Author Topic: Ghost Pumpkin -- BNSF 5383 in N Scale  (Read 2732 times)

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ednadolski

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Ghost Pumpkin -- BNSF 5383 in N Scale
« on: October 30, 2011, 06:26:37 PM »
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With Halloween almost here, what could be more fun than a "Ghost Pumpkin"?   ;)

The BNSF has a fair number of these GE C44-9W locomotives in the Heritage II paint scheme, where the orange paint has faded to a pale orange or almost a peach color, thus earning nicknames like "Ghost Pumpkin", "Faded Pumpkin", or even "Peachbonnet".   To try to capture this look, I started out with an undecorated Kato shell, and spliced in the radiator section from a Kato AC4400 in order to obtain the alternating height long/short grill panels on the rear section of the hood.  Other shell modifications included the use of Squadron putty to fill in the sand filler hatch area on the back end of the body, to make it more like the prototype.   I then airbrushed the model using Tru-Color paints, with the faded orange color custom mixed from BNSF Orange and White.  The air conditioner and the one unfaded sun shade were painted with ModelFlex BNSF Orange, as I felt that the unfaded Tru-Color BNSF orange looked a little too dark to my eye.  I used Microscale decals for the striping, numbering, and various warning labels commonly seen on these types of locos.

Detailing consists of a number of aftermarket and scratchbuilt parts.   I fabricated all grabirons and cut levers from 0.005" stainless steel wire, and the handrails are made from 0.008" phosphor bronze wire soldered to Gold Medal etched brass stanchions.  The traction motor cables are scratchbuilt from 0.008" brass wire, soldered together and formed to fit.  Other scratchbuilt parts include the MU cable made from a single strand of solid 30 gauge wire, and door handles formed from small pieces of PB wire.  I also used a number of BLMA parts, including sunshades, cab mirrors, air hoses, MU hoses, plow, and lift tabs.  I also installed a Digitrax DCC decoder.

To get rid of the cast-on windshield wipers, I first shaved them down carefully using a curved scalpel blade, then wet-sanded the windshields starting with 1000 grit automotive sandpaper and worked my way up to 2000 grit.  I then polished them using an ordinary toothpaste, and finally gave them a spray of Glosscoat from the rattle can.

For weathering,  I started with a fade overspray using Polly Scale Aged White.   This was followed up with a couple of grime washes using acrylic paints and gouache.   The rust on the one sunshade used acrylic burnt umber.   The rest of the weathering was an airbrush spray of Polly Scale Dirt across the pilots, steps, trucks, and air/fuel tanks, plus another airbrush of flat black on the roof, focusing around the exhaust stack.

The pics include a few shots next to a straight OOTB Kato BNSF Dash-9, for comparison.   Hope y'all like this one, it was a lot of fun to build.

Best,
Ed

















Links to some proto pics:

http://www.locophotos.com/pix/119/BNSF%20Railway%20BNSF%205383_Denver%20CO_Derek%20Brown_2011-08-01_119406.jpg
http://www.locophotos.com/pix/108/BNSF%20Railway%20BNSF%205383_Seattle%20WA_Stan%20Lytle_2010-02-20_108098.jpg
http://www.locophotos.com/pix/104/BNSF%20Railway%20BNSF%205383_Seattle%20WA_Stan%20Lytle_2009-07-25_104959.jpg
http://www.locophotos.com/pix/84/BNSF%20Railway%20BNSF%205383_Minneapolis%20MN_Larry%20Larson_2008-04-05_84818.jpg
http://www.locophotos.com/pix/36/BNSF%20Railway%20BNSF%205383_Cajon%20Pass%20CA_Scott%20Barr_2006-08-26_36703.jpg

Bremner

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Re: Ghost Pumpkin -- BNSF 5383 in N Scale
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2011, 06:32:25 PM »
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your fadingis REALY REALISTIC! I am impressed. Too bad it isn't #1031 :D

packers#1

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Re: Ghost Pumpkin -- BNSF 5383 in N Scale
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2011, 08:45:29 PM »
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Ed, we need a smilie with a broken jaw cause mine just punched a hole through the floor, very very nice work! the  faded orange is awesome  :D
Sawyer Berry
Clemson University graduate, c/o 2018

GaryHinshaw

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Re: Ghost Pumpkin -- BNSF 5383 in N Scale
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2011, 10:30:03 PM »
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Speechless!  The before & after shots really drive it home.  I have about 8-10 of these waiting for a similar treatment, but no way they'll be as nice as this.

