************************ *********************************************** *********************************************** **********************
I have been a Pennsylvania Railroad modeler for nearly 20 years. Like many I started out with a small N Scale collection and then I built a layout. I soon made the move to HO scale and have been there ever since. I have also dabbled in O Scale. I am making another move, this time to the Large Scale scene. I am not giving up HO, just testing the waters to see what can be done in 1:29th Scale.

Last fall I heard of a G Scale Diesel Locomotive of US Prototype that I just had to look into. This Locomotive, manufactured by USA Trains, is the EMD F3A and F3B. These Locos are a favorite of many. When I seen the advertisments in the magazines, I said to myself, "Gee, wonder what those would like like if detailed specificly for the Pennsylvania Railroad F3 Locomotives?". I imagined great things could come of them if some time and effort was put forth. Several weeks later I had in my possession an A-B-A lash up.

As is, USA Trains has done a nice job recreating the F3 in miniature. But I wanted to take things a little futher. To many, myself included, a Pennsy F Unit is not complete if it dosn't include the oh so familiar specific details the PRR was famous for. The prototype research had begun. What do I need to add or remove to get these F3's to look like I want them to? First I had to decide on the era I wanted to model. I settled on the 1948-1954 era. Then I had to decide which specific units I had in mind. I always liked the A-B-A lashups the Pennsy used as "Helpers" on Horseshoe Curve. So I decided to finish these as PRR Class EH-15's.

With most of the research part of the project out of the way, I then concentrated on the modeling. Being a newcomer to the 1:29th Scale scene, I had no idea what detail parts were available on the market by the various manufacturers. I found out there was very little. That led me to yet another stage of the project. If I wanted these F3's to look as much as possible like the prototype I would have to learn a new side of the hobby, fabricating my own details. Surprisingly, this was achieved rather easily.

The next part that needed attention was the Nose Lift Rings. Again, a styrene master was fabricated to my likeing and sent off to be produced in duplicates. Now how was a Passenger Pilot going to be made? Easy, I took the USA Trains Freight Pilot supplied with the locos and applied a sheeting of styrene to represent the metal plate found on Passenger Pilots. I wanted even more detailing for this area. I actually modeled 3 different versions of the Pilots found on Pennsy F3's. The first pilot represents the one with the Coupler Doors in the closed position. I also fabricated one with those coupler doors in the open position. In the mid 1950's the Pennsy started to remove these couler doors all together due to faulty operation. So the third pilot I modeled is the one with just an oval slot for the coupler to stick out.

Detailing the locos didnt stop there. I also needed to removed the large Number Boards that are installed on the USA Trains F3's. The Pennsy ordered all their F3 Locos with the small streamlined number boards. After filling in the holes where the large bards were I applied the new smaller ones. Again, a styrene master was fabricated and then duplicatd in resin by Trainstuff LLC. Attention then moved to the rer of the A units and both ends of the B Unit. The Rubber Diaphragms included with the F3s were a bit large and distracting reslting in too much of a gap between the locos. I removed those and fabricated a "Buffer Plate" of styrene and later resin, to resemble what was installed on prototype PRR F3s . This is of simple design but improves the sparce rear area. The only other item I had to remove was the horn over the firemans side of the cab roof. The Pennsy had only 1 Single trumpet Leslie Horn and it was located above the Engineer. I also added sunshades in the front windows and a rope for the horn pull. I decided to mount Kadee #1 Scale Couplers on all units.

So with the detailing pretty much complete, it was time for a new paint job. The USA Trains version was not too prototypical. Wrong sizing, color etc. Besides, a lot was lost when the large number boards were removed and the small ones inserted. A better paint job was needed. For preparing for painting, the F3 shells factory paint was removed earlier using a blasting booth. To match the PRR DGLE (Dark Green Locomotive Enamal) finish, I chose to use Floquil Polly Scale Brunswick Green. This is a Black looking finish with just a hint of green. Nice!. The Cab interrior was painted medium Gray with Red Floor. To letter these F3's I was able to use the Micro-Scale Decal set that was made for G Scale Alco PRR FA Locos. These were modified a bit to better fit the F3 Locos. With the addition of custom made Builders Plates, my 1:29th Scale PRR EH-15's left the assembly line ready for imaginary service on a make believe Horsehoe Curve. Now to purchase some track and finish that Scratch Built 1:29th PRR N5b Cabin Car......

I am very pleased with the outcome of these models. With the booming growth of 1:29 scale, the possibilities may be endless. With a little effort, time and experience, anyone can end up with a model similar to these PRR F3's.

GREG, RANDY, That is basically what my project was about. The only thing that could be added (besides Greg's Prototype info) is a little note about the resin parts I used. A little sidebar mentionng my email address for those interested in these parts. Is that OK?

I also have a couple new photos of the F3's. I will have them scanned and emailed to Greg within a week.

................Thanks, Gary