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Modeling a WP GP20
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Modeling a WP GP20

A Step-by-Step Approach for Building WP 2005 and 2010

Getting Started     Step 1     Step 2     Step 3     Step 4     Step 5     Step 6     Step 7     Step 8     Step 9     Step 10     Step 11     Step 12     Step 13     Step 14     Step 15     Step 16     Step 17     Step 18     Step 19     Step 20    Step 21

Getting Started:

Are you ready for a fun project? Then this is it! I did not think so at first, because during the planning stages, I was afraid of not making the cuts correctly and that nothing would fit, but after putting this project off for a long time, I decided what the heck and jumped in. I did do a lot of planning and research before I started. I looked over the parts of each locomotive in the boxes and determined what I was going to need and the steps I would take in doing the project. The steps were not always correct, but I went with the flow and changed them as I went along. The best thing I did was keep good notes so it would help me create the next unit (yes I have done two now — WP 2005 & WP 2010 ). So if you are ready, let's get going. Keep in mind, you can click on the thumb nail picture to display a larger one for a better view.

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Step 1:

Find as many photographs of the unit that you wish to build as possible. Make sure that you have pictures of as many sides as possible. If you cannot find all sides, use some pictures of a sister unit, as most were the same for the major detail. You can look for them in books, magazine articles, purchase them, or do a search on the web. This is a very important step in the building of an accurate unit that you chose to recreate. I would also recommend that for each step in the process, you consult these photographs to make things look as accurate as possible. My list of items used in this project is as follows:

  • Life Like Proto 2000 GP9 (undecorated if possible)
  • Life Like Proto 2000 GP20 (undecorated if possible)
  • Scalecoat II Wash Away #556
  • AccuPaint AP–98 Primer
  • AccuPaint AP–40 Aluminum (Metallic)
  • AccuPaint AP–85 WP New Orange
  • AccuPaint AP–62 Weathered Black
  • Testers Dullcote
  • Microscale 87–0026 WP Diesels 1950-1970
  • Detail Associates LT-1010 Light Pyle — Large "Mountain" Type for WP, CN, CP
  • Detail Associates SS-1301 Sun Shade
  • Detail Associates LR–101101 Lift Rings - Brass
  • Detail Associates FC–6206 Air Hose
  • Detail Associates WR–2501 Round Brass 1/4" OD
  • Details West BE–292 Bell — Roof Top Mounted
  • Details West RA–157 Antenna - "Firecracker" Type
  • Details West AH–187 Air Horn — M5 - Brass
  • A-Line #29200 Windshield Wipers
  • Kadee #58 Couplers
  • Ambroid ProWeld a liquid plastic welding glue
  • Testors Clear Parts Cement
  • any band of your favorite 5 minute epoxy

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Step 2:

Prepare a list of items that you will need for this project and then purchase everything on the list — local hobby shops would be my first choice and if they do not have everything, I purchased the rest on the internet. Make sure you have all items necessary before you start, this will save you time in the long run.

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Step 3:

Remove the body shells from the frames and running gear.

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Step 4:

If you were unable to purchase the undecorated model, now is the time to remove the paint from both models using the Scalecoat II Wash Away and a tooth brush to brush the paint off of the surface. First remove the handrails from both models and set them in separate bags, mark the bags to keep them separated for future use. The paint removal process will take several attempts as the paint can be hard to remove.

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Step 5:

Disassemble the GP9 and the GP20 shells. Remove everything possible until you have two piles of parts. The manufacturer melted the items in place in most cases, so an easy scrape and a slight push from the underside of the shells will usually break them loose. Please be careful while removing the windows in the doors as they do break very easily (I learned from experience). I then bagged each pile of parts and labeled the bags as to their origin and set them aside for later use. Keep the GP9 and GP20 walkways, GP9 short hoods, GP20 long hood, and the GP9 cab out for the next steps.

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Step 6:

Now for the sensitive part. Cut the GP20 walkway 2 saw blade lengths in front of the louvered battery box (towards the front of the frame) on both sides of the walkway. See photo for step 9 and step 10. Discard the front part of the walkway and set the other part aside in an area so you will have it for a further step.

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Step 7:

Cut the GP9 walkway 2 saw blade lengths past the hand rail stanchion attachment hole (towards the center of the walkway) on both sides of the walkway. See photo for step 9 and step 10. Discard the back part of the walkway and set the front part aside with the walkway part from the last step.

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Step 8:

File the cut end of the GP20 walkway to just in front of the louvered battery box cover on both sides. Make sure that the filed area is as square as possible.

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Step 9:

Click to view full size - Walkway Side View

File the cut end of the GP9 walkway just far enough to remove the battery box cover, leaving the hole for the handrail stanchion intact, on both sides. Make sure that the filed area is as square as possible.


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Step 10:

Click to view full size - Walkway Top View

Place the two pieces of the walkway on the GP9 frame assembly (use this frame assembly because it has the extra high weight in the front). Fit the short walkway section to the long walkway section. Test fit the GP9 high short hood,the GP9 cab, and the long hood sections with the frame at this time also. File or sand the walkway sections lightly to make everything fits together.

Click to view full size - Walkway Splice Area

When everything fits together, glue the walkways together with a liquid plastic weld glue (Ambroid ProWeld) that will melt a little of the plastic. This seems to hold it together and makes a stronger bond.


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Step 11:

After the frame has completely dried, fill any parts of the seams in the walkway that are not flush and sand when dry. Repeat this process until you are happy with the joints. Please be careful of the detail around the joints, you do not want to sand them off or get any filler on any of the surrounding areas. When I thought I was done, I sprayed a coat of primer on the area. This will make any irregular marks and surfaces stand out like a sore thumb. When satisfied, set aside while you do the next steps.

