Psst, Hawkeye251, jbaakko (and other diesel modelers)

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RCH

Been Nothin' Since Frisco
I know you guys like to build your own models, taking as much or as little off the starting point to build as close an approximation of the prototype as possible. So, with that in mind, I wanted to point you to a little company in Canada (a legitimate one, not the vaporware resin guy) that is making great parts and has plans for an undertaking that has me rethinking every single project I currently have in progress.

The company, Railflyer Model Prototypes, has already released etched brass kits for nearly every variation on step wells for Canadian GMD diesels, etched treadplate, injection molded GP jacking pads (no more cutting up Athearn shells for these!), and a variety of other injection molded and etched brass detail parts.

One of the cool things about this product line is the fact that all this stuff is created using CAD modeling. That means that costs are cut significantly since the "masters" are virtual models. And product development, which still takes considerable time to research, design, test, and put into production, takes place in the blink of an eye compared to a decade ago. When it's as simple as modeling one hinge, one knuckle-buster latch, etc., then copying and pasting those components into a larger virtual master model, much can be accomplished in a short time. And that's why RMP has already put together a large catalog containing so many of the seemingly infinite variations on such mundane parts as pilots and stepwells.

What's got me excited about this company is the project just announced: the GP and SD Walkway Modules. Basically, what these consist of is everything below the bottom of the hood of a GMD/EMD GPxx-2 or SDxx-2 diesel - trucks, fuel tank, walkway deck, pilots, stepwells, and frame - all modeled according to field measurements of the prototype. For detail nuts like me, this is a dream come true. No more cutting the "very nice in the 80s" Athearn or chunky Railpower shells to the walkway deck to mount those gorgeous built-up hood sides of Cannon doors, grilles and roof stock. Now, finally, a walkway and everything beneath it is worthy of your Cannon cabs, noses, and fans.

I realize this kind of kit is not for the faint of heart, but if you are like me and find yourself building 6 BN SD40-2s without any two being even the same phase, you can appreciate what has gone into not only this Walkway Module project, but every other RMP kit as well.

Take a look at the CAD rendering of the SD Walkway Module here:



If that wasn't enough, there are also kits in the works for some of the GMD versions of blower housings, safety cabs, and numberboards, just to mention a few. Yes, I did say Canadian safety cabs!

Now, just because RMP has focused so much attention on the long under-represented Canadian modeler, doesn't mean they've forgotten US modelers. There are numerous US-specific parts in the catalog already with more to come. And besides, many of the differences between the Canadian GMD and US EMD locomotives are slight, so not offering the common US versions when they're just a few mouse clicks away for the designer is a no-brainer.


Visit RMP's site
, check out their products, and if you think you can use any of their parts, give them your business. I think you'll be satisfied with the products and after just a few of their parts, you'll find yourself as excited about their announcements as I am.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Railflyer Model Prototypes in any way, just an enthusiastic, satisfied customer.
 

kjd

Go make something!
Have you actually seen any of his products? Or assembled his steps? Just because it is CAD designed doesn't mean it will go together well or easily. (At least the stuff I designed in CAD usually didn't at first, but then I was doing whole buildings). He regularly spams various Yahoo lists with ads for his latest stuff but I haven't seen anything anyone has done with them. I hope it is as good as he says because fixing Athearn SD40-2s is a lot of work and his stepwells not to mention the draft gear could make it much easier. Just wondering...
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
Yeah Ryan, I ran across them a month or so ago, I don't remember how though. I'm really interested in this "DP 1056 GMD NBM Bell - No Marker" for my BNSF SD40 rebuilds, and this guy on my Dash 9's "DP 1065 GE Coupler Plate Late Version". Though I wish the prices on the nose kits were lower, in the Cannon range.

Very nice company though, I'll be picking stuff up from them in the future.
 

Hawkeye251

Member
Thanks for posting this Ryan, I've been meaning to do so but haven't yet had a chance.

I placed my order for one of the SD40-2 frames, 4000 gallon fuel tank, and detail parts bundle last night.

KJD, I've purchased and assembled RPM kit DP1082, and I have on the way a set of his GP jack pads, and DP1061 coupler buffer plate. The steps are completely flawless. The fit is perfect, and they are exactly accurate, they take patience to assemble, but I think the effect is well worth it. I'll be posting a review of all the RMP products I buy here as soon as I get a chance.