How did you do the GPS domes?  Did you use the cab from an AC4400?  I really wish they had included those in the latest run of HII units...

Cheers,
Gary

wm3798

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Re: Ghost Pumpkin -- BNSF 5383 in N Scale
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2011, 10:12:58 AM »
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The only thing that gives away that it's a model is the gigundo couplers.  Amazing piece of work, Ed.
Lee
Route of the Alpha Jets

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

Bendtracker1

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Re: Ghost Pumpkin -- BNSF 5383 in N Scale
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2011, 11:31:56 AM »
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Ed,

I see these units run past the shop on a daily basis and I think you hit it "dead on"!!

I love the filthy underframe and trucks!  The un-faded grill panel seems to be a trademark of these GE units.

Nicely done!


nscalemike

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Re: Ghost Pumpkin -- BNSF 5383 in N Scale
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2011, 11:43:20 AM »
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Ed, 

Agree, very nicely done!  I love seeing these super detailed locos and cars, but it makes me want to redo my whole fleet.  I also need to take a plunge into the world of replacement handrails, so much better!

One question, what is the little ledge above the 3 on the Engineers side for?  I never noticed that before and can't see any point of having a step there. 

Mike

James Costello

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Re: Ghost Pumpkin -- BNSF 5383 in N Scale
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2011, 04:10:10 PM »
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Nicely done Ed!
James Costello
Espee into the 90's

ednadolski

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Re: Ghost Pumpkin -- BNSF 5383 in N Scale
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2011, 11:05:00 PM »
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Thanks guys, I'm greatly appreciative of the feedback!   ;)

Gary, for the large dome I used the one from the donor AC4400 shell, and added some small styrene strips around it.  The smaller dome is scratchbuilt out of styrene.   I used Microscale black stripe decals for the 'border' around the base.   I wish that someone would offer a dome as an aftermarket add-on part, as Kato doesn't sell them separately AFAIK.  (Actually BLMA used to sell a dome as a cast resin part a while back, but those were discontinued, so I'll have to find a way to scratchbuild more of these for future locos.)

Good point about the couplers Lee.   I think the end-on shots in particular emphasize them all the more, and when painted they stand out more than if they were left the factory black.   The Full Throttle Z-scale couplers are somewhat smaller, I might try installing them in one of these locos, just to see how they fit.

Mike, that part over the '3' is actually one of the small cab mirrors to help the engineer see better when making moves.   BLMA makes both the small and large ones from photo-etched stainless steel.  On handrails, don't be shy about taking the plunge.  The parts aren't expensive, really the only thing you need are some good light/magnification and some patience.  You can always start on a scrap/spare shell or two, so you don't have to worry about mistakes.

Thanks once again to everyone for your comments!   ;)

Ed


Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Ghost Pumpkin -- BNSF 5383 in N Scale
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2011, 09:32:27 PM »
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From one Ed to another... dayum.

Really nice work!

tom mann

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Re: Ghost Pumpkin -- BNSF 5383 in N Scale
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2011, 07:26:11 PM »
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Nice work on this one, Ed.  Hammers home the fact that we need nicer handrails in N!

Great plow-rust.

unittrain

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Re: Ghost Pumpkin -- BNSF 5383 in N Scale
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2011, 09:45:20 AM »
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Now this is another example of the outstanding modeling found on this forum! Wow!! :o excellent job those shots could pass for prototype trackside photos. Now if only I could do my B&O and C&O fleet that good. :|