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

  1. #1

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

    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!!!!

    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!


  2. #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...


  3. #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!


  4. #4
    Photogdad Guest


    Man they are looking great. Nice job

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Mile 7.5 Laggan sub, Calgary, Great White north


    They look like they could be G scale. And that's a good thing.
    Go check out my website. It's cooler than my profile.
    Youtube channel (Model railway, Vlogs, prototype videos)
    Also, my blog, building the N scale Kootenay Division:
    (Updated January 12th)

  6. Default

    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. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by master_train View Post
    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!


  8. #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!


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Irvine, Alberta (in the South East)


    Nice work!! Are you going to be adding the A-line photo etched brass steps too??
    The most important part of railroading to remember..."Life is Great in Throttle 8"

  10. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by CbarM View Post
    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.


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