Jul 26, 2008
You would be my friend for ever, if I could buy a couple. Don't tease, let us know.
Model Power FP7 stripped. I also pictured the main inserts: Farr grilles, cooling fans, d/b fan plated cover. The plastic nose door insert is still in place. It has a hole I drilled for the lower headlight. The 90 percent alcohol did the trick but it took two days. I will say again that the detail is very good and is partially obscured by the paint.
Plastic horns removed (they were a little large) as well as all the glass. The number boards are lighted; hope I can still use those, but maybe not.
I am going to sand out a position for the 48 inch fan. IIRC, the Sunrise Enterprise plow has a mounting hole for a MT 1015/1025 coupler.
 Found the Sunrise plow; it takes a 1015 coupler. How do I attach the metal plow to the metal shell? Probably epoxy. CA glue doesn't seem too sturdy. Plano etched metal grilles will probably work; they will need splicing because of the extra length.
Dynamic Brake Fan
Here is the d/b fan placed on the roof. E8 on the left; stripped FP7 on the right. Some grinding, bending, and gluing to do for this weekend.
I'll get a better camera for the rest of the photos.
Better camera. Forty-eight inch fan from Gold medal Models GP18 -GP7/9 conversion sheet. The epoxy used for the center "cap" was old...very old. I will wait a few days to see how it sets up. This fan has been bent into a slightly conical shape. I cut the base of the fan at a single place to allow it to form an even shape. I plan to add a .020 inch base and to create a fan inside of the cone.
In this next picture, you can see the cut and the base of the fan "folded over" in the lower left edge of the fan. I filed and sanded the roof hatch level to make a place for the 48 inch fan.
I decided to "break in" my Model Power FP7 before I got too far along on the project. It runs a little warm...warmer than IM, Kato, or Atlas. It is pulling two Aztec roller type boxcars, so I don't think that is a lot of drag. Maybe a little warm is to be expected.
I will remove the headlight (I want Richmond Controls gyralite anyway) and try it again. Also added a B unit (LL GP20 powered).
Anyone else have these Model Power FP7s run a little warm?
 Headlight removed and running again. I really don't think it is as warm now; however, it is running with some hesitant motion; I am sure it is electrical pickup. This electrical pickup is like the Life Like SD7 with wipers to the wheels. The engine is horribly over lubed, too. When I run it with the F7B/LL GP20 powered, it is very smooth in tandem. I will certainly clean it before final assembly.
Next, I cut the skirts back and removed the pilot. This took some dremel cutting and shavings were everywhere. I highly recommend eye safety appliances. Notice that I left the row of rivets at the top of the pilot. Results:
Now, there is no room to add the Sunrise pilot plow. (Check all the dust picked up by the excess lubrication.):
So I removed the original light bulb and cut off the front of the chassis using a hack saw and files.
I have removed the nose door and temporarily added the Sunrise plow using bees wax.
This is how I plan for the plow to look as it is finally mounted with epoxy. Now, it is about .020 inches too low in the coupler pocket. I'm off to finalize the coupler and add the plow with epoxy.
That should make it the perfect height for a Z scale coupler!
Great project so far!
I am going to just blurt out the truth about this. It's best for all to know.
Thanks, for the support. I will move forward and see this project to the end. I was thinking about stopping because I was having so many problems with the electrical pickup system in the engine that the engine was not running in an acceptable manner. I will list the issues and how I resolved them.
The engine is horribly over lubricated. It is perhaps the worst I have seen. You probably won't know about it unless you open the shell. This caused my engine to pick up a lot of the dirt on my layout (which I should have vacuumed).
Although the engine ran very well at first, the electrical pickup slowly deteriorated. I assumed that this was because the wheels were picking up dirt. I finally had to disassemble the mechanism to fix it. The wires inside are taped to the motor with a single piece of tape and a messy massive mass of mastic that remained after removing the tape. I used paint thinner and cleaned the motor and then the grease off of the top of the worms and bearings. Next I dropped the trucks and checked continuity. The rear truck had no electrical pickup at all. I presumed it was caused by dirt, so I cleaned and reassembled, but no help. After disassembly again, I found the the wiper contacts on the rear truck did not even touch the wheels! After much consideration, which included just sending it back to Model Power for repairs if I broke it, I bent the small contacts out so they do, ever so slightly, touch the wheels. Problem solved!! For now. The front truck is okay after cleaning. I have not abandoned the idea of electrically MUing it to another engine. I may still do that, but I am not sure how.
So, my electrical pickup problem is solved, but you should be aware of this if you purchase one of these engines. Since only the rear truck was defective, maybe it was just a single failure as the front truck was fine.
FWIW, I did not break any of the wires or the wiring harness. The trucks are hard wired to the motor poles similar to the Life Like SD7. Thus, they will not come free of the mechanism unless you cut the wires. (I was afraid I could not re-solder them.) It is very difficult to work on the trucks as they remain attached. Also, I could not disassemble the trucks to access gears and the wipers. The wheels are in gauge.
Lastly, on an issue not related to this problem, does anyone remember the electrical pickup problems with the first run Kato F3s? The steps on the shell would ride on top of the springs on the truck just enough to cause a break in contact in turns to the left. (Something inane like that.) The steps on the Model Power FP7 also touch the tops of the truck springs, just like the Kato unit. This Model Power FP7 possibly could have the same issue that would cause binding, but it would not cause an electrical problem. I solved it the same way as the Kato issue by filing bottom of the steps a very small amount, approximately .005 inches.