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Step 12:

Click to view full size - Assembled Long Hood

Clean off any remaining paint on the GP20 long hood and fan components. Glue all of the fan components back onto the long hood. Glue the footboards on the rear of the walkway. Drill the holes in the hood used to align the winterization hatch over the front rear fan — location holes are found on the inside of the shell. Glue the winterization hatch in place. Glue the sand hatch back in place with the handle facing the end of the hood. Clean out the lift ring holes, where the plastic lift rings had been located, with a small wire or drill bit. Insert the lift rings (DA LR–101101) into the holes. I used a 5 minute epoxy to hold them securely in place. Drill a hole for the bell on the front left corner of the long hood near the cab. Install the bell (DW BE–292 ), again I used the 5 minute epoxy to hold it securely. Remove the cast-on rear light fixture with a #1 hobby knife and then sand smooth. Be careful not to remove any detail around the light fixture (I placed several layers of masking tape around the work area to protect the surrounding detail). I then drill out the "can light" (DA LT–1010) to have a hole for the future addition of lighting. Secure the "can light" in it's correct location using the liquid glue. After a couple of days, I went back and drilled the same hole through the body shell for the addition of future lighting.


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Step 13:

Click to view full size - Assembled Cab

Sand down the sprue release spot that was left on the roof of the cab and then fill and sand until it is no longer noticeable. Drill a hole and install the air horn (DW AH–187) in the correct location on the engineer's side of the cab roof towards the back. Again, I used the ever popular 5 minute epoxy to secure it in place. Apply the sun shades (DA SS–1301) over the cab windows using the liquid glue.


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Step 14:

Click to view full size - Assembled Short High Hood

Fill and sand the old horn mounting hole on the short high hood until it is no longer noticeable. Drill a hole and install the antenna (DW RA–157) in its correct location. Glue the sand hatch back in place with the handle facing the end of the hood. Clean out the lift ring holes, where the plastic lift rings had been located, with a small wire or drill bit. Insert the lift rings (DA LR–101101) into the holes. I used a 5 minute epoxy to hold them securely in place. Remove the cast-on front light fixture with a #1 hobby knife and then sand smooth. Be careful not to remove any detail around the light fixture (I placed several layers of masking tape around the work area to protect the surrounding detail). I then drilled out the "can light" (DA LT–1010) to have a hole for the future addition of lighting. Secure the "can light" in it's correct location using the liquid glue. After a couple of days, I went back and drilled the same hole through the body shell for the addition of future lighting.


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Step 15:

Now, everything comes together! After all of the different assemblies have completely dried, fit the new GP20 short high hood, the new GP20 cab, and the GP20 long hood into the walkway. After it is all together, test fit this assembly on the frame again to make sure it fits correctly. I used some of the liquid plastic glue in a few places to give the whole body a little more strength. Now is a good time to add the air pipe for the bell. I used a piece of round brass 1/4" for the pipe and followed a picture that was taken of the bell area as closely as possible.

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Step 16:.

This is the painting stage. I first sprayed primer on the body assembly with a gray primer (AccuPaint AP–98).I then checked over the body assembly for any places that needed to be filled or sanded. After filling and sanding a few spots, I sprayed primer on the assembly again, mainly over the areas that were repaired. I waited a couple of days and then sprayed the body assembly with the aluminum color (AccuPaint AP–40). I let the body assembly sit for a couple of days to fully cure and then masked the body off for the application of the orange paint (I used drafter's masking tape because it is thinner and fits the contours of the body). When the masking was completed, I spray painted the unmasked areas with the orange color (AccuPaint AP-85). I let it sit for about an hour and then carefully removed the masking tape. On my second unit that I built, I masked off everything except for the roof-top and spray painted it weathered black (AccuPaint AP–62).

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Step 17:

I now applied the decals to the unit (Microscale 87–0026) using a good decal setting solution. I went over the areas that did not completely conform to the body a number of times with the decal setting solution until I was satisfied with the results. Please follow your pictures when applying the decals for the exact locations and the type of decal that was used in the different areas.

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Step 18:

Adding the rest of the parts. I now reinstalled the grab irons, front and rear coupler lift bars, front and rear MU hoses, front and rear air hose (DA FC–6206), front and rear MU stands, front and rear drop steps, and finally the handrails. When satisfied that all items are in their proper places, spray the body with Testers Dullcoat to remove the glossy look. Let the body dry for a day before going to the next step.

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Step 19:

Finishing touches. I now replaced all of the clear plastic window glass in the cab using the Testors Clear Parts Cement to secure them to the cab. Be very careful to use just enough so it will not get on the paint or the clear plastic window glass. Drill the small holes where each of the windshield wipers will be placed (refer to your photographs once again). Make sure that you pre-painted your windshield wipers while they where on the sprue (much easier to paint them with something to hold on too) with the aluminum paint. Remove the needed windshield wiper and place them in their drilled holes with a small amount of the 5 minute epoxy (too much and it gets everywhere and that is a bad thing). Set aside and let everything dry.

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Step 20:

Click to view full size - Modified Fame Assembly

Last but not least. You will now have to remove the fuel/air tank assembly off of the GP9 frame and the GP20 frame. They are secured with a piece of double–sided tape and will take a bit of pulling, but they will come off. Now apply the GP20 fuel/air tank assembly on the GP9 frame, now you have the new GP20 frame with the tall weight in the front of the frame. Place the body assembly on the frame and install the Kadee #58 couplers into the coupler pockets at each end of the unit.


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Step 21:

Click to view full size - Completed Model 1 Click to view full size - Completed Model 2 Click to view full size - Completed Model 3

You are now done and I hope you have enjoyed this project. Right? Now go run your new power and impress your friends. Click on the photos to view photos of the unit.


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