Monday, April 22, 2024

Proto 2000 Alco S-1 becomes New Haven DEY-3 (Alco S-1) #0967: Bodywork

It's been almost a month since my last substantive post, but despite how busy it's been at work I've actually managed to make a bit of progress on a few fronts. The "Wordless Wednesday" posts provide some clues: I finished repairing one of Bill Maguire's structures that I'll be using in Middletown, actually made some more progress in Middletown itself, and even got back to - and actually finished(!) installing DCC/Sound in DERS-2b #529 (Alco RS-3) - which had been languishing since early last December.

Speaking of languishing, last week's WW post, give you a hint about what I'm back to working on now (in case the title of this post itself didn't do it for you :^)  Yes, after first starting on the #0967 way back in August of 2021, it wasn't until April of 2023 that I actually converted this Proto 2000 S-1 model to DCC/Sound. Be sure and click here for how I did that (it wasn't exactly "DCC Ready").

Then it's taken me another year to get back to the actual model. But now I have the bit between my teeth and am looking forward to getting this one off of the bench and onto the layout.

If you're starting with an undecorated model as I did, it's really tempting to just start adding the details. BUT decide early on whether you're going to need to do any major body work to match your prototype and do that first. Otherwise, you risk damaging those delicate details. Ask me how I know...

While not a "delicate detail", per se, I got about 10 minutes into this project when I managed to damage the beautifully done, resin printed, NHRR specific low-profile cab I'd gotten from Mike Redden over at New England Model Works.


Mike's not only a VERY talented maker of 3D products (be sure to check out his website), but he's also a great guy. He saw when I posted this photo on the Valley Local Facebrook Group and a replacement cab is already on its way! Of course, this cab is the major spotting feature of the New Haven's DEY-3 and DEY-5 (Alco S-2) switchers. Thankfully, these cabs are now one-piece, but be sure to check out my DEY-5 build to see how I put together his original 5 piece flat kit (and for more details on that build, using an Atlas S-2).

So while waiting for that, and since I'd already "messed up" the model, I figured I'd tackle the other bodywork %^)

I warmed up by filling in the bell hole.

Unlike the P2K model, the New Haven's S-1s had their bells mounted under the running board. Fortunately, correcting the model is a simple matter of gluing in the bell. . .

Then snipping it off and sanding/filing smooth. Of course you could also use styrene rod or other body filler, but I figured this was easier.

Another easy "body work" thing to do was to drill out around the radiator fan:

The speaker will be located right under here and there'll be a louvered cover over it (more on that later), so I figured I'd let more sound out. Everything around the fan will be painted black and the blades will be painted silver/grey.

With the easy bits out of the way, I ginned myself up to tackle the major body work - narrowing the radiator shutters.

The first 40 DEY-3s delivered to the New Haven (numbered #0931-0970, and delivered in 4 batches from 1941-1944) had 24 narrow vertical radiator shutters set in a thin frame with a shallow protrusion. This was in stark contrast to the later DEY-3s and DEY-5s which had the shutters we're more familiar with on the Alco S-1s and S-2s. (for MUCH more detail and prototype information on the New Haven's S-1s and S-2s, be sure to check out this post).

Here's the "typical" radiator shutters - 11 louvers, and sticking out from the sides:

Unfortunately, nobody makes a model of the S-1 with the narrow/shallow shutters. Fortunately, Mike Redden does - NE Model Works to the rescue again!

But first, I had to remove the original shutters . . .

I started by drilling out as much material inside of the frame as I could . . .

. . . using a Dremel, a foot pedal to regulate the speed, and a regular drill bit.

Then I used a combination of *sharp/new* X-Acto blade and nippers to remove the remaining louver material.

Next, I removed the frame itself using a combination of flush-cutting nippers . . .

. . . and a narrow chisel, being very careful not to remove the rivets around the outside of the frame.

Finally, I used a sanding stick to gradually remove the material around the inside of the hole until the new shutters fit snugly and without any gaps showing.

As I mentioned, these parts are available from NE Model Works (click here)

If you compare the photo above to the previous similar view, you can tell the difference. Heh - or you may just decide to model an S-1 that has the "typical" radiator shutters.

But since the 0967 was the first diesel used on regular service on the Valley Local (pictured above, southbound at Fernwood Street in Wethersfield, CT May 1949, John Wallace photo), I didn't really have a choice - I have to model the 0967 accurately. Naturally.

That's enough for now - next time I'll cover the fan housing, provide a water fill cap that the otherwise superb P2k model inexplicably missed, and scratchbuild a mount for the whistle (yes, whistle - the NH didn't use no obnoxious horns on it's early switchers...)

Till later . . .


  1. Looking good. You didn't happen to be at AA Hobbies a couple of Saturdays ago?

    1. Hey Richard! Sorry I just saw your comment - but yes, I actually *was* at AA Hobbies back on the 13th. My buddy Pete and I were touring some layouts on a route put together by Neil Schofield's dad Ray. Made for a fun day - you should've said hi! Saw Mark Osmun there too - heh, the last two times I've seen him it's been at AA Hobbies and he only lives 30 mins west of me in CT (!)