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Adding a CN Comfort Cab to the Athearn C44-9W

    I have tried really hard to not get carried away in detailing my C44-9W that I have in Canadian National.  Why?  Because CN does some very major alterations to their locomotives.  Pilots have ditch lights front and back.  There is a small wedge shaped plow on the rear pilot and the most noticeable of all are the cabs.  I don't think I have seen a single C44 here in Calgary with the factory GE cab.  The most prominent cabs I see are the "Australian" cabs.  These are tricky to describe.  They have the side windows of a comfort cab with nose of the GE cab, but the angled corners are much more pronounced and the front windows look more like that of a 2 windows EMD SD70 unit.
    The cab that I purchased is of Canadian design.  It is a standard "Canadian Comfort Cab" with 4 windows across the front.  It is manufactured by H&D's Own and is made of resin.  It has dimples for the wire details on the front and dimples for the side railings to enter on the side.  Both the doors have dimples for the door handles to be installed.  H&D did an outstanding job with the cab, it has very nice detail molded on and looks really sharp.  Well worth the $19.95+tax I paid for it.  I removed the old cab off the loco and placed the new on and it fit like a glove.

    The window openings need to be cleaned out as there is a film of resin across all the openings.  A knife and a file fixes this up fine.  That was the only flash I had to remove from the whole cab.  I drilled out the hole for the grab irons and the windshield wipers.  I installed all the grab irons but didn't glue the second one up from the bottom.  I will need to be able to remove it so I can apply the CN "wet noodle" on the nose.  I then primed the whole thing with a black spray paint.  Once that was dry and things look good and ready I sprayed it with Badger Model flex Southern Pacific Daylight Red (16-36 ).  This paint is an almost perfect match for the Athearn red that the unit comes with.  A few coats airbrushed over the black and it is now looking good.  The new cab, like the old, doesn't have to be glued to the shell.  The railings hold it in place nicely.  The Lights have yet to be drilled out on the nose.  I already have bulbs in place from the old cab and mounting them in place will be easy.  At this point I need to find numbers for the sides and the small lettering designating the unit the go below, as well as the CN logo for the front.

    I am not aware of any aftermarket window sets for the Canadian Comfort Cabs,  I have one from Cannon and Company that came with flush fit windows.  Unfortunately it only has the sliding side window.  With a little filling I got the windows into the front and the side.  The first and last window on the side, as well as the rear windows still have to be done.  I talked to H&D about the windows and they suggested cutting clear styrene to fit.  I will probably do this for the remaining windows as they are of a standard rectangular shape.  I ended up using left over trees from two AMI Laser cut windows for the Athearn SD40-2.  I was able to obtain enough clear area to be cut and filed to fill the remaining side windows.  The two rear windows were covered with the windows off the cab that provided the front windows.  The modification went suprisingly well as I was rather worried about doing it so they fit well.  There was one window on the side that was a little short but I installed the clear so that the space was at the top where it would be hidden by the sun shade.  All that is left now are the CN marking for the cab.

The Markings are now on and  the completed unit has been weathered.  The above image shows the unit before the cab conversion and then after with the new cab and weathering.

    I am really pleased with how this small project has gone and look forward now to doing the same to an SD40-2.


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