Josh, I thought the price for the nose/cab kits was expensive as well, until I looked at everything that was included. For RMP's price you get a cab, nose, subbase, laser cut cab windows, a smattering of detail parts, decals, and .008 grab irons. If you add up all the equivalent Cannon and other manufacturer parts, the price comes out about the same.

It's good to see a new player in the HO finescale diesel market... For the most part it's just been Cannon since... well... forever. And I hope both these manufacturers will continue to expand their product lines. As in releasing GE components that are as nice as their EMD lines.
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
Cannon & Hi-tech...

When is someone (between Cannon, Hi-tech, Kaslo, RPM, DW or DA) going to give me and accurate BNSF Dash 9 cab?

Anyways, Hawkeye251, let me know how that SD40-2 chassis works, I might be able to substitute that for some of my SD40-2 projects (have a 2 Katos missing chassis!).
 

RCH

Been Nothin' Since Frisco
Paul, yes, I have some of his products and they are first rate. If they were less than the quality achieved by Cannon or Hi-Tech, I wouldn't have any interest. And believe me - I wouldn't hype anything based solely on someone's CAD work (I'm a designer for a civil engineering firm)! I've seen the consequences of that.

You're right about it being difficult to rework Athearn's SD40-2 (and others in their product line). In the past, it's been enough work for most of us to just build everything up from the deck and let everything else sort of slide. Not anymore. If you can build the top side, you can build the bottom side, too. Of course, I may be on the fringe in terms of my threshold for detail fidelity and my willingness to chop up a factory model to achieve my goals, so there's a chance what I'm excited about is merely white noise to someone else.
 

kjd

Go make something!
I am glad to hear that he makes a fine product. I had heard some things from a person who knows a thing or two about building models, but I am glad they work well. I'll have to look into it farther. Thanks for the first hand info.
Do you have any SD40-2 photos, Ryan?
mine: http://members.trainorders.com/pmack/bn/7023.htm
 

RCH

Been Nothin' Since Frisco
Whoa, that's nice, Paul! As for me, nothing on hand right now. I sold all mine on ebay awhile back, then collected parts for the new ones. It looks like now I'll be building the Athearn SD40-2s back up and selling them, while keeping all the Cannon and other parts I already have on hand. It was my intent to take these seven down to the bones and build them from the walkways up on Athearn frame/drives, but once this project is released, it looks like I'll be doing all seven from RMP frame/drives/walkways and Cannon everything else up top.

Add to that the two Athearn GP38-2 carve up jobs I've got going right now and I'm a busy guy! I'm even thinking of restarting those projects with the RMP frame/drive/walkway kit...
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
Don't get me started on walkway up rebuilds... Those SD39's are killer, I'm cutting corners too, as it seems the consensus is Kato SD45 walkways, Cannon/Hi-tech above the walkways. But from my observation the Santa Fe SD39's I'm modeling match the Kato SD40, not the 45. SD39 #1 is a RPP SD38, #2 is a Kato SD40.

Then there's the ominous GP38 BAR unit I have planned, and this SD40-2 that I'm working on now is one cut & go unit...

I dunno how willing I am to build ALL of my units from the ground up though, its more of a key unit thing, and distinguishing features (3 vs 4 window Dash 9's).
 
Walkway Modules

Ryan, Christoper, and gang,

A Google search brought me to this conversation.

Christoper is going to find out very shortly what high tech tooling is all about. A set of the new DP 1061 EMD Coupler Plates and DP 1066 EMD GP Jack Pads was sent out a few days ago for him.

I'm not writing this to just hype up my products (well maybe somewhat) but I am extremely excited about the quality and new level of accuracy available with my plastic tooling. It beats everything currently on the market. Ryan has a set of the GP Jack Pads and can back this up.

What you will get with the walkway modules is the start of a complete locomotive system that will set a new standard on the way we build our locomotives. Current models do not make sense in many ways. They are mostly tooled to produce one or two variations at most and because of the numerous differences in locomotives this pleases nobody who wants prototypical accuracy. Designing a system of interchangeable components makes sense and is the best long term investment. Another feature of my product is that it forms a "blank canvass" in which you can use off the shelf aftermarket products to get what you want.

