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GN Modelers' Newsletter Sample




  1. Another year is coming to a close. I, for one, will not be unhappy to see the passing of 2001. Most of you are aware that I have been experiencing a series of health problems, which started in March. The problems have continued with prostate surgery on 23 Oct. and the reoccurrence of the ulcerative colitis on 21 Nov. All of this and the loss of my mother on 16 Nov. have made for a bad year in the Buck household. However, these events have made me appreciate my many friendships even more, and the realization that there are many others who have suffered through much more than I. Thank you for your concerns and friendships.

  2. We continue to have difficulty in delivering the Newsletter to some individuals. We have repeatedly asked persons who receive the Newsletter, by e-mail, to provide their mailing address to provide an alternative method of delivery or contact. With the demise of a number of on-line providers, in recent weeks, it makes even more sense to comply with this request. We do not, and will not release this information to any other parties. If the Newsletter is returned from any of our e-mail addressees who have not provided us with the requested information or their updated e-mail addresses, we will drop them from our mailing list.

  3. You are encouraged to share the Newsletter with others who share our common interests in GN modeling. If they are interested in receiving the Newsletter, please ask them to contact us. Back issues are available upon request.

  4. It was noted, with great interest, that all three candidates for the two seats on the GNRHS Board, professed to be modelers. For those of you who are GNRHS members, please vote. I already have.

  5. As you know there is not a subscription fee for the Newsletter. Generous donations have kept us from having to pay costs from out-of-pocket. We gratefully acknowledge the most recent contributions from Jim Sterrett, Ron Sherry and Jack Porzig. All such monies go strictly for the production and distribution of the Newsletter.


  1. I recently received the new ACCURAIL GN two bay open hoppers. Several of you asked if these were reruns of ACCURAIL’s USRA hoppers. The response is that the carbodies of the new cars are accurate for the GN prototypes built by the Canton Car Co., in 1929-30. The underframes are from the USRA cars, however, there is not much difference between the USRA and GN prototypes. A twelve pack of the mineral red cars is available for $75.00, plus shipping, from Andy Carlson, 157 S. Pueblo Ave., Ojai, CA 93023-1920. Phone: (805)646-7080. E-mail= mcandy@ojai.net.

  2. Bob Jacobs reports that ATLAS is planning to do their ALCO S-2 in GN livery. The new models have separate handrails and finer details.

  3. I recently received the new P-2000 FA/B-2’s with the GN paint scheme. These models show great improvement over the original versions. The new models have dynamic brakes, turbo stacks, a fine mesh circular cover (grille) over the well detailed fan and much improved paint colors. The new models have "cast in" side grilles which replaced the troublesome flexible ones of the original models. We continue to see improvement and better detail with each new model that the LIFE-LIKE PROTO-2000 team produces. The models come with A-B sets and are accurately numbered for 278A/B and 279A/B. The airhorns will have to be replaced with DETAILS WEST #174 Wabco E type airhorns, and large fuel tanks should be fabricated and added. I was afforded the privilege of reviewing the GENESIS GN F7 pilot models several weeks ago. These models are great! They represent the units as they were configured shortly after delivery from EMD. They will be produced in an A-B-A passenger set (365A/B/C) and an A-B-B-A freight set (452A-B-C-D). The passenger set utilizes the Empire Builder style lettering and the freight set with RR Roman lettering.

5. The OVERLAND GN Steel Snow Dozer has been released. They are beautiful models with outstanding detail and constant directional lighting. The vermilion red paint is a little dull and takes a little getting used to. You might say that it is weathered vermilion. By spraying a little weathered black on the roof and touching up the plow blades with a little rust you’ll have a nicely weathered model.

6.    A question was received about ACCURAILS’ ad claiming that the GN hoppers were their first railroad specific car. The question was asked because of knowledge that the ACCURAIL stock car copied a GN prototype. The stock car was never advertised as an exclusive GN car so they could market it for other railroads. Nonetheless, it is a copy of the GN prototype. The two bay hoppers will be marketed in GN livery only, which gives it legitimate exclusivity.

7.    I’ve heard nothing from INTERMOUNTAIN regarding the production of the GN plywood box cars. Please contact INTERMOUNTAIN and request that they produce these cars which have never been done before. Staffan Ehnbom has provided all the data they need for this project. Because of the number of paint and lettering schemes used on these cars, INTERMOUNTAIN would have almost as many marketing options as they did with the 12 panel box cars.

8.    W&R ENTERPRISES is planning on producing two versions of the GN class 0-4 2-8-2 Mikados. More information will be promulgated, when available.



N #42000 ALCO RS-3 Diesel Loco, undec.

Note: This Phase Ib version is accurate for the GN 220-232 series, dlvrd 5/50 and 6/53. ATLAS has introduced GN factory painted versions in HO. It is hoped that they will do the same for the N scale models.


HO #DM-325 Etched Steel Grilles for E7A’s.

Note: The grille sets are designed to be used on P-2000 E7’s and includes the truss bracing normally found behind the grillework. For more information, contact DELTA MODELS, P.O.Box 83283, Portland, OR 97283. Phone:(503)285-4774. E-mail: wba248511@aol.com.


HO #49009 EMD F7A Diesel Loco (Assembled Shell), f/p GN

HO #49509 EMD F7B Diesel Loco (Assembled Shell), f/p GN

HO #49009WD EMD F7A Diesel Loco (Complete), f/p GN

HO #49509WD EMD F7B Diesel Loco (Complete), f/p GN

HO #49509 SD EMD F7B Diesel Loco (Smart Dummy), f/p GN

Note: Reasonably accurate for GN prototypes. This is a new release, which includes four new numbers. Although paint chips have been provided, it is not known if the green color is more accurate than that of the original run. The "Smart Dummy" B units were described in Newsletter #12. (Aug. 2001).

