Northwestern Pacific Railroad Network

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So, I've gathering locos and rolling stock for my eventual foray into modeling either a small branch of the NWP or Western Pacific. I recently purchased a Bachmann DCC equipped EMD GP7 loco. At the time of purchase, I couldn't find an SP version, so the one I purchased was a Southern in tuxedo colors.

I am not yet adept at repainting and appointing the shell to either SP or NWP, so I am looking for some help/instruction on where to begin.

Anybody out there interested in taking on a modeling student? I am a very adept woodworker and did a lot of plastic modeling in my youth, but I'm just now getting back into this hobby and would love some guidance.


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You might want to go to the Bachmann website and see if they have an undecorated GP7 shell listed under the extensive parts list portion of their website.  If they have one in stock at a good price then purchase it.  If this does not work out then you can use 70% Isopropyl Alcohol to remove the "SOUTHERN" lettering and engine numbers.  Use a cotton swab in a swirling motion to remove the lettering.  You can then paint the entire shell a primer color as a base coat.  Then you will have to decide which railroad company you are going to go with: SP or WP.

If you wanted to do the NWP in 1996 then you just need to paint the shell black and apply a set of Microscale Decals for the NWP "Black Widow Scheme."  To my knowledge, there was not a GP7 in use on the NWP in this paint scheme.  There were plenty of SD9's and GP9's though.  The GP7 is very close to a GP9.  If you went this route, you should also look into kit-bashing the locomotive into a chop-nose (low front hood) unit.  There are pictures of the 1996 NWP units on this website as well as at Rail Pictures.  I have some that I took back when I was rail fanning the NWP when I attended Sonoma State University.

If you are going to stick with the SP or WP paint schemes, then there are plenty of resources on the internet for assisting you in applying either of those schemes.

I hope this helps.



Thanks Trevor! The tip on using Isopropyl Alcohol is a good one. I'll check the Bachmann site as well, but I may just try my hand at painting the shell in either the gray SP scheme or WP orange and green scheme. 

I'm curious to what road type you are modeling at the moment. I'm planning my beginning layout now and am going with something simple to begin with; possibly a shelf switching layout or small oval switching layout with a bit of scenery. I don't want to get too complicated on my first go around.

And thanks for the photo. One of the reasons I got a GP7 is that it was on a list of locos used by the NWP that I found on Wikipedia. I need to do a bit more research on the subject.

Are you in Santa Rosa or close by Healdsburg? I'd love to get together and pick your brain sometime!

All best,



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