SD-24 number 927 is the modified Atlas locomotive described in the November, 1975, issue of the Southwestern Prototype Modeler magazine. At the time I finished this engine I was unhappy with the non-prototype winterization hatch in place of the front exhaust fan, but was unable to find the proper grill to replace it without buying a whole extra locomotive. Then, last spring I observed two EMD locomotives with one odd fan grill, one on the Rio Grande and one on the Colorado & Southern (BN). Apparently the original grill was damaged or the fan wore out, and the shop was unable to find the same style so used a newer style fan of the same diameter. Figuring this would be a logical explanation, and much better than the winterization hatch, I picked up an Athearn GP-35 body shell to provide a fan. I cut off the hatch, and filed the opening square and smooth. Then, I scribed a square a bit larger than one grill on the GP-35 shell, and cut it out. This was filed down to a snug fit in the hole in the SD24, cemented in place, and the joint filled with putty. After sanding smooth, the body was touched up with a spray gun and the job was complete.
At the same time I added the jumbo Santa Fe name on the hood. I really hadn't been aware of this style of lettering until the article appeared, but the effect was so pleasing, I decided to change the name. I was fortunate in locating a set of Herald King names made to order for another modeler and these were applied after spraying over the original lettering. After the decals were sealed with flat finish I applied a very light coat of Floquil Dust over the entire hood. The new lettering really improves an already striking color scheme!