Onward we go. I sure hope this doesn't come up again. :cry2eh:
This is a very good engine by Model Power. I can certainly see that it would do very well on an NTrak type layout.
Jason: The trees were made by "Foreground Trees" here in Texas. I'm not sure that he is making trees anymore. In any case, he is not advertising.
Cool thread, I will go ahead and spend a little extra money and get an IM. It is worth not having to hassle with the MP Beast!
My Model Power FP7 is running just fine now. The slow speed capability is very good. After an inauspicious start, it is a very nice engine and will match very well with my other Kato, IM, and Life Like powered F units. It is very heavy, too, at 4.4 ounces. It should be an excellent puller for my freight trains. Here is a view of the mechanism with the tape removed. I used ordinary electricians tape to replace the original.
The 48 inch fan on the adjacent engine is on a Bachmann F7 shell.
After using epoxy to attach the plow, I checked the coupler height. Not bad! You can see the plow "sagged" a little which caused it to be at the correct height.
BTW, notice the difference in the two couplers. The one on the left is a 1025 in my very old coupler height gauge. The coupler on the engine is a new 1015 and is taller or perhaps you would say "larger". Never noticed that before.
Next, I worked on the 48 inch fan and included some fan blades.
Fan in place.
Nice to see some good close up photos, also some neat ballasting. It looks very fine, not like my "boulders", what did you use?
Flash "Grandpa" Blackman
Unit looks great. Look forward to seeing it in person in the future.
Roger: It's just Arizona Rock and Mineral N scale ballast, CSX/SP/WAB gray. I was careful and tried to keep it from being glued to the sides of the rails; I think that improves appearance
Fuel tank being made wider; adding styrene detail.
Fuel tank in place. It's a little short lengthwise, but in order to extend it further forward, I have to cover the small tab that allows easy shell removal.
Itsy bitsy holes drilled into the metal shell for the nose grabs. Not sure how many more of those I will do. I really need that ladder on the nose, but...I don't know.
Other details added: lower headlight, five chime horn, roof details just put in place. Original horn holes plugged with CA glue and then sanded. It worked very well thanks to Inkaneer's tip on this thread. You just get all sorts of ideas here on TrainBoard, you know?
Next to set up the etched metal grilles on the sides.
Also, off to hospital to see newborn grand daughter. I'm sneaking in a train this time.
Looking good. I like the look of your fuel tank..
Here are the nose lift rings added. I made them from styrene and CA'ed them to the shell. How do you like those clunky numberboards? Well, I lost the other one, so I hope to use my Kato PA extra numberboards. I expect that they are the same size regardless of the engines. They are probably more scale size, too.
Here is a FWIW:
I am always looking at the military flats at the LHS as I like them for buildings, some weathering, and general painting. I purchased some Testors Model master enamel "Euro 1 Gray" to paint some truck tires. The color is a very close match to Espee Dark Lark Gray. Here is one photo where the engine has light dirt weathering at the bottom:
This photo is no weathering at all comparing the two colors. Pretty close match. I may use it to get some slight variation on engine parts. Those spray bombs put out so much paint, though.
Very cool project. I always thought this loco looked pretty good but the MP name held me back. Nice to know that MP can actually make a decent diesel (for the money!).
I still haven't done anything to the side grilles.
Last night I partially drilled eight holes for the four rungs on the nose ladder; it took about an hour using some oil for the bit. Today I gave in and put a new drill bit in my hand vise. It took 45 minutes to complete the first eight holes and completely drill the other twelve holes! There is a lesson to be learned there. It's like putting a new blade in your hobby knife for a new project. Here is the nose with all the holes.
I plan to paint it like this without the grabs and details installed so it is easier to mask. I will add the details and hand brush them later.
Here are two comparison shots. My Kato F7 that needs more detailing is on the right and the FP7 is on the left. The FP7 seems a little taller but I haven't compared them closely. (The Kato F7 has a Richmond Controls light package.)
Length comparison of the two types.
Grilles and then off to prime and paint. Hope those clunky number boards are not too large. I think I am going to use them and file them down a little. I will also compare the PA1 number boards, too.
Notice the red hand grabs on the nose ladder on this FP7. There were others like this, too.
Best use of a CN unit !
I found drilling into the MP FP7 a bit of a task - I should have used the oil on the drill bit... dang ! The holes for the ice breakers were tough !
Very nice work Flash !
Puddington: Nice engine and nice work on the icicle breakers. I liked my CP Rail, too.
I primed the shell and a few parts. Then I painted the nose Espee scarlet.
Then I "carefully" masked the nose for the Espee Dark Lark Gray. I have the Microscale decals for this nose, so my idea is to use them to fill in the edges of the paint. I will also use paint to touch up some. For example, the plow should be gray. (notice the small area along the "wing" where the red paint peeled from the shell.)
Gray paint. No worries on the masking!
Comparing. Daylight Red on the left; Espee Scarlet on the right. There is a difference, but they do look close.
Heck, if I had known is would be that close, I would have been more careful! No "feathers" on the wings. How do I fix that? Maybe gray decal?
Here are the 48 inch fan blades.
Forty-eight inch fan in place.
Looks great Flash!
For the "feathers," if you have some blank decal paper, spray it with your grey, seal it and cut to the appropriate size. No problem with color matching.
Or you can mask them off and hit it with your grey. I usually use this method.
Edit: I've been waiting to see your results. I want to repaint the nose of my IM F7A, since their masking is way off.