Warped Plastic on Loco Cab

ModelRailroadForums.com is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.


Section Hand

I did something really stupid...I have a gas water heater near my layout and I "have" used the top of the heater as a spot to place locos off the layout. Well, I put one loco too near the hot vent pipe, forgot about it and I warped one lower side of the loco's cab. Nice!!! Normally I place the locos well away from the vent pipe.

This loco is a great runner and has DCC installed. I am wondering if I can use a heat gun and reheat the panel and use some type of means to press the warped panel back in place??? It's the plain panel under the cab's side window.

I included a photo of the loco before the damage occurred.

Any ideas or suggestions? SOO and cows.jpg



P.S.: Alright give me the "Dumb Idiot Award of the Month".

new guy

Active Member

I'm sorry for your loss, is it lost?

If it still runs good, can you handle the look? 'no blood no foul', they say.

I believe this qualifies as a "Cautionary Tale"!

Red Oak & Western

Active Member
I seriously doubt that a heat gun would help you remove the warp. I've tried that type of action on other things (never on any of my railroad stuff). I've never been able to achieve the results I wanted. Sort of like trying to unscramble an egg.

I think the best solution, if you can't live with the loco the way it is, is to just get a replacement shell.


You didn't mention scale or the brand of your loco..........but if it's just the flat panel under the window, you should be able to cut the warped panel out and replace it with a new styrene panel. Looks like it's just white with the road #? If it isn't a perfect match, I'm sure the RR shops had to fix a cab from time to time due to damage, and I doubt they repainted the whole loco after the repair.


Section Hand

The loco is an older Atlas Classic locomotive. A new shell maybe difficult to locate, but I like your idea to replace the panel with anew plastic piece.

The loco is weathered and a new panel would look like a recent repair. I plan on "patching" the loco for my Milwaukee Northern so the repairs may look like the shops at Milwaukee Northern did do the repair work.




Use the incident to make a scene: Engine crew looking at damage, foreman scratching his head, new panel nearby....

Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here)

ModelRailroadForums.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

RailroadBookstore.com - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section.

ModelRailroadBookstore.com - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.