Monday, May 26, 2014

TCWR 301

TCWR CF7 301 was completed this morning. I took it out for a quick photo op. Hopefully the new owner will like it. This was a Randgust kit. While it was a longer process than most builds (16 hours for me to finish this one), I think the results are pretty good.
I used a mix of parts from GMM louvers to BLMA grab irons and on and on. The long hood is an Atlas GP7. The cab, short hood, frame, fuel tank, cut levers and handrails all came with the kit. The plow is a Sunrise debris kicker and the AWW is a Loco-Detail piece (good luck finding another one of those). The cab light housing came off an Atlas GP38. It was closer to the TCWR version than either housing included in the kit.
 The exhaust hatches were from Shapeways, the antenna stand is Kato and the Sinclair is a Sandro S. piece.
The decals are Micro-Scale. I masked and painted all the striping as the MS striping decals weren't right for this engine. The couplers are Micro Trains 1015s.
All in all I'm happy with how it turned out. I was hoping to build a TCWR GP20C to go with it, but I'm not happy with the available engines to start from. I'll search on.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Skally Engine House Update

I finally made it up to Rush City Friday. I want to thank the Skally Crew for their hospitality. SCXY SD40M-2 1326 was switching out cars while ILSX 180 and 1345 were waiting next to the corporate HQ. The SCXY reporting marks were taken off the 1326, so hopefully the "Radio Equipped" stickers arrive soon!
The next SD40M-2 was purchased direct from UP and should be getting it's new paint job at the WSOR Horicon shops this week. Once it arrives, ILSX 180 will depart the line.
The new Skally engine house is HUGE! It is 28' x 270'. If my math is correct it should hold two SD40M-2s (SD45s) a GP8 and a GP9. Every Skally painted engine will fit inside!
It has been great watching the line grow. Car volume will continue upward as more business comes to the line over the next couple of years. What a great time to be a Skally Line fan!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Out and about

I had some photos I got while I was out and about. Over Easter weekend I ran to Duluth for some time with the family. On the way home I stopped in Hinckley. The Skally units had just left town to the south and the ILSX leasers were both sitting on the interchange track. I don't know if these are on the line anymore or not.
I got back to the office later that week and was fortunate enough to be in Vegas as UP Big Boy 4014 was pulled through town. I stopped to see it early in the morning before the crowds arrived. 1.2 millions pounds of awesome:

Thursday, May 15, 2014

New Skally Power!

First off, I want to thank Mark Lynn (MRL) for letting me post a couple of his pics. I am 1300 miles from Rush City right now, so I'm glad he was there. Subscribe to his Flickr channel to see a ton of great photos: Flickr mlynn72130

ILSX SD40M-2 #1326 was sent to the WSOR paint shop in Horicon, WI. It emerged as SCXY #1326. I got to see it right after some wheel work at NTW in Minneapolis, but I couldn't get a decent shot. Luckily it was interchanged quickly to the Skally Line and is now in service with the SCXY GP8 and GP9. The SCXY reporting marks will be coming off and it will be getting some NP style "Radio Equipped" stickers.
This beautiful SD45 body unit should make pulling the heavy sand trains a breeze. I was always a fan of the NP SD45s, even though I never got to see one in person. I will point out the framing behind the engine is the new Rush City Engine house. That will be good for getting these engines started on the cold MN mornings. 
The best part of the story is that there will be a second SD45 bodied engine coming to match this one. The Skally just keeps getting better and better. I've already got one SD45 on the bench to strip down and get repainted. I can't wait to get back and get some photos of the new engine! Thanks again to Mark for letting me post some of his awesome shots!

I'm going Loco!

Work has been very busy lately, I'm hoping to be able to share some prototype Skally updates with you soon. I won't be able to get up to photograph the line until Memorial weekend, so I'm hoping to post some shots from a photographer who has been to Rush City lately.

On my workbench I did make progress on the TCWR CF7. The prepaint details are done, paint is done, decaling is mostly done. Here is a little update shot. Sorry for the bad photographs, these were taken on the fly with my iPhone.
I purchased an Kato SD45 for my collection. I'll announce the road in an upcoming post.

I also picked up a couple of resin shells to start work on. I will be doing a bunch of Canadian engines next. The SD40-2F in the foreground will become CP 9007 and the SD60F will become CN 5560. These kits came from SAR. They look great, I'm looking forward to getting them prepped for detailing.