Thursday, October 8, 2015

Poor Man's MLW M420 Kitbash - Part 3

The M420 project is moving along nicely. The more I work on this project, the more I think it won't look as clumsy as I thought it would. This is a excellent source of motivation and I'll try my best to make this locomotive as close to prototype as possible without losing my sanity.

Over the last few days, I mainly worked on the cab. Getting rid of the cab fillets wasn't an easy task. A first coat of Magic Sculpt putty was used to add material on every nose corners. When dry, I sanded it down to get a nice square corners. But the job wasn't perfect and glazing putty was used to finish the job.

Many people will think my cab details are wrongly located. Be aware that when you look at dozen pictures of M420, you quickly find out there is no consistency in horn placement and similar details. As they were shopped, things moved around. The prototype I follow is unit #2520 as it looked in the early 1980s. The horn is placed on the bell support at this time. Since this is a poor man's kitbash, I didn't want to buy new brass castings, some I altered them until they were close enough to prototype. The bell support was grinded and the horn pin was shortened and fastened directly on the bell by drilling a small hole to secure it mechanically.

When detailing was complete, it was time to spray the model with automotive sandable primer. This primer act as a finishing putty. Really helpful to spot defects and fill small scratches. The cab required a second coat of glazing putty and when I was satisfied, I primed the cab with white primer. Many modellers use grey primer because it covers nicely and evenly different material. However, painting CN orange over gray primer never gives good results. The orange look darker and less brilliant.

BTW, I'll have to cut away to weight from the C424 frame because I want a see through cab. For this reason, self-adhesive lead weights were installed on the cab sides. They will provide a support for mini railroader figures later.

Next step is to prime and finish the long hood in the same manner. To be noted, I ordered a new Atlas C424 running board. More on that later, but fully scratchbuilding that thing wasn't very effective from a structural and economic standpoint.

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