Author Topic: KATO ATSF F7 freight detail  (Read 3103 times)

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arbomambo

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KATO ATSF F7 freight detail
« on: October 08, 2013, 07:47:39 PM »
Hello all...
since I'm starting to super detail my ATSF warbonnet F7 fleet 'en masse', I figured I may as well include my sole F7 in freight scheme (I need to acquire an additional A-B-B in the freight scheme)...I'm going to model this one(s) with the horizontal grills so they will have to be numbered in the first series...the way I understand it, the freight F's were delivered in three main batches, distinguished by the type of grills applied...the first batch had horizontal grills, the second batch were delivered with no grills, just chicken wire over the openings, and the third batch were delivered with FARR 'vertical' grills.
I wanted horizontal grills for this (these) units, simply because most of my warbonnet fleet have, or will have, the FARR vertical grills. The Kato units are molded as having horizontal grills, and the molded grill area is painted in a silver color to represent the stainless steel. This is great if you're leaving the locomotives 'as is', but, to represent the carbody openings and body color beneath the added Plano etched grills, I needed to paint the grill area ATSF yellow, as per the prototype.
Floquil ATSF yellow is a good match for the KATO paint, so a little Tamiya masking tape, and a quick airbrush pass, or two, later...and here is the result. As soon as the paint is dry enough, I'll start the decalling process to replicate the carbody openings...
Thanks for looking,
~Bruce


randgust

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Re: KATO ATSF F7 freight detail
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2013, 08:34:19 PM »
I model one in the early 70's, and by that time they were just beat.  The intention was clear that they were to be rebuilt to CF7's, so there was relatively little maintenance, no repainting, and from the looks of it very little washing.  On a railroad that prided itself on clean road power, these were the exceptions and the dirtiest, grimiest locomotive on the ATSF layout.

Back in the early 60's they looked a lot more like yours.  But there are all kinds of detail that can be added as they evolved.

I rather like the Intermountains because of the separate metal grilles, but the paint color was too vivid a blue.  Your color is a lot closer, I had to repaint mine.

One of the easiest things to do that adds the most is to ditch the cast-on plastic steps and replace them with etched Gold Medal Models ones.  You've got a great start and its a HUGE improvement over the stock unit.

« Last Edit: October 08, 2013, 08:58:59 PM by randgust »

strummer

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Re: KATO ATSF F7 freight detail
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2013, 10:02:30 PM »
I model one in the early 70's, and by that time they were just beat.  The intention was clear that they were to be rebuilt to CF7's, so there was relatively little maintenance, no repainting, and from the looks of it very little washing.  On a railroad that prided itself on clean road power, these were the exceptions and the dirtiest, grimiest locomotive on the ATSF layout.  You've got a great start and its a HUGE improvement over the stock unit.



That's a great shot; I especially like the wire fence in the background...

Mark in Oregon

arbomambo

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Re: KATO ATSF F7 freight detail
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2013, 10:03:39 AM »
I completely agree with rangust...one of the best things that can be done to improve any of the F units out there is the replacement of the molded stirrups with GMM versions. In his modelled era ATSF added all kinds of 'goodies' that can be modelled-multiple MU hoses on the pilot and rear, nose grabs, cab roof 'eyebrow' grabs, antenna platforms, nose lifting lugs, MU access doors on nose, etc.
I'm bringing all of my KATO F units to this level; a little bit of a 'cleaner' look-1957...before these FRA-mandated additions (1957 was the last year that saw "The Super Chief" and the new high-level "El Capitan" operated as seperate 'pure' consists)

Etched grills w/carbody openings and structural supports (simulated with decal
etched windshield wipers
etched mirrors
etched stirrups
ATSF-style pilot 'cutouts' with air and steam hoses
etched cut levers
cab sunshades (decals)
Z scale couplers in pilots-unimates in rear for prototypical close coupling

The KATO F7 represents an earlier phase F7, with the 36"dynamic brake fan, so, for the most part, My F7 numbers have to stay in the low (37-40) units...these all had FARR vertical grills






I've done a couple of B units, to represent units 'borrowed' from 300-series A-B-B sets, some which had horizontal grills...these will be the grills that go onto this freight F7


Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: KATO ATSF F7 freight detail
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2013, 10:52:22 AM »
I really dig the look of late era Fs, with all the extra stuff on them, or like the MILW ones with the blanked out headlights.

