Salmo Local leaving Kettle Falls yard

Salmo Local leaving Kettle Falls yard

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Progress Update #11

Well, I think its time to share some projects. Lately I've been busy bike racing and working at camps, but on the down time I've been able to tinker with a few locomotives. I had three Milwaukee Road units sitting in a drawer and were rarely used. So, instead of attempting to sell them, I thought, what the heck, I'll just paint them and see what happens! A common goal I have in modelling is to do projects as cheaply as possible. Being a high school student with many expensive hobbies, something has give. I really do enjoy being cheap (resourceful is a better word). There's more satisfaction from using something from the scrap box rather than a product that everyone else has on their layouts. All that to say, I really enjoyed trying to bring these engines to life with an average of $3 per engine (so far...).

After a little research I found the BN locomotives I wanted to transform these MILW Rd. units into. I looked at tons of photos (some were courtesy of Mike Bartenstein) and tried to find the same type of locos as my three models. The Athern RTR GP38-2 would become BN GP38-2 #2079, since I found some quality photos of it on the Nelson Line in the early 80's. The Athern Genesis F7 would become BN #720. I didn't find any photos of this engine on the Nelson Line, but I knew it ran on a branch line next to where my father grew up. He would have seen #720 pulling lumber from Wheyerhauser mill in Snoqualmie, WA. And... I don't know about the F7B yet. I'll probably just choose one of the last prototypes to have gotten scrapped.

The first step I did was obviously strip the paint. I then filed, puttied, and cleaned up all the bad or misplaced details. After that, I added new details, a.k.a lots of brass wire and styrene! The locos were then primed with some cheap grey rattle can primer. The paint I then used was also rattle can stuff(haven't yet gotten into the world of airbrushing). For the green I used some light green gloss Testors paint and a cheap flat black. Not ideal, but they turned out alright(Dullcoat and weathering can mask some imperfections!). I just had enough decals for #720. The F7A isn't complete, but it's pretty close. So, here's some photos of where I am at.

Another project I basically finished was applying scenery to the lift bridge. I wanted to add some interest without having the scenery obstructed when the gate was in the down position. I settled on modelling a road (Hyw. 395) and a small ranch scene. For the ranch scene I made a cattle guard from rail and a basic fence from thread and ties. For the grass I just used some 2mm static grass, but I'll add taller grass later. 


  1. Great job David! I'm really impressed with the quality of the paint job you were able to get with old fashioned rattle cans. The scenery on the lift bridge looks great too.

    I really need to start working in my train room but this has been another busy summer between work, cycling, and the best concert season in years. Seems like I'm always on the go and when I do have some free time, I always seem to wind up trackside instead of in the basement.

    Jason C

  2. Last entry over a year ago.. I hope the hobby hasn't been sidelined that long!