I start with the front left, go to the rear right, back to front with the right and finish with the rear left.

    Step 2: Now for this build, I was lucky. All three numbers 6-2-9 were together on my sheet. I used the same process as above for the number boards, paying attention to centering of the numbers and using the same rotation process out lined above to keep from bothering the previous decal. If your numbers are not all together, use the same process, just go at one number at a time and use a small straight edge like I do. Makes cuts between numbers easier. When all numbers are on and centered, apply a small amount of decal solvent. Too much and your numbers will float and end up in all sorts of strange positions.

    Step 3: Now for the best part. To simulate that "plexiglass" look of the prototype. Apply a thin coat of Polly Scale Gloss Coat with a #0 brush across the number board. Thats it. Let it dry for a while before installing. Now you should have something like this.

    [​IMG]

    It probably took me longer to explain the process rather than do it. The end result is convincing and easy to do.

    [​IMG]

    Attention now was focused on the cab. I had to carefully drill out the upper headlight area as the antenna was protruding into the headlight shaft. The soft white metal was easily cleared away. The left side window was carefully trimmed to remove the front window since someone keeps forgetting to close the door. Front window / number boards / headlights were installed, side windows installed with the left being glued in. Now on to the windshield wipers. For this build I tried BLMA wipers. The BLMA wipers are finely etched and SMALL. In the old days, a #80 size hole was drilled and the wipers were carefully installed. The BLMA wipers did not have a point in which to place into said #80 hole. Careful musing within the shop had my eyes focus on the clear coat that had just been used. I now have a new favorite method for wipers. I cut out the wiper, dipped it in alcohol to remove oils, then dipped the blade carefully into the Polly Scale Gloss Clear with my tweezers, then carefully placed the wiper onto the window keeping an eye on the proper placement per my photo. The small wipers on the quarter windows are just applied directly to the clear. The larger two piece wiper is carefully glued to the center just above the window. The clear will dry and be unnoticed. Here is the result.

    [​IMG]

    This only took a fraction of the time it did the old way and the advantages are, I don't have the CYA "haze" from the glue around the #80 hole, and These are not as likely to get snagged and pulled off. If they do, the only loss is a small part, but no damage will occur to the model. I also carefully outlined the weather stripping around the windows with a black fine point artist pen.

    While a lot of this was in the shop, I played with Adobe Illustrator. Using points as a measurement, I measured the Atlas Jewel Case Jacket, and started building on in the Illustrator program. It's not done yet, but as you can see, it's close.

    [​IMG]

    I do this as most of my detail engines require me to modify the surrounding enclosure that holds and protects the model. Were I to just pick up a random jewel case and throw #629 in, I might loose a detail part or two such as the antenna. This helps me find it easier at a show when things can get busy. That and it's fun. I used to make these custom jacket sleeves for all of my custom paint runs I did when I ran JTW. Just a little detail that goes a long way.

    Well that is it for today's installment. Tonight we should be adding the last bits. My original goal was to have this motor, as the "Q" called them, done by Wednesday June 15th. Lets hope!
     
  10. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Shellscale decals makes decal numbers, and numberboard backgrounds as well. I use them widely. http://www.shellscale.com/numberboard%20page.htm
    I have better success with them than cobbling MS decal sheets to make numberboards.

    Very nice job so far. After all this time, you have not lost your touch!
     
  11. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Hemi, thanks for that link. I studied the website and you have convinced me to try some of their numberboards for future projects, Thanks!
     
  12. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I had just gotten my coffee when the phone rang. I barely had enough time to yawn off the last few minutes of slumber when an excited voice on the other end of the line started in. "Jim, get your camera! That new CB&Q GP40 in the weird new paint scheme is down here at the station." "What, new paint scheme, what are you talking about Rich?" Rich was one of those guys who lived down by the station and frequently saw the "Q" on the C&I division. "Yeah!" He retorted, "It's sitting out here in the morning sun, smelling like fresh Du-Pont paint." I pulled myself together, grabbed my trusty Brown camera and started up the Falcon. Sure enough, there sitting at the station was the GP40, her prime mover stirring up the sound of the morning air. I parked the Falcon, got out, and set my tripod up and grabbed my first shot of the motor as we Burlington people call them, as the engineer was just leaving the locomotives office.

    [​IMG]

    "How ya fella's doin' this mornin?" The Engineer said as the door swung open. Rich and I answered in unison "Mornin" as our gaze was fixed on this familiar yet different "Q" motor. "Ain't this somthin?" "Just came out of the shops in Burlington last night." The engineer stood, hands on his hips while Rich and I grabbed more shots. Soon the engineer looked up and said a howdy to another person who had showed up.

