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sp_8299 | profile | all galleries >> Railroad Model Photos >> SD40-2 Modeling Project: GATX 7350 tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

SD40-2 Modeling Project: GATX 7350

Here's a gallery of shots of my latest project in the works, GATX 7350. There's a shot of the prototype here (photo by Craig Walker):

The starting point for this unit is the "new" (2007) Athearn SD40-2. I chose it as a starting point because like the prototype, it's affordable, easy to work with, and readily available.:-) Still, any of the good SD40-2s on the market, whether it's the Athearn in its many iterations, or the Kato model, would make a good starting point. There's no need to get into the endless "Chevy vs. Ford" types of debates here - just grab whatever SD40-2 you have on hand and/or prefer, and start cutting! Either of them, like any other RTR model, would benefit from the application of aftermarket and/or scratchbuilt details, weathering, etc. Nothing is perfect out of the box.

Overall though, I'm putting this up here to inspire any fellow modelers out there, the same I've been inspired by the modeling projects of others, such as Liz Allen, Dave Hussey, Donnell Wells, and Harry Wong, to name a few. Hopefully anyone looking over these pics may pick up an idea or two; conversely, if someone has an idea or two on how to do something differently, by all means, let me know! To me, the hobby is all about the sharing of information and techniques, and like anyone else, I'm more than willing to share what I know, as well as learn more from others...we all become better modelers that way.

But back to the subject of this modeling page. To me, modeling SP in Socal in the 80s-90s timeframe, lease power is a way of life. It wasn't uncommon to see SP road freights with one or more lease/run-through units in the consist. GATX was a big player in SP's lease fleet, with their big blue SD40-2s of Milwaukee and UP/MP heritage providing a 3,000 hp punch on everything from Blue Streaks to Oil Cans. As a result, I knew I had to build a model of one. Seeing a photo of 7350 at SP's Dolores Yard (where I spent many a lazy weekend afternoon in my teen years during the 90s) sealed the deal. One of their blue SD's with "GATX" on the flanks would fit right in amongst a set of grimy SP SDs. Anyway, on with the project...

Paul Ellis
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