I figured since I am in the middle of doing this I would give a sort of tutorial on how to super detail a Conrail SD50. For this project youwill need the a little patience a few tools and a good set of referencephotos. The newest run of the SD50's from Athearn leave us modelerswith little to complain about and even less to detail. The lettering iscrisp and the details provided from the factory cut out a lot of thosehard to find items that detail parts manufacturers are slowlyrestocking. I chose to keep the factory horn and plow as they are verygood in detail and accuracy. One note to point out, is our friends atAthearn gave the model the correct Flexicoil trucks used on the firstorders of the SD50's. This saves us the hassle of filling in holes onthe HTC trucks and or ordering these parts separately. Another nicedetail was the factory applied 2 strap cab signal used on almost allstandard cab Conrail Locomotives.
Another nice feature of the model is the see through highlydetailed 48" Qfans, exhaust housing, and grills for the dynamic brakeintake. This gives the modeler nice exits if they choose to utilize aDCC sound board. With all these details already applied I was having agood time thinking of how little I really had to do to make this asuper detailed model.
Lets start with the simple stuff. first I took a # 79 drill anddrilled out the dimples where all the lift rings go. I personally likethe precision scale part # 4858.5 lift rings they are a little moredurable and detailed but the detail associates part 2206 will do justfine. after dipping each lift ring in super t ca glue I set them inplace. A major spotting feature on the SD50/60 models is the angledhousing "bug eye " markers. after digging around I remembered that theyare available but only on a detail sprue that comes with the cannon& company part HN-1104 the 88" low short hood kit. Being that Icould use this nose to upgrade an atlas gp40-2 to phase 2 i wasn't tohard pressed to buy the kit for the markers.
I started out with a #72 drill and on the nose centered the bit onthe painted class light, the carefully drilled through the nose. afterI was finished with the log and short hoods I took a #60 bit andrevisited the holes. On the nose there is a black ring painted aroundthe class light as a gasket. Take an exact-o blade and use it as arouter to bore the hole so that only the ring is exposed. Once finishedI use a small glue applicator made from a piece of brass wire and dipit in the ca glue then sort of fill the whole with glue, use a set offine tweezers and apply the marker so the two small tabs are vertical.Repeat on the long hood. You may want to remove the front and rearhandrails carefully to prevent damage.
The next feature I added was the brake air lines on the trucks.This was accomplished by hand bending detail associates brass wire.012. Remove the truck by carefully by applying even pressure to theback of the truck casting. Once removed i trimmed the little black tipoff the sides of the brake cylinders. Once you have a nice smoothcylinder drill out the middle with a #76 drill bit. Take your length ofbrass wire and bend it into a L. you want it to look like[____________________], you will probably have to try it a few timesbut don't get discouraged it is worth it. (see the photos) Once this isdone to all of the trucks you can really decide how far you want to gowith the details. I chose to add sand lines using micro wire cut andhand bent Details West makes the sanding brackets for the trucks. Thenext detail is to add the two 18" drop step grabs to the plow. Use a#77 bit and drill the necessary holes to mount the grabs. (checkprototype photos for placement)
There are two additional grabs that go on the rear pilot to protect the Mu lines. use this photo as reference. http://www.locophotos.com/PhotoDetails.php?PhotoID=21370.
I am choosing to add ditch lights to my locomotive so I use DetailsWest DL229 as a good stand in, they give a pretty good set ofinstructions with their product. You need to check your photos to seeif the dummy MU cable receptacle were moved above the anti climber onthe walk way.
Lastly replace the shell and fasten with the screws through thecoupler box I chose to replace the McHenry couplers with Katy #158 whisker scale couplers. Paint and weather to your liking and enjoy.
Hope this helps here are some photos
Ed Lewis Jr.