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Let’s Superdetail a Trio of Cab Units (F3’s)

September 28, 2009

It’s a lot easier than you think, and it’s definatley one of those “modeling thresholds” that many modelers are unreasonably scared to begin. In most cases, you won’t ruin your model one bit when superdetailing.

Although it is easy to perform the operation itself, 70% of the effort of superdetailing is being able to identify what you need to purchase. If you’re a new model railroader, you could be daunted by the thousands of detail parts in the Walther’s catalog. Most of the parts are pretty easy to spot, and some are even packaged together to make purchasing the necessary parts easier.

Grab Irons are typically the easiest thing to add to any model  to improve its looks. It’s a pretty simple operation. If there’s any molded on detail, take a #11 Chisel blade and carefully scrape the molding line that respresents the grab irons. If there’s just a little mounting dimple where a grab iron needs to go, get out your pin vise and a #80 or #72 drill bit and slowly drill into the dimple until you’re all the way through. These dimples are most often found on Walthers, Stewart and Later Athearn blue box offerings. (Their SW1500 being an example)

Anyways, let’s tackle this A-B-A set of F3’s.

Here’s what the paint scheme will look like for the fictional “Baltimore & Potomac” railroad, presumably an eastern road: Baltimore & Potomac F3A
The Paint scheme is definately a simplified paintscheme common in the late 1950’s or early 1960’s.

The light moss green was actually a color I discovered on accident and quite like it. It’s a spray-can color from Rustoleum in their “American Accents” collection. The pigment is quite fine, comperable to the Floquil rattle cans that are one quarter the size. I’m using custom decals from Rail Graphics, they lay on nicely, are opaque and form-fitting.

I’m modeling a somewhat generic looking F3, but even then it needs a lot of detail. Fortunatley the excellent locomotives available from Stewart allow a blank slate for superdetailing.

Stewart F3A undecorated

Here’s a list of what you’ll need to detail a basic F3. The part numbers are identical for F2s, F3s, F5’s, F7s and F9’s.

Parts List:
American Limited Operating Diaphragms (set of 3) #9903

Detail Associates:
229-1102 F-unit Nose lift rings
229-702 F3/7/9 Detail kit
229-1202 Underframe Mounted Bell
229-1508 MU hoses
229-2711** “chicken Wire” etched stainless steel grilles.
Custom Finishing
247-215** Single Chime Air Horn (EMD)
247-196** Speed Recoder
Details West
235-157 “Firecracker” Antennas
235-316 Coupler Cut Levers for F units
235-118** Steam Generator Parts

**= Optional Parts that you might need, but I didn’t use on these models.

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