An LV GP38 to D&H, DC to DCC conversion project - Printable Version

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An LV GP38 to D&H, DC to DCC conversion project - TMo - 01-23-2023

(Editor's note - started the idea for this thread in my "Rainbows in the Lehigh Valley Gorge" thread for my layout and decided to dedicate this thread to that project).

I run Conrail and Delaware & Hudson on my Lehigh Valley Gorge layout, circa August 1976.

Until last year, my typical D&H consist was two C628's and two RS36's, all in Blue Lighting stripe.  Conventional, all Alco - the D&H pretty much up until the formation of Conrail.  

A funny thing happened when Conrail was stood up - the U.S. Government wanted to at least have the appearance that there was still competition in the northeast for rail traffic after the formation of a giant amalgamation of 5 Class I railroads.  The poor little D&H was to be that competition.  The D&H was granted trackage rights from Washington D.C. up through Buffalo, given responsibility for running TOFC trains (one of the few lucrative freight packages in 1976), and given GP39-2's (Reading's last new locomotives), some GP38's from the Lehigh Valley (last power purchases by the LV), and some C420's.

Forced into this role, things got a little insane for the little D&H.  The red LV and green RR locomotives got quickly patched and immediately placed into service.  And some of those locomotives kept their original colors and initial patches for years.

I always liked the green dip paint scheme that the Reading used on their GP39-2's, and I have a deep affection for anything in LV livery.  

2 years ago I saw that Athearn was releasing some GP39-2's, and one of them was a patched Reading unit for the D&H.  I decided I had to get that one, and for Christmas last year I spent more money than I ever have on a locomotive, aided by a couple of gift certificates from my wife.

In recent months I began to get the itch to get a LV GP38 and turn it into a patched D&H.

Problem was, a lot of the LV GP38's offered out there on the used market are pretty poor representations.  However, Athearn had released a DC unit about 20 years ago, and I saw a couple for sale at what I thought was a somewhat reasonable cost.  Decided if I won the auction that I would turn it into a DCC model with the necessary D&H patching.

Won this one last week:


I have a Digitrax DH126P decoder that I'd like to put in it, and aside from the patching, there are a few other additions I'd like to make.  You're invited for the ride!


1)  Remove the DC-related hardware
2)  Add the decoder for motor control
3)  Add LED's for the front and rear lights
4)  Paint over the LV logos on the front and rear diamonds and long hood
5)  Add a "7" in front of the road number on the cab
6)  Redo the road numbers on the top of the cabs at both ends
7)  Add a plow
8)  Add MU hoses
9)  Weather the whole locomotive

I made some purchases.  LV decals (for the "7"), D&H patch decals (GP39-specific, but I think they can work just fine for what I want to use them for).  Also rooted through my stock and pulled out a snow plow, the decoder, the wiring harness, and the MU hoses.

The end result will be something very close to this: RailPictures.Net Photo: D&H 7324 Delaware & Hudson EMD GP38-2 at Enola, Pennsylvania by George W. Hamlin

Stay tuned for some progress and pictures.

RE: An LV GP38 to D&H, DC to DCC conversion project - ngauger - 01-23-2023

That's going to be nice!!!!!

RE: An LV GP38 to D&H, DC to DCC conversion project - tompm - 01-23-2023

Can't wait to see this.

RE: An LV GP38 to D&H, DC to DCC conversion project - TMo - 01-23-2023

(Editor's note:  A lot of the information below was gathered by watching some good videos on Athearn Blue Box DCC installs on YouTube.  Don't think I'm reinventing the wheel here...)
PART I:  Mechanical disassembly and alteration.

First tasker was to get the shell off the locomotive.  These Athearn units do that easily if you lightly squeeze the middle of the long hood while holding the fuel tank.

The Athearn design back to the blue box units has been roughly the same for a long time.  Voltage is picked up on each side of the trucks and transferred to the frame (low side) through the left wheels, and to the bus bar (high side) from the right wheels.  The "bus bar" is a piece of spring steel which connects the posts on the right side of each truck and passes right over the motor which has a copper contact up there to pick up the voltage (a blue arrow points to it in the photo).  Note: The motor and bus bar are loosely engaged in this photo since I forgot to take a picture before some disassembly.  The motor is also in there upside down for those keeping score at home.


The front light in the photo is an incandescent which will be replaced, and is connected on the high side to the bus bar, and to the low side by the mount on the very front of the locomotive.