I feel like it gives them real character.

arbomambo

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Re: KATO ATSF F7 freight detail
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2013, 11:54:03 AM »
Here is the first application of black decal film to replicate te carbody openings...still a little wet and drying...I use Walthers Solvaset to help melt the film and allow it to settle down into the molded grill detail...generally, I have very little bubbling or silvering with this method...if so, I prick the area with a tiny blade and reapply Solvaset.
Because these KATO freight schemes are dated, you'll note that the level of detail painting that more current releases have is lacking here...I'll have to add the chrome kickplates and builder's emblem, and the numberboard blanks and numbers.
Thanks for looking,
~Bruce


randgust

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Re: KATO ATSF F7 freight detail
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2013, 03:19:37 PM »
I'm not sure what year they started to whack off the side skirting above the fuel tanks leaving just the fuel filler area.     

Your passenger F's grilles are about the best I've ever seen; that squarely address the issue of how the stripes should look under the grilles.  No surface paint job can really do it justice.  I'm not sure how consistent it was on either original painting and shopping on the red paint behind the grilles, or toward the end, over top of it, because I'm pretty sure I've seen all three situations in various photos.   In some F's you could clearly see red paint behind from side views, and I've seen a couple where it looked like they got lazy and painted the stainless steel red on the warbonnet and it came right back off except around some of the bolts on the grilles.

The hardest thing I think I had to do on my ABBA set was weather them.   Philosophically, that went against me in every way, but if you looked at the '72 Amtrak leaser shots, time to get the weathering kit out.

arbomambo

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Re: KATO ATSF F7 freight detail
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2013, 03:59:19 PM »
Randgust,
 I  believe that the warbonnet scheme was painted wherever, then the grills applied, so, to be completely accurate, the grill area on the carbody forward of the warbonnet black and yellow striping should be red also...like you said, some pics show this real well, others make it hard to tell...
For me, painting that area was just a little too much to do....quite frankly, on the N scale locos, unless one is taking pics like this, it's difficult to tell the underlying color until one gets right up on the model...however, the dark and light areas show up fairly well, giving the illusion of the carbody openings...the horixontal grills would show the underlying paint MUCH better than the FARR grills do.
I will do some very light weathering on these sets (the passenger)...and a little bit more on the freight units...I really like the way you've weathered yours to reflect the general appearance of these units in your mofdelled era!
Respectfully,
~Bruce

randgust

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Re: KATO ATSF F7 freight detail
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2013, 08:33:07 AM »
I really like those Plano grilles on the passenger units.   Up until now I've been content to ignore the problem.   If you can get one on a painted Kato model and have it look right, I could definitely be convinced.   I guess I thought you had to carve/sand/something the original ones off, and then I wasn't sure it was worth the work.  Well it sure looks worth it to me.

Here's the era/look I'm going for - freight:
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=113859&nseq=90

Passenger (Amtrak lease era):
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=82554&nseq=100

That shot shows the grilles very nicely, and the openings behind it.
If it's possible to fit those grilles on post-paint & detail like it looks like, I may make one more pass on these:
http://www.randgust.com/F7_Winslow_3.jpg
« Last Edit: October 10, 2013, 08:35:56 AM by randgust »

arbomambo

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Re: KATO ATSF F7 freight detail
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2013, 09:45:36 AM »
great shots!
the Plano grills are designed to overlay the existing molded grills...they overlay EXACTLY, in position, on the model for which they're designed (I used them on a LifeLike E8B unit as well...with the grill designed specifically for it)
The method for attaching them is left up to the individual...I've found a method, through trial and error, that works for me...I use Gorilla Brand super glue to tack the grill into correct position...then, very carefully, use a finely chiseled end of a toothpick to apply extra thin super glue all along the perimeter of the grill edges...this keeps the extra thin glue from getting on plastic detail and allows the glue to creep along the join line; the extra thin super glue does have some surface tension so it wants to creep along the join line.
When I first started these mods, I only tacked the grills on in various places...I'd find, that with less-than-perfect handling of the unit, I'd pull the grills off; shipping to friends also had the effect of popping one or two of them off as well (I've sold a set, and I've done a few sets for friends back in Texas)
Here is a pic of the Plano grill, designed for the LifeLike E8B, on the unit...you'll notice that I used GMM stirrups on this one also...as you said, it makes a world of difference.



