N&W #375 - Mid-Late Production RS11 From Atlas Classic Model
Photographed In Progress 03/21/2004 - just getting started, but these are some of the main body modifications necessary to make the shell more correct for N&W. Proto 1000's RS11 shell is beautifully detailed, but seriously compromised in several major dimensions. I can take a crude model and add details, but I can't really take a model that is dimensionally wrong and correct it. So I am choosing to work with the older, but more accurate Atlas model, and try to deal with it's deficiences as best as I can along the way. This project may take a while, Alcos don't have quite the obvious list of "to-dos" and parts add-ons that make 2nd generation EMD modeling such a breeze. Suffice it to say, this will be a Superfleet model when its done, but as the first of 4-5 RS11s, it likely won't be the best. What I learn on this one will hopefully make the remaining RS11s (and RS36s) that much better.
The release of the Proto 1000 RS11 motivated me to get back to work on this project. One reason it stagnated after several years was the rumors of a better RS11 to come. The Proto 1000 turned out to be "not it", so I went back to work on the Atlas. Notice the step up to the cab door has been removed, and the short doors replaced with tall doors. There should be a short, square step box to the cab on this side, which is not yet in place in this photo.
The Proto model has a number superior details - this unfortunate Atlas radiator has a big rectangular blob on it, which I don't understand. No N&W RS11 I've ever seen has this. P2K's is better, but, I may end up transplanting it to this shell. We'll see. Notice the Tiger Valley metal N&W style box louvers. N&W applied these to their RS11s in the early 1960s, apparently as a hedge against debris and other stuff plugging the carbody filters. The last RS11s built (401-406), the RS36s (407-412) came with the box filter covers from the factory.
The 3-window cab seems common on a lot of RS11s, I'm kind of surprised Atlas didn't model it. N&W units having dual control stands and being completely bidirectional has the triple window on both sides. It's offset toward the short hood end. Interpolating from photos, the individual panes are narrower than a standard 2-pane window, but the 3 together are still wider than 2 of the standard ones. The windscreens (not yet applied to the model) make these windows look even wider than they are.
I really just guessed at the window opening - a couple years ago, I overdid it grossly, so I grabbed a cab from an older RS11 shell (notice different color gray plastic) and started over. The window frame is just 3 Cannon EMD cab window frames trimmed and glued together, then glued into the (oops too big) opening and filled in with Zap-A-Gap, and then sanded back down. Looks like hell but painted should look pretty decent. I wanted to photograph it like this to show the modifications.
The other side of the cab gets the same window treatment; the cab is bilaterally symetrical and the window is offset toward the short hood on both sides. Kind of weird actually since it's dual control, but this practice was repeated on the C628s and C630s.
This phase RS11 did away with the battery boxes (or whatever they are) behind the cab. On the left side, there is no step at all (no door to cab). The pair of full height hood doors was cut from a donor old Atlas Kato shell, and grafted in, the rest of the hole filled with styrene. On the right side (see top photo), I did the same thing, but this will get a small step-up to the cab door made from salvaged bits of the original box I cut off.
Not exactly progressing massively, but as of 5/10 the handrails are done on one side of the long hood. I'm still trying to find enough Smokey Valley Alco stanchions to finish the thing, and working out how to do the end rails. The Atlas delrin rails are in the correct arrangement for the N&W prototype, but a bit on the heavy side. The SV kit parts need a bit of work here.

This photo also shows the modification to the radiator, removing the chunky control box and replacing with louvers from an older Atlas RS11 shell - hence the different color plastic.

Stock Atlas grabs for the most part. I just didn't feel like bending new ones, and these are about .015 wire, which I use on a lot of my EMD diesels.
Pilot still needs some work. The Atlas delrin details here aren't bad, but I may replace at least some pieces. The oversize, Kato-esque buffer plate really stands out here. I'm debating getting rid of it and building up a narrower opening to take a Kadee #78 coupler and box... the trick is preserving the rather unique curved opening surrounding the buffer.
The radiator mods to the other side. I also installed a Detail Associates 57" etched fan grill to replace the molded fan on top. Now I need to put something below it besides a light bulb, which would turn it into a lovely illuminated Weber charcoal grill!
Close-ups like this are unforgiving. But they do reveal the modifications - removal of the cast-on headlight, plugging and filling the holes, mounting a Detail Associates Pyle headlight, redrilling the holes for Miniatronics bulbs, and installing the clipped number board pieces, which when clipped off the one-piece headlight/numberboard insert, always end up being 4 times more ill-fitting than before. Also the sand filler caps on the notches have been removed; N&W RS11s had rather tall rectangular sand fill hatches on top of the hood - which will probably have to be scratchbuilt. The long hood end will also get some fabricated steps below the number boards, which I will try to interpolate from photos and drawings.
4/8/2009 - finally back to work on this thing after a long hiatus. I just don't have enough parts to do everything the way I want it. Here I have finished all of the side railings using the Smokey Valley stanchions and Tix solder.
The Atlas end railing is of the correct configuration, but it's delrin and grossly oversize. The Smokey Valley end railings are the wrong style.
I decided to try modifying the Smokey Valley end posts. I removed the diagonal brace, and made a new L-shaped angle from a strip of brass sprue leftover from some Cannon pilot steps, and soldered it with Tix. I cross drilled the strip and the cast upright and then soldered the brass wire in place.
Another one of those unforgiving views, at 8x or so. I will clean it up a little more but I think this will look pretty good painted. I am not a three foot modeler - I get a lot closer than that. I don't insist everything be perfect in an 8x view with a macro lens. I don't insist but it would be nice. I have very little experience soldering anything but wire, so I have to start somewhere. With at least 3 more of these RS11s to build, I will have plenty of practice.
The basic fuel tank with the bolts in place.
This is how the whole thing looks on 2/5/10 test fitting everything. Still some details to be added to the fuel tank, and adding in the air tank.
Another progress photo, 2/9/10. Have added the air tanks but still need the end fittings. Fuel tank is pretty much as far as it's going to go, with the engine room drain pipe, cleanout plugs, fuel filler and the skirt/support. Yeah, it's an EMD fuel filler from a Cannon set. I also decided to replace the bumps on the hood with some bent wire door handles. That's about all they are on the prototype. Just having trouble getting the wire to bend consistently. The two you see are .015 wire, but I think I will yank them and replace with .012 once I figure out how to bend them square and tight and all the same. Also added the wedge mu connector - this was a later modification. The end uprights still have the brackets for the old style connectors but they have been removed and replace with a single wedge type. The only source for this part I know of is the P2K GP9 so that's what parts pack I swiped it from. The whip antenna I scratchbuilt from a couple chunks of styrene, .020" wire for the conduit, and some .006 wire (yes, DA makes that small) for the antenna.
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