UP SD40-2 3690
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).
Below: My 3690 represents a late SD40-2 with the corrugated-style radiators, extended range dynamic brake blister, and Q fans.
Note the distinctive UP-style truck-mounted re-rail frogs and the slogan board. The open cab doors are a Precision Scale part.
Below: I opened up the dynamic brake 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. I replaced the radiator fans with
Precision Scale brass Q fans. The exhaust stack (with surrounding silencer, silver) was also opened up using a
Precision Scale part. I also modified the dynamic brake blister, widening the section to either side of the exhaust stack.
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.