N&W F7A 3667 - Highliners Body on Genesis Drive

The other F unit shown is #3689, an Intermountain shell on a modified Proto 1000 drive.

This is a full size scan of the shell early on in the project. Nothing brings out surface detail like a flatbed scanner. You need to get this close to really appreciate the quality of the Highliners Tooling.
This is the only photo I have of the 3667 nearly ready for paint. The winterization hatch has not been installed yet.
The two F units back to back. In spite of having almost no common parts, they still look pretty respectable together. I wish the same could be said of the running quality. The Proto 1000 runs like a scalded jackrabbit - will get a new motor someday.
I was reluctant at first to model this unit with no side lettering. I have seen photos of it both with and without, and I believe it was repainted at some point and not fully relettered. So this could very well be it's appearance circa 1975.
The pictures did turn out fairly decent on this one. Notice the weird horn combo - a 3-chime facing forward, and a blat horn facing rearward. Yep, that's apparently the way the Wabash had 'em. Or at least some of them.
I guess at the position of these nose grabs. Missing in this photo is the stirrup step over the truck, which I added later (Details West part).
Broadside view shows the modified winterization hatch. Nobody makes the Wabash style square sheet metal hatch, so I took the Highliners rounded one, and glued some styrene strip to the sides and a flat piece across the top. Fairly convincing, although I don't have any actual measurements of the real thing.
The Intermountain shell builds up into a pretty nice model. While lacking the refinement of the Highliners, it's the equal of many other high end models and for a brief period it ruled as the best F unit on the market, until the first Genesis/Highliners shipped in January of 2001.
I didn't do the full underframe treatment, just hollowed out some of the metal above the fuel tank to give some depth. It doesn't look very good in a straight on broadside view, but from almost any other angle it looks right.
Intermountain with the Proto 1000 drive has more or less the same fuel tank treatment, although there is a small gap there to start with. Notice the slight difference in the fuel tank shape.
N&W did not purchase a single EMD F unit, in fact they never purchased any cab type diesels from anyone. The substantial F7 fleet all came from the Wabash. N&W's paint scheme had been designed for hood units, so it was just up to the shops to use the same stencils and find a place to put everything on an F unit body. The nose herald is a bit awkward below the door headlight. The placement of the number and herald on the side is fairly typical, but there are some interesting variations. And of course on this example,the side lettering has just been omitted completely
The proof is in the face, and I tried to capture the subtleties of the Highliners nose contour in this photo. The lower headlight cone is actually the correct parabolic shape, and when plated or just painted bright silver (as this one is), it will reflect and project the light from a 1.2mm bulb very realistically.
In my usual zeal to get photos up and posted back when I finished this model, I left off the front coupler. But it does have cab glass!
My old photo stand in my old train shop in my old house.
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