Okay, so I didn’t spend the eighties and nineties blithely hacking apart diesel shells to turn GP35s into GP38s. It seemed, from reading Model Railroader back in those days, that this was the way to enjoy the hobby. Model Railroading is Fun when you approach it with a razor saw!
Well, I never had the dough to risk a perfectly good diesel, and so, I never did build up the specific skill required to cut two feet out of the middle of a Bachmann Modern 4-4-0’s tender shell. The result was that I spent most of this week procrastinating. Yes, I read a great book (All the Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doerr), and spent a night working, and yes we had the block party. But if I’m honest with myself, I spent much of the week screwing up the courage to cut into what is honestly a beautiful casting.
I even spent part of an evening thinking about the best approach so as not to lose too many rivets. I probably knew all along what I was going to do.
From those long-ago articles in Model Railroader, I remembered a hint: cut a block of wood to support the sides of the shell while cutting and sanding. It took me an evening to get that done, too.
Now that the abscission is done and the tender shell is sitting on the desk under a mound of putty, I’m happy to have finally made a start.