Feedback from viewers is a critical part of improving a model. While constructive criticism is never 'fun' to hear, it is an opportunity to tap the knowledge of others and take advantage of what is essentially free research, with the final goal of a better model.
I recently replaced the incandescent bulb headlights with LEDs, and added LED ditch lights to my model of Conrail SD50 #6712. At the same time I added sound and primed & painted the handrails to better match the color of the body. I was happy how this turned out, and posted this photo to one of the Conrail modeler groups over on Facebook:
Initial feedback was great! People liked the work I had put into the stock Athearn model. It had been released painted in several Conrail paint schemes several years ago. On the prototype, 6712 was the thirteenth unit delivered, and its original Conrail blue paint was very beaten up by the early 1990's. The SD50's were built around the EMD 645F diesel prime mover, a later version of the tried-and-true 645E in the 3000 horsepower 40-series locomotives. The 645F ran extra hard, and hot, to develop the additional 600 horsepower over the 40-series. The paint burned and blistered over the engine block and so many of the 6700's were repainted into Conrail's "Quality" paint job by 1994.
While not a big fan of 'Conrail Quality' lettering, these units were a part of the railroad in 1994 and so I elected to have a few proper units in the fleet. 6712 had been painted in late 1993 or early 1994, allowing me an excuse to run it in new and shiny paint. I had already added some Conrail-specific details to this one - the correct 'bug-eye' marker lights, the cab signal box, lift rings, etc. Now, with the ditch light project, I installed the deck-mounted MU cable and plugs. (Yes, that's the Senior Road Foreman running, I figure he'd like to have had the first run of a freshly rebuilt SD50.)
I decided at this time to also add the brake piping to the trucks:
After a few hours, I quickly got the constructive criticism to which I refer above. A fellow CR fan commented that the model looked great but that 6712 in this era had a modified snow plow, with edges cut away to avoid obstructions on a rotary dumper at Strawberry Ridge Power Plant in PA. Whether that is the reason or not, I don't know; but in checking photos online, I learned that I had some more work to do. Using the photos as a guide I hand-cut the distinctive edges into the stock Athearn plow, finishing the cuts with a jeweler's file set.
The result is just one more thing that makes the model distinctive! A little feedback can go a long way towards more accurate models if we are open to suggestions.
Very nice! Plow modification is neat and unique feature.ReplyDelete
Thanks Mike! I'm happy with it, and will continue to check prototype photos from the era to make sure I catch details like that. The Internet makes doing so much more accessible than it used to be.Delete
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Yes, the reason for the plow being cut is true. I am a conductor based out of Northumberland Pennsylvania on the Norfolk Southern Buffalo Line and the power plant on Strawberry Ridge is one of our customers. It is true that locomotives designated as ridge power must have their plows cut in order to fit through the rotary dumper.ReplyDelete