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My new project is to scratch build an EMD SW1000 as D&RGW #144, circa 1989.  I built this model in HO a couple decades ago and it remains one of my favorite builds.

There is no commercial O scale model available that I’m aware of. I’ve gathered as much published material pertaining to the SW1000 as I can find and have taken the time to deconflict this information by comparing it with prototype photos. I’ve spent a decent amount of time developing measurements for the hood.  Overall dimensions are published, but items like hood doors and individual body panels have to be gleaned from measuring drawings, other models, and parts in common with other prototypes. My secret go to source for EMD parts is Cannon & Company HO parts. Founder Gordon Cannon was very meticulous when he produced his product line, and I’m confident in relying on his work!

My beginning thinking is to use the frame, drive, and trucks from a donor Atlas O scale SW1200.  The SW1200, and SW1000 have the same wheelbase and the Atlas SWs run very well.  As I progressed with actually building the model, it became obvious that the Atlas cast frame being based on the SW1200, will not accommodate the narrower SW1000 hood, and I have decided to shift my time and focus towards a scratch-built frame populated with the Atlas drive parts.  New plan; the frame will be based on a 1/8-inch steel plate.

The primary construction will be styrene.  I am very comfortable working with styrene and really like the solvent welding process for producing a rigid 3D shell using sheet and strip.  My inspiration for this technique applied to a locomotive model is the HO models built by Chis Zygmunt as documented in the December 1999 Rail Model Journal.  Of course, the biggest difference is that Canon & Co parts are only available in HO scale!  No worries, I’ll just make my own using the C&C parts for measurements!

I’ll periodically add to this post as I build.  My goal is to be finished summer 2022ish!

60 inch door_2Build_group_1


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  • 60 inch door_2
  • Build_group_1
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