Loco detailing?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by oldtanker, Apr 3, 2006.

  1. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    I'm in the process of getting a BN SW1500 dummy and was thinking that it would be interesting in a maintance yarde with part of the "sheet metal" and panels removed with an engine exposed for major repair. Is there anyplace to buy such detail parts as an engine to go into something like this? My other option would be to put a motor and drive system in it and use it but I don't thin it would be worth the time and effort with the cost of new switchers.


  2. ed acosta

    ed acosta Member

    Sw 1500

    I just finished creating an SW1500 calf using Athearn parts. Some modification was necessary in order to eliminate the steps on one side and replace it with skirting, and also to add details like headlamps, radiator and such. Painting and decaling were a bit of a chore since I chose the SP tiger stripe version. But it was a dummy unit and I was in search of power.

    It doesn't cost much to find motorized Athearn SW1500s if you go to local train swap meets. I bought a newer powered Athearn SW1500 with a UP shell for $5 (the asking price was $7) but it did not run. I took the SW1500 home and found that the unit had been modified with a Digitrak unit (still inside) and the only problem was that a wire had become unsoldered! My freshly built SP calf shell slipped right over the motorized frame and I was ready to go. I go to as many swap meets as I can and always find at least one or two good deals. Besides the great deals you run into, conversation with the sellers and other buyers makes for a really nice day.

    If you prefer to leave the SW1500 as a dummy with door panels open or missing, I am convinced you could make a very nicely detailed unit with open or missing panels allowing some inside details to show. You might try to make door panels out of thin plastic sheets. Lots of weathering will make for a convincing model.

  3. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    Walthers makes a EDM 567 in the cornerstone series.
  4. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

  5. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    I hadn't seen those photos by Glenn the first time around, very nice. Here are a couple views of an Alco sitting on the Morristown and Erie, being used for spare parts.

    Attached Files:

  6. isboris4449

    isboris4449 Member


    I would suggest you get a spare SW1500 shell and the Walther's EMD prime mover and generator detail part Bob mentioned. Cut some doors off the spare shell, sand them thinner using a sheet of sandpaper taped down on a flat surface. To open up doors on the dummy unit, drill a hole not quite as wide as the door, near the top and bottom, remove the material between them, and file the openings until they are just slightly undersized to the doors. Then you can mount the thinned doors from the spare shell. To mount the prime mover, just glue sheet plastic on the frame until it looks like its sitting slightly lower than the walkways. I did a unit this way for a friend in California, and he really liked the effect.

  7. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    Ok cool, thanks for the imput guys. Even doing it in a scrap yard would be a good addition to a layout i think.

  8. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

    I had forgotten that I posted those pictures! Thanks Bob.
    I sencond Tom's suggestion of using the two shells and sanding the thickness down, otherwise you'll have doors a scale foot wide!
  9. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    Ok thanks again! I've never done anything with detailing engines or rolling stock.

  10. isboris4449

    isboris4449 Member


    Kalmbach has a book, "How to Detail Diesel Locomotives" by Jim Volhard that I highly recommend. It will give you a good idea about the diesel detailing, and shows many examples of the techniques, rather than just giving you a a text discription. If you LHS, or other retail sources don't have it, try eBay.

  11. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    Tom thanks, I'll look for it Friday while I'm in town.

  12. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    If you want diesel locomotive doors with hinge and latch details, check out Cannon & Co. parts. Those are quite nice, though I don't know if those are appropriate for a low-hood EMD switcher.

    Hope this helps!

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