N&W #1523 - SD35 from Atlas Model
This will for all intents and purposes be identical to the 1521 already built. I started it because I had the parts and it's a relatively easy build. Also, I don't have any under-construction photos of the 1521, so this project will serve to document the process.
Hey Atlas, what's up with this? Above is a first run SD35 drive, below is a later run drive. Are we saving a few pennies on the flywheels? It's not like the room isn't there for them. Maybe an accountant determined that the model would run just as well with only half the mass. It's not a big deal but... since I got roped into buying a bunch of first run undecs before realizing that they had the wrong radiators, and the second run units with the right radiators come with these cheesey flywheels as well as the slower running 4-function decoder, guess what?
Here's the other thing from the second run: the fuel tank on the left was the larger, late style tank from the first run. The one on the right is second run large tank and as you can see, it's just a bit deeper. IMO this is the correct tank for N&W units, so that's what I'm using.
I've mentioned that the radiator on the Atlas SD35, while very nicely rendered, is too short. Compare here with a Kato phase Ic GP35 radiator (top). Atlas is finer, and closer to the correct vertical rib count, but shortchanged a hair on the overall length. I decided not to try and fix it on the 1521. There really isn't an alternative part anyway, except for cutting up a $35 Kato shell, which is a step back in terms of refinement. If I drag my fee long enough on the 1523 project, I may have the part from Gordon to do the real deal.
Pretty straight forward Cannonizing project here.
I decided to replace the blower housing and inertials too - I like the floating look of the Cannon dustbin hatch, and the Cannon front end corrects the cab roof error the original Atlas model had. This has been mostly fixed on newer runs of Atlas EMDs which use the 35 line cab.
Nice Cannon parts. Niiiiice Cannon parts.
The Atlas model needs some sanding to replace the exhaust stack, but the fan holes are all Cannon ready - no drilling and reaming of molded-on fans, no dumb recesses and notches to fix as on the Proto SD45. Thanks Atlas - who not only supplies pretty decent fans to begin with, but makes the model Cannon friendly.
The pilot step rebuilding required on all of the Atlas EMDs, to correct the shallow steps. I don't look forward to this, but I try to get it done early in the game so it doesn't become a hangup to finishing, or a temptation to skip it. I took these pictures in December of 03, if that gives you any idea how easy it is to get side-tracked on a project. I can't even remember if I did all four stepwells - I notice only one stepwell is photographed complete. Will have to get the model back out to check
Another view of the replacement steps. The Cannon steps fit pretty well, but the original step well has a jagged edge and you can't really just drop the new steps onto the remnants of the old ones, as you can do when replacing solid steps.
My GP30 page illustrates me going to a little more trouble to rebuild the pilot steps. Ok a lot more trouble. I hate it when I do that, because then I always feel like a lazy bum when I don't do it on the next model.
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