I will admit something. I don’t find enjoyment in modeling locomotives and freight cars.
There are obviously excellent examples of those that do, and they deserve our kudos. But it doesn’t appeal to me. Locomotives and cars are one part of a larger aspect to model railroading. I can play chess with rocks and sticks or I can play chess with the most intricate pieces ever created. I’m still playing chess.
After removing the electrical system, I disassembled the Walthers locomotive into its component parts for painting. I did not worry about protecting any of the remaining motor or drive system, since this was going to be a static display.
My friend and fellow Iowa Interstate modeler Joe Atkinson provided a locomotive horn assembly from his pile-o-parts for me to mockup the arrangement on top of the locomotive cab. A few seconds with a pair of diagonal cutters, some styrene, and an application of superglue and I was content.
I then got out the PanPastels and proceeded to weather the engine within an inch of its life. In retrospect, I probably overindulged. But again, this locomotive serves solely as a vignette and conversation starter.
In that light, it plays its role exceptionally.