    [​IMG]

    Turned out this guys name was Jim too. He was only slightly older but had had better equipment and it was clear this wasn't his first rodeo. We struck up a conversation, turns out he was from just down the way in Dixon IL. He had just grabbed some shots in Pollo Illinois and had been chasing the GP40 since day break.

    [​IMG]

    "Any advice for a college student like me who is crazy enough to be shooting pictures of trains?" I asked. Jim silently adjusted his lens, snapped a picture and looked at the new locomotive. "F8 and be there." he said, gaze unfaltering. "You never know when your shooting history, this could be a one off locomotive." Jim snapped some more pictures and soon was preparing to leave. He gave us a wave and drove off. Soon after that, #629 gave the signal she was moving and she slowly advanced forward into the Illinois heartland.

    Years later after my encounter with the GP40, I would find a book at a local train show. The book was entitled The Burlington Northern in Color Volume 2, A Cascade of Color. The author turned out to be Jim Boyd, the guy I had met that early morning in August of 1968. I picked up the book and enjoyed later at home with a fresh cup of coffee.

    The old Falcon gave up the fight to rust many moons ago, my friend Rich went to Nam and unfortunately never came back. I even read that this past winter, Mr. Boyd passed away. The Burlington Northern is now the BNSF, but the old station is still there, 629 soldiers on as BNSF 3006 and my memories of a humid Illinois morning in 1968 will last me a lifetime.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2011
  13. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    Completely AWESOME Jim! :D :D

    After reading that story, if this isn't a tribute loco, I don't know what is!
    Heck, having a story like that is the perfect compliment to a project like this! It's not just another beautiful custom piece, it's a piece with history built right in. :) :)
     
  14. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    So there you have it, hope you don't mind the fan fiction. The Burlington GP40 was finished last night around 10:30PM ESDT. I drilled open the front nose headlight, added some plastic headlights from a discarded Atlas locomotive and secured them with Polly Scale Gloss Clear and carefully assembled the locomotive. The last step was to add Fred on the front coming out the door.

    [​IMG]

    So this Tribute locomotive is ready for her trip to Galesburg exactly one week from now. I was even able to stay on schedule.

    [​IMG]

    I hope you all enjoyed the build and hopefully I have helped you with your next build. It's good to be back! If you go to Galesburg RR Days, the locomotive will be on display at the Carl Sandburg College in the Library sitting trackside next to Bill Selleck's awesome scratchbuilt Galesburg station in N. The model train show at Galesburg is open Saturday and Sunday, select the link in my signature for more details.

    [​IMG]

    In closing, I want dedicate this locomotive to Mr. Jim Boyd, who passed away this past winter. Jim Boyd was a prolific photographer and was responsible for the magazine Railfan & Railroad. Jim's skills of photography will be missed. I also want to dedicate this locomotive to Galesburg and the great Railroad Days that is put on every year.

    Thanks everyone, hope you enjoyed this ride!
     
  15. dave n

    dave n TrainBoard Supporter

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    Totally awesome - the model, the story, and the dedication.
     
  16. W Neal

    W Neal TrainBoard Member

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    Thats it!

    Thats what was missing Jim - an "environment"!

    Well done!!

    :tb-tongue:
     
  17. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thanks guys. The story was pure fiction based on real locations and Jim Boyd did get a lot of pictures of the unit in Illinois. If you love the BN and all it's predecessor lines, you need to look at the series of Burlington Northern in Color there are three books in all, The Urge to Merge, A Cascade of Color and finally, Green Pastures. All three are a treasure of pictures as the BN starts from a series of western roads until it is merged with the Santa Fe in 1996.

    I know I'll be visiting my favorite book seller at Galesburg to look up both of these books.
     
  18. W Neal

    W Neal TrainBoard Member

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    Jim,

    If you're in the mood for books...

    Get a copy of "Cathedral of Steel" by William Franckey. It is a very personal look into the past of Galesburg and its roundhouse. Last I knew, the museum sold copies. If not, lemme know. I have a source...
     
  19. GP9BN1799

    GP9BN1799 Permanently dispatched

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    Jim i really hate to be the bearer of interesting news but the 629 was not the only Q unit outfitted with the BN herald and lettering in my 1971 BN annual there is a photo of a Q green/white/black SD45 which was in the Bn movie this is BN country 1968 now how many other unit's recieved this scheme i'm not sure i'm still looking for the film and not having much luck as yet just thought i would let ya know L8R
     
  20. johnh

    johnh TrainBoard Member

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    I didn't think the SD45s had BN when painted
     

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