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South Jersey S Scale Modelers

Southern GP38-2 5072



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This loco is Overland/Ajin model 1755 released in 1984. Only 15 were made making it a rather rare model. This loco was “hiding” in Minnesota at a large general hobby shop. I knew about it 2 years ago but did not buy and sort of forgot about it. A member of my S Scale Facebook group reminded me and I got it done. I have been procrastinating for almost 5 years on what to do with my first 1755 but now that I have 2 the first is going to be Norfolk Southern 5235 as originally planned and this is staying as Southern.




But…. once again it is proof some people should not be involved with painting brass trains. Ignoring the usual issues ALL of these Overland locos have of cold solder joints and loose handrails it still had a long list of WHY?


The number is wrong for a Southern GP38-2. There is no hanging bell. There are NO HORNS. How could you paint a brass loco and not have ANY horns - especially with Southern had horns on BOTH ENDS of the loco? The “F” decal was on the short hood when they always ran long hood forward. The bare brass frame is visible from the side of the loco. Why was this not painted? Ugh! But at least I got it to run well pretty easily. That is a huge plus.


My plan is to do some significant quick n dirty fixes for now even if it bruises paint. The paint is not that great anyway – it looks OK at 2 feet away. This is going to be an almost identical project to my High Hood Southern GP30 where I stripped most of it but kept some of the paint on the walkway to save the pilot stripes.


Most of my projects for the past year+ have been done with custom made decals by Circus City. I highly recommend Matt. But my 2 other Southern locos were done with old Microscale decals. One of my “makes my eye twitch” obsessions is having things match each other when they really do not have to match. I got lucky that 5072 which really is a GP38-2 and was in the random number dribble.



Photos taken 3-23-24

As received

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Drive Upgrade

At left is the stock Overland drive with the 40 year old rubber tubing for a motor coupling. I hate all tubing used in loco drives and remove it. At right is my usual brass loco upgrade with cups and a dog bone for a motor coupling. Those are Miniatronics 2 and 4 pin plugs I use on all DCC installations.

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Added 4-16-24

I have worked on a LOT of Overland locos in the past year+. The one was possibly in the best condition in terms of the usual cold solder joints and loose handrails. There were only about 6 stanchions loose on 1 side. The hood cross braces where still attached. That made it easy to reinforce and add more solder. Still there was a LOT of details that should have been added ***before painting*** that were not. It is a rare relief to do work like this on a loco and not care about bruising the paint. Plus black in the best color for these repairs. I stripped and blasted the cab. It was the wrong loco number. I had to open up the headlights (there was no lights previously) for the 3mm LEDs. I fixed the handrails, added the horns, front hanging bell, and 2 new grab irons. I changed the cab interior around to be facing long hood forward.


I struggled to use 3 chime horns since 5 chime were very prevalent and the Southern style as well. But the 2 prototype photos above were 3 chime. Also 3 chime all forward horns are rare in S you had to get them in the extra parts bag with the GP38-2 and SD40-2. By the time these locos are 40 years old and sold a number of times the parts bag rarely stays with the loco. For Southern, Norfolk and Western and Norfolk Southern you needed 2 of them anyway.


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2 Footer Good Enough

This would have been closer to “done” with cab windows and crew figures but I did not like the numberboard decals that came with the Southern diesel set. I used decals from a Conrail diesel set by K4 Decals. I am still considering most of the paint to be long term temporary. It looks good at about 2 feet away be any closer and the lots of touch up paint start showing. I have a S Helper Service SW1 that is supposed to become Southern. This loco might get repainted whenever that happens.


Unfortunately the pilot stripes are angled in the wrong direction. They should form angled peaks in the center over the coupler. Just look at photos before painting it takes the same effort.


And – once again I am very happy this runs really well especially for a 1980s Overland. This is possibly 1 of the best running Overlands I have.



Completed 4-21-24

(For now)

I put a lot of perfume on this pig. When or if I actually strip the shell and repaint it remains to be seen. Tru Color paint without clear coat does not seem to hold up well to handling. The same spots keep wearing through to the brass with normal handling. There is LOTS of small touch up spots. Some areas have been sprayed more than once.





3 Brothers From Down South

GP38-2, SD40-2 & GP30





My new YouTube running my 3 Southern Tuxedo scheme locos is here


Revised 4-22-24

All photos and content © Lanes Trains 2005-2024