As much as I can, I try to avoid modeling overly distinct locomotives. With a small fleet, I prefer to have models that are representative of the fleet at large rather than those that represent highlty recognizable individual locomotives. As such, I stray from heritage liveries or patched fallen flags.
However, in late summer of 2023, pictures started surfacing of UP 6378, a patched AC4400 still in its original scarlet and gray paint, in helper service on the Cascade Sub.While arguably too distinctive, I had to have an HO version for my helper pool.
To create UP 6378 in HO, I started with a non-sound AC4400 from ScaleTrains in SP livery. These models have excellent detail and are well built with numerous factory installed LEDs. I plan to eventually add a DCC sound decoder and speaker.
Admittedly, my intial progress on the model at this point has been one step forward and 4 backwards: I've already damaged some of the handrails, need to replace all the grab irons on the cab and rear of the locomotive, and will be on my second round of number decals on the cab whenever I get around to it next. Needless to say, I was a little to anxious to get started.
The good news, however, is that I adjusting and am getting my bearings. I sorted out how to fade the red to its iconic light pink and the gray is already sun-faded with more detailed work to come. This past weekend I mounted the PTC antenna, applied the yellow sill striping, and repainted a few of the battery boxes.
For reference, the PTC array is from MACRail, the decals from Circus City, and the yellow reflective striping from Smokebox Graphics. So far I have used craft acrylics and Tamiya acrylics thinned with 99% IPA and sprayed through the airbrush.
I plan to finish the decal work and then move in to adding grime. Stay tuned.