First thing I did is remove the bus bar by lightly pushing down on the bus bar at each end to free it from the truck connections.


I next removed the motor by pushing on all four plastic motor mounts under the fuel tank.  Take care to push evenly on these mount studs (push a little on one, then move on the the next until you pry the motor upward.  


Note:  When you do this, the shafts between the motor and trucks will also start to separate from the motor or trucks and will fall out.  Reassembly will be exactly opposite of removal, trying to align the shafts as the motor descends.

The bottom of the motor mount has another copper strip with two flexible nubs that contact the frame at the base of the motor mount.  For DCC operation, we want power going to the decoder, and all components (motor and lights) must be isolated from one another and the frame (since the frame is always one side of the circuit by design).  SO, we have to remove the connection between the frame and the lower motor mount.  I did that by switching the bottom and top motor pickups (flexible copper strips that disengage from the motor by lightly pulling up on a tab on their end (see the blue line in the photo below pointing to the tab - the pickup is the one now on the bottom of the motor that was previously on the top of the motor).  WATCH OUT!  There is a spring for the motor brushes just underneath each pickup that will fly to the hereafter if you aren't cautious.  The pickup strip from the bottom of the motor is now at the top and vice versa.


The picture below shows the modified motor with the pickups reversed.


To make sure to isolate the bottom of the motor, I also installed a strip of electrical tape over the bare metal recess that accepts the pickup nubs.  The rest of the lower portion of the motor sits on the two plastic motor mounts.  


Next task was to remove the incandescent light and the mount that attaches to the front of the frame.  By prying the two metal pieces apart, you should be able to slide the mount for the light out of the front of the frame.


Next installment will be considering where to mount the decoder and route the wiring harness....

RE: An LV GP38 to D&H, DC to DCC conversion project - TMo - 01-23-2023


Once you've disassembled the locomotive components, you'd think there'd be plenty of space and opportunity to place a little decoder, but you'd be wrong.

First of all, you want to stay clear of moving parts - motor, flywheels, driveshafts, pivoting trucks.  That pretty much takes the space lower and middle right out of play.  With the low hood in front and the windows in the cab, you pretty much have to stay clear of the fat front of the locomotive.  That leaves exactly two areas to put the decoder - the top, back corner of the long hood, 


or in the area under the dynamic brake fan that conveniently lifts off for access.


I would love to do the 2nd, HOWEVER, the largest thickness of the decoder will not allow the removable cover to close.  Width is good, and I can get the wiring harness in and out through the hole that's already provided.  I've done stuff like the first option, and that could also work, but one thing I don't like about that arrangement is that you end up stuffing the decoder and the extra wiring up there and you try to close the shell on the frame and you get a nasty bird's nest of wire and encoder pushed right up into the rear light assembly.  

What to do?  I think I'm going to get my Dremel out and lay waste to the area in white (in the photo below) to allow the decoder to have enough space to allow the fan cover to close.  If the decoder ever went belly up, it would be a simple replacement, and I think everything will be a lot neater if I can mount the decoder up there.  More on that tomorrow I guess.


RE: An LV GP38 to D&H, DC to DCC conversion project - TMo - 01-24-2023

Part II, Scene 2 - The quest for space

Got the Dremel out and hacked a space to allow the decoder to drop a little more in the locomotive.  I also ended up shaving a bit of the edges to accomodate the width of the decoder.  Used a pretty good variety of ends on the Dremel to do that, but the end result was enough space to stick the decoder, and the wiring harness fits through the original hole in the body.


RE: An LV GP38 to D&H, DC to DCC conversion project - TMo - 01-24-2023

PART 2, Scene 3 - Time to burn them wires

  Knowing where the decoder is going to sit is a big key to a successful DCC integration.  Now I know how long my individual wires need to be to reach from the decoder to the individual components (track pickups, motor pickups, lights).  I do want to have some play in all of the wires so that I can remove the wiring harness from the decoder and push it through the hole in case I need to remove the shell of the locomotive.  I figure a half-inch to an inch should work for that.  I can always take the extra up into the space below the dynamic brake fan.

   While I solder connections at components, I'll want to disconnect the harness from the decoder.

