Friday, November 17, 2023

New Haven C-425s and How we used to have to build models.

Getting a New Haven U25b was relatively simple, just give your favorite hobby shop a fair amount of money and bring home a lovely Rapido model. There is also the Bowser, formerly Stewart model of the GE U25b. I have a few of those, all under various states of being built.  I am rethinking my plans for those models. I am not sure if I still have it, but I even kitbashed a U25b out of a an Ahearn U28b. There was an article in an early 1980's issue of the NHRHTA Shoreliner by Rolly Olson. You took a piece of the long hood from behind the cab and moved it to the short hood, cut open the rear grill area and added the steps on the rear of the walkways. I did most of the body work but never finished it. I should see if I still have it. Rolly also did an article on making a C425 out of a Rivarossi C424. I never built that one, but I did use some of his techniques in modifying early runs of the Atlas. You can see below my mid 1980's build of a New Haven C-425.

From this angle you can see how I added the vent shield per Rolly's article. It is just thin sheet brass bent into shape. I cut it with a pair of shears. The NH's units had the batteries mounted under the side sills so removed the battery boxes from around the cab walkways and just built small steps in front the the doors. This also meant that the handrails needed to be modified to fit the new all level walkways. 

Here is the front of the unit, I modified the cab by removing the cast on headlight and adding one that runs horizontally and air horns mounted above it. This came from Rolly's article. 

Here is the other side, same as the first side.

As time went on I became less happy with the models. The cab steps were not great, I really wanted belter handrails and they needed DCC. I decided to go an easier way, I found two NH painted shells in the correct phase on eBay.  Atlas drives have always been solid performers so I was happy to keep the original drives.  I will note the changes in the captions. 

Here is the newer Atlas model, it is the correct body phase, has great handrails, working drop steps, separate grads and the correct headlight on the cab. Leaps and bounds ahead of the first release from them, which was state of the art at the time. 

Here is the biggest flaw with the body from Atlas for a NH locomotive, it has dynamic brakes. They do not make an non dynamic version. I had visions of removing the hatches on the roof and filling in the vents on the side that this project has been sitting for a couple of years. I visited Bob Murphy's fantastic NH layout back in September and he ran a these with out removing the DBs and it looked fine. 

This photo shows how I modified the fuel tanks on the model, I do not know how the new models work, but on my old Kato made units, the bulges would pop off the basic square tank. It left two small holes that I filled in with some bits of styrene and filler nearly 4 decades ago. (I feel real old all of a sudden.) I cut off the fuel filler to the center of the tank. I just added a small pipe that is only on the fireman's side of the fuel tank. It adds a bit of detail to the plain tank.

If you want to mount the new stye shell on an old drive, you need to add a mounting pad on the body for the couplers.  I cut a small section of square styrene to fit the spot and drilled and tapped the hole for screws. I painted them flat black.

Here is the other end.

This is the material I used for the coupler pads.

These are the air horns I used on the models, I used the existing bracket to mount them. I believe the ones on the Atlas shell was not correct for the NH. A quick note about antennas, the NH did add them some time around 1967 or 1968, but they were delivered with out them, so up to you if you want to add them.

There is a quick how to on how I created my C425 models. I did add DCC and sound and the look great running with my new Rapido U25b. They do still need a bit of light weathering, or even heavy weathering as the New Haven kept these things moving being the newest and most reliable power they owned. 

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