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Athearn U30C Athearn U30C...
Athearn makes a nice U28C model from its blue box line.  With just a little work you can turn it into a decent U30C.  Chessie's U30C's came in road numbers 3300-3312.  So at just 13 total units they are not much more than a footnote on the Chessie roster.  But even with just 13 total units there are variations.  3300-3307 and 3310 came with Adirondack trucks.  3308-3309 and 3311-3312 came with the GSC type.  There are also body differences between 3300-3303 and 3304-3312.  The Athearn kit more accurately matches 3300-3303.  You can tell the two apart since 3300-3303 have the raised section on the back 1/4 of the top of the long hood.  See pic of 3312 to tell the differences between trucks and body styles with the pic of 3301 below.
All were painted originally in C&O blue and most got Chessie paint later.  3304 and 3309 may or may not have recieved Chessie paint.
Athearn's U30C kit, not the U28C one I am using, more accurately matches the 3304-3312 units.

Below is a Dean Heacock pic of the one I will do.  Below that is another of Dean's pics.  This is one with GSC trucks and the different back of the long hood.

How to make an Athearn U30C from a U28C:
1. Disassemble the locomotive by taking off the shell and separating the cab from the body.  Also remove the clear plastic windows.
2.  Shave off the four antennas on the top of the cab.  Sand smooth (see pics below)
3.  Shave off the headlight on the short hood.  Shave off the two boxes right behind the cab.
4.  Put platic behind the holes made from removing the boxes and headlight.  Fill with Bondo.  Fill the three holes on the top of the roof too.  These are for the horn, but the location is wrong for a Chessie unit.
5.  Sand the bondo smooth.
6.  Paint the whole locomotive primer color.  Any light color will work.  I use light grey.
7.  Tape off the walkways.  They will be grey, so just cover the primer, and that is what color they will be.
8.  Paint the sides of the locomotive and cab UP Armor Yellow.  Do several light coats to get good coverage.  Yellow is quite thick as paints go, so don't glob it on in one heavy coat, it will look horrible.
9.  Tape a line where the bottom of the orange stripe should be on the cab and body.  Paint it SP Daylight Red or what I refer to in this article as "orange".  Don't forget a small part needs to be taped in a "V" shape for the Ches-C logo on the long hood.  See pics below for clarity.
10.  BASE: While the orange is drying, pry off the truck side frames.  They just pop right off.  Paint the silver metal with enamel primer.  Spray the base flat black.
11.  BASE: Weather the base with roof brown streaking, dark grey streaking, and drybrushing of lighter and lighter shades of grey.  Then streak a little roof brown again to give it a good look.
12.  Paint the side sill orange.  I paint the orange twice, the upper stripe first, then the side sill last.  I do this for ease of taping.  You can easily tape off both the upper stripe and side sill and only paint the orange once.
13.  Tape off around the ends (technically called the pilots) and paint them C&O Enchantment Blue.  Also tape around the cab at the top of the orange stripe and paint the top of the cab blue.
14.  Tape off around the upper part of the orange stripe and paint the top blue.  Paint the top of the short hood blue too.
15.  Spray the shell with gloss coat.  Apply decals.  I use the Herald King GE hood unit set.  The back of this shell has no numberboards.  I applied two microscale numberboard decals to represent the back two numberboards.
16.  Touch up, if neccessary, where the Ches-C logo goes on the orange stripe.  I missed by about 1/8 of an inch and needed to do a little touching up.
17.  Drill hole on the left side of the roof, behind the cab, for the horn to go in.  See pics for exact position.  Also drill two holes in each pilot just below the sets of three little nubs.  These are where the mu hoses will eventually go.
18.  Prime details west or details associates parts.  These should be a 3 chime Leslie horn, a top mounted bell, 2 uncoupling levers and 4 sets of mu hoses.
19.  Paint the horn, bell, and uncoupling levers blue.  Paint the mu hoses mounting brackets blue, the hoses black and their tips silver.  The little part where the hose meets the mounting brackets are painted red, yellow, and green.  See pics for clarity.
20.  Prime the handrails.  Paint them orange.  While you have the orange out, paint the step edges orange too.
21.  Paint the inside of the cab light blue.  I use Tamiya Japanese Light Blue.
22.  Paint the bottom inside edge, jacking pads, and a small stripe on the left front side blue.  This will give the orange side sill the illusion that it is straight.  See pics for clarity.
23.  Cut a small rectangle of scrap plastic or sheet styrene for the ACI card.  Attach it to the side sill as shown in the pics below.  Paint it orange.  When the paint is dry put on an ACI decal.
24.  Spray the shell with dull coat.  Weather with an overspray of dark grey, concentrated on the back of the long hood right before the radiators.  This seems to be the dirtiest part in all the pics of U30Cs I have seen.
25.  Dry brush the shell with shades of dirt, earth and white.  Seal all weathering with more dull coat.
26.  Put in the "glass" for the windows.
27.  Snap the shell on the base.  Put on the couplers.
28.  You are done.  Enjoy your U30C.

Below are pics of my U30C.  Enjoy.

Below are the cab right out of the box, then with the four antennas shaved off and sanded smooth.

Below is 3301 right out of the box.  The next is what the shell looks like with the headlight and two boxes removed.  The white plastic has been placed behind it to hold the putty.

Below is a pic of the Bondo on and sanded smooth and the shell primered.

Below is the cab primered and the whole locomotive painted yellow.  The tape covering the walkways is still on.  Since the walkways are grey on these locomotives, I cover them with tape so the yellow won't get on them.  Don't forget to paint the step wells and battery boxes (just visible up front under the tape).

Below-left is a pic of the cab and body painted orange.  The sill still needs its orange painted.  I chose to do it in two coats since taping is much easier this way.  Not the yellow "V" in the orange stripe for the Ches-C logo.  The second pic shows the sill painted orange.  Next up is to paint the blue.

The base of 3301 is primered in the first pic.  The metal parts need a coat of an enamel paint for the black acrylic paint to stick to them (as seen in the second pic).

Below is a pic of the base completely weathered and the side frames of the trucks put on.  These are actually GSC trucks, the 3301 had Adirondack trucks.  When I find the Athearn replacement parts I will replace this defect.  For now it looks just fine.

Below is the cab completely painted and detailed.  It is time now to put on the gloss coat and attach it to the shell.  Here is the body with the first of the blue painted.  The blue still needs to be painted on the top of the short hood and a small stripe on the bottom of the side sill.

Below is a pic of 3301 with the short hood painted and all the decals applied.  Not that I missed on my guess of where the Ches-C logo would go in the orange stripe.  I touched it up later with some yellow paint.  The second pic shows the details added to the front.  The three chime horn is on the top, the mu hoses and decoupling lever are on the pilot.

Below is a pic of the handrails attached and primered.

Below is a pic of the shell finished, ready for weathering.

Below are the finished pics of #3301.