  The first connection I want to make is soldering to the end tabs of each motor pickup.  The top (positive) pickup will get the orange wire, the bottom (negative) pickup will get the gray wire in the harness.  The motor housing has plastic parts, so to avoid some potential melt, I'll remove each pickup, solder to it, and reinstall it.  I'll reinterate - there's a spring under each of the pickups that will do what springs do when they're released.  Capture it and put it aside until you're ready to reinstall the pickup. 

The photo above shows the lower motor pickup removed from the motor.  The brass ring on the motor is where the magic spring will be coming from.

Wires have been soldered on the motor pickups at the end "pull" tabs.

I've routed the wires and put a bead of silicone on the motor housing to keep the gray wire out of the motor.  I'll let the silicone setup until tomorrow when I'll attach the leads to the track pickups coming from the trucks.

RE: An LV GP38 to D&H, DC to DCC conversion project - TMo - 01-25-2023

PART 2, Scene 3 Continued

  Full disclosure - if you're not impressed with my soldering skills, don't worry, you're not alone.  I work with a bunch of professional electronic technicians, and they have banned me from picking up a soldering iron. My work is not pretty - I go for functional and call it a day.  Speaking of things I need, some very small zip ties are on the list of things to procure tomorrow.  There are a couple of areas where they'd come in handy on this project to clean up some wire runs.  

  Tonight was spent attaching to the two track pickups.  The high side (right side wheels) is attached to the posts on both trucks.  I ran a wire (that's the green one, cut off the harness since this decoder does not use either the green or purple wires) to connect them, hit the top of the posts with some paste flux (need to get some flux cleaner as well tomorrow), tinned them and the ends of the wire and connected the red wire in the wiring harness to the front post.  The two posts rotate with the trucks, so the wire between them has to have a bit of slack at all times.  It's only necessary to attach to one of them, but if you've ever had a locomotive cut out in the frog of a switch, you'll realize there is value in being connected to both trucks - one of which will probably always be clear of the frog.  (Another soldering recommendation - it's best to rough up the surface at the top of those posts prior to applying flux and solder).


  The low side (left-hand wheels) can be picked up anywhere on the chassis.  I elected to wrap the end of the black wire around the post for the front headlight mount and hit the wire with solder.  If you do want to solder directly to the frame, you'll probably need a solder gun to lay a good bit of heat into the thick metal of this post.


  Time to check the install - I hooked up the decoder to the wiring harness (making sure no wire (except for the black) was touching chassis), put the loco on my programming track and just programmed the address (7324, the road number that'll eventually be on it).  Read the address on the programming track to ensure it took, and then put the loco on the main track and tried out the motor functions (forward and reverse).  Had a small snag with one of the driveshafts popping out of the truck, but after adjusting that, the motor works just fine in both directions.  Nirvana!

  Next tasker is forward and reverse lighting.  I'll be installing LEDs with 1000 Ohm resistors in line with the positive terminal.  Rear headlights have always been aggravating for me trying to secure the LED in the narrow part of the long hood.  I'm thinking about designing an assembly that mounts over the rear light holes and the area behind the number boards with a hole in it to accept the LED to ease the job of installing and removing the LED.  I'm also thinking of installing a ceiling in the cab to which the front LED will be anchored.  I'm thinking sheet polystyrene will probably do the trick for both, but there's going to be some cutting and fitting involved.

  As far as wiring the lights go, the white wire in the harness with be soldered to the resistor for the front light, yellow for the back light.  Since they only provide one wire for the common low side for both lights, I'll probably run the blue wire up to the front and solder a pigtail that'll connect to the rear light as well.

RE: An LV GP38 to D&H, DC to DCC conversion project - Charlie B - 01-25-2023

(01-25-2023, 08:01 PM)TMo Wrote: PART 2, Scene 3 Continued

  Next task is forward and reverse lighting.  I'll be installing LEDs with 1000 Ohm resistors in line with the positive terminal.  
  As far as wiring the lights go, the white wire in the harness with be soldered to the resistor for the front light, yellow for the back light.  Since they only provide one wire for the common low side for both lights, I'll probably run the blue wire up to the front and solder a pigtail that'll connect to the rear light as well.

Todd, I am just reminding you that the blue wire is the positive side. In regarding this I don't know if you realise that because you mention putting the resistors in line with the positive terminal then you mention the yellow and white wires which are the negative side.  I drill and tap a hole in the frame by the rear of the motor and use a #2 screw to secure a tab to solder that chassis wire. That keeps it out of the way of the drive shafts. I also use plastic electrical tape to make loops to secure the decoders and wires. I mount the decoders to a piece of styrene I glue to the motor housing and the headlight wires are all that goes in the shell I use 1.8mm LEDs for headlights and drill and glue them to the headlight assembly. 

