UP SD40-2 3295
I built this locomotive in the late-1980's to add some "run-through" power
for my SP consists, as often seen in Reno, NV where I attended college.
The shell is a GSB Rail Ltd. Who's that, you might ask? In the early
1980's the HO world was desperate for a model of the EMD SD40-2, which
the real railroads had bought in droves. They were everywhere. UP alone
had over 1000 on their roster at one point! GSB Rail Ltd. was the first
company to fill this need. The model had some interesting innovations,
such as interchangeable radiator grills. But it also had some annoying
flaws, and the "bulldog" drive was, well, a bit of a dog (ha ha). To solve
that, I modified my GSB shell to fit on the Athearn SD40-2 drive, which
had come onto the market not long after GSB's (which is why GSB soon
vanished into model railroading oblivion). The long "snoot" nose on my
model is a Canadian Prototype Replicas kit - another long-gone
manufacturer that most modelers have forgotten.
Below: My 3295 represents an early SD40-2 with "waffle" style radiator grills. This unit is supposed to be a former "fast forty" unit,
which were SD40-2's with higher gear ratios for operation in consist with UP's DDA40X "Centennial" double diesels. "Fast forty"
units had horns on an elevated bracket between the first and second radiator fans. When the "fast forty" program ended, UP relocated
the horns back to the cab, as modeled here (note: apparently UP never renumbered a fast forty unit back to 3295 - oops, my bad).
Note the distinctive UP-style re-rail frogs attached to the trucks. The open cab doors are a Precision Scale part. I added an engineer
on the right side leaning his arm on the window frame, and a fireman on the left side waving to railfans along the track.
Below: I opened up the fan housings and installed fans made from Athearn semi-truck wheel hubs and styrene-strip blades. The
grills are an etched brass product from Detail Associates. The exhaust stack was also opened up using a Precision Scale part.
Note the air piping to the horn bracket between the first and second radiator fans.
Left: A typical set of details were
added to the front - horn, radio
antenna, rotary beacon, windshield
wipers, grabs, drop steps and MU
cable receptacles, coupler lift bar,
snow plow, and MU air hoses. The
open cab door adds some "life".
Right: A similar set of details
were applied to the rear. The
handrail chains are made from
Campbell scale chain. The
lights were made from fiber
optic material, carefully heated
to form a lens shape.
Below: The "snoot" nose is a Canadian Prototype Replicas kit, no longer available.