Hey guys and gals,

I'm building an Atlas O Scale SW1200 and am searching for a set of the rumored, long-lost laser cut windows for this model.  I believe these were sold by Chooch Enterprises Inc. (or Ultra Scale) some time in the past.  I don't see them on the Chooch website and have sent them an email; waiting for a response. 

I have replaced the overly thick roof on the Atlas model and would like to address the same shell thickness issue visible at the windows.  I tried the Bob Sobol method of using a mill to undercut the front windows but chickened out on the rear ones!

 

cab roof mods

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Nice work Mike!

As far as the Atlas factory windows, I still have them, but I want to upgrade.  Chooch Enterprises contacted me this morning stating they still carry the laser cut flush fitting windows. 

I like building models, and have always been fascinated with the challenge of upgrading my models.  On my Atlas SW1200, I want to address the thick cab walls as well as add or upgrade other details.  The two places on the cab that stand out are the roof and windows.  Both places show the cross section of the cab and it scales out to 5 inches thick!  I think it visually takes away from a nice model.  The flush fitting replacement windows can help by removing the "shelf" left by the factory window inserts. 

 

I wish someone would make a mold out of resin or metal for all weather windows on the sides of the SW cabs. Don't say they are easy to knock up, not easy when your doing everything else on a large layout by yourself, sometimes you have to pay someone for these little bits and pieces. Roo.

Roo,

I would love to see more O scale diesel detail parts.  The hobby for me has always been more about building models vs buying them, but I fully understand the time and resource balancing that finishing even a small layout requires!  Add to that, you have done an amazing job of building your layout more than once!  I retire in a few months...maybe I should learn how to reproduce detail parts like all the garage based manufactures used to do in HO back in the 80s and 90s!  I wouldn't hold your breath!

Dave,

Thanks for your observations with the windows.  I'll be looking closely; if they don't work out, maybe they will lead me to the next answer.  Anything will be better than the poor factory bubble windows.  In my opinion, all the hard work that was put into designing the cab was virtually wasted by the half-a***d windows.  There used to be a saying frequently spoken at prototype modeling meets; "It ultimately costs less to do it right the first time!".  I know that the guys behind Chooch have a long reputation for innovation and precision in O scale, at least on a personal level.  I also know that being a manufacture at the same level is exponentially harder!  Most of the failures are outside of the span of control of the guy fronting the business.  Luck for me, I like the struggle and triumph building my models!

Rick,

Excellent work as always! Good to hear that Chooch has the windows again.  I had a set from years ago which I recently installed. They aren't a perfect fit and there are a couple of gaps. In fact the wiper on the left in this picture is hiding a gap.

As others have said, better they were a bit too large than too small - easier to file down than to fill gaps!  I found painting the inside edge of the window cut-outs and the outer edges of the window panes matt black before installing really helped them look thin. 

I used small amounts of canopy cement and pushed the windows as far to the outside of each cut-out as I dared. With my 1.5:1 scale fingers I found it hard to get each pane flush and equal, and to make them stay level while the glue dried.  Maybe Aileen's Tacky Glue in tiny amounts would have been a better choice.  Oh well, next time...      

 

Pete M

Frying decoders since 1994

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Mathom posted:

Two sets are on their way (eventually) to West Australia. I would have ordered more except I don't know yet if they will fit the SW's I think they will if so they will get another order I have Ten SW locos to convert. Thanks Mathom. 

And thanks Rick for your kind remarks and mate, you do great high quality work, love what your doing on the SW'S. Roo

A little update on progress. The window issue hasn't been solved yet but I'm busy working on other details.  Here is a composite shot of some of the details I'm working on. 

The jury is still out on the KV Models radiator core. The etching is very nice! There are some valid concerns about it blocking sound. Until I get to the part of the build where I fit the speaker, I won’t be able to make my final decision. In the meantime, I went ahead and did some finish painting on the KV part. I spray painted the core a base dark brown. After this was cured, I dry brushed silver over the entire part to force a contrast in the texture. On top of this, a dry brushed a small amount of light green around the lower edges of the cores to simulate brass corrosion. A little update on progress.

SW overall 2SW rad core 3 

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Roo posted:
Mathom posted:

Two sets are on their way (eventually) to West Australia. I would have ordered more except I don't know yet if they will fit the SW's I think they will if so they will get another order I have Ten SW locos to convert. Thanks Mathom. 

And thanks Rick for your kind remarks and mate, you do great high quality work, love what your doing on the SW'S. Roo

I received my windows today Shapeways great firm to deal with and I'm in Western Australia ! Roo.