RE: An LV GP38 to D&H, DC to DCC conversion project - TMo - 01-26-2023

Aha!  Good catch, sir!  Print is mighty small on my decoder manual.  Thanks for all the tips and the voice of experience!

RE: An LV GP38 to D&H, DC to DCC conversion project - TMo - 01-26-2023

Part 2, Scene 3, Lights Please!

   I'm a glutton for punishment.  I get something in my head and I have to try it.  Charlie's suggestion of drilling a hole in the light socket front and rear to accept the LED is a great one, but I wanted to try something different with this loco.  I'm going to try building a light box for each of the LEDs.  If the results aren't up to snuff, just like anything else on my layout, pull up the hook and start over.

    Started building a box for the rear light and number boards last night with a sheet of sytrene, and it was surprisingly quick and easy.  The EMD units have that classic prow shape on each end, so I cut a piece of styrene the width of the inside shell and then played around with some scissors to try to get that prow shape.  I'd test fit, shave a little off (sandpaper came in handy) and test fit again.  Finally arrived at the right shape, cut it to about an inch in length and then folded the back edge upward to form the box.  


Drilled a hole in the back for my LED which had a nice friction fit.  Pushed it into place at the deepest area of the back corner of the shell to test fit the final configuration.


I thought the front light was going to be a lot more complicated, but I was again pleasantly surprised.  Carefully disengaged the cab from the rest of the shell (removed the 4 handrails and gently pried the plastic keepers that hold the cab in place to the shell).  The Athearn design has a single window glass assembly that wraps around the cab.  Just above it is enough space to add a ceiling and there's enough room there to slide an LED in between the ceiling and the bulkhead.  Cut out another piece of styrene to fit the dimensions of the cab,


removed the window assembly, and pushed it into place.  I did have to cut a bit off the sides to accommodate the roof corners, but after some trial and error, it fit quite nicely.  


Checked the LED for fit, and with a little wiggle, we'll get 'er in even with the cab in place on the shell.


So, I now know where my LEDs will need to be and I can figure out how long the leads to each will need to be and I can start the soldering station up for the night.  As Charlie pointed out earlier, the blue wire is actually the common POSITIVE for each of the lights, so I'll try to use that to my advantage.  I'll cut the blue wire short, solder on the resistor, and then feed two new wires to the positive side of each LED.  The positive side of the LED (for virgin LEDs right out of the bag) is the longer leg coming out of the plastic housing.  It's also the "round" side of the LED bulb (the negative side has a flat spot on the side of it).  I'll solder a wire to each one and run some heat shrink over the exposed joint and metal lead.  I'll also do the same for that resistor - don't want any of those metal pieces touching any part of the chassis, which still provides a connection back to the left side of the track.  Some pictures will follow tomorrow.  Just discovered I don't have any small heat shrink to go over the leads on those LEDs, want to pick some up tomorrow.

Had another thought.  I think I'll keep the cab off of the shell for a while, and I'll definitely keep the window assembly out until after I finish painting and weathering.  Spraying Dullcote means unless you mask the windows, they'll end up foggy.  While it's off I may also add the "7" the the Road number and I may explore revamping the number boards while it's easy to get at them.

I have a day off tomorrow and may have some time to work on some of this stuff in the daylight hours.

RE: An LV GP38 to D&H, DC to DCC conversion project - TMo - 01-27-2023

And we fast forward....  (temporarily)

Parts 5 &6 - Redefining Greatness thru Roadnumbers

  3:00.  PM.  So much for model railroading in daylight hours.  Got a couple of taskers this morning and just freed myself up.

  When the D&H received the GP38s from LVRR and the GP39's from RR, no extra effort was expended in inserting these locomotives onto the D&H roster, which ended in the 5000 series.  Both sets of locomotives were inserted into the new 7000 series.  In the case of the RR, a white "7" was applied over the RR "3" on the long hood.  Sometimes they didn't even paint over the 3.  Sometimes they painted a black square over the "3" and applied the white "7".  For the LV units (which were previously in the 300-325 series), a yellow "7" was added right next to the 3.  Thus 324 became "7324" under the window of the cab.  The number boards on each end underwent a much more radical change.  The black number boards were replaced with white and the numbers were black instead of white.

