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ATSF U36C 8761
To build this locomotive, I modified and upgraded the Atlas U33C model.
The SFRH&MS published my article describing its construction in the 4th Quarter 1997 Warbonnet magazine.
This model was featured on the cover of the August 2003 Rail Model Journal.
This is one of the first locos I outfitted with a DCC decoder for operating on Free-mo layouts.
More recently, I revamped the trucks to more accurately match the prototype Santa Fe loco.
I started with an undecorated Atlas U33C and added numerous parts from Details West, Detail Associates, and A-Line.
Below, upper left: Equipment bays from an Athearn U33C shell (black) were stacked behind the cab on the left side.
Below, upper right: Scratch-built radio platforms on the top.
Below, middle left: Air tanks received piping and conduits.
Below, middle right: Radiators were opened, Cannon GP35 radiators doubled up and placed inside, and fine-mesh screen applied on top.
Below, bottom left: An anti-climber and rounded upper headlight housing were fabricated from styrene.
Below, bottom right: Rear number boards were blanked.
Right: The prototype - I took this
photo in Stockton, CA in 1989.
Note the GSC style trucks with
low-mount brake cylinders. The
headlight has been relocated to
the low nose, which I chose to not
replicate. The hood doors ahead
of the "F" in Santa Fe have been
replaced, messing up the "e" - I
chose not to copy this oddity.
Note: my tornado red 1985 VW
Wolfsburg-edition Scirocco is
visible below the front air tank.
I wrote a construction article featuring this model, which was published in 4th quarter 1997 The Warbonnet
magazine, the official publication of the Santa Fe Railway Historical & Modeling Society (SFRH&MS).
Below: This was the lead photo for the article. I made a small diorama, set it up outdoors with the
local California coastal hills in the background, and took several photos. Note the model originally
had kitbashed Adirondack trucks that I replaced later - see "Construction", below.
Right: When I first built this model,
I wanted the low-mounted brake
cylinders like the prototype had.
But at the time, no one made
GSC style truck sideframes. So I
compromised and retrofitted a
set of Athearn Adirondack
sideframes onto the Atlas trucks.
Below: After many hours of running on Free-mo layouts, the wheel treads became worn and collected dirt quickly.
So I replaced the truck assemblies with Atlas GSC style, albeit with high-mounted cylinders (top).
To get the low-mounted cylinders, I removed them from a set of Atlas Adirondack sideframes (2nd from top),
and installed them onto the GSC sideframes (bottom) using pins made of thick brass wire.
I filled the holes for the high-mounted cylinders, and also cut off and filled the extra "oval loops" along the top edge of the GSC sideframes.
I had to rearrange the shock snubbers too - I carved off the GSC's molded-on center-axle snubbers, smoothed off the outer-axle journals,
and then used Detail Associates parts to add outer-axle snubbers and center-axle journals.
Right: I airbrushed the reworked GSC sideframes Tru-Color TCP-013 Aluminum (upper left). At the
same time, I also painted sideframes for several other ATSF locos I was building. All the sideframes
were "poked" into scrap blocks of pink insulation foam to hold them for painting. Airbrushing is one
of my least-favorite modeling tasks, so I usually paint multiple projects in an airbrushing session to
minimize the number of times I have to setup, clean, and tear-down my painting station.