Author Topic: Central California Traction GP-7: First Deisel Detailing Project  (Read 3047 times)

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M.C. Fujiwara

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Up until now, I've only been able to swap out couplers and drop in decoders.
Now I'm ready to actually start pimpin' out a diesel, and, as up until now the very act of taking off the shell of a loco has condemned it to the "oops" drawer on my workbench, I'm hoping for a lot of help from the Railwire Masters to guide me to a successful, stunning finished road warrior.

I'm starting with CCT #60, a GP-7:



The GP-7 was bought from Reading in 1976:



And then sold to Sierra Northern in 1999:



I'm still contemplating patching it out to Sierra Northern, but for now let's go with CCT.
More info on this site: http://www.trainweb.org/tractionco/cct60.html

And while I have #60, there are better picts of #70, like this:



and I don't mind borrowing details from those photos as well

Fortunately, Andy Peterson of Peterson Supply Co. in Portland, OR had a custom run done by Atlas:
http://www.petersensupply.com/merchant.ihtml?id=114&step=2

So the color & lettering is done  :D

I'm looking to super-detail the dude.

So far, I've identified the following:





I've already installed MT 905 Z couplers on the frame, and so will need to fill in the gap beneath it.
I've got some BLMA MU hoses on the way, as well as some Gold Medal Models GP-7 details.
Looks like I'll need some grab irons with drop (like the 15"? http://www.modeltrainstuff.com/BLMA-N-59-15-Grab-Irons-with-Drop-20-ea-p/blma-59.htm)
And I can scratch the sunshade and sill.

Guess most of all I'm hoping for some guiding thoughts / philosophies / practical practices for a first-timer detailing a diesel.

Order of steps throughout the process?
Specific details needed?
What to worry / not worry about?

I look forward to learning a lot!
Thanks in advance for all your help!
M.C. Fujiwara
Silicon Valley Free-moN
http://sv-free-mon.org/

Philip H

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Re: Central California Traction GP-7: First Deisel Detailing Project
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2013, 10:00:37 PM »
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MC,
Welcome to the dark side. You've got a good start on the details list - the only thing I can recommend adding would be doing some eBay searches for Sunrise Enterprise details. They have the sunshades you will need. GMM also makes etched handrails to roll your own. There's even a Best of the Wire thread on just that topic.

As to philosophy, I start from bottom up and inside out. So I take off the hand rails then start at the walkways and work up. Then I do handrails, steps and pilots. FWIW you might want to add BLMA cut levers to the pilots.
Philip H.
Chief Everything Officer
Baton Rouge Southern RR - Mount Rainier Division.

"Yes there are somethings that are "off;" but hey, so what." ~ Wyatt

"I'm trying to have less cranial rectal inversion with this." - Ed K.

"There's more to MRR life than the Wheezy & Nowheresville." C855B

M.C. Fujiwara

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Re: Central California Traction GP-7: First Deisel Detailing Project
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2013, 10:29:08 PM »
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Thanks for the welcome, Phil (why do I feel like Anakin, all of a sudden?)

Some quick questions:

1) how to cut out the fans on top and replace with the etched brass details?
2) how to cut out the door and replace with an open one?
3) can't I use a thin strand of wire for the railings?
4) how to match the paint when I do replace stuff
5) any ideas for those little lights over the number boards?

Like I said: quick  :D

BTW I'm going to take this nice & easy, so no hurry!

Any and all thoughts, suggestions, comments, maxims, fortune cookies of wisdom pertaining to diesel detailing duly and fully appreciated!!
M.C. Fujiwara
Silicon Valley Free-moN
http://sv-free-mon.org/

Philip H

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Re: Central California Traction GP-7: First Deisel Detailing Project
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2013, 10:40:24 PM »
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1. Either a drill bits slightly small in diameter then the hole (if you don't want to keep the part) or a very fine cut with an exacto blade. Them ream to diameter with Emory cloth.
2. Drill out the door in question with several small holes. Play connect the dots with a jewelers saw or Exacto. Ream to the edge with sanding sticks or your wife's old emery boards. Install a new door from a donor shell or somewhere.
3.  You most certainly can use the wire to do the rails; I should have said stanchions form GMM
4.  Paint matching is a challenge for me. While I'm not as color blind as  Dave Foxx, I'm not the best color guy. Perhaps someone local to the line, or for their historical society has mapped I out.
5. The lights might be doable from an MVP lens set if you can find one the right diameter.
Philip H.
Chief Everything Officer
Baton Rouge Southern RR - Mount Rainier Division.

"Yes there are somethings that are "off;" but hey, so what." ~ Wyatt

"I'm trying to have less cranial rectal inversion with this." - Ed K.

"There's more to MRR life than the Wheezy & Nowheresville." C855B

M.C. Fujiwara

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Re: Central California Traction GP-7: First Deisel Detailing Project
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2013, 10:52:08 PM »
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Thanks for all the shared experience.
I'm pretty well "color challenged" as well (thank goodness traffic lights have stop at the top!) so this will be quite an adventure.
Looks like I'll be doing a lot of careful drilling, filing and sanding.
Woot!