  I elected to remove the cab to install the lighting, so I figured, while we're in this state, this was an excellent time to address the number changes on the cab, and I might as well do the tail end as well.

  With previous locomotives, I would have painted out the number boards in white and then added number decals or dry transfers.  Here's my problem with that.  For the life of me, I cannot align multiple numbers on those tiny number boards.  With decals, I'm lucky to get them to stick in place and stay.  Dry transfers are tough on such a tiny surface.  I started thinking about my laser printer.  Even if I printed to paper and glued that in place, it would probably be better than my usual efforts.  Then I remembered I had some CD labels.  They're made for applying a nice label to burned CDs and have decent stickiness to plastic.

  One of my taskers this morning took me into Home Depot where I procured some heat shrink tubing of the appropriate size for the tiny wires running out of this decoder.  After this brief hiatus in dealing with numerology, it's back to burning things with the soldering iron.  The previously scheduled program therefore resumes......

  Played around with fonts and font sizes before just settling for Arial 8 pt.  Printed on one of those stickers, used my Olfa knife to carefully cut them down to the appropriate size and stuck them right over the old "324".  They look fantastically better than any numbers applied with decals or dry transfers.  One thing I'm considering doing is removing all vestiges of the "324" and the black number boards and putting the sticker back over them (ended up doing that for the rear and eventually did the same for the front boards).  I think they'll look better with light coming from behind them.


  Got my decal supplies out (Micro Set and Micro Sol), and cut two yellow "7's" off of the set of Lehigh Valley Diesel decals that arrived in the mail this week (Microscale 87-855).  I was delighted to notice that this same decal set has a decal for the snowplow (which also gets the white and black chevrons that are on the front hood).  That snowplow is going to look pretty snappy when I get to it.  Applied the Set to the area where I'm going to put each 7, slid the 7 on and hit it with another coat of Set.  After some time to dry, I hit the area with some Sol to make the decal fade into the paint.  The fact that the "7" I put on is not quite the same size or thickness or font of the Athearn applied LV numbers bothers me not one bit - it's completely appropriate for this D&H patch out.


RE: An LV GP38 to D&H, DC to DCC conversion project - TMo - 01-27-2023

Part 3 - And there SHALL be light!

  Before we were so rudely interrupted by Parts 5 and 6, I'd stalled out in need of some small diameter shrink tube.  When I make a joint between wire, resistor, LED lead, I like to pull a bit of shrink over the joint to prevent potential shorts.  If you can remember to snake it on the wires in which it will be needed, it's a great and simple way to insulate.

  I shrunk around the resistor tied to the blue output (common +) for the lights.  


I then estimated how long my leads would be between that resistor and the light locations (front and rear) and added a little for potential adjustments and install play (no more than an inch or so).  Soldered to each positive lead on each LED and then combined those two onto the other end of the resistor and shrunk around that joint.  


I then followed each path (front and rear) with the white (front - wire) and yellow (rear - wire), cut to the same length and soldered each of those ends to the - lead of each LED.  Shrunk over the - leads.  Wah  lah....


   I then installed the decoder to the harness, turned on my DCC system, crossed me fingers....  and everything worked!  Light on, light off, front light works when I press "Forward", rear light works when I press "Reverse".

   I next did a test fit of each LED in each light box (front and rear), and I'm happy with the results.  The rear number boards looked great since I'd removed the old black number boards with the white lettering - I'll do the same for the front cab before reassembly.

   Finally, I did some cleanup on the wire runs to minimize the potential of incurring the wrath of the motor.  Used bits of electrical tape wrapped around the groups of wires and joined to itself.


   DC to DCC coversion is now virtually finished, and I'll vault over to starting the paint outs and decal installations to make this a real D&H locomotive.

RE: An LV GP38 to D&H, DC to DCC conversion project - TMo - 01-27-2023

PART IV - The Denuding Begins

  There are two LV Diamonds front a rear on the locomotive.  The Lehigh Valley was known as the Route of the Black Diamond, as it was primarily an anthracite coal hauler in its heyday.  The D&H kept the diamonds, but removed the "LV" inside the diamond and applied a small script D&H on 7324.  I'm using diamond logos from a set of decals designed specifically for GP39 (Reading units), but they should work just fine.


   Removed the end handrails to get easy access to each diamond.  The "LV is actually probably bigger than the black diamond decal I have to add, so I had to carefully paint out the "LV" with some black acrylic paint.


