My Rapido VIA F40PH-2D mods and Kato builds

November 2021: I was recently inspired to do some modelling after seeing the great work Tim Hayman did to his VIA 6400. After sitting in their boxes mint and untouched for 7 years since they were delivered to me in December 2014, I recently did some improvements to my five (5) original VIA scheme Rapido models. I removed the shell and repainted the cab seats to black, adjusted uncoupling levers to a downwards angle, added rerail frogs (those were mounted outboard until the late 1990s), renumbered every unit plus couplers replaced, painted rust, trip pins removed, backs of pilots and underneath sills painted black, fuel fillers painted red, bell relocated, rear battery plug painted yellow and wipers angled per prototype. My Rapido units are now numbered VIA 6432, 6441, 6454, 6457 and 6458.

This Rapido model was factory-numbered 6409 but I decided to renumber it to replicate VIA's 1990s-era 6440-series assignments to western Canada and on VIA-Amtrak trains such as the International through SW Ontario and onto American destinations like Port Huron and Chicago.

VIA 6454 spent a lot of time in western Canada plus was one of the units used in 1994-95 eastern CP freight lease service. I am happy with how the renumbering and other tweaks turned out on this fine Rapido product.

This is my entire collection of yellow units -- three on the far left are Kato builds from 10 years ago and the five closest are all Rapido models.

These Rapido rebuilt units were also improved with the same fixes to wipers and uncoupling levers plus the addition of electronic fuel filler gauges, Kadee scale-head couplers painted and trip pin removed, red HID headlight outlines, blackening of cab-top horns and pilot backings, addition of GPS antennas, add a silver rim around base of emergency light and I also moved the speed recorder to a different axle and replaced it with a MBE B22 journal. Click 6448 & 6457 image or right click, save as...for a complete PDF writeup of changes including photos, call-outs and text.

Here are three VIA F40PH-2Ds that started life as Kato Amtrak models and took almost three years and a heck of lot of help by others to pull off these builds back in 2010-12. Just over two years after they were completed Rapido released their accurate RTR VIA F40PH-2D. While these were my last major locomotive kitbashes, I still like performing minor tweaks and improvements. In late 2021 I replaced the oversized Microscale numberboards with Rapido numberboard decals that appear more correctly sized.


© updated 12-12-21

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