ATSF GP7u 2233 Taken Apart
Prying the cab loose required a little patience, but it was relatively easy to remove. There are three tabs that fasten the cab to the body, one at the top of the nose and two at the rear-top of the cab. Pushing the tab through the fastener from the nose allows the other two tabs to be rotated out.
The handrails, remarkably, came out with ease. Most of the stanchions I just pulled out by hand. Several required a little encouragement from the tip of an Exacto knife blade. None of the handrails warped as I had expected. I have gotten a response from my inquiry to Athearn and I will purchase black GP7 handrails for the final product.
The front and rear cab windows were easily pushed out with a small flathead screwdriver. There was a sticky adhesive holding them in place. The cab side sliding windows were a bit more challenging as they are built into the cab sides. An Exacto knife blade was used to pry the the outer side wall from the main cab structure so that the windows could slide out of the bottom of the cab.
I also removed the coupler lift bars as a white decal stripe will go underneath them and I removed all of the grab irons as they would impede the application of the front and rear Y&MV logos. Some of the grab irons did bend, but no worries as I will replace them all with new ones for consistency.
The tabs on the main body piece connecting it to the frame are all glued on the bottom of the frame. For my Y&MV models this is not an issue since both the carbody and the walkway are black. For other schemes this could prove a bit annoying resulting in extra masking.
Now to decide what to do with the number boards and the horn. I think I will paint over the number boards and leave the Nathan K3LA in place, planning to giving the TSC Wow Sound decoders a try when released.
I will also do some work to remove the Santa Fe markings and numbers to create a uniform appearance to the Y&MV 201.