California's Railroad to the U.S. 1861 - 1996

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Model Train Help EBook

Southern Pacific SDP45

SDP45 kitbashed from Athearn shells by David Reed

Whatever scale you model in, you will need to stretch an SD45 to build an SDP45, unless you buy a brass one...

Models available:

Z Scale:

N Scale:

HO Scale:

  • LifeLike have announced an SD45
  • Kato
  • Bachmann
  • Rail Power Products shell and chassis kit (may? still be found although Athearn has bought Rail Power and all existing stock)
  • Athearn (old widebody model)
  • Athearn (I guess will release the old Rail Power Products shell on their or RPP's chassis)

O Scale:

G Scale:

  • Aristo-Craft not listed on their website, but preproduction models seen at shows


  • Prototype Modeler October 1977, Page 6 - Espee SDP45 kitbash - this is it ! - 22 pages of details, blow by blow description, only needs updating with current parts.
  • SPH&TS Trainline issue #74, modeling notes for the SDP45 by Richard Percy
  • SPH&TS Trainline issue #74, prototype coverage of the SDP45's
  • SP 1987/88 Motive Power Pictorial by Joe.W.Shine, Pages 21, 25, 112.
  • SP.....into the '90's by Joe.W.Shine, Page 195. - Also has photos of these units.

Non Espee SD45M (SDP45) References moved to SD40M-2 Info Page .

Modeling these will be a challenge, as no HO plastic kit or RTR unit has been made. However, we have finally found an Espee specific kitbash article, this articles pre-dates the Rail Power Products SD45 shell, but the techniques should be the same. It will only require updating with current detail parts. As for a chassis, the RPP SD60 chassis appears to be closest, or maybe the Athearn Tunnel Motor chassis, but both of those are made to take the HTC sideframes, the SDP45 needs the earlier Flexicoil sideframes, so maybe coercing an FP45 chassis may be the way to go.

I am doing a kitbash of a Railpower Products SD45 shell, with Athearn parts, and coercing an FP45 chassis to take the finished kitbash. The FP45 chassis is a bit too long, and I think that my model is not too accurate, but I will have an SDP45, well, it will look like one from 20 feet away...

All I had to go on was 2 photo's, plus the SP Books below. Kalmbach's 'Second Diesel Spotter's Guide' page EMD-81, has a photo of the left hand side, and their 'The Contemporary Diesel Spotter's Guide - page 71, has that photo and one of the right hand side.

NOW I have been given a copy of a complete kitbash article, when the model is very nearly complete, that is I suppose, better than finding out Rail Power Products just made a shell...

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This document © 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007. Richard.A.Percy