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MILW/GN FP45/F45 units in N Scale

MILW FP45 and GN F45 from the Lima FP45

Milwaukee FP45 #2

I've always wanted to model the GN F45 in N scale.  Unfortunately, unless you pay for brass, the unit is unavailable.  I've tried a few custom shells but they weren't the quality I was looking for.  My answer came in the Lima FP45.   I was able to track two down through the great N-Scale List.  I didn't want to use both for a single unit so I was able to get an FP45 as well.  Since GN didn't own any of these, it'll have to be a Milwaukee unit.  I'm not a Santa Fe fan...

First, the easy part.


Below you can see the result of my basic modifications of the Lima FP45. I've used LifeLike porch ends from their SD7/9 model.  These had the correct angle to match up with the ends of the unit.  I then made anticlimbers out of styrene.

All details have been removed and will be replaced with wire.  The last thing I'll need to do is remove the Dynamic brake hardware to match the Milwaukee prototype.

Trix FP45 Modified

Obviously, I wouldn't be using the Lima  mechanism...  I ended up using the Kato E8/9 frame.  It's almost a perfect fit. I only had to remove a bit from each end of the frame.  Below is the basic fit.  The truck sideframes will be replaced with sideframes from a Kato SD45, which happen snap on to the E8/9 trucks perfectly.

Hopefully, I'll soon have a picture of the completed unit here.

The F45 on the Kato frame

Now, the not so easy part...

I first thought the modifications to an FP45 would be trivial, but on closer inspection I realized that door and panel placement is different between the FP and the F.  So, it wasn't a matter of simply cutting off the boiler section of the FP45.

I started by making molds of each side of the Lime FP45.  I would make a casting of each side and use the panels from that casting to put the jigsaw puzzle that would be the F45 together.  The left side of the unit was easy, just a matter of moving the rear-most door.

In this photo you can see the new left side of the F45.  The new door is in it's proper place and the rear of the unit re-attached with CA. Look at the picture above of the FP45 to see the difference.  I also plugged the lower mounting holes with resin.

N scale F45 left side

The right side was not as easy.  This side required me to remove the panels all the way back from the front of the Dynamic brake housing to the rear of the unit.  I was able to re-use most of the original panels but had to put in place a small section of cast panels. Again, comparing to the photo above, you can see the drastic difference in panel placement from the FP45. No one ever said kitbashing was boring!

N scale F45 right side
oops, one more hole to fill...

When I'm finished with the F45 I'm going to make a mold of it.. so I don't have to go through all this again!  So, all that's left is the porches, detailing, and the mechanism.

GN F45 Next...

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