Milwaukee Road 355 GP38-2 Project

Discussion in 'HO Scale' started by N7CZ, Oct 27, 2009.

  1. N7CZ

    N7CZ TrainBoard Member

    I got the most significant part of the this project completed this evening. The frame chop.

    The Milwaukee Road GP38-2s had a VERY SMALL fuel tank. So, in order to model one accurately, the fuel tank MUST be cut down to the correct size. The Milwaukee reduced fuel capacity on many of it's locomotives throughout it's epic history. I have read in several publications that it was to reduce the overall weight of the locomotives and thus lessening damage to the rails, which in many sub-divisions and branch lines, were often in disrepair.

    Here is a good prototype shot showing how SMALL the fuel tanks actually were:
    This is not the prototype that I am modeling.

    Here is the original Athearn BB GP38-2 that I purchased used:

    And here she is after the frame chop:
  2. N7CZ

    N7CZ TrainBoard Member

    Milwaukee Road 255 GP38-2 PROJECT (cont)

    Below are a couple shots of the frame while in process:

    One last major difference on the Milwaukee Road's GP38-2s were the trucks. Milwaukee had Blomberg type B trucks. The trucks were salvaged from retired F units in a cost saving move by the railroad. Most GP38-2s came with Blomberg type M trucks.

    Click here for my build album.
  3. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Remember where they were initially assigned? The first batch's assignment was the NMD!


    Boxcab E50
  4. N7CZ

    N7CZ TrainBoard Member

    I didn't know that, Ken! Thanks!
  5. rkcarguy

    rkcarguy TrainBoard Member

    Gotta love the "welder in the cab" light on the Athearns....
    Can't wait to see how this turns out...
  6. N7CZ

    N7CZ TrainBoard Member

    haha... yeah, they rocked that way.... ;)

    Well, I just found the prototype photo I am going to work from as a weathering guide.
    Photo credit information: GP-38 355 - Bensenville IL - 08/78 - {Jim Ford Photo}

    I am not sure if the date of this photo is actually 1978 or not as the herald and billboard lettering are missing from the unit. However it has the newer style cut bars which would indicate late 1970's. Looking at photos of this unit in the early 1980s, it appears to have received new paint around 1981, along with many of the GP38-2s.

    I will most likely model it with the billboard and I have to have the herald on it too. :D
  7. rkcarguy

    rkcarguy TrainBoard Member

    I'm wondering...I don't know how you finish your paint..but do you think a little white mixed into some dullcoat would yield the bleached out look of the real thing without repainting the orange?
  8. N7CZ

    N7CZ TrainBoard Member

    I will be doing a complete repaint. I'll prime it with a cream undercoat over the entire orange area. Then in the places where you see the orange appears to be darker, or less faded, I'll airbrush a light coating of a darker color of primer, perhaps a an additional layer of orange, then apply a custom mixed faded orange overall to achieve something close to the fading pattern on this bad boy. :)
  9. rkcarguy

    rkcarguy TrainBoard Member

    I'll be watching this build, you do nice work.
    I'm going to take one of my BB Geeps and outfit it for switching duty, that being an ernst gear reduction set, full detail parts and some severe rusty weathering....
    You still haven't divulged your crusty rust secret....
  10. N7CZ

    N7CZ TrainBoard Member

    Wow, thanks for that complement! I'm just have'n fun with my modeling. This time around going for quality over quantity. 180 degrees from when I modeled 10+ years ago.

    At this time, I use the same materials for all weathering. Those are acrylic paints and pastel chalks. I am going to be trying oil paints and Gouache eventually as the the Gouache works better for streaks and runs.

    If you have a specific rust on one of my models that you'd like me to explain further, I'd be happy to. The exact techniques depends on he rust itself. :)

    Make sure you post a build tread of your project so we can follow your progress.
  11. rkcarguy

    rkcarguy TrainBoard Member

    Modeling SP, I'm going to have some serious weathering to do, lot's of diesel soot and rust streaks....
    Whats guache?
  12. N7CZ

    N7CZ TrainBoard Member

  13. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Argh. I'm beginning to feel as though I flunked finger painting in Kindergarten! :D

    Boxcab E50
  14. N7CZ

    N7CZ TrainBoard Member

    haha, Ken!

    Here's an update to this project. Monday night football and work'n on trains. Doesn't get much better. Well, if the Broncos would have won...

    Placing 1mm sheet styrene on either end of the fuel tank to bring it very close to scale length and give smooth tank ends. I'll be filing the entire tank smooth.

    Installed the diamond plate, Cannon Cab, MU hoses, trainline air hose, all weather window, rear view mirror/wind deflector. Started the lift rings, but after 4 in a row shot out of my tweezers never to be seen again, I figured it was time to stop for the night. :)

    So, left to install on the shell is lift rings, grab irons, beacon, brass horn, antenna, and the cut bars. I'm not sure how much detail I'm going to put on the frame yet. I'm leaning toward quite a bit since the underside of this unit is so wide open. We'll see. I've already got around $80.00 worth of detail parts on an engine I paid $15.00 for... haha
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 10, 2009
  15. MOPMAN

    MOPMAN TrainBoard Member

    Looking good. The finished product should look great.
  16. N7CZ

    N7CZ TrainBoard Member

    Thanks MOPman! I managed to get a lot accomplished on it last night. The shell is almost ready for paint. The paint will be the ultimate detail on this project. The fading pattern of the orange is really cool. I hope I can capture it!
  17. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I few more waves of your magic wand, and presto! You'll have turned a plastic engine into brass! :eek: :eek: But, you had some fun doing it... :D

    Boxcab E50
  18. N7CZ

    N7CZ TrainBoard Member

    Indeed. This is a lot more fun than just purchasing a brass loco. Besides, many of the brass locomotives are still way off of the Milwaukee prototype.
  19. Flash Blackman

    Flash Blackman Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Really nice! Nothing like a good kitbash for model railroad satisfaction, or so I say anyway. :thumbs_up:

    If you can, I would like to see the various shades of primer before you cover them up with the final color. That is a unique idea for weathering AFAIK. Never heard of it before. It seems like it would work well especially with the orange, yellow type colors.

    Thanks for posting.
  20. N7CZ

    N7CZ TrainBoard Member

    Hey Flash. Yep, I'm happy to post those type of progress photos. This will be my first time trying it. I saw it used by another fellow on a red Santa Fe boxcar. It should make for the subtle shading differences. At least that is my hope. :) Should be a good technique for just about any of the lighter colors. I hope to be slinging paint at some point this week. :D

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