It doesn't make sense for me to tool a fuel tank with a filler neck or sight gauge were its only correct for the BNSF. Cannon makes beautiful parts for this. Use my fuel tanks and his detail set and put them where your prototype has them. What does make sense is for me to provide the bridge, in product with an accurate profile and length for you to model your own choices.

The last comment is that I'm a young company, I'm only 30 years old myself, I plan on being around for a long time. If it wasn't for your support, I would not be able to do this. I started the company because I want a fleet of accurate models that perform better than what's out there already. Other hobby industries are flourishing due to the advances in design and tooling, why is it that model railroading is dying? Model railroading is not going to advance because a new ready to run locomotive is now available. Its going to go places when you and I have the right products and tools to build accurate representations easily and cost effectively. Up to know, these products were unavailable.

Take care,

Christopher Howard, President
Railflyer Model Prototypes Inc.
 
Guys,

Thanks. Check things out and see the products for your self. The new tread-plates are excellent as they accurately represent the tread applied to locomotives and not the industrial versions commonly used for the design of after market kits. New pilots and steps for American locomotives are now in design for release with the walkway modules.

Take care,

Christopher Howard
Railflyer Model Prototypes Inc.
 

BNSF dude

BNSF foamer
I hate to steal your thunder, but SD38(-2)'s, SD39(-2)'s, SD40-2 frames are all the same, Basing on that so should the walkways...
 

RCH

Been Nothin' Since Frisco
I hate to steal your thunder, but SD38(-2)'s, SD39(-2)'s, SD40-2 frames are all the same, Basing on that so should the walkways...
I'm not sure what the parenthesis around the -2 is intended to indicate in your post, but it may be worth pointing out, for the sake of clarity, that there is a difference in length between the 38/39/40/45 series and their Dash 2 counterparts. This was to accommodate the larger sideframe of the HT-C truck used on Dash 2 locomotives. But, the larger point is correct - the SD38/39/40/45 all shared a common frame, as did the SD38-2/39-2/40-2 and SD45-2.

Walkways are a different animal, though. In the past, when determining which walkway casting to use for a given kitbashing project, the position of the subbase, the length of the blower duct and the style of pilots/stepwells dictated which manufacturer's model to start with for modeling a given prototype. For example, as Josh mentioned above, there are ways the SD40 walkway matches his chosen prototype better than the SD45 walkway, even though neither is a SD39 walkway.

Christopher's product will remedy all of this, as well as provide an unprecedented level of detail and accuracy from the top of walkway down.
 
Stolen Thunder

I do not know the rationale behind the "Thunder" post as left by BNSF Dude.

SD38-2, SD40-2, SD45-2, SD50S all used the same basic frame. So did the GP38-2, GP39-2, GP40-2, GP50 which is why I'm doing both the GP and SD frames at the same time. What is not realized in his post is that the walkway and frame are integral and changing assemblies and components will make your build unique to your railway. This includes the ability to mix and match fuel tanks and under-frames.

Prototypical rendered and proportioned frames, fuel tanks, sills, walkways, and accessory components that assemble in an easy to build package are an industry first for 2nd generation hood units in HO Scale. The fact that you can now specify a road number and get the product to your specifications is another.

Christopher Howard
Railflyer Model Prototypes Inc.
 
Updates

Hello,

We're entering week two of the tooling. This is the midway point and samples should be forthcoming shortly. Our new coupler plates should arrive this week as well.

Keep an eye out as you'll be able to see what a state of the art model railroad locomotive system should look like soon.

If you are interested in the project and want to place an order, send an email to contact_us@railflyermodelprototypes.com and we'll help you get the prototypical match for your dream build.

All the best,

Christopher Howard
Railflyer Model Prototypes Inc.
 
Project Update

Hello,

Just wanted to update you on the walkway module and scale fuel tank project. The molds that comprise the project are complete and test samples are in transit!

If all goes well and we have sufficient orders, the first batches will start shipping in June as planned.

Check out www.railflyermodelprototypes.com for more information.

Christopher Howard
Railflyer Model Prototypes Inc.
 




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