Make Detail Parts From Old Diesel Shells

Don't throw away all those old diesel shells you have laying around. Instead, cut them up for great looking detail parts to put on the roofs of buildings and other structures. These add character and purpose to industrial buildings.

You can use HO or N scale locos for this project. You can find old shells at swap meets for a buck or so and you'll get a ton of parts from them that you'll never see sold commercially.

The fans, grills and louvers are made into various window fans, air conditioners, refrigeration units or any of the various eye catching bits of detail found on both old and modern factories.

The GP40 shells have a wealth of parts that can be used, but other engines can also be used in both HO and N scales. Every loco looks different and will have different usable parts. You will have to use your imagination and decide where to make your cuts and what pieces you will end up with.



From an old GP40 shell we gleaned all kinds of fans, air conditioner units, piping and duct works.


Cutting up the shell.

In the picture below is an idea of where to make some cuts on the GP40 to get the above parts.

After the shell has been cut into various pieces, other cuts required to remove the various fans and grids will become easier. Us a fine tooth razor saw and try to preserve as much rivet detail as possible.







Using the Components.

Here are some ideas on how to use your parts ...

Shown here are some ways the cut apart pieces can be incorporated into various fan housings and other settings. Some vents will require a box to hours the fans or louvers, plus a few pipes or ducts made from Plastruct shapes. A little imagination will allow you to create quite a number of variations.

I have to admit that I really don't know that much about air conditioners and pumps, fans and all the other stuff on top of buildings or factories, but from looking at pictures of various buildings, it seems pretty safe that you could build just about anything and I bet there is a prototype similar to it some where. They all look important and necessary and that should be key to your placement of the parts too.

When painted silver, maybe green, weathered and add some rust, dust and grime, they quite convincingly represent typical (though not actual) roof top details.


The two views of the semi completed AHM bakery show below both have HO and N scale GP40 parts on them. Others parts are laying on the ground next to the models.

An Idea to Construct an Air Conditioner Unit

Here are some other roof top possibities you can try from those parts: