Re: Proto 2000 SD45 Arrives

It sounds like you are going to combine three engines plus after market parts?
What are you wanting to make?
What about the 'huge drain holes' I read about?
I picked mine up today (undec), and gave it a quick look-over and test
> run at the store. More later, but here's first impressions:
> 1) It runs like a Proto 1000 F unit. Jackrabbit. Smooth enough, but
> no match for anything.
> 2) Like most P2K, it has a monster weight molded to fill every cavity.
> Nice an heavy, and a major pain to make any changes under the hood. >
> 3) I like the fuel tank.
> 4) I don't like the trucks.
> 5) The fans look ok, but the goofy recess mount on the radiator holes
> just make it more hassle to Cannonize.
> 6) The inertial hatch is a separate part. There is a hole in the
> shell underneath it, offset to the right, with a corresponding gap in
> the monster weight. I have no clue what this could be for.
> 7) In comparing to the Kato shell, it's about 50-50. The P2K
> definitely has the better rendering of the long hood brakewheel. The
> Kato radiators have more depth, but the diamond mesh is oversize. P2K
> closer to scale, finer, but not as deep - either one would look fine
> properly painted and weathered. The P2K radiator panels are three
> separate pieces on each side, which allows for easy modification, and
> future versions with the rectangular mesh or even Farr grilles. Let's
> hope the future versions fit better - the diamond mesh panels all
> leave a visible gap around them. Should mostly vanish when painted a
> darker color, but still kind of annoying.
> 8) P2K has low pilots. I was hoping they'd have a high-water version.
> So I'm back to working with the Kato SD40 walkway to get the high
> pilots. Still haven't decided the best way to go there.
> 9) The Kato long hood is noticably shorter than P2K! I'd say 4 to 6
> inches! This seems to be not in one specific place, but kind of a
> general, slight compression of everything from the exhaust stack on
> back. I really don't know which is correct, but it will be
> interesting to see where the RPP shell falls in here. Oddly enough
> the pilot-to-pilot length is identical between the two, which means
> the Kato has an oversize back porch or the P2K has an undersize back
> porch. Very strange. This one will take some detective work to
> determine which is correct, and exactly where the other one is off...
> although I don't think it's off any one place.
> 10) P2K really did a nice job on the blower duct seam, with the long
> horizontal line an the vertical joint welds and everything. This is
> probably the most glaring omission on the Kato shell, the blower and
> walkway joint being completely smooth with no line down the middle at > all.
> I knew this would create an interesting dilemma... since apparently
> Life-Like isn't going to sell the shells, if I decide to use the P2K
> shell as my starting point on future projects, I may end up offering
> an unusual combination of P2K drive and Kato shell on ebay.
> Andy
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I forgot to mention.... the SD45 has a new idea on the pilot steps. Most traditional locos have the pilot steps molded as solid, and the mold pulls apart from the side. Recently Atlas and Proto 2000 have taken to molding see-thru steps, and to do this they have to pull the mold apart top-to-bottom because of the pins for the see-thru holes. This means the steps can't overlap each other, which they should - so models like the P2K GP7/9 and GP30, and Atlas GP38, 40, and SD35 have these see-thru but too-shallow steps. A big pain to replace them because none of the aftermarket etchings are a good fit, and the backside of the step well has unwanted notches.
What Life-Like has done with the SD45 is mold the top and bottom step in place, which are far enough apart that they don't overlap each other... and they made the middle step a separate piece that slides in place. So they have solved the problem of having both see-thru steps and the correct dimension and overhang. The steps are still a bit thick, no way around that in styrene - but because of the correct orientation, should be easier to replace with the etched ones.
This has been mentioned before, but Life-Like apparently made an attempt to model the washout drain holes which are below the inertial screens. On the prototype these holes are about 1/2" in diameter, or about a #80 drill in HO scale. Life-Like did the holes at something closer to 3" HO scale. They look like mounting holes for some phantom part that isn't there. They need to be plugged and redrilled, they are waaaaaaay too big.
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Andy Harman

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