How to make an Atlas U23B:
1. The Alas kit is very accurate right out of the box. The only real problems are that the class lights are not painted, and need to be silver. The drop step comes all blue and needs to be yellow on the bottom.
2. Add the road number decal. Mine came from the set included with my GP30, but Microscale makes decals for them too.
3. The biggest thing anyone notices about all blue GE units, like the U23B, is they collect dirt like small children and their paint peels like it was the cheapest paint GE could find. So, you will need to weather the heck out of it. As it comes in the package the engine looks like the day it was built. For the Chessie Era, you need to show some faded and peeling paint. I weathered mine with C&O blue right out of the bottle. Drybrushing and streaking it all over. Then I lightened it with white several times, for several different shades of blue.
4. Next I got the white and grey paint out and went to town on the yellow stripe. I streaked it according to the pic above.
5. Streak and drybrush dirt color, roof brown, and rust color around the point where the hood widens in the back. This is where the worst paint peeling always occurs on GEs.
6. Drybrush the trucks with grey and white. Drybrush the silver exhaust stack black. Drybrush an area around the stack black too.
7. Drybrush the couplers rust colors. Also paint the front face of the pilot (where the couplers are) a dark bluish black color. Drybrush on some tan and concentrate on making two "stripes" of lighter color. See the pic above for what I mean. You want to simulate all of the kicked up dirt that accumulates there.
7. Paint the numberboards black. When the paint is dry apply a gloss coat to the boards.
8. Apply numberboard number decals.
9. Add handrails. Paint the parts in the yellow stripe yellow. Paint the ends by the steps yellow. Weather them like the prototype photo.
10. Tape over the windows. Spray the entire locomotive with dull coat. This is needed to seal in the numberboards.
11. Streak oily black (glossy sheen) on the fuel tank to simulate fuel spills.
12. You are done. Enjoy your locomotive.
Below are pics of my U23B in work:
#2324 right out of the box.
Below is my #2324 after steps 1-7. The road
was added and the weathering done. Notice the two silver
the nose. Those are the class lights and should be silver.
It is not easy to take that first brush load of
to a pretty Atlas engine, but when all is said and done, it
a real locomotive and not a toy.
Below is a back view of the finished
The handrails and the numberboard decals have been added.
Below is a side view of the finished
It is ready to start hauling trains and earning some money.