F-Unit Parade

Discussion in 'Electo-Motive Division (EMD)' started by gna, Jul 26, 2017.

  1. gna

    gna Member Frisco.org Supporter

    In light of Ken's (Meteor910) sale of a Stewart F3 to me (http://www.frisco.org/shipit/index.php?threads/naples-update-7.10518/), and taking on yet another project, I thought I'd post some of my other F-units I've been working on for the past several years.

    Many years ago, Trainworld had a blow out sale on Proto 1000 F3s. I love F-units, so I couldn't resist. The Proto models were Phase I early F3, with high fans, single headlight, chickenwire, and no dynamic brake:

    They could work for the first F3s, 5000 and 5001 A and 5100 and 5101 B. I bought an A/B set and stripped the paint, scraped off the cast-on grabs, and drilled out the high fans. I used Details West 36" low-pan fans CF-142 and glued them in place:

    I've primed and painted the B unit:


    And the A unit is ready to prime and paint:


    I've also got an ER/Roco FP-7 primed, though I want to add cut levers on the pilot:


    Here's my latest F3 in front, which will need dynamic brakes filed off and filled (squadron putty?)


    As if this wasn't enough, I also picked up a Walthers Trainline FA-1 cheap, stripped it, removed cast on grabs, and filed off the dynamic brake:


    This is all great, but I likes me some Black and Yellow, and with Oddball decals gone, what are my options? Tamiya masking tape?
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
  2. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Frisco.org Supporter

    There is a great deal of confusion on the F-unit phases, in particular F3 unit phases, as there were many of them. Let me try to clear up some of the basics.

    First of all, the F-unit phases had nothing to do with EMD - EMD did not designate phases. EMD made improvements as they came up with them, so the differences occurred at irregular times. It was the great railfan magazine X2200S (Extra 2200 South) who suggested the phases for F-units, and SW's, and GP's, etc. They have defined these in articles in their issues from long ago (1970's/1980's).

    Regarding F3A's, and F3B's:
    F3A Phase I: Three side port holes, chicken wire on the top side vents only. High 36" fans. Until about 5/47.
    F3A Phase II: Two side port holes, chicken wire on the top side vents, and on the side between the port holes. High 36" fans. Until about 11/47.
    F3A Phase III: Two side port holes, chicken wire on the top side vents, and on the side between the port holes. Low 36" fans. Until about 12/47. (SLSF 5000-5001)
    F3A Phase IV: Two side port holes, chicken wire on the top side vents only. Louvered vents between the port holes. Low 36" fans. Until about 8/48. (SLSF 5002-5017)
    F3A Phase V: Side port holes, Far-Air horizontal fabricated grill on top side vents. Louvered vents between the port holes. Low 36" fans. Until about 2/49.
    F7A Phase I: Same as F3A Phase V after 11/48. (SLSF 5018-5039)

    F3B: All same as F3A Phase I, with three port holes and fans which match the dates of the F3A phases. No side chicken wire between the port holes ever on F3B's.

    This is the kind of trivial crap I really enjoy!

    ps: The F2A, all of them, were the same as the F3A Phase I. Phase II F7A's were the same as Phase I's, except for a slightly different side louvered vent between the port holes, a vertical slit stamped out Far-Air grill on the top side vent, the elimination of the rear roof overhang, and after about 8/52, a 48" d/b fan instead of the previous 36" fan. Until about 12/53.
    The F9A was the same as the F7A Phase II except for an extra louvered vent added in front of the first port hole, and the first port hole thus was moved further back a bit. After 12/53. (And of course, the F9 was 1750HP instead of 1500HP).
  3. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Gary -
    Yea Monon! Glad somebody else appreciates the Hoosier Line, a neat little railroad. Cool thing - their freight F3's and other freight units were painted in the colors of Purdue University, old gold and black, and were later used in passenger service as well. (Hail Purdue!) The Monon passenger F3's were originally painted in the crimson and cream colors of Indiana University (yuk!), until everything was rightfully consolidated into the colors of Purdue in later years.
    Yes, I graduated from Purdue. Could you tell?
    ps: Caroline and I were there at Purdue in Lafayette in 1967 when the Monon threw in the towel and ceased all passenger operations. They brought all their passenger equipment to their big maintenance center in Lafayette ("Shops") for disposal and scrapping. Was sad to see all the stuff sitting there in the yard.
    Sirfoldalot and gjslsffan like this.
  4. gna

    gna Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Thanks Ken for the info. I erred, I meant to say phase II early in my OP.

    I like this chart: http://trainweb.org/jfuhrtrain/CF7frames/F3Phases/F2F3F5chart.html

    It's from our ATSF friends. I like that it mentions some internal differences as well.

    RE: Monon--I had a Proto 2000 BL2 in Monon, but I gave it to a friend who likes BL2s (takes all kinds, I guess). Had I known, I would've sent it to you!
    Sirfoldalot and gjslsffan like this.
  5. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    I enjoy seeing your efforts. great to see these F's moving along.
    I have a couple DW cut bar packages if you happen to need some, also the grabs atop the windshields too, maybe a few more as well, I have soo many detail parts, need to get rid of some but just keep collecting.
    Sirfoldalot likes this.
  6. gna

    gna Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Thanks Tom. I have a cut bar around here somewhere. I had a plastic one but I broke it :mad:. I bought a cast one for the FP-7.

