I’ve been busy finishing my basement in order to facilitate the construction of the rest of the layout. Despite the fact that my workbench and paint booth are of temporarily commission I tend to keep an eye on rolling stock and locomotive releases that will fit the layout’s theme. The new Walthers GP35 falls squarely into that category, so Action Hobbies Kingsville set me up with two of them as soon as they arrived.
This isn’t an exhaustive review, but rather, a quick look at the model in two schemes: EL and C&O. I took them out of their boxes and posed them on the layout for portraits. You can see that both are very fine models that rival anything else in this segment of the market. Walthers has captured the proportions and features of the prototype, and were attentive to phase features like side sill depth dust bin features. The paint schemes are accurate, and sharply executed and models are detailed to the exact level that I like to take my custom models: speed recorder, antenna, accurate horn, wire grabs, etc. My only gripe is that the casting for the air horn on both of my models is a bit rough and the parts aren’t well seated on the model’s roof. I haven’t done anything about it, but I’m confident that some gentle persuasion will correct the problem when I change out the couplers for Kadee 158s, add ESU LokSound decoders and speakers, and weather them appropriately.
I enjoy attempting to reproduce actual locomotive assignments to specific trains, based on period photos. Sometimes I take that as far as modelling a specific road number and its details, and other times I’m happy to simply have the correct model of locomotive. In the era I’m modelling, EL operated a turn through North Tonawanda, commonly called the Day Falls Turn, which was typically powered by an A-B-A of EMD F7s. I’ll eventually model that lashup, but I also have photos of a GP35 leading the Day Falls Turn, so for variety, I plan to have a couple of different but plausible options for power on that train. EL rostered a range of interesting four axle road locomotives that could accompany this GP35 on the alternate set of power for the Day Falls Turn, so something like a U25B might be a nice partner.
The Chesapeake & Ohio’s Canadian Division operated a couple of different trains between Buffalo and either St. Thomas Ontario, or Detroit. These trains ran across the EL’s Niagara Falls Branch during the Penn Central era, and EL will play a supporting role in operating sessions on my layout. Second generation EMD units were common on the Canadian Division, so this model represents the first model I’ve purchased with the goal of representing C&O’s trains through southern Ontario.
Posing them on the layout makes me impatient to have the rest of the layout built, so I’d better stop writing and get back to work.