BCOL 4612 Final Version

Retry Day 1

The model actual.

1.  Sort of mentioned by me.  The height of the thing.  I am not sure a GE might ride higher.  Or the Kaslo kit is simply too low.  It seems to me like I had some aspects in correct proportion, and was still running out of room.  Not by a little bit.  By a lot.  So some was me getting details wrong.  I truly believe a canvas incorrectly sized was also in play.

  So for the second attempt.  I left the “sill” on the shell from Kaslo.  This adds about 1mm to the height of the carbody.  Not a huge amount.  But I think once I get some other stuff corrected.  This will factor in to make it look much better.
2.  Needless to say.  Knowing the target helped me avoid one inappropriate cut, behind the cab.  Which was initially done to cut out slots in the shell for cabinets I thought belonged there.  Well, they do.  Just not on a BCOL C40-8M
  This also allows the Kaslo shell to retain some of the integrity lost when I lopped chunks out that I should not have on try #1.
3.  I have some doors with a window around here some place.  So I filed the resin one off the nose.  So the one I apply will not stand out from the body so much.
4.  As per your latest request.  The front air tank is lower.  The rear air tank is not only a lot lower.  I also used a complex bracket to mount it AWAY from the rear tank face.  Then I see something above the rear air tank.  Not sure what, other than it is square-ish in shape.  So I tried my level best at recreating that too.

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Retry Day 2

The lack of the cut in error, behind the cab.  means the whole car body is roughly one saw blade longer.

This actually works.  If you note all 4 corners of the body now rest squarely on the top edge of the step wells.

The first one was just one saw blade too short.
It hard to even begin telling you all the places this is better.
It is easier to just tell you what is not correct.
1.  The draper taper is still too short.
1a.  That means the air vents on the taper are also too short.
2.  The shorter draper taper requires adding two doors down the side over the engine compartment.  The illusion makes it feel right.  Larger doors to keep it at 8 would betray the GE lineage here.  GE uses narrower doors, or did anyway.  Skinny doors and only 8 would leave vacant space in the wrong pace.
That said.  I have drawn all scribe lines on, rather than actually making the cuts.  So you can see it all first.
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Retry Day 3
This went from simply not looking like a SD-F.   To actually coming pretty close to a Dash 8-M.
I always suspected there was something akin to a Dash 8-40CM in this SD-F conversion kit.  It generally comes down to parts, then how well they mate up.
Oddly. The first attempt, or something like it probably was required to get one like the second attempt.
There is this old saying you have to break eggs to bake a cake.  Well, sometimes you have to break a shell (or ruin it) to see where the promising points are and where the shortcomings are.
My best cobble work is usually on a second attempt or later.  Go figure 😉
Something as simple as leaving the sill cast into the resin shell.  Then filling the gap where the pilot goes on either end.  Rather than filing the sill off.  Because there is a sill on the Atlas parts.  Was something I simply would have never considered.  Without first filing the sill off.
To discover there really was not enough shell left to apply parts correctly.
Perhaps I should just say “better”.
Correct sort of tends to reveal itself on projects like this as we go along.
For now.  The extra 1mm or so.  Allowed me to use the best radiator grille I had for the left side.  Then fit a complete set of doors under it.  That amazingly fit snug like a bug in a rug on the second try.
In all fairness to revelation that goes with doing it wrong.  The radiator is installed entirely different on try #2 as well.
I think this is why design teams are more than one person.  To see stuff like this more quickly.
The upshot is I gained a bit of space at the top above the radiator too.  By simply using more of the Atlas part.  Then affixing it to the resin shell.  Rather than setting the cooling grid INTO the shell.  Which was not only lower.  It also robbed the model of a few interesting angles the prototype has around the radiator.
Then this just becomes a whole chain reaction of evens from that point.
Once you correct one thing.  The rest seem to flow almost naturally.
This becomes inspiration for better too.
Note the yellow (brass) color part(s) on the roof.  That is N Scale tread-plate.  I am half guessing here.  Based upon observation of other things.  That GE likes anti-skid surfaces on the roof.  Typically favors tread-plate.  If models are correct.
It is eye candy regardless.  We look at models top down on layouts.  So that is cool where cool matters.
Anyway.  The one thing leads to another.  It just mushrooms.  Drip rails, rather than a scribe line.  Which gives us the correct outward dimension.  Rather than an indent to simply suggest where something should be.
Also while looking at pics, I noted the roof is actually a series of doors and hatches that sit above the car body.  That the roof edge is not simply a clean bolster point.  It actually sits ever so slightly lower than the hatches on the roof.  So rather than simply scribing lines in the resin.  I applied a sheet first.  Then scribed lines in that.
All the way back to doing it first, to see a better way.  We have the inlet, or outlet for the Dynamic Brake.  Again, I do not know which side is which.  Left side.
Regardless of in or out.  It is recessed into the draper taper.
Only doing it once, could ever reveal that there must be a better way.
Try #2.  I built a box around the detail I robbed from the Atlas Dash 8.  Then set it into the shell.  Filing it to conform to the taper.  Viola!  Success.
NO MODEL is perfect.  Not even brass.  Which is simply closer.  Then what reveals itself when you are that close to accurate, at scale.  Is it runs like sh*t!
A 6″ clearance in real life.  More than adequate for something to move freely.  Is simply not enough at scale.  Especially as it involves trucks.  Which we expect to tilt and turn on a model, at angles that a real locomotive would only ever experience as it derails and rolls over then the trucks fall off.  LOL!
Also handrails, which really seem to hang a lot of people up.
If they were to scale would be little more than a thread on a model.  Barely useful if you display only and never handle.  Completely inadequate if you run and like to handle stuff, as most people do.
The point is.  The art here is not so much perfection, as deception.

