This is a replacement shell for modeling an Electro-Motive Division (EMD) F40C in N scale (1:160).
Ordered in two batches in 1974, a total of 15 were built exclusively for commuter service along the former Milwaukee Road routes out of Chicago. These orders were paid for by the Northwest Suburban Mass Transit District, a publicly funded agency. The F40C served commuters in Northwest Chicagoland for over 30 years. Most of the fleet was retired, sold, and presumably scrapped in 2004 with the arrival of the MP36PH-3s locomotives from MPI. Two units, 611 and 614, remain and face an uncertain future.
This model represents a "modernized" F40C as they appeared in Metra service towards the end of their career. An earlier, "as-built" version for Milwaukee Road / Northwest Suburban Mass Transit District service is available here.
This model is designed to fit a Kato N scale SD40-2 mechanism. The front and rear pilots are designed to accept Micro-Trains body-mount couplers.
In addition to the parts provided from Shapeways, you will need the following to complete the model...
• A Kato "Mid-Production" SD40-2 (Kato part numbers 176-4955 through 176-4959 and 176-8207 through 176-8208. See note below).
• BLMA #59 - 15" Drop Grab irons (0 .009" Wire, 20/pack).
• BLMA #81 - 48" Fan Grill w/o Center Plate.
• BLMA #224 - Nathan K5HR24 Air Horns (2 per pack).
• Gold Medal Models #160-48 - Stirrups for Cab-Type Diesel Locomotives.
• Scalelink Mini 13 - Micro-Mesh (0.20mm Square, 0.125mm Bar Width).
• Micro-Trains 001-02-052 (2004-1) - Body Mount Couplers.
• Microscale #60-918 - Metra Diesels (Out of Print).
In addition, a suitable DCC decoder and some LEDs will be needed to replicate the lighting effects of a Metra locomotive. Since this is an N scale model, you'll probably want to go with 0402 size surface-mount LEDs. I've purchased pre-wired 0402 LEDs from ledbaron on Ebay. The decoder would need at least 5 function outputs for the lighting effects: the headlights, the marker lights (you'd probably use the decoder's back-up light output), the left ditchlight, the right ditchlight, and the mars light. Digitrax makes a 6-function DCC decoder (DN163K1C) that replaces the Kato light board. They also make a sound decoder (SDN144K1E), but it only has 4 function outputs.
Please let me know what you think of this model if you order it.
NOTE REGARDING THE KATO SD40-2: Kato has had many production runs of the SD40-2 over the years; and the design of the chassis has changed with each production run. Even the models from the latest production run that are listed on Kato's website (http://katousa.com/N/SD40-2/) appear to utilize two different frame designs for the ditchlight versus non-ditchlight equipped models. Although the differences are slight, they're enough to make my F40C shell incompatible with the non-ditchlight models in the lasted production run (the ones described on the Kato site as "Early production" SD40-2s). As a result, I can only recommend using a ditchlight-equipped unit as the donor for this design.