DSC00143

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Here is my next step in my quest to address the overly thick cab walls. EMD cabs have sliding windows on the sides of the cab. These are two separate panes of glazing that slide behind the cab wall to the left and right. These panes are trimmed with aluminum channel. When fully opened, the windows are hidden with only the aluminum trim visible from the outside. I surmise that replicating this bit of visible trim might hide the overly thick wall profile. It is also common to find an arm rest or cushion along the bottom edge of the window opening. This too can hide the thick cab wall.

I used some pieces of 0.020 x 0.040 styrene strip to simulate the window trim. The arm rest is a piece of styrene channel with the corners rounded off. I will paint the trim aluminum and the arm rest a weathered leather color.

SW cab window 1

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SW overall 4

Here is a couple overviews of the progress so far. Still to be completed is the horn and bell, headlights, front handrails, and fabricating the anti-climber/coupler buffers. I haven’t permanently mounted the KV screens, radiator core, and fan yet. There are a number of smaller fragile details that will be added after the paint job in complete.

Also, a comparison of the factory screens, steps, and pilot details to the KV Models replacements.

SW screen compare 1

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Malcolm,

The brass lift rings are Atlas parts.  Some releases had the brass parts (lift rings, handrail stanchions, bell, and horn) and other releases had plastic parts.  This project started with two locomotives, and I'm mixing the parts to achieve the details I want.  I read somewhere that Atlas may have the brass parts in stock; a phone call might sort it out.  I am going to try the factory front handrails first.  If I don't like them, I'll probably end up making my own...we'll see!

I think they look better unpainted at least you can see the work that goes into these projects and that includes your cabooses Malcolm.

Of course we always paint them in the end and cover up all this work . Thanks for posting Rick, nice work. Roo.

Hey guys,

Does anybody have copies of the Atlas O Scale parts diagrams for the SW series locomotives?  I already checked the Atlas website.  They don't list the parts diagrams for the SWs.  They do list a few parts.  I have a diagram that came with one of my models but it doesn't have part numbers and is also incomplete for the different versions offered over time. 

I would be grateful if I could get a scanned copy or even an in focus cell phone shot of the diagrams. 

I'm going to call Atlas parts department about unlisted parts that I'm missing (or would like extras) and the part numbers would help avoid confusion!

Roo posted:

I wish someone would make a mold out of resin or metal for all weather windows on the sides of the SW cabs. Don't say they are easy to knock up, not easy when your doing everything else on a large layout by yourself, sometimes you have to pay someone for these little bits and pieces. Roo.

Nev

Drop Jay at Right O Way an email he has all weather windows in stock  - I think they are done by Red Cliff. I've got a couple up the stairs I can dig out and check tomorrow for you.

 

Colin

Now that most of the modifications and detailing is done, it’s time to start adding color! I use a basic flat grey primer to even out all the different material colors before the finishing colors are applied. I masked off all the screw holes so they won’t get clogged with paint.

I made a couple simple wooden fixtures to hold the frame and body while painting. These are self-standing and serve as hand holds.

The cab is still waiting on windows, so it isn’t being painted in this round. Also the trucks need to be cleaned and tuned so the side frames will be painted later.

The Dark Gray and Colonial Red finish colors are a glossy finish so decals will set better. I will let the new paint set for at least a week so it will be fully hardened before I start on decals.

SW paint 1

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As a project like this nears the finish it can be easy to miss something. The paint phase is a big event as it closes out the previous detailing and modification phases. Once the paint is on, it is super hard to make corrections or add a forgotten detail without damaging the paint.

I find it helpful to make a check list of the entire project in order to think through the whole project and make sure each step is complete and in the proper order. The list can also help visualize what still needs work and what needs purchased. I also take the time to group the remaining sub-assemblies into finish colors.

SW check list

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Rick Bacon posted:

I've been working since June on this O scale SW1200.  I've made some progress; its all painted and decaled for my freelance railroad.  Now I'm working on weathering layers.  I'm somewhere between the rust layer and the worn off metal layer! SW weather 4

Rick.

Can you come over and weather my locos! Great work. Roo.

Roo and Brother Love,

You two are among my top influences in O scale!  Thanks for your kind words! 

Here is a bad lighting shot of the KV top and front grills.  I haven't installed the shudders and fan yet and I think I'm going to hold off on the KV radiator core in order to accommodate a Tang Band speaker.

SW weather7

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