  Once the paint dried, I could then add the D&H diamond logos.

  Next came the big paint out.  I'd have to paint out the big "LEHIGH VALLEY" on each long hood.  It was like the point of no return.  The prototype photo shows that the red they used for the paint out was a couple of shades different than the Cornell Red used by EMD.  Got some of my red acrylics out and painted on the inside of the shell to find the tint I wanted to use.  The winner ended up being Ceramcoat Rooster Red.

  The paint out in the prototype photo RailPictures.Net Photo: D&H 7324 Delaware & Hudson EMD GP38-2 at Enola, Pennsylvania by George W. Hamlin was fairly uniform in shape, but it looks like they were a bit short getting all the way to the top of each letter, and it looks like a hurried, fairly sloppy job.  I can duplicate that (I think)!  Decided to mask the area, so I removed the handrails on each side before applying the painter's tape to the sides.  Two of the holes were glued, so rather than force it out, I left the rest of the handrail loose to help with manuevering the tape.


  Applied two sloppy coats to try to hide the yellow letters, but they are stubborn, and I'm not fighting.  The fact that you can still see that this was once a proud locomotive of a different railroad is part and parcel of the rainbow years, and specifically these locomotives.  Even after the blue dip they eventually got, the blue paint flaked off and the LEHIGH VALLEY was resplendent for all to see.


  Added those script logs in the diamonds front and rear.  Since they were centered in the crease of the nose, I carefully applied Micro Set and Micro Sol until the logo had settled onto the surface.  


   Took the masking tape off the body.  There are a couple of white script D&H logos I could put on the long hood, but I don't have them yet.  It's now time to move on to adding the snowplow and MU hoses.

RE: An LV GP38 to D&H, DC to DCC conversion project - TMo - 01-28-2023

Part VII - We Plow On!

  And down the stretch we come.  Detail work that we'll discuss here, and then weathering.  By the end of the weekend, this lumbering behemoth will be running with my Apollo train.

  Speaking of details, while decals were setting up I decided to add some LV flavor to the steps and handrails, which for the Cornell Red scheme are orange from the bottom of the handrail up to the first stanchion on each corner.  The edges of each step should also be orange.


  I figure this is an early 2000's Athearn product, probably the last group they made that weren't DCC-ready.  Another quirk with the old design are the coupler pockets and mounting nub.  The coupler and mounting nub need to be applied from the top, and the shell goes over them after they are in place.  Today's Athearn products allow for the coupler to be slid in after the shell is on and a screw mounts the coupler in the pocket from below.  The result for this unit is that it has a gap in the front fascia, and NO PLOW.  My prototype has a plow, and it's actually tiger striped white and black like the front nose of the locomotive.  My decal sheet has a plow decal, so I decided that that ought to go on as well prior to weathering most of it out.

  I'd bought a PL-256 plow (Details West) from Midwest a few months ago before deciding they offered a better model for my Reading SD-45.  I was going to sell the first plow but held on to it, so this is the perfect opportunity to use it, even though it also might not be the prototypical plow.  Painted it black with a brush.


   All of the Details West plow mount to a flat face on the nose of the locomotive.  This Athearn unit had front steps at the bottom of the nose, so those had to be removed.  Fired up the cutting wheel on my Dremel and got most of those steps off, and followed it up with a sanding disk attachment to get it close to flat. 


   I then got my pin vise out, and deliberately taking a bit I knew was too small for the two mounting nubs on the plow, drilled two holes in the nose at the right height to accept the plow.  Checked the holes for proper spacing and drilled bigger and bigger holes until I got a nice fit for the plow.  Because the plow will have to be potentially removed to remove the shell, I wanted a nice friction fit for the plow assembly without using adhesives.


   Added the plow decal, and in the morning, cut out the holes for the MU hoses and trimmed it to fit the profile of the plow.  I'll finish paint the plow when it's on the locomotive and then weather it with the rest of the body.


   Speaking of MU hoses, this unit has nubs simulating a locomotive without hoses, so I used the nub location as the area to mount the hoses.  Ground down the nubs and got the pin vise back out to drill holes to accept the Cal Scale MU hose units (2 front and 2 rear).


   And now, all the detail work is finished.  Weathering remains.  I'm going to weather the cab first and get it back mounted to the rest of the shell and mask off the windows so Dullcote doesn't fog them up.