BNSF 9-44CW build x3 (Warning, lots of pics!!)

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#1
Hey everyone, I have been quite busy with these since last year, but I am finally going to finish them up. I figured as much as I love to see other people post their projects maybe you guys would like to see what I've done. I even managed to find some progress pics up to this point. Opinions good or bad are welcome, and please be honest.

Okay, so I started this project due to my strong desire for a more "correct" BNSF dash 9. I then figured that due to the fact I would probably eventually want more I decided to go for 3 at once. For the most part, these could be done "assembly line style" although each loco will have slight differences as per their repective prototypes. The locos that will be done here are BNSF #'s 4807, 4878 and 4913.

You may notice my H1 Athearn RTR in the backround (this is NOT part of the build). Lastly guys, this is not my first build, but the first one I have ever posted a progressive build on so please bear with me...Thanks!


I started out using a leftover Athearn RTR chassis and two more blue box chassis that will be upgraded and repowered. The shells were purchased as part of a lot for a pretty good price but had pretty bad paint on them. With some of them being half stripped for someone elses unfinished project and missing parts, I had my work cut out for me...First, the bodies would need to be completely stripped and then primered as shown here...



Note the large gap on the side sill underneath the cab. This would have to be modified due to different runs of the Athearn body shells. Finding gullwing cabs was a chore in itself. Athearn said they had them in stock for almost $10 a piece!!!! :eek:

I decided that the radiator section amongst many other areas would need some help... I opted to use details associates etched radiator grille set. Here is how it came together...I only had to find one replacement radiator insert due to a bad cut! (oops!) As they say, "measure twice, cut once..."





Thats all for now. I will post more in a few!

-Rich
 
#2
Some of the things that were important to me and that MUST be added to these three models would be:

*Correct coupler cut bars - Railflyer prototypes

*Brass handrails with stachions from Smokey Valley

These items (especially the handrails) would be particularly time consuming-and totally worth it IMHO. I also knew I would definately have to add:

*Correct 4 window cab
*Low mounted air tanks
*Flush mounted windows
*Dash 9 detail set from Detailswest

Many more items were to be added but these were among the most important.



Here you can see that this was the first unit to see paint. Note the way that the cab had to be modified to fit into the sub base.



Here are all 3 locos at various degrees of completion...



In this picture, although kinda blurry, you can see the beginning of the underside details. The frame on these locos is so seemingly bare and who wouldn't want to see traction motor cables, piping and bracket details on the finished product?





Grabirons, sand filler hatches, plows and x-panels installed...



-Rich
 
#3
Just this last week is when these pics were taken. Much progress has taken place and the closer I get to being done with these, the more motivated I am becoming to see the final product. What do you all think so far? More progress pics will be posted soon if anyone would like to see...







Cut bars and grab irons added...





Details have now been added to all three locomotive chassis (i.e: traction motor cables, brake chain beam pulley, air dryer and air

filters, etc.)





Opinions, suggestions and ideas welcome. I look forward to comments. Thanks!

-Rich
 
#6
First, let me say awesome work. very inspiring!

But, just my opinion- isn't a better idea first applying all the small detail parts and then paint everything?
 
#7
First, let me say awesome work. very inspiring!

But, just my opinion- isn't a better idea first applying all the small detail parts and then paint everything?
Absolutely, however, in the case that these certain details have been applied (i.e: underframe details, etc.) will be painted as well as the area around it. Some grabirons have been painted, however, some were not; those that would complicate masking certain areas or applying decals. So, to answer your question in short, I apply certain details during certain phases. This gives the model a uniform appearance.

Glad you like it though! Thanks guys for all the comments!

-Rich
 
#8
Ok guys, spent the weekend doing some more on these...Now all three units have handrails on either side...They all are a perfect match too due to using a template! (Man, so much easier!!!)

Also, last night I applied my air reservoir tanks and details. I will not post pics of all 3 units because they all had the same work done.





Getting closer to the real fine stuff...Final detailing and assembly! Tired of seeing these units without windows, ditchlights, MU hoses, etc.

I will post some more pics soon! Thanks for looking!

-Rich
 
#10
Nice work!! Are you going to be adding the A-line photo etched brass steps too??
Yes, I am. I was not originally going to, however, I thought better of it and this project deserves not to be skimped on. Besides, with all the other details that have been applied and will be soon, it would be a shame not to.

-Rich
 
#11
Still lots of work to get done yet, but getting there slowly. I have now added air reservoir tanks, rear handrails, and exhaust stacks to all 3 engines.











I have to bend the wire to form the front handrails on 2 of the engines still, paint touch ups to some areas that have been modified. As soon as my brass steps get here those will be going on too! This has been a fun project but man, I can't wait to have something to run on my layout.

Next up is more detailing. Stay tuned!

-Rich
 
#12
So very close to being done now and running out of detail parts to apply before finishing touches and weathering.







Any comments or suggestions are welcome. Thanks guys! Hope you enjoy...

-Rich
 
C

catt

Guest
#14
Since I am starting my own Dash 9 project I have a few questions for you.

First one is what did you use for the side windows? IMHO the four window sets look much better than the origonal ones.

Two is about the radiator grilles.I am guessing that you left a small lip around the opening to support the grilles.Am I right?