    I want these to look as much like as delivered as possible, so I don't think I need "eyebrow" grabs, but I may change my mind...
  7. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Thanks. Nice chart.

    I had a P2K Monon BL2 as well. The thing was nicely done, but that locomotive is so ugly that it got on my nerves, so I listed it on eBay - and it sold quickly to my surprise. Not EMD's best effort! P2K got the old gold color right, though.

  8. Sirfoldalot

    Sirfoldalot Frisco.org Supporter Frisco.org Supporter

    KEN -- Thank you for this dissertation on the "F" Unit differences. This really clears it up for me!

    One small little thing is the fact that on the "F3A Phase V: Side port holes" - you left out the number of port holes? Now I will have to correct an otherwise PERFECT chart!

    P.S. GARY: Thanks for the ATSF chart as well!
  9. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Sherrel -
    Other than the FT A-unit, which had four closely spaced portholes, and the F2A and F3A phase l, both of which had three widely spaced portholes, all of the F-unit A's had two portholes on the side. Some of the porthole spacing differed slightly in porthole location, FP7A, FP9A, and F9A to be specific, but they all had only two.
  10. gna

    gna Member Frisco.org Supporter

    As it happens, I could use a couple DW cut bars packages--I looked for them, but I don't have 'em.
  11. gna

    gna Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Any painting/masking advice? I have a set of Oddballs hood unit decals, but I am going to have to do some the old school way.
  12. geep07

    geep07 Member

    You can use Microscale Decals # 87-85 for the black/ yellow paint scheme.
    Paint the yellow first, mask that off then paint the mask yellow, let that completely dry then paint the black over all. When pulling the mask off pull it 90 Degree away from the model. I f the black bled on the yellow touch up with a fine brush using a light grey color to cover the black, let that dry, repeat till it covers the black, then cover the light grey with the yellow. You will probably have to go over the grey a few times. When touching up use very little paint on the touch up brush don't glob it on. Keep working on it till the yellow has covered up the grey let the yellow dry between each touch up. You can speed up the process by using a hair drier or a heat gun on a light setting between each touch up.

    You can mask the black off where it bled on to the yellow to keep the line straight!

    Be patient, and GOOD LUCK!

    gna likes this.
  13. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    If black bleeds onto the yellow, I've found small pieces of yellow decal to be the hot ticket for touch-up. Vice versa, if there's yellow showing on the black where the tape didn't seal good, a piece of black decal. Using decals results in excellent "straight lines" for fixing little edge issues/etc.
    gna likes this.
  14. pensive

    pensive Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Another way to deal with bleeding under the masking is to spray the model with a clear coat. Any bleeding under will be clear and the edges will be sealed for the next coat. Also, when cutting the masks, lay them out on a piece of glass and use a X-acto knife to cut all the edges. Don't depend on the factory cuts of the tape unless it's specifically made for models.

    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017
    gna and Joe Lovett like this.
  15. gna

    gna Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Thanks, good ideas.
    What decals do you use?

    I assume you spray a clear coat over the yellow and the mask, right, instead of sealing with yellow as above?

    As far as paint goes, I have Poly Scale Acrylics for my airbrush, so I was thinking CN Yellow and Engine Black, but my friends who paint have given up on hobby shop paint--they go to Menard's and buy Rustoleum 2X spray paint. I have painted freightcars a red oxide primer, but I haven't painted any locos with rattlecans. I see some folks here go to autoparts store and buy spray paint for Engine Red. Anyone try rattlecan black and yellow?
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017
  16. pensive

    pensive Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Yes, the clear coat goes on after the yellow paint and the masking, but now that you mention it, yellow paint over the masking would probably work also.

    IMO, I would stick with paints made especially for models. The color particles are ground much finer than what's in general use paints. Multiple layers of paint eventually obscure details of the model.

  17. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    gna: If I used Floquil's "Armour Yellow", I recall using pieces of yellow stripes from the Walther's yellow hazzard stripe set, or pieces from the well-known Microscale Frisco set. For black I used whatever black clippings I had in my decal scrap box.
  18. gna

    gna Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Some progress photos

    I filed off the dynamic brakes on the Stewart and filled the grids with squadron putty, then wet sanded until smooth:

    I covered the rivets with masking tape, but it looks like I sanded some of them off :oops: They are a bit big, though. I removed the glass and started drilling out holes for lift rings and grabs. Stewart molded spots for them so it's easy. The frame looks to have room for a speaker in the back, too.

    I looked for my decals, and I think I'll be all right. For some reason, I thought the Oddballs set would only do 2 locos, but it appears to have enough for six:


    I also dug out my Athearn Genesis F3A for comparison:


    Did I mention I love F units?
  19. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    Lets me see how many you need Sir, and whatever else you may need.
  20. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Like Tom and several others, I have a large stash of detail parts, DA, DW, etc. Difference is I most likely won't need most of them. So, I could be a "parts supplier" as well. I brought them all to Florida.
    What is the DW number for the cut bars? I no longer even have a Walthers Catalog. Will get another this fall!

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