Upgrading an Athearn BB F45

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by DanRaitz, Jan 14, 2007.

  1. DanRaitz

    DanRaitz Member

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    I decided to do an upgrade of a Athearn F45. I've had this loco for over 20 years and it needs some tlc.
    Here are a couple of shots before I start tearing into it.
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    My first step was to redo the chassis, which means rebuilding the recessed step in the fuel tank. I cut out the area with a Dremel tool and then rebuilt the step with styrene and body putty.

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    After I finished with the chassis it was time to reinstall the motor and a DCC decoder.
  2. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

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    Lookin good Dan.:thumb:
    My son has 5 of those he wants me to remotor (when I get the time) 3 BN and 2 GN.
    I like the added detail so far.
  3. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

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    That is awesome, I'll have to get around to that detail on my Athearn & RPP Chassis, what air tank did you use?
  4. DanRaitz

    DanRaitz Member

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    Now to complete work on the chassis. Here I finished the truck sideframes and attached them to the trucks. But before I could do that the trucks and wheels needed to be painted.

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    I then added the brake cylinders and brake lines to the sideframes. On the left front there is a speed recorder attached to the center axle.

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    I then painted the sideframes black installed them onto the trucks.

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    Here is a shot of the completed chassis.
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    p.s. Josh, the air tanks are from Details West #AT-204
  5. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

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    Wow!! :thumb:
  6. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

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    Cool thanks. I've been trying to figure out the difference between 204 & 304! I'll have to pick those up for my SD40-2 projects!
  7. DanRaitz

    DanRaitz Member

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    Now that the chassis is complete it is time to start working on the body.

    The first thing I did was to scrape the mold lines and strip the old paint off.
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    I then started to remove the molded-in detail that will be replaced, fans (both radiator and dynamic), the exhaust hatch, the inertial filter hatch and all the grills along the side.
    To do this I first drilled a series of holes in the area that is to be removed, then cut that area out with a hobby knife and used files to square the openings up.
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    Here are a couple of shots showing the shell after all this surgery.
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  8. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

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    This is really good! I can't wait to see the end!!
  9. COMBAT

    COMBAT Member

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    I want to see how the heck its going to be painted. :)
  10. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

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    very informative! you've given me ideas....
  11. CRed

    CRed Member

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    You're in Grand rapids,huh?Not so far away from me,about 75 miles or so?

    Cool stuff,I wish I could do that.

    Chris
  12. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

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    Looking good, with all this work, I hope you add some awesome coupler pockets!
  13. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

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    Those look like some sweet mods Dan!

    Say, what did you use to strip the paint? That looks MUCH cleaner than any attempts I've ever made..
  14. DanRaitz

    DanRaitz Member

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    Tom,

    I used Chameleon paint stripper. Works great on Athearns!!!
  15. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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    Great stuff Dan! Looking forward to more. I like your MN International Railway avatar.
    Ralph
  16. DanRaitz

    DanRaitz Member

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    I have started to rebuilt the loco. Starting with the inertial air filter area. To rebuild the grills I used a radiator grill from Cannon & Co. #1401. I cut and sanded it to length and then split it lengthwise.

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    I then installed these in the openings and installed the inertail filter hatch.

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  17. DanRaitz

    DanRaitz Member

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    Next I attacked the front pilot. First I removed everything from the steps forward.

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    I then made a paper template of the rear pilot and transfered that to .020" styrene.

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    I then installed the pilot and cut out the slot for the coupler.

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    I then finished installing the details: plow, air hoses, coupler lift bar, etc.

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  18. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

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    DANG thats WAY more then I expected for the pilot detail!
  19. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

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    Lookin good Dan.
    Nice job on the pilot.:thumb:
  20. DanRaitz

    DanRaitz Member

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    I also rebuilt the radiator section. To do this I used Robert Zenk's F40PH article in the July 1983 Mainline Modeller as a guide.

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    Here is a view of the left side rad.
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    and the right side
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