One of my favorite photos is on an RS32 and an FP7 in helper service on Tehachapi. While a brass model was the easiest way to go and a kitbash was possible; Atlas have now released a HO Scale RS32.
For other scales a kitbash will still be necessary so the following ideas still apply.
Preliminary thoughts on a parts list:
- Mainline Modeler Nov. 1988 - SP RS32 Plans, and Roster.
- RS11 for the chassis and other parts from the bodyshell,
- low-nose resin conversion is available for HO Scale from Railway Recollections see RSD12 model page,
- A C-420 bodyshell for bits and pieces; As the C-420 is only for parts then a bodyshell is only required
Now that Atlas has released an RS32 and I have finally have mine, an assessment can be made as to what is needed to make this an SP model rather than a SP decorated model... The model looks to be basically correct in its detailing with only a few shortcomings, some expected, some not. As they have reused the RS11 chassis; they have also reused the RS11 fuel tank, so that will need modifying to better represent the larger RS32 fuel tank. The roof top has a grilled box in the center which apparently has something to do with the dynamic brakes, SP units do not have this item as per photographs. Of course all the SP "centric" details will need adding like all the lights that SP units had, MU stands, cab armrests and sunshades. The rear headlight will need changing to a horizontal one and placed much lower down and new headlights on the nose and red and clear signal lights will adding to the cab between the numberboards. We only have two photos showing the rear of the units, 4007 shows numberboards, 4000 shows them plated over, looking at a photo in SP Historic Diesels Vol.8 Alco Roadswitcher Locomotives by Joe Strapac; 4007 may never have had the numberboards plated over... Finding the bell on this ALCO is not so much of a problem, photos clearly show it immediately aft of the right front stepwell; Atlas missed this detail...
Included at right is a selection of detail images and snippets from the Plans published in Mainline Modeler to help guide you.
Starting from the front...
- front pilot hose holders need drilling out
- front long horizontal switchman's grab need applying
- front coupler lift bar needs fitting
- front MU hoses need applying DA 1508 or similar
- front handrails need modifying or replacing; the angled reinforcements need changing to square
- front dropstep will need replacing if front handrails are replaced - perhaps a DA 1408
- front MU stands and receptacles need applying - not sure there is anything suitable - maybe scratchbuild
- brakewheel looks a tad small but may suffice
- trucks can be detailed with air and sand piping, brake chains, speed recorders, maybe even new brake cylinders
- nose headlight needs applying - a DA 1009 or similar
- a bell needs locating just behind the right front stepwell under the "F" DA 1202 or similar
- lights between the numberboards need applying - a DA 1001 and DA 1023 or similar
- windshield wipers if you don't like the factory items
- grab irons abound all over the carbody plans from Mainline Modeler November 1988 show where they all go
- the horn could do with replacing with something better - perhaps a DA 1603 if you are dextrous or a DW
- cab armrests need fitting - DA 2303
- cab sunshades - DA 1301 or similar need applying
- possibly wind deflectors - DA 2304
- radio antenna needs adding to the cab roof - looks like at the rear and centered - DA 1802 looks like it
- roof top dynamic box needs removing and the area made good
- fuel tank will need replacing with something far more accurate
- as well as new air reservoirs
- as much underframe detail as you can discern from photos
- the side radiator screens had personal protection screens over them - could be interesting to fabricate these
- the 4007 had an extended exhaust in its later life - does not appear on other units
- the rear rooftop radiator grille can be replaced with DA 2703
- the two rear sandfillers need removing and replacing with a single filler atop the hood - DA 3001 looks closest
- as delivered they had rear numberboards - these will need reinstating depending on your era
- as delivered they had a full rear light package - DA 1001, DA 1009 and DA 1003 or similar
- grab irons, grab irons, grab irons...
- rear MU stands and receptacles need applying - not sure there is anything suitable - maybe scratchbuild
- rear dropstep will need replacing if front handrails are replaced - perhaps a DA 1408
- rear front handrails need modifying or replacing; the angled reinforcements need changing to square
- rear long horizontal switchman's grab need applying
- rear coupler lift bar needs fitting
- rear MU hoses need applying DA 1508 or similar
- rear pilot hose holders need drilling out
As delivered and numbered 7300's they had full light packages front and rear as well as rear numberboards. As 4000's most look to have lost the rear signal lights and have the rear numberboards plated over.