Being retired I am on a tight budget and will most likely use the origonal railings unless I can find the newer plastic ones at a real good price.(guess I am a dreamer :))

I am hoping to put DCC and sound in this big beast.
 
#15
To do less modifications, you can model the Dash 9s in the 600 series. I have a model of the BNSF 617 (Athearn RTR). It's pretty much spot on the details. All I need to do is drill out the ditch lights.
 
#16
Since I am starting my own Dash 9 project I have a few questions for you.

First one is what did you use for the side windows? IMHO the four window sets look much better than the origonal ones.

Two is about the radiator grilles.I am guessing that you left a small lip around the opening to support the grilles.Am I right?

Being retired I am on a tight budget and will most likely use the origonal railings unless I can find the newer plastic ones at a real good price.(guess I am a dreamer :))

I am hoping to put DCC and sound in this big beast.

Yes, when I cut out the grilles in the picture you can kind of see the little lip that was left in place to mount the new parts. It is very apparent what will need to be done after you get the grilles test fitted in place. Of course, I as well as others would be more than happy to help you with advice if needed...;)

Next, the 4 window cab sides are only on later model dash 9's and as far as I know, only CN and BNSF have them...Working with those was not a walk in the park! Very time consuming and alittle dangerous (you need to make sure your cuts are precise otherwise you will be redoing a few of these...like I am about to do :( )

As far as the handrails go, what color are you looking for? They can be had on ebay or where I prefer to go, HO Yard Sale and other yahoo groups specially made for trading and buying. I'm sure if you join one of these groups and ask, someone can help you out.

BTW: What color handrails are you looking for? What railroad? Maybe I could help you alittle...

Again, thanks everyone for the kind words! I am somewhat pleased with the locos so far, but it is sometimes hard for me to look at them as I do everyday and look through the imperfections and see a better looking (soon to be) finished product. Weathering, dull coating and final detailing will bring these things to life...Thanks for all the inspiration to keep this project off the shelf when times get hard!

-Rich
 
C

catt

Guest
#17
This is the start of my Dash 9-44CW project.I got the idea in the first place from Bob Boudreau.(SP) THis id from H&D Hobby distributing.If I hadn't read Bob's article back in the day this project would still be in the drawer.



For what it cost with shipping it's still a better deal than the Kaslo cab which seems to be made from Onobtainiam.

Once I get started I will start my own thread .
 
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#18
So very close to being done now and running out of detail parts to apply before finishing touches and weathering.

Any comments or suggestions are welcome. Thanks guys! Hope you enjoy...

-Rich
They look fantastic. I would go very light on the weathering. No sense ruining all the detail by dirtying it up.
 
#19
Alright everyone, so during the process of working on these locos I couldn't help but notice the first BNSF Dash 9 that I ever added some details to. If you look at one of the first pics posted at the top of this thread in the near backround you will see Athearn BNSF #972. This unit was a RTR loco in Heritage 1 paint. I was not happy with the handrails (had to re-bend them in a few areas), not to mention a few others discrepencies as well. I figured this unit may be better off getting redone altogether otherwise it may be always subject to fill the scenery or a space on my shelf. Although it would hurt me to strip the beautiful RTR factory paint, it would be a pain to match after the same detail parts were installed to it like the others.

So, because there really hadn't been too much done yet, and what had been done I truly feel could've been better (my first set of Smokey Valley handrails on this loco really did turn out to be an eyesore IMHO) the answer was simple...Update this neglected BNSF 972 to BNSF 5016...


The unit currently has much work done already even after JUST starting it Wednesday morning. It seems that the 4th build of one of these is going MUCH smoother than before.

I picked BNSF #5016 due to this being the day my daughter was born :mad: (5-16-12) and not to mention, the prototype seems like a reasonably weathered and interesting loco.





In the picture posted above, note the orange underneath the yellow nose stripe at the bottom. Also notice how this unit has the large BNSF lettering on the cigar band compared to the other units.



Ok, now let me ask everyone's honest opinion, the large rectangular panel above the two "x-panels" on the roof is incorrect for these locos. Although the unit has already been painted, I don't feel that it is too late to remove this panel and sand smooth and then repaint, of course it would need to be done on all 4 locos!!! So, in everyone else's opinion, who would make an attempt to shave the panel off this late in the game and who thinks I should just leave it? The work that would go into correcting this could be alittle dangerous but I' on the fence of whether I think its really worth it or not.

At any rate, I am VERY happy with the way this loco is coming. It feels that this loco is really something special and has given me no problems at all yet with assembly. The 4 window cab came out beautifully as did the paint and decals so far. Everything was a first time go and nothing so far needs to be corrected for quality purposes. The others are coming out fine too I think, but there are a few small mistakes that need to be ironed out before the final product...(I've already been called out for the 4 window cab on 4807 being alittle rough - thanks kpack ;) ) What do you guys think? Suggestions? This will not be the last dash 9 I do and this marks the standard of the next few I will be starting within the next month. Enjoy!

-Rich
 
C

catt

Guest
#20
How much does absolutely prototypical mean to you? If you can live with it leave it.If it bugs you remove it.

Personally if I were this far along I would save that for the next trip through the shops.

But,they are your locos and you ultimately have to live with them.:D
 



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