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Elizabeth Allen's SP SDP45

Here are some photos of my largely completed SP SDP45. I had planned to have it painted by now, but other issues have kept me distracted and away from the workshop.

The model started out a sort of a challenge as a vehicle to display the greatest variety of different Cannon and Company fans at the 2008 National Train Show. The walkway and deck are modified from an Athearn SD45T-2, as is the frame. Brian Rutherford provided an Athearn walkway and numerous detail photos, and Dave Hussey provided a wealth of detail parts (including the pre-production flared and cap-top fans) and additional prototype information. I had a spare, damaged walkway sitting around the shop and used parts from that to lengthen the traction motor blower duct and replace the top half in the vicinity of the traction motor blower cover, as it sits in a different relative location on the SDP. I wanted to keep the molded tread plate intact but didnít want to keep the solid Athearn rear anti-climber. So I carefully milled the bottom of the anti-climber, leaving only the tread plate intact, and then glued a Cannon anti-climber in place. The large combination fuel and water tank is spliced at each end from a couple of Athearn tanks. This technique left the weld bead intact in the center. I extensively mill Athearn frames such that they fit completely within the frame rails, which I attach to the underside of the deck. This allows me to add all of the under frame details as one complete detailing project. Iíve been addicted to this type of detailing ever since seeing the articles in Mainline Modeler by Bob Zenk documenting his construction of an Amtrak F40PH. Iíve been trying to keep up with Bob, Dave Hussey, and Brian Banna ever since. Air reservoirs are from Cannon, with various details from Detail Associates, Details West, and some scratch built parts. The traction motor cable brackets are from a large fret of etched parts I bought from Brian Banna a while back, though they are identical to the RailFlyer parts. The valves at either end are Cal-Scale globe valves.

Above the deck, the hood is scratch built from Evergreen styrene, using Cannon doors. The dynamic brake and radiator faring are built up from styrene strip, the grill is from the Athearn SD45-2/T-2 part. The etched extended range access doors are Cannon as well. Radiator grills are from a P2K SD45. The cab and sub-base are standard Cannon parts, the short hood was modified for the brake wheel cutout and of course, the SP lights. The icicle breakers are built from styrene strip. For the rear grabs, I originally used the spacing from the T-2, but it turned out to be incorrect. You can see the original location of the grabs in some of the photos. The steam lines on the rear pilot are scratch built from styrene. I considered several options for replicating the wrapped piping on the front pilot and fuel tank. I finally settle on cutting a thin strip of .005 styrene, and then wrapping it around a section of .015 brass wire, using thinned Barge cement as adhesive. Handrail stanchions are from PIA. The model is intended to represent 3205 circa 1978-79.

Elizabeth Allen
12-29-2009
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