Robert Garner's SD70MAC Tips


First of all, these comparisons were made between the Kato model, my Overland model and the prototype pictures on John's web site and elsewhere. I'm sure there may be some disagreement, so if someone wants to correct or add to this, they're welcome to do so.

I'm pretty sure the Kato model is of a Burlington prortype.

Also, I believe that the Athearn may be a better choice for a prototype than the Kato. The preproduction photos look quite nice!

1. Horn needs to be replaced with either an OMI 9018 or Cal-Scale 190-427 and it's located 7 1/2 ' from exhaust stack silencer housing. My Overland looks to have bug cones or whatever over the trumpets. These do not come with their 9018 or the Calscale horns and I've not seen a close enough photo to confirm this.

2. Replace radiator fans with Athearn SD-70, Train Station 732-143 or OMI 9215 48" "Q" fans.

3. Use Detail Associates 229-2013 winterization hatch with flanges filed off and a groove added 2' 3" back from the front edge inline with roof/ body separation. The top radius is too large on the DA part, so if someone wants to scratchbuild it the radius should be probably no larger that 2"-3", but the overall dimensions are close. I'm not sure but it may need spacing up with styrene to clear the fan.

4. Front roof access doors have an "X" pattern to them so replace with OMI 9383 or scratchbuild. I'm sure these could be replaced with .005-.010 styrene bent in an "X" pattern like you do with sheet metal to give it more strength. Rear roof access doors are split. Front part being 3' 9" long and rear is 2' long. I haven't checked but these may be made with Cannon doors.

5. Electrical boxes located on the walkway to the rear of the fireman's side of the cab measure 18" x 24" x 48" and 18" x 42" x 42". The front has a lift ring on top and the rear has two grab irons located 12" down and 12" apart.

6. The note "Gear Ratio 85:16" needs to be placed towards the front on the front trucks and to the rear on the rear trucks.

7. Sand lines need to be added to the trucks.

8. Paint fuel emergency shut off(s), fuel gauges, fuel fillers and M/U connections red.

9. Step edges need to be painted yellow.

10. Remove two forward sets of louvers on firemans side of cab. I believe these were for air conditioning units which I doubt the Alaska would need except for very hot summers in the interior.

11. Two rear lift devices on depressed section of roof need to be moved to the present horn location. Possibly use DA 229-1104 lift tabs.

12. Ditchlight housings are blue with silver trim.

13. Add toilet (?) drain to underside of frame on the firemans side.

14. Long vertical grab on rear is yellow.

15. Top three and bottom grabs on rear are blue and the remaining two are yellow.

16. The middle grabs on the front of the nose are yellow and the bottom is blue, but depending on the unit the top can be either color.

17. The grabs on the top of the nose are blue.

18. Plow choices are OMI 9555, DW 235-233 with doors added and slight modification to bottom edge, DW 235-234 with slight modification to bottom edge or Metal Miniatures 340-64 which is a little rough.

19. The small filters behind the cab on the engineers side and left rear by the battery boxes need what I term "holey screen" added to cover the filters. The screen thats used on the DA winterization hatches is good and Plano makes this type of material Part # 565-203 (SS) or 565-204 (Brass). I believe this material is also used over the radiator screens but I haven't seen a close up to verify this. The Overland looks like they tried to replicate this on the radiator grills but weren't very sucessful. I also believe the holey material is used on the inertial filter screens also.

20. The Kato has a lot of excellent underframe detail, but I'm sure it could be improved.