Bob, I think word is getting around about the inexpensive Atlas SWs! I haven’t seen one that low in a while. A big secret is to look for missing parts or boxes!
I have one with brass handrail fittings and one with plastic fittings. I’m using the brass fitting shell. As for the battery box vents, I don’t like the look of the plastic insert so I’m going to fill the opening and figure out how to add new vents; maybe some Archer decals. Before I applied the gasket remover, I removed all the plastic parts, but the shell with the brass handrail fittings wasn’t removed and stripped as easily as the cast metal shell. All the plastic parts were stripped with 91% isopropyl alcohol. Everything came out very clean and didn’t require a lot of effort!
I did some looking into ACC and am going to try a rubberized ACC from Loctite. I have been studying the pictures on KV’s website and at least for the pilot foot boards, I think in gong to also drill and pin the etchings to help. I’m worried that gluing alone will not hold up as this area is prone to impacts from miss-aligned couplers and uncoupling sticks as well as possibly being able to strike the rail head in a derailment. I think I can disguise the pins by using brass NBW castings and they won’t look out of place.
Chris, I do have the Criswell plates on my shopping list, but may hold out for a while as one of my pair is not damaged. They do close up the gap between the wheel and the side frame. As for windows, I haven’t managed to track down a set of the Chooch windows yet. I seem to remember some talk back in the day that they don’t fit well, but I’d like to see that for myself! I have put a lot of thought into the window problem. The ultimate answer is to scratch build a new cab, but I’m not ready to commit to that yet! I am thinking about a partial cab wall replacement or maybe opening up the cab (read cut it apart and glue it back together) and milling the walls down. There are several options, all with pros and cons! I just need to find the balance that works for me!
The etchings arrived in the mail. Bob, you are going to love the detail on the top screen. It is a multi-depth etching that looks very “to scale” and looks very much like the prototype weaved screens. These will really pop with a good dry brush finish! All of the etching look very well done; sharp corners, crisp depth, and straight lines. These should build out well. These are on par with some of the high end etchings I’ve seen in the armor modeling world.
I will be using a miniature bending tool from Mission Models. It is designed for etched details and was recommended by Gene Fusco back when he was still running Railyard Models. I used it on several of his kits and it works well; nice sharp “z” bends!