HO PS 60’ Auto Parts Box Cars, f/p GN (mineral red).

                  Note: These cars are reasonably accurate for the GN 139500-139507 series, blt.’66. All eight numbers will be available.


HO 62’ Wood Chip Gondolas, f/p GN (blue). Note: not accurate for GN prototype.


N #41030 40’ Double Sheathed Wood Box Car, f/p GN

NOTE: Features 1 ½ doors, vertical brake wheel and 72" herald with "See America First" full face goat. Accuracy for GN prototype unknown at this time. GN did have 40’ auto box cars in the 38000-38499 series with 1 ½ doors (4’ + 6’) blt, ’23 by ACF.


N PC&F 57’ Exterior Post Mechanical Reefer, f/p WFCX (GN).

HO PC&F 57’ Exterior Post Mechanical Reefer, f/p WFCX (GN).

Note: These cars are accurate for the WFCX (GN) 8500-8799 series blt. ‘65-’66. The cars will be produced in both the high and low brakewheel versions with short ladders. The N scale model should be available in Dec. 2001 and the HO model in June 2002.


HO GN Fire Prevention Instruction Car, c/p

Note: This colorful car was converted from a Barney and Smith baggage car, in 1964, to the instruction car configuration. The car is painted with an aluminum roof and red sides with a dramatic yellow and orange flame motif. The car is modeled from the ATHEARN baggage car and is a reasonable representation of GN X1828. Photos of the car can be seen on page 99 of the Hickcox book, GN COLOR GUIDE TO FREIGHT AND PASSENGER EQUIPMENT and page 80 of the Thompson book, GREAT NORTHERN EQUIPMENT COLOR PICTORIAL – BOOK THREE. THIRD RAIL GRAPHICS has gone out of business and these cars are in extremely short supply. The cost per car is $32.00 plus $5.00 for shipping. Checks and money orders will be accepted and orders shipped upon receipt of same. Order from: Alan Zuckerman, 17 Fairway Drive, Rocky Point, NY 11778. Phone: (631) 744-4120. E-mail= Ezaztrains@cs.com


  1. Correct the GN number series for the U-25-B PH. II to 2500-2508 from 2500=2800 in Newsletter #12 (Aug. 2001).


GREAT NORTHERN’S KETTLE FALLS, WASHINGTON BRANCH. A story of this GN branchline with dozens of B&W and color photos.


12/01/6F.   KADEE has released dozens of the 40’ PS-1 box cars. Are they going to produce a GN version?

Reply.          Four years ago I obtained photos of the PS-1 box cars from Jim Kinkaid. I forwarded the photos to KADEE. KADEE has declined to produce GN models because the prototypes had cushioned underframes. I have six of the INTERMOUNTAIN PS-1 cars which I am well please with.

12/01/7F      I’ve seen the ACCURAILS’ GN Canton Hopper. Was this car, to your knowledge, painted in any other scheme than those used by ACCURAIL?

Reply         I have no photographic evidence that shows the Canton Hoppers in any other colors than the mineral red and vermilion used by ACCURAIL. With these cars having been built in 1929-30, I’m sure they had different heralds, early on. The 43200-73699 series hoppers built by Standard Steel Co., in 1931, received three different paint schemes in their lifetimes. Original mineral red, vermilion red and black colors were used. Many different heralds and lettering schemes were used on these cars. I’ve sent materials to STEWART and INTERMOUNTAIN for the production of these cars. However, neither has ever committed.

12/01/8F      Were any of the GN 4000 series, 40’ steel, double door box cars, used in lumber service, painted in the Glacier green scheme?

Reply         Yes, some of the 4000-4199 series box cars did receive the Glacier green scheme. There is a photo of #4000 on page 59 of Scott Thompson’s GREAT NORTHERN EQUIPMENT COLOR PICTORIAL-BOOK ONE.

12/01/16G     How much do you thin ACCUPAINT for spraying?

Reply            When I used the #3 tip (medium-PAASCHE) I thinned the paint with 30-35% thinner. With a #1 tip (fine), I use 50% thinner and increase the air pressure from 18 psi to 22-24 psi.

12/01/17G      Do you use primer with the ACCUPAINT?

Reply          I use AP-98 ACCUPAINT primer on both brass and plastic models. I always wash the model surface with dishwashing liquid (degreaser), followed by scrubbing the surface with a medium toothbrush and Softscrub plain. The Softscrub lightly etches the surface for better paint adhesion. The residual grit must be thoroughly rinsed off and the model completely dried prior to applying the primer.

12/01/18G    After you paint and decal an engine, what medium do you use for the clear overspray?

Reply        I like a satin finish, rather than flat, on my engines. I use a 50-50 mixture of TESTORS’ Dullcote and Glosscote, thinned with 50% lacquer thinner. If you want a more shiny appearance, add more Glosscote.

12/01/19G        Do you use a masking liquid of any kind?

Reply        I have used a masking liquid very sparingly. I’ve used MICRO MASK successfully on the tires of steam loco drivers.

Additional info for question 10/01/12D: Norm Priebe has invited attention to photos in his collection which show that the NW3 diesels #179, 180 and 181 had MU hoses from 1966 forward. He has no hard evidence that shows the NW3’s actually connected or used as multiple units.


Connie and I wish all of you a very happy Holiday Season and a healthy, prosperous New Year. May Santa leave some railroad "goodies" under your Yule tree. Thank you for your support throughout 2001.

Duane Buck