in addition to this freight schemed unit....I'm also doing 5 warbonnet F7A's and 4 warbonnet F7B's....also, in the waiting line are an A-B-B-A set of the newest release warbonnet F3's, the ones that fit my era perfectly.
The carbody openings on the F3 units are just a bit different that the F7s...so I'll have to create a new pattern for the decal stripes that I'll use for these.
Your comment, yesterday, about the paint under the grills, fore and aft of the warbonnet seperating strip has me considering a sheet of red decal strips !

Here is a pic of the freight unit with the cut lever added, and the ATSF-style opening cut out for the air and MU hoses.The Z scale coupler is also added here, although I'm going to raise it just a tad with a slightly thinner shim (just visible as a white piece inside the coupler pocket...it will be painted black, just like the rest of the pilot. Since this mechanism goes way back, the coupler 'holder' clip device that attaches to the split frame is different than the newer mechanisms, and needed a different approach to add the z scale coupler.
This scheme is, definately due for a re-issue, by KATO, on the new decoder-ready mechanism!




Thanks for looking,
~Bruce

arbomambo

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Re: KATO ATSF F7 freight detail
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2013, 03:33:37 PM »
another quick update...
added the MU and air/steam hoses to the pilot (BLMA products)....next come the etched stirrups, then I'll mask and spray the pilot and stirrups black.












Thanks for looking,
~Bruce

lajmdlr

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Re: KATO ATSF F7 freight detail
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2013, 04:52:26 PM »
Here's a link to Jim Fuhrman's website on Santa Fe F units & other Santa Fe & some other RR diesels: http://trainweb.org/jfuhrtrain/
There's two parts to the F unit info.

strummer

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Re: KATO ATSF F7 freight detail
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2013, 12:43:19 AM »
another quick update...
added the MU and air/steam hoses to the pilot (BLMA products)....next come the etched stirrups, then I'll mask and spray the pilot and stirrups black.











Thanks for looking,
~Bruce

Those are some great shots; didn't know it was possible to get that angle on an N scale model...

Mark in Oregon

robert3985

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Re: KATO ATSF F7 freight detail
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2013, 01:36:35 AM »
Nice work.  Also nice close-up photography. 

Mark, with proper equipment, you can get even closer.  Small sensor digital cameras are well-suited for close-up photography as long as close focusing is designed into the lens mechanics. The small sensor will keep more in focus at close distances than larger sensored cameras.

On the other hand, larger sensored DSLR's will get really close with some wide angles and with all Macro (Micro) lenses and there's always Helicon Focus or equivalent photo-stacking software.

Bruce, ya gonna scrape them cast-on grabs off and replace 'em with real stand-off pieces?  Now that you're getting deeper and deeper into the super detailing, I'm betting you're planning on that course.

I also am betting on either an MT Z-scale or a Full-Throttle "Bowser Buckler" Z scale coupler (more prototypical looking than MT's Z coupler)

Very interesting thread.  Keep the progress pics coming!
Cheers!!
Bob Gilmore

arbomambo

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Re: KATO ATSF F7 freight detail
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2013, 10:02:41 AM »
Definately Z scale couplers; I've been using MT in the pilots of all the F units...I'm not familiar with the Bowser Buckler, but am very interested.
As far as  grabs...I'm still 'on the fence' about the separate grabs on the KATO pre-painted units...shaving the vertical grabs on either side of the nose HL would be nice; repairing the paint would be problematic, at least to the point that it would stand up to this kind of photography...the anticlimber grabs are an easier fix.
Now, if I were starting with an undec, I'd go 'whole hog' as far as seperate grabs and railings. The Intermountain F units have all the seperate grabs and such, but there's just something I like better about the shape of the KATO F unit bulldog nose that captures the look of the prototype better. Plus the KATO mechanism is outstanding.
I'm going to rely on careful painting to highlight the grabs...it's just a compromise that I'm willing to live with to be able to keep the beautiful KATO paint jobs.
Thanks,
~Bruce