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Kitbashing a Genesis Locomotive

Blending a Williams Body and K-Line Power Trucks

by Jack Hess
view of completed project

I. Overview of Project

A Williams Genesis body and a RailKing Genesis

A comparison of the Willaims Genesis body to the RailKing Genesis locomotive.
K-Line powered FA with body removed

A K-Line FA with the body removed showing the power setup.

The goal is to shorten the Williams body and lengthen the K-Line chassis so the result will be the same length as the RailKing Genesis.

The first thing I did was to make sure the chassis was narrow enough to fit inside the body shell. It if isn't, there is no use continuing the project. It fit with a lot of room to spare.

II. Chopping the Body

deciding where to cut the body

To fix the length, 12 scale feet need to be removed. After looking at various places to make the cuts, I decided on removing the entire section between the air horns and cab (upper left red X) which is 7' and 5' from the area between the air horns and the exhaust stack (shown lower right red X).
the first chop of the body

The first chop is completed and the mating surfaces have been smoothed up on the belt/disc sander. The removed section will become another item in the scrap box because it has several grill details that might be useful in the future.
gluing up the cut sections

After the pieces were again sanded on a disc sander and carefully fitted with a double-cut file, I glued on some studs so the cab will have a way to line up and stay in place while the glue dries. These are .100 x .125 styrene strips.
gluing the cab to the body

The cab is glued to the body and additional pieces of styrene added. Clamps hold the cab in place.
cab is glued on

Cab is now attached.
gluing up the last two sections

The second chop is completed and body glued together. It fits up to the RailKing version quite well. The side skirts will need to be rebuilt to allow for the trucks. Next comes the adaptation of the tiny FA chassis and then mounting the couplers.

III. Lengthening the Chassis

removing weights from rear trucks

I have removed the weights from the rear truck.
factory wiring situation

The wires are soldered and the ends covered with masking tape. I recorded how the wires connected and cut them just before the solder joints.
trucks removed from chassis

The chassis has been stripped down to a metal sheet with the attached siderails. The light holder and lead wire were not removed.
sidrails removed and chassis cut

I drilled out the rivets of the siderails, removed them, and then cut the chassis 10.5 centimeters (4 1/8") from the rear edge.
chassis reassembled and lengthened

styrene spacers glued in

Left Above: I turned the metal angles upside down and attached them to the chassis by drilling through the old rivet hole and into the chassis. They have been temporarily secured by a 2-56 screw and nut. I did the front chassis plate first.

chassis new length

Above: The spacer is made from styrene and is (2 7/16") long. I slide the rear chassis section into the rails, glued the spacers in with CA, then clamped the rear chassis plate in place and drilled through the rivet holes into the chassis and secrued with 2-56 screws.

Left: Note how the angle is situated on the chassis. The attachment screws are at the bolster locations.
trucks reinstalled in chassis

The power trucks have been installed along with the rear weights. Though not visible, the angle/chassis mounting screws have been double nutted, CA glued, and the excess bolt length cut off.

IV. Fitting Body and Chassis

time to fit the chassis to the body

This is the most difficult step of the project. Here are the considerations:
  1. Where does the chassis neet to fit on the front to back axis?
  2. How much space is the there between body and chassis across the width?
  3. How will you guarentee that the body will set level, so that the bottome of the body is parallel to the rails?
  4. How will you keep the body level, sid to side so it doesn't tilt?
  5. How far above the rail should the bottom edge of the body located?
  6. How will the chassis attach to body?
  7. I will be using body mounted couplers, so I need to know what the couplers will mount to: the body or the chassis
comparison of this project with a RailKing Genesis locomotive

I decided that I wanted the bottom edge of the body to be the same height as the RailKing Genesis unit. I then discovered that the Williams body is taller.
inside of body showing chassis mounting lugs

I did trial-and-error until I got the chassis to fit. I had to remove some of the styrene I used to attach the body sections. On my third attempt to the get the chassis to fit, it succeeded.

I am not sure what I did to get it to work. On the rear of the body is plate I made of styrene with rails help secure it. ON the front, by the cab area, I glued two short white styrene rails for the front mounting screws. The Williams stock body mounting posts had to be shortened.

One issue is that the truck sideframes are oversized and bulky making them fit around the body was difficult.
body mounted on chassis

Here is the result after the body is mounted.

V. Couplers

K-Line plastic couplers installed on trucks The coupler on the right (rear truck) was the front coupler on the FA. The left coupler (front truck) was made from another K-Line coupler and cut out pieces from the former rear truck dummy coupler.

VI. Finishing

chassis ready for wire reconnection

All the components are now back onto the chassis and the wires need to be reconnected.
black styrene sheet glued over hole in chassis

The wires were connected and a plastic sheet glued over the hole.
completed project in comparison with RailKing Genesis

The engine with the RailKing Genesis. I didn't get enough clearance between the trucks
and the body as the sideframes hit the body on a curve. I am stopping the project at this point
as I don't plan on keeping the engine.

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copyright   ©  2016 Jack Hess