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Retry Days 4 and 5

OK.  Before I moved on I actually joined the Kaslo resin upper car body to the Atlas sill.  This was something I jumped to on the first project.
Which essentially caused most of the need for a second try.
It was also one of those learning curve things.
You see, when one builds a Kaslo kit straight up.  Pretty much the first thing you do is fit the pilots to the car body.  They are 3 unique pieces.  So there was some history which suggested join the parts to test for fit.
That really was not required.  But I did it anyway.
The second try being different, I waited until the reshape of the SD-F was complete.
I have also corrected one major shortcoming of all Atlas models.
The coupler mount is less of a stable pad than a little spot of plastic.  Just big enough to retain a screw.  Barely.
I have bolstered that.
Then I also added the shims to the car body.  So it fits relatively snugly to the skinny Atlas chassis.
There is no snap fit with such conversions.  Not even the straight up Kaslo SD-F kits.  So there is some caution in handling the models.  But luckily all that will fall out is the motor in the frame, and trucks.  Which usually is not a big deal.
It is sort of helpful to just recall these should be picked up by the fuel tank.
**  It is actually something I encourage everyone to learn with all models.  It avoids handling of the body minimally.  There are other bonuses, depending on the complexity of the detail on any given model.
[Just a note here, the “eyelets” on the roof are not present on the BCOL 4612 but they are on the 4613.  In order to provide additional detail on the roof these “eyelets” were included on this model.  The layout in the background is Jeff’s home layout.]
Dash8-40CM_3 Dash8-40CM_4 Dash8-40CM_1 Dash8-40CM_2
Retry Day 6
[starting to paint]
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Retry Day 7
The model is for all intents, built.  The remaining stuff really is just decals and weathering.  Plus some windows and couplers.
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Retry Day 8
We needed a few shots of this “like new”.  It just would not do to have never recorded it like this.
Next stop.  20 years of use.

My plan is to general fade it with a coat or two of white “wash”.  It actually takes several to blank out all the color.  The effect is simply general fade which gets a bit worse with each layer.
Then I can start hitting it with dirt.  Which sits atop the faded paint in real life (too).
You mentioned some guys who overkill this process.  I am usually pretty measured with dirt.  Although I will get this a lot dirtier than i did the SD70M-2 models from round #1. Especially the trucks and general undercarriage.  I am not seeing much in the way of rust.  At least not any which is obvious at photo distance.  Which is a common perspective we look at models from.
It is my general feeling that overdone rust is the thing you really notice when you suggest other painters who weather to overkill.
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Retry Day 9
I pushed it a bit here.  This is clearly within the realm of how some of these units look now.  So we should be close.
No mirrors.   The way they cast resin, around window openings.  It is less thick / sturdy than the rest of the shell.

 It is not so much that mirrors would be impossible.  If you were doing this.  Then placing it on a display shelf and never touching it again.
 I have to box it.  It has to endure transit.  I assure you.  By the time the thing arrived.  The side of the cab would have caved in.
 You might ask what about the sunshades?
 Note that detail is at the corner of the side and roof.  That is the reverse of less thick.  It is sort of doubly thick
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Retry Day 10
This certainly went well beyond what I had planned in every respect.  But the main thing is the result which is also likely a cut above what I envisioned doing on the “cheap”.  Which was more or less a shape with paint that would evoke a Dash 8-40CM in the eye of the onlooker.  This almost passes.  Given some limitations we worked with here.  I believe it does pass for a Dash 8-40CM.
**  One shot with the shell off.  Just to give you an idea what is inside. Fairly basic.
The shell is a simple friction fit.  Which if you have any Intermountain Tunnel Motors, I can safely say this shell fits tighter than those do.  It still just requires only minimal effort to pull it up and off.  There is no catch or pins which snap lock anything in place.
The fore and aft fit which is somewhat critical, is almost 100% slop free.  What exists is only enough so the shell does not seize to the frame.  There should never be any issues with this pulling and the shell sliding around.  There is also really no slop side to side.  It simply does not snap lock onto the frame is all.  But it is a good proper fit.
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