SW1200RS Project Revisited: Cab-end Details

I shot hundreds of photos during the year-long build of my two CP SW1200RS models in HO. I’ve gone through some photos and arranged them to show the progress of the cab-end of the locomotives, from resin to rolling.

These are the first photos of the rear of the locomotives. It shows the models still in bare resin. The pilots and GMD cowcatcher are attached, as are the side handrails, bottom step etchings, and lift hooks on the sides of the hoods.

Neat photo of the etchings that form the footboards and pockets for the M.U. hoses.

Slightly out of focus, this photo shows the footboard/M.U. cable pockets added. Both models have been sprayed with primer at this point.

Both models shot with CP Action Red. The cab roof is temporarily in place. The roof would end up being the last part to be attached.

Both models with a fresh coat of black on the rear of the cab and from the walkways down.

Stripes applied to the rear of both cabs.

Both models with the rear headlight details and all of the decals applied.

Handrails and grab irons around the rear door applied. The cab interior and roof are temporarily in place for this shot.


All of the handrails on these models were bent by hand.

More handrails, drop step, M.U. hoses, coupler lift bar, and train line details added.

Rear handrails and two stanchions applied.

All rear pilot details applied and painted.


Both models with all end details applied and painted.

Window frames and glazing added to the cab.

All-weather cab window on engineer’s side added and painted.

Roof details added: antennae and air horns.

Finished. I don’t keep trip pins on couplers for equipment that runs on my home layout, where I shot this image. These models run on the WRMRC layout so, for now at least, the pins stay.

Both models, in service on the WRMRC.

For Sale: SW1200RS “custom”

As I accumulate better quality models for my layout, I’ve been going through the very last remnants of the models that I built many years ago. This one was dear to my heart, back in the day. GMD’s SW1200RS are uniquely Canadian, and were ubiquitous in southern Ontario at the time that I built this model. But I’ve since built two of these from Kaslo shells using Proto drives, and this model no longer stands up to the standards that I’ve established for my hobby. I hope I can find a new home for CP 8109. For anyone interested in adopting, here’s what you get.

I built this model some time back in the early-mid 80s. It’s built from an Athearn Blue Box “SW-1500” which, at the time, was a mis-labeled SW-1200(ish) model. Additional parts came from a Juneco conversion kit comprised mostly of white metal parts. I can identify other parts that were not in the Juneco kit. Best to refer to the photos below.

I probably painted the model with Floquil that I mixed by eye to approximate faded CP Action Red. It looks like I used decals for the cab numbers and perhaps CDS dry transfers for “CP Rail” lettering. The multi-mark was done with either a dry transfer or masked/airbrushed. It’s been a while since the mid 80s and I’ve lived some since then, so the details of how I built this thing elude me.

The photos are VERY tightly cropped and taken in hi-res, so you get to see the model “warts and all.” This is a DC engine with Athearn’s old open frame motor and cast metal flywheels. It has Kadee #5 couplers. I know it runs, but I haven’t run it very far. Its new owner would be well advised to disassemble the drive, clean off all the lubricants, and give it a thorough inspection before reassembling it.

I see that there are some people out there who still enjoy Blue Box models and ‘vintage’ Juneco kits, so I decided to post this as ‘for sale’ to see if anyone is interested. Asking $70 (Canadian). Surprisingly, this model sold within an hour of writing this post.

Air Horns and Doubleheaders

The WRMRC club layout is open to the public this Saturday as part of the Doubleheaders layout tour.  I installed air horns on my SW1200RS units so that they will have all of the necessary safety appliances in place for the show.  Here’s a lame iPhone picture of both of units adorned with very nice Cal-Scale parts.

IMG_2932If you’re in the greater Waterloo area this weekend, you should consider going on the Doubleheaders tour.  There are typically more that 40 layouts, and a wide range of modelling scales, subjects, and styles can be taken in.  Say hello if you stop in at the WRMRC layout.

Com-Art Colors

I bought a set of weathering colors by Com-Art the Springfield show. I’ve never seen this brand of paint before. The vendor had an airbrush set up, so I tried them out.  I liked the way these paints sprayed and saw some potential.

After working on some detail parts and finishing touches for my SW1200RS project this evening, I shot a bit of “Transparent Smoke” to simulate some exhaust grime on the roof of 8159.

The verdict: I like these paints for weathering. I was able to achieve some very fine effects. This is nowhere near finished, but here’s what some subtle roof grime looks like.