N&W U-Boats #1904, #1905, #1930
From Proto 2000 U28B and U30B Shells, Atlas Drives

Photographed In Progress Zoo Day 11/25/2005 1904 Finished 07/29/2006 1905 Finished 05/06/2006

Finished! This thing has been sitting three months waiting for $4 worth of window glass. And you can't even see it in this picture but it's there. 7/29/06, it's finished. This is the only one with a Hi-Tech cab, and illustrates why it's a good idea... windows that fit. The stock P2K windows in the other two didn't turn out so hot. They will be replaced when AMB releases windows for the P2K cab, in the mean time, future U-boats will get Hi-Tech cabs.
The Proto 2000 U28B released in May of 2005 is one of their best shells yet. I could find very little to change on it to make an accurate model of an N&W unit, other than converting it to a high nose of course. Note on this photo: Tamiya gray primer is nice paint, but doesn't stick to delrin any better than anything else.
The drive was another story. Immediately evident was that it sat too high. Also, it took off like a scalded rabbit, after not moving the first half of the throttle. I suspected an extremely low gear reduction... I was right. This sets an all time new record with a final gear ratio less than 6:1, and the most insane internal setup - I kid you not, a 17:16 compounding (why bother) coupled with a 2x worm.
No matter, converting it to an Atlas U23B drive is relatively straight forward. However, fitting the much nicer Proto 2000 fuel tank, air tanks, and piping details is a little more work. But no photos of that yet.
Check out the radiator treatment, with an etched (not screen) radiator grille, and styrene inserts for the dynamic brake resistors behind.
I chose 1904, because it's the birth year of my maternal grandfather Al Walters. This one got a Hi-Tech high nose and cab.
You still have to fill the gap between the nose and cab, due to the taper of the nose wall as it joins next to the cab door. This is present on the prototype U-boats (high and low nose) to allow the cab door to clear the nose wall.
I don't trust myself to keep track of which is which after painting, so a little sharpie marker inside takes care of this. I'll also date them on the day of painting - which happens to be today - Zoo Day 2005, the day after Thanksgiving. I think I have more models dated on Thanksgiving weekend than any other... although there's a concentration of locomotives built between mid November and the end of December, going back 30 years.
The 1905 represents an identical prototype to the 1904, and also my maternal grandmother, Mabel Walters' birth year.
Two main differences on the model however; on the 1905 I decided to just use the Proto 2000 cab, with the number board removed. That way I can use the AMB Laserkit windows when they are available, and I think the flush mounted windows look better than the ones installed behind.
The other difference is that the 1905 is built from an undecorated shell, the 1904 started out as a Burlington Northern and was stripped - which you can see in the green handrails showing through the primer. Also the undec shell came un-primered... but... the etched grills were all painted primer gray. Why? I give up.
The end rails are bone stock from the kit parts bag. I hate painting delrin, but I can't really fabricate anything better so... I put up with it. If you don't touch them too much, the paint stays put. Yes, I did fix the dislodged end rail before painting.
N&W's high-nose U-boats used the smaller 5-spoke brake wheel. The P2K model comes with it!
With some careful weathering, the dynamic brake frames should be visible on the finished model, although the combination of the flash nuke and the gray primer grills pretty much renders them invisible here.
Now on to the U30B, which will be #1930 - my mother's birth year! I can keep doing family members until I run out of undec U-boats I suppose. I already have an N&W 2005 - a GP20 - to commemorate my grandson Ian's birthday 11/16/05. Now take a look at this U30B from the front - and see the box behind the cab? That's one of the very subtle differences between this and the U28B. Again, P2K nailed the phase details very nicely - at least when it comes to the N&W units.
There's sort of a belief that early U30Bs are "identical" to late U28Bs. Well, sort of. Apparently the VERY first ones (as represented by the P2K CB&Q unit) were. But the N&W units had the radiator arrangement that most early U30Bs had, which is distinctive on its own. Not to be confused with the later look, more or less identical to the Atlas U23B. Take a look at my U30B 8488 for a comparison.
Notice the shape of the radiator grill. It is notched further back, with two vertical flush louvers in front. The U28B has a single larger screen covering this entire area. Also, the U30B has 3 boxy dynamic brake louvers in a row; the U28B has five of them staggered up and down.
You can make out the dynamic brake louvers just barely in this photo. Again I'm hoping they'll be easier to see on the finished and weathered model.
And the inside view - with the walkways sanded clean, which is needed to get a good fit on the Atlas drive.
Here they are on the messy bench, before going to the kitchen sink for a dunk in some Dawn detergent and a quick air dry.
They say anyone who likes sausages or laws should never watch them being made. Well, if you like my paint jobs, don't ever watch me paint.
I'll disclose my hardware: Paasche Millenium VL; Sears tank compressor. Scalecoat II B&O Royal Blue, thinned with Scalecoat II thinner.
I don't paint by the book, and I don't do painting clinics...
... but I am reasonably satisfied with my results. I'm not a pro painter, and I'd never want to be (pretty poor hourly pay rate anyway). I am pretty much self taught beginning 40 years ago with spray cans, and using a number of different airbrushes and paints and air sources. The flash makes the color look lighter than it is. Scalecoat B&O is somewhat lighter than the correct N&W blue, but it's one of several I use, and temper with weathering. Using a slightly lighter color works for most indoor lighting and makes the locos look blue next to the black units, as they did on the prototype even when the black units often looked blue by themselves.
Can't tell 'em apart in this view, and you shouldn't be able to. But for the record, L to R, it's 1904, 1905, 1930. You'll be able to tell the 1904 easily on down the road, even if you can't see the number, you'll probably be able to spot some BN green poking out on the handrails somewhere.
You can barely see the dynamic brakes here on the 1904. Weathering and dullcoat should fix that. Now, to let them cure a few days and it's on to the decal table.
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