Guess I'll have to get my emory boards back from my wife  :D
M.C. Fujiwara
Silicon Valley Free-moN
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davefoxx

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Re: Central California Traction GP-7: First Deisel Detailing Project
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2013, 11:34:07 PM »
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Don't forget the modifications below the frame, too.  Look close at the fuel tank, for instance.

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M.C. Fujiwara

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Re: Central California Traction GP-7: First Deisel Detailing Project
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2013, 12:19:57 PM »
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Don't forget the modifications below the frame, too.  Look close at the fuel tank, for instance.

What would I need to do to the fuel tank?



The only aspect I can see in the protophoto are those circular things, which the Atlas part seems to have.
Unless the shape is a bit different?
Kinda hard to see...
M.C. Fujiwara
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davefoxx

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Re: Central California Traction GP-7: First Deisel Detailing Project
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2013, 12:26:40 PM »
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It looks like it is a much smaller fuel tank that is not as wide as the frame.  See how it looks recessed under there in front of the air tanks?  Put your model back together and compare the look of the model's tank (which is almost flush with the skirting) with the prototype's.  I believe some roads did this to minimize the weight of the locomotive on light rail.

Your problem is that you will likely have to remove some of the model's frame (i.e., weight) to cut down the fuel tank.

DFF

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wazzou

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Re: Central California Traction GP-7: First Deisel Detailing Project
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2013, 01:02:40 PM »
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Here is a good picture showing the smaller tank.  800 Gallons Capacity.


Bryan

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Hornwrecker

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Re: Central California Traction GP-7: First Deisel Detailing Project
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2013, 01:06:06 PM »
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Since this is an ex-Reading unit, you might want to duplicate the Reading drip rail on the roof above the cab windows.  Maybe bending some .008" brass wire into a shallow V and gluing to the roof with CA would work (not sure about the wire diameter).
Bob

M.C. Fujiwara

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Re: Central California Traction GP-7: First Deisel Detailing Project
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2013, 01:13:14 PM »
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Bryan: thanks for the pict.
I can see that it's smaller and tucked under.
I can shave some frame off, and there's room under the decoder spaces for some more weight if I need it.

Bob: good catch on the drip V.

As I'll be replacing and adding parts, I'm going to need to paint them to match the CCT red and the black on the roof.
Any tips for matching paint, or shall I do a lot of mixing and testing on scrap styrene?
M.C. Fujiwara
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Dave Schneider

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Re: Central California Traction GP-7: First Deisel Detailing Project
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2013, 01:48:35 PM »
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If you really want to go all in, you might consider replacing  the handrails. It is quite a bit of work but is a great improvement. Of course, once you do this you might find the grab irons need to go as well, and that messes up the chevron stripes. Replacing the rooftop nubs with proper lift rings is less work and really looks good. My last suggestion is see what can be done to reduce the gap on the side where the cab meets the battery compartment. This can really distract from an otherwise great looking model.  Just some things to consider.

Best wishes, Dave
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davefoxx

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Re: Central California Traction GP-7: First Deisel Detailing Project
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2013, 02:07:03 PM »
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My last suggestion is see what can be done to reduce the gap on the side where the cab meets the battery compartment. This can really distract from an otherwise great looking model.  Just some things to consider.

I agree with Dave Schneider that the gap is a huge visual problem.  I believe it's caused by the handrails.  If you notice, Atlas GP7s and GP9s handrails bow down where they meet the cab.  I've solved this by putting a slight kink in the end of the handrail where it meets the cab to "level" the rail before it meets the cab and to allow the cab to sit properly on the subbase.  If you install new handrails, you can allow for this.

Hope this helps,
DFF

General Counsel to the Laurel Valley Ry.
Member: ACL/SAL Historical Society
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ednadolski

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Re: Central California Traction GP-7: First Deisel Detailing Project
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2013, 03:27:10 PM »
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If you really want to go all in, you might consider replacing  the handrails. It is quite a bit of work but is a great improvement.

Just my $0.02, I think that scale wire handrails add more to a model diesel than any other improvement.  And based upon what I've seen of MC's work here on Railwire, I'm sure he would do a great job even on the first attempt   8)

On this model, are the stanchions molded as one piece with the walkways?   What I do in that case is glue the walkways & sills together, then trim the plastic stanchions flush to the sills.  Then I use a machinist's scribe to mark the location for each stanchion before drilling the the hole for it.   Same approach on the end pilots, just that sometimes the stanchions go in from the top rather than from the side.

When gluing on the new stanchions, sight them against the door lines on the body of the model, to make sure that they go on nice and square.  If necessary, it's usually straightforward to bend/adjust them after the glue has set.

For wire, I prefer 0.008" phosphor bronze over brass, as it solders just as well but is more durable.  The other thing I like to do is use the longer stanchions from the GMM fret, then trim them after soldering on the wire.  I find it easier to make straight/even handrails that way.


Looking forward to seeing your progress on this!   8)

Ed


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Re: Central California Traction GP-7: First Deisel Detailing Project
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2013, 03:37:40 PM »
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M.C.

The Dynamic Break Grills I don't think you can replace but on the GGM gp7/9/18 detail parts you can replace all other grills. I have done this in the past with a GP9 I detailed up for SP 5423. Just be careful and go slow.