After staring at the Superliner set I picked up at S Fest last week, I realized the F40PH needed "something".  I also realized it's a 20 year old model locomotive (the date written on the frame inside says 3/21/96.)

First, I replaced the headlight bulb with an LED.  The jury's out on if I'll add one to the rear headlight.

Second, the headlight castings needed lenses.  (All the better to see that nice new LED shine my dear...) I use fiber optic light pipe I bought decades ago.  By carefully heating the end with a soldering iron, it expands and forms an almost perfect lens.  It took several heatings to get the ends to fit snug in the headlights.  Once that was done, heat was applied inside to expand the pipe and anchor the lenses to the body.

Third, the airhorns have a flat face and no "inside" in the bells.  I various sized drills to slowly drilled ever larger opening until I felt it unwise to go further.  Not as successful as I would liked because of the nature of the part itself, but I guess it'll do.

Finally, the prototypes had the number on the rear of the unit, easily done with dry transfers.  The inserts show the "before" condition.

KGB 111316 005rwKGB 111316 006rw

These subtle changes have improved the looks of the unit quit a bit.  When I get in a wire bending mood, I'll add hand rails, grab irons and maybe replace the plastic handrail on the back.  The locator dimples for the grab irons on the rear are rather monumental, I don't see any easy way of disguising them, so I'll have to live with them.

Overall, in spite of it's age, the AM F40PH is a pretty good model of Amtrak's former workhorse.

Rusty

 

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Rusty,

Like you, I cannot leave anything "stock".  I bought my AM Amtrak sets when they came out, and immediatel added directional lighting, albeit with bulbs set in a brass tube to pipe light directly to the headlight openings for which I made "lenses" using Plastruct clear rods.  I also added classification lights via 1.5V grains of sand bulbs and illuminated the number boards, all pre-LED.  Yeah, I dig lights.    But I have two locomotives that have been running since I bought them early in the production run, and show no signs of slowing down.  Just a drop of oil now and then and a wheel cleaning once in a while.  Sometimes when I get the urge, I double head them with both car sets plus a couple of extra ones.  Nice looking train!  But you're right in commenting that they're already dated.  It kind of makes me sad to see them turned into "cabbages".  But even THOSE are disappearing.  Heck, the scratch built AEM7 that I made in 2011 is out of date.  Amtrak's AEM7's made their last run earlier this year.  A friend once told me that eventually "modern" modelers become "period" modelers. 

 

 

Amtrak 376

I also added MV clear lenses with an LED to illuminate them. (There is also a two red LEDs behind the classification lights on either side of the number boards that illuminate when the train is running backward in the push mode of a push/pull arrangement. I don't believe this is what Amtrak does in real life, but on my railroad it also works as a commuter line.) Warning light, grab irons, and engineer and fireman have all been added. It is another example of a "kid-friendly" American Models locomotive that can serve as a foundation for extra details to make it a very realistic model.

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TOKELLY posted:

Amtrak 376

I also added MV clear lenses with an LED to illuminate them. (There is also a two red LEDs behind the classification lights on either side of the number boards that illuminate when the train is running backward in the push mode of a push/pull arrangement. I don't believe this is what Amtrak does in real life, but on my railroad it also works as a commuter line.) Warning light, grab irons, and engineer and fireman have all been added. It is another example of a "kid-friendly" American Models locomotive that can serve as a foundation for extra details to make it a very realistic model.

Looks good, the plan is to do more on mine, but most of my projects run in geological time.

And you've hit on the true beauty of AM locomotives: A reasonably priced solid performer that looks good and upgradable to one's desires.  (Plus, AM makes some kind of improvement with each successive new product.)

Rusty

Forgive me for interrupting, but I am building one in G scale (not related to this post) and I am looking at this post closely. I will try and get some of the major detailing correct. I too will make the front lights as markers instead of class lights that probably don't (won't) get used. I need to get a set of horns. I'm waiting on tape masks to paint the rest of the Amtrak colors.

 

DSC_1686

" on Sour mash and cheap wine " ??

Why go back to DCC when I have DCS!

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That is a Great Trains G scale model. It was 2 1/2" too short. So I just added the section with the brake fan to it. It originally was painted for PRR!

I opened up some of the venting and exhaust to help the look. I think I will replace the grabs with finer wire. Most of the lights were dummy only. I will have most of them operating. I added ditch lights already to the front.

DSC_1607DSC_1645

" on Sour mash and cheap wine " ??

Why go back to DCC when I have DCS!

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