Kato SD38-2: From CNW to CSX

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Lazy Daydreamer
This model has been sitting on a shelf under my layout ever since February 2005, waiting to be painted in the colors of my chosen road. I've been too focused on building a layout to do any loco modeling work. Well two weeks ago, I finally got started on it.

First, a link to its "before" picture, fresh from the box in C&NW paint:

Proto: http://www.trainweb.org/csxphotos/photos/SD38-2/2454CSX-bc.jpg

Part of the reason this took so long is because I photo-documented every major step of the process. I'm planning to write an Ask-Paint-Shop type of article on it in the near future. But for now, I'll skip directly to the photos of the finished product. The only aftermarket parts I used (all from Details West) are: A Pyle headlight lens cover, a CSX-style K5LA 5chime horn, and a long hood side-mounted bell.

1) A head-on view;
2) Left side;
3) Tail end;
4) Right side, from rear
Last edited by a moderator:


Lazy Daydreamer
You plan on putting a Digitrax SD38-2 Sound Decoder in there Ken?

Haven't quite decided yet; I put one of those [Digitrax] decoders into another Kato SD38-2 painted for my private road, but IMHO - the sound is pretty lame compared with the Soundtraxx DSD-AT100LC. It doesn't have the characteristic bark of a non-turbocharged EMD prime mover, and there isn't any separate CV setting for 'exhaust'.

The LC definitely has its own faults, but I have yet to hear any other brand of decoder that reproduces a non-turbo EMD sound as faithfully as it does. I'll probably continue waiting for the diesel Tsunami, and use a soundless decoder in the meantime.


Southern Railway lives on
Nice looking unit Ken. Just out of curiousity how do you get the angles right. It seems to me that would be the hardest part. I haven't done any CSX units and that's part of the reason I ask.
Ive not attemted any model painting yet... the masking off to me seems to be near impossible to get it right... I look forward to the Step by step..


Lazy Daydreamer
Funny you should ask...

... Just out of curiousity how do you get the angles right. It seems to me that would be the hardest part. ...

An interesting question, Smoke! Actually, I kinda 'cheated' :eek: ; I created some home-grown decals for the hard-to-mask areas. I'm planning to write a digital article for Joe Fugate's 'MTU' online mrr knowledge base, explaining the process. But for now, here are a few Photobucket slide shows I pieced together - since there is a 10-image limit per slideshow for 'freebee' accounts, I had to split it into two shows:

Imagess 1 thru 10:

Images 11 thry 20:

I just now learned how to do the slideshow thing, sorry about the crude quality. The actual article will be much easier to follow...

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