I laid the parts together just to make a better video. Lights are still loose. The number lights aren't showing thru the front plastic. I still have to make the number boards and housings. No markers or porch/ground lights yet either.

 I cut the frame ends to get ready for the pilots and steps. I cut them a hair bigger and leave material for filing down at the end. I have forgotten to finish them off on a recent build.

(You can see the tiny 405 SMD LEDs on the nose of the cab hanging loosely discussed more later.)

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I decided to add the marker lights rather than letting the wiring got to waste. I also wanted porch and step/ground lights. There's some great pics on the web of the engine all lit up at night.

 I ordered some tiny SMD LEDs a long time ago and never used them. I underestimated just how tiny they are. 405 ? I believe

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The wires and LEDs are so tiny they might be too small to work with? They give off a good amount of light.

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I drilled the holes too big and will have to cover them up. The lights are laying loose in the holes, at the bottom of the cab where it would be next to the porch. Top of the pic here (upside down for testing).

I'll use the same tiny LEDs to light the steps if I can handle them. The wires in the pic are hanging loose next to the frame for the step lights.

 

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Joe,

Beautiful work!

Remember to cut out a section of the rear sandbox on the 80MAC for the class lights

Joe,

Beautiful work!

Remember to cut out a section of the rear sandbox on the 80MAC for the class lights

Yes Sir! I have been staring at pictures and comparing to the MTH O scale 2 rail model I have sitting here.

 This engine has some interesting things about it. That big ole box on the back is one for sure! The brakeman's side of the engine behind the cab has something interesting too.

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I always want to get the engine running soon as possible. If it's running, it has to be ready to work! 

Couplers are a priority...

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It appears that the NS rebuilds filled in the section that was cut out of the original SD80MAC rear area? I was modeling the early version so I cut it out.

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I was looking ahead to what I can get in decals. I already have some G scale NS decals so now I'm thinking this may end up as a NS engine. I have CSX too but our grandsons say I have too many CSX engines.

Maybe I could paint it Conrail blue and white and use the NS decals? Trouble is I have the NS nose decal with "the Horse". I don't have the Conrail "wave" nose decal.

This just may end up a special commemorative loco? 

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Sorry! and thanks for the correction. I'm just trying to describe the nose scheme with the shape of the bottom of the white face area.

I thought that the can opener described the side decaling Q shape?

The Conrail SD80MAC nose paint design looks similar to the executive scheme on the BNSF SD70MACs to me. I didn't know what to call it!

Can opener. I like it. The old school days when I used to open the metal Hawaiian punch or Welch's grape juice cans as a kid.

I'm wondering if I could shape the NS white horse nose decal I have into that pointed shape? Maybe I could create my own heritage design?

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Today I found a great side nose detail shot of the front porch. After I already mounted the ditch lights. There should have been angled porch supports to the pilot first.

 All this photo rights stuff has left me not knowing who's pics I can share.

 So I say to myself, I can build an engine. I have the trucks and the plastics. I just need to get a board set and a few things. I even have some spare smoke units. The problem is every time I forget just how much I hate making some of the details. I get into it, and I have to finish.

 Here goes some of those things. The cooling grills seem easy enough. Until I start having to cut small pieces that have to be perfect. If some are bigger than others or not aligned, or perfectly square, your eyes will see the sloppy work. Urrgggg! I walk away several times until I get it right.

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wait until I have to do the smaller ones!

A little yelling helps relieve the tension...

I finished the piece with more plastic and guess what? it's about a 1/8" too fat! maybe 3mm?

I measured to the body at the angle forgetting that there needs to be a trim piece and the screen doesn't go to the body. So now  about 4 hours wasted. I keep filing and trying but I have to start over.

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All day for one grille that's sloppy! I might be done with making the fine details. I thought I'd get better with practice. My eyes and hands disagree.

I'll need to look into a resin printer soon.

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I was watching my own video above again, and this video happened to pop up at the end. I love it! 

Willy Gee, listen to this one if you have the time.

conductor/brakeman's side gets a bump out panel at the generator/intake/exhaust area

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The engineer's side gets the same panel but it has a door cutout in it.

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I built a inertia grille for my SD70ACe that I can't replicate? I think I remember how I did it. I just lost the touch.

I'm trying to build in some details. I just feel like I don't care to waste too much time when I can't get it right. I'm saying.... close enough.....

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can't wait to see how the paint turns out.  Conrail Quality?  you have your own Altoonaworks rollin along good!

It is frustrating when my hands and even my eyes won't do what I think they should. I'll keep trying but it is frustrating! I think I can do something straight and even and then things go south fast!

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after some light filing and angle drilling...

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and finally, glued to top step and laid into place for looks....

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Joe:

You know that as soon as you finish this one and get it painted and filmed on the rails with a train that MTH will announce the relase of an SD80MAC, SD90MAC and an SD 9043MAC.

Nice build.

Always there for me Matt? !! 

Of course, you are right. 

It ends up that I'm glad I built my own. It ain't perfect, but it fits the part. It has been a few years now that I've got to run the couple of engines that I wanted. I should have built more. It is expensive and very time consuming. So I just dabble in it. If I had the money, I would have built many more I think?

 Now, all these years later, the prices have caught up to near what it cost me to build one back then. Of course, I got the enjoyment for those years too. I should have finished each one. My attention always goes to the one I don't have!

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