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In about a month I will start to super detail this Williams cab forward I just bought. I'm collecting brass parts for it now. I've got to finish a couple of other projects that were started before it.


Some of you guys like my projects. This one should be fun. I'm looking to get close to what Key is coming out with.

cab forward 1

cab forward 2


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  • cab forward 1
  • cab forward 2
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cab forward 3
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While waiting for some nylon screws to arrive I began some of the initial work. Replaced tinplate engine truck wheels with scale NWSL 33 inch wheels with sleeves to reflect stock axles.

Next order of business will be to add correct shape and width to frame and replace front air tanks with correct size with pipe detail followed by detailing the cab.


engine truck 1

engine truck 2


Images (2)
  • engine truck 1
  • engine truck 2
Last edited by Ron H



I did.


The Williams is a blank canvas that I can add a lot of detail too. I just couldn't see spending a grand maybe more on the Lionel to tear into the chassis to get it level.


This only costs $350 and never run.


I really like the Lionel sound system. But, I am going to use the ERR Daylight system with the horn. I'll run two chuff reeds on separate tender axles to get unsynchronized chuffs.


The only thing missing will be the cab forward air pump exhaust, which annoys me anyway after a minute.


My wife would just have a super hissy fit if I spent whatever it will take to buy the new Key cab forward and then have it painted and weathered.


So I've got to try and get close on my own.



Hopefully you'll change the road number, as there are way too many #4294 models out there now. Champ Decal Co. offered excellent SP Steam decal sets, plus if you desire to model the early 1950s through the end of the steam era, then leave the "SOUTHERN PACIFIC" lettering off the tender sides. There are excellent photographs, both B&W and color, of the SP AC-12 locomotives available in books, videos, and on the internet. 

Intriguing idea.  The Williams was pretty good at its price point.  Not sure I would set my standards as high as Key - the lost wax parts alone will cause you some budget problems. There are a couple of small areas where it will take extensive work for not much return - the tender oil tank, for instance, is a separate piece, held in with what I would call door dogs.


I concur with the frame extensions - that is an easy change, and really makes the model look good.  I have a 1941 Lobaugh that still needs that treatment.


And on the decals - I can steer you to my decal guy, who can supply enough to do quite a few SP locomotives for ten bucks plus shipping.  Maybe by now Protocraft has them, too.

Terrific project that I will follow.


Two suggestions:  First, when you post new photos, edit the thread title.  Doing so makes the thread much easier to follow.


Second, when you remove or add pieces, can you supply some information on how you did it.  For example, how did you remove and reattach the pilot? 


Thanks, again, for a "must follow" thread.

Bob, not yet I missed one on Ebay for less than $100. I'm still looking. Most rare book guys want too much for it. However I've got George Harlan's "Those Amazing Cab Forwards.


This pilot pretty well reflects the scale plow. Looking at about 30 photos of different AC 10s through 12, there was a lot of variability.



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