My First Locomotive Build

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by timber, Dec 29, 2006.

  1. timber

    timber New Member

    Since I've been building models for about 14 years I figure I'd give building one of these a try. Still waiting for the back handrail from Ahearn and once that's installed and painted I'm going to dullcoat and weather the handrails. Feedback welcome! :)



  2. berraf

    berraf Member

    All I have to say is "very well done" :thumb:
    The loco looks just great and with some weathering it would be top class!
    I´m impressed!
  3. nhguy

    nhguy Member

    Nice Job on the model!
  4. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member


    It's a good start. :thumb:

    Though I think you should consider at least adding a plow and the grab irons. It looks kind of naked without those. :D

    You also might want to buy an A-line sunshade kit.. The ones that came with the Athearns look kind of ridiculous.. Sunshades are actually mounted at a slant (same angle as the roof slant)-- They aren't supposed to stick out horizontally like that.

    Looking forward to seeing more progress!
  5. timber

    timber New Member

    Thanks I'll looking into that kit. I also want to do some LED lighting in the future. Thanks for everyones feedback.
  6. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    Wow...nicely done!
  7. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Very Nice!! :) :)
  8. KCS

    KCS Member

    That's what I live about Athearn Blue Box kits. Cut out all the fan's, grill's, drill out the grab iron holes, get a cab interior kit, new step's, shade's, hand rails, MU hose train line hose's, fuel tank detail set etc and you coule be on your way to becoming a craftsman builder. I love building like this. It takes time but you'll admire it to death because of the work you put in it. I'm hoping to start stock pilling parts for custom units. It's fun. Your off to a great start.
  9. timber

    timber New Member

    I know what you mean. I just need to learn more about the details to add and where to get them. Does anyone know where I can get detail parts online? I would really like to add a cab interior kit. Thanks again everyone!
  10. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    I get my detail parts from Discount Trains Online. They got a great selection of Details West, Details Associates and Cannon parts. :thumb:

    You can also get them from Walthers.

    You want to take a look at the photos of that particular Bunsuf unit first and pick out the details you need to add (and where to add them!). Do a search at Railroad Picture Archives or

    Hope this helps!
  11. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    thats better than my first kit! talk about confused... I was building an AMD103, and i glued the ditch and marker lights on the outside of the locomotive! I still have it, and i think i can save it.

    as for details, buy a model railroad tool set ( i know there out there, i got one a few christmases ago, but i couldn't tell you where) and make sure you have a pin vise with a #80 bit, which is the size of the grab irons mentioned by LongIslandTom.

    Its a safe bet to try and get a wide array of drill bits because different details require different holes. Its also highly advisable that you get a few exacto blades, tweezer that can be devoted to model work, needle nose pliers, assorted glues ( CA and "testors" tube type) and really fine paint brushes with your required paints.

    Finally, do only a little at a time, take it nice slow and easy. All of those details add up, and take a toll on your mind and wallet. for example, i was working on a U34CH model (in my avatar) and i sat there way to long working on it, and the quality of my work turned to crap, and so i had to redo things. only do a detail or 2 at a time, and set it aside for the next day, so you keep cool about it. secondly, you'd be shocked that you can pump nearly $70 worth of detail parts into a locomotive, that individually cost only a dollar or two. all of it requires great patience. I'm notorious for building large models like airplanes and battleships in 2 days straight (not counting waiting for the paint to dry) so i know from expierience, don't rush. ever.
  12. timber

    timber New Member

    I just added some detail parts tonight to my Dash-9, snow plow and hoses. I used some of the hoses on my GP-60B also and wow what a differance! Thanks for the motivation guys!


  13. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member


    Good to see you make progress. :thumb:

    I think the best way to detail an engine is to follow the prototype.. Here you can find a good collection of photos of the real deal (Bunsuf locomotive #1000) to help you pick out details you might want to install:

    Hope this helps!
  14. berraf

    berraf Member

    Yeah, what a difference a snowplow and some hoses can do :)
    I can see at the pictures that the couplers are brown, have you painted them or ist it possible to but brown ones?
    Keep up the good work timber!
  15. Chrisdapos

    Chrisdapos Member

    Very nice work. I have to agree with LongIslandTom and say that the best way to detail is look at the prototype photos. I actually had my laptop next to me with the pictures up on the screen while I was detailing mine. It helps a ton to really know the locomotive that you are detailing. Keep up the good work!.
  16. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    Hi Berraf,

    Athearn locomotives and cars these days come with Bachmann EZMate couplers.. They are molded in brown plastic.

    Because the EZMates are entirely plastic (except the trip pin), sometimes you can run into trouble with those.. I had a few of them where the plastic spur that acts as the knuckle spring doesn't work, causing cars to spontaneously uncouple. :curse:

    You can replace them with Kadees easily enough though.
  17. timber

    timber New Member

    Thanks Guys! :wave:

    I didn't even think to find the pictures of the exact engine on the net. I was looking at some other BNSF 944-CW pictures. I'm going to finish up the front and move on to the cab and fix those sun shades.

    I remember seeing on the forum that someone had done a "how to" installing LED lighting. Does anyone know where I can find that thread?

Share This Page