Athearn F unit suggestions?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Canopus, Apr 21, 2006.

  1. Canopus

    Canopus Member

    Just about 4 hours ago I went to a heck of a lot of trouble to make the front windows of my new Athearn F unit look at least like an F unit. I used modelling putty (two part epoxy putty "green stuff") and I'm pleased with the result, as it cost me nothing and it's a vast improvement on the apperance of the model.

    I've also done some sanding, smoothed some things down, thinned down the step ladders to prototype thickness, and cut off the representational "lift rings" which were just blobs of plastic. But as I was doing this, I was wondering what am I going to do with the rest of the model in terms of detail?

    I plan to model a CR f unit, the story being that it's an ex CR unit sold to a shortline (that's my excuse for running an F unit, every modeller has one).

    I hear that the walthers f unit dress up kit is very good, but are there any additional details I could add? Does the walthers kit include grab irons or will I have to add those seperately?

    Also, what are the inaccuracies on the athearn model, just so I know what I can improve to make it better?
  2. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    Some of these photos may help.
    A few things the Walthers F unit dress up kit doesn't have are the pilot details and the grab irons on the sides of the nose.
    Other details will depend on the specific unit you are modeling.
    The 1648 has the Pennsy style pilot.
    The 1750 has the Sinclair antenna, exhaust deflectors and the fuel tank skirts removed.
    Notice the grabs up the side of the nose on 1847.
    The speedometer cable. wind deflector on the side window, MU door on the nose and windshield wipers are seen on 1858.
  3. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    The old Athearn Blue Box F's had the wrong contour for the nose. A minor detail that isn't really noticable(I think even the rivet counters let this go, it was that minor). I understand that the new Genisis F models, this was corrected.
    Rays right about the Walthers kit not having grabs for the nose and pilot detail. But this kit was designed for a "generic" F unit. Specific prototype details depended on the modeller.
    When I superdetailed an F unit, I used the Walthers as a starter, and bought the rest of the details(lift rings, a new pilot, ect...ect...) seperatly.
  4. Canopus

    Canopus Member

    I take it the old pilot has to be sawn off in order to add the new one.

    I noticed the nose being slightly incorrect actually, and the part where the cab windows meet the nose is the wrong shape. There are numerous other flaws, the biggest one being the window shape (which I've corrected) window position and side grilles. Overall however, with the windows modified, it at least looks like an F unit and is aesthetically pleasing enough. I think with the addition of all the correct handrails and some nice weathering you won't really notice any of the flaws.

    I don't intend to own the unit though, I've decided I'm going to super detail it, weather it, and then sell it on ebay to fund the purchase of a more accurate f unit, so it only needs to be a "as best as possible" improvement on the stock model. (I have my eye on an undecorated F7A from the genesis range, those models are stunning)

    Just out of interest, what's the next notch up from the blue box F7A? I'm guessing intermountain would be the closest in terms of price but having better accuracy, am I right here?
  5. CalFlash

    CalFlash Member

    The wire guage on the Walthers kit is a little large. Dosen't DA or DW also make one? Of course the assortment of parts will probably vary.

  6. Canopus

    Canopus Member

    I've worked out that I need to replace the numberboards, add lift rings, grab irons, handrails, a speedometer, new horns, exhuast deflectors, and maybe a few other bits, depending on the prototype.

    I've removed the steam generating equipment... I believe some units had their oil cooler mounted here, anyone got any info on that?
  7. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    Details West has an F Unit series detail kit.
    Here's a link to their Modeling Information for the Highliner/Athearn Genesis and Intermountain EMD F Series Locomotives page.
  8. Canopus

    Canopus Member

    I bumped into that page randomly while searching on google, but I didn't realise it was a details west page. It's quite informal.

    And that D&RGW (I think) f unit is encrusted in detail parts!

    Just out of interest do you have any idea of how many parts are included in thier f unit detail kit?

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