Kato SD-40 headlight conversion - n-scale

I just bought a pair of Kato SD-40's in AC paint, and as expected, there
are a few inaccuracies, the most glaring of which is the headlights.
Headlights on Canadian low hood units are usually mounted in the nose,
and the AC is no exception. These units have them up high, as per US
practice. It's a bit annoying that Kato chose to go this route - the
hood is all one piece with the body - rather than make them separately,
and apply the appropriate part at assembly time, but que sera sera.
You come to expect this sort of thing in N-scale.
So, my question is:
Does anyone make a conversion kit? Preferably one that doesn't involve
replacing the entire nose, since I've no desire to paint this part, and
probably couldn't match their colors if I tried. It would be much
simpler to just drill a hole in the existing nose.
Ideally, the number board would be all one piece, since you could file
the original off without much difficulty. Paint isn't an issue here
since it's all one color - grey. As it is, the number boards are
inaccurate (too small) and there are no marker lights. A bell would
have to be part of the kit, since that is where it's located on Canadian
Failing that, has anyone done this mod using fibre-optic strands, and
how did it turn out? Also, did you make ditchlights using fibre-optics?
It seems easy enough on this unit, since they are mounted on (not above)
the frame, but I haven't taken the units apart yet, so it's hard to tell
if this is possible.
Speaking of the frame, in the pictures I have, there are a couple of
steel slabs with holes in them which are welded to either side. Are
these for lifting? Oh, and, the snow covers over the air intakes. Does
anyone make these? There are other issues with these units, but this is
the major stuff. If I can get them out of the way, I can probably live
with the rest.
Mac B.
Reply to
polar bear
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I'm not aware of any conversion kits. I doubt there's room to route fiber optic or get an LED between the low hood and the gear box. There might be room if it was a snoot. I would build the snow shields out of styrene and call it a day. Miniatures by Eric (not me) makes lots of add on detail parts. I model CP and would love to have ditch lights, the high mount bell and triple class lights, but I don't expect it will happen any time soon. I find that a decently painted well running unit is worth the trade off, especially as my available time for the hobby diminishes.
Eric May
Reply to
E&C May
Looking at the exploded diagram, it seems like there might be some room at the end of the short hood, which BTW is the standard 81 inch version. I realize the diagram is not to scale, but if it's anything like close, it might be possible. I think I'm going to at least take the body off and have a look. Does anyone know how this is done? The diagram doesn't say.
*IF* it turns out it can be done without too much trouble, I'll post my solution to the group. I'm sure there's a lot of people who would like to make this conversion if it's at all possible.
OTOH... is there a correct N Canadian SD-40 available in brass? I bought these KATO units because they came in AC paint, but I can't say I'm too happy with their "interpretation" of the color scheme. Looks to me like they just went with whatever commercial colors were "close enough" Well, sorry, not close enough for me. One of the main reasons for modeling AC is the classic first generation paint scheme which lasted the entire life of the road. You can cheat at the edges - this is after all N-scale - but to get that wrong is a major blunder IMO.
Mac B.
Reply to
polar bear

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