CP SW1200RS Build – Part 1: The Body

To begin my description of this project, I’ll outline the work that gets the body ready for paint.

The Point 1 resin kit was designed to be mounted on the mechanism of either an Athearn SW7 or a Proto 2000 (P2K) SW9/1200.  After procuring two resin kits, I found two P2K switchers and considered myself equipped to do the project (how silly of me).

As with any resin kit, I needed to clean off the flash from the castings. There was lots, and some of it was pretty thick.  After the locomotive body itself was tidied up, the oversized front number boards and pilots were attached.   Much filling and sanding was required to get the number boards to fit seamlessly with the body.

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Once I was satisfied with the number boards, I drilled out the holes for the handrail stanchions and grab irons.  I installed the fan housing on the front of the carbody and both pilots at this time too.  Like the number boards, the pilots were not an exact fit either, so I had to spend a great deal of time squaring things up and test fitting.

Handrails and exhaust stacks had to be installed at this point.  Both of these items are wrong for the CP prototype, but neither is commercially available as a detail part.  The exhaust stacks supplied with the kit are the same height as the stacks on other GMD/EMD switchers.  CP SW1200RS had much taller stacks that extended beyond the roof line of the cab.

The handrail stanchions are also unique to CP.  The units were delivered to CP with handrails along the carbody.  Some time later, CP retrofitted all of the these road switchers with handrails along the edge of the walkway (likely to provide workers with better protection from falling off).  The stanchions that were applied by CP were fabricated in-house and are different from the stanchions that GMDD installed on the ends of the units.    My friend Steve scratch built stanchions for his SW1200RS that he built from the same kit.  I wasn’t as motivated as Steve, so the supplied exhaust stacks and stanchions prevailed on my models.

The stock stanchions are part of a sheet of etchings, so despite being wrong for this model, they do look nice.  I bent the handrails by hand following photos.   Before I attached the handrails, I installed the grab irons, and the etched pieces for the lift hooks, and bottom steps.

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Another cool etching in this kit is the footboard and hose pocket thingy just above the footboard.  These go together like a metal origami shape, and the finished product is pretty slick.

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I attached the footboards and prow to both pilots on one model.  I decided to leave them off of the other model until after paint and decals.

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These models need lots of stripe decals on the ends, so despite being far from completed, they are ready for paint.  I’ll write up a future post on getting these shells from grey to Action Red.

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10 thoughts on “CP SW1200RS Build – Part 1: The Body

    • That’s a grab iron bending jig from micro mark. It’s very handy. I can lend it to you if you want to try before you buy.

      Sent from my iPhone

  1. Dear Hunter,

    I’ll be interested to see if you elect to use the Point-1 sideframes, or Athearn SW1500 flexicoils. Either way, mounting them on the P2k trucks without messing up the mechanics and pickups looks to be a significant challenge. I have a Point-1 kit on the shelf awaiting the courage to go there, and an older Juneco SW1200RS conversion on a P2k mech with similar challenges, and this has been a “thinking it thru = analysis paralysis” point in the process. Good Luck with it!

    Happy Modelling,
    Aim to Improve,
    Prof Klyzlr

    • My blog posts on this project are a bit behind my progress on the models. The extensive modifications to a pair of P2K drives are essentially complete, but I’m not convinced that this was the best approach. I’d like to take apart one of the newer Athearn SW7 drives and test fit everything together using one of my models before I make any assertions. I don’t have one of those on hand, so that post is still a partially written draft.

      Sent from my iPhone

    • I used Athearn flexicoil sideframes, which is partly why hindsight is informing my suspicion that the project would have been easier if I’d started with an Athearn frame and trucks. Re-motoring in Athearn drive is a cake-walk compared to the work I had to do to get those sideframes onto the P2K. And by the way, one of the P2K trucks suffered a broken axle gear while I was replacing the stock wheels with NWSL nickel silver ones.

      • Dear Hunter,

        Preseving the mechanics are not the biggest concern to me, that’s reasonably do-able 😉
        It’s more the having to rely on a thing delrindelrin ACC glue joint at each end of the sideframe, to mount the P2k brakeshoes+truck clips onto the Athearn Flexicoil sideframes that make me wonder if the resulting mech will be strong-enough for hardcore switching and show work???

        I didn’t think that the Athearn SW9/1200 model had had a “Horizon era” mech upgrade yet, would an original BB mech really be the mechanical slow-speed match for a properly modded P2k mech?

        Happy Modelling,
        Aim to Improve,
        Prof Klyzlr

        PS already shaved the BB-era Ath body under the Juneco 1200RS to fit on a P2k mech, so if I can get that to run with flexi sideframes, it’ll be an interesting matchup against the Point-1 conversion… 😉

  2. You’ve arrived squarely at the crux of the issue. The reliability of the glue joint on the sideframe is questionable. I think I should write up a post on the mods to the trucks. Stay tuned.

    • They’re just as difficult to find here in Canada. They were made by a now-defunct company called “Point-1.” A friend sold me one, and I bought the other from someone on a forum. I suspect they will be much easier to get once the True Line Trains RTR version finally shows up. Of course, who needs to do all this work when there is a RTR model of the same thing?

      You might be able to build one from the Proto 2000 SW1200 shell, but you’d have to change the steps and the front number board assembly.

      • Thanks. I think this version looks better than the TLT version for some unknown reason. Perhaps models created by hand look better than 3D CAD models? LOL

        C.

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