Question: I have several of the Life Like Proto 2000 GP7's in PRR livery. They come with the following options:
Extended windows around cab
What appear to be "marker stands" for front and rear
A grill cover for the rear fan area
Sun shades for the side windows
Should all of these be applied?
Answer: No. Neither the extended windows nor the "grill cover" (winterization hatch) were not generally used (but remember this is the PRR!) Probably what you are calling "marker stands" are "MU stands" for the multiple unit connections. Of the three types provided, PRR used the one with the single MU connector mounted on the thin support which is probably intended to be a conduit. The type with the larger support for two connectors were used on PRR GP9's. I have not seen the third type, the short MU connector, used. If you look carefully on the bottom side of the end platforms, there are locators for drilling hole to attach the stands. Sun shades of the style included by P2K were used on at least some GP7's.
Question: How should they be painted?
Question: What third party details should be added? (Please supply manufacturer and part number, if possible, as your response will be in the "PRR-Talk" list archive.)
Answer: Eyebolts: Until the GP7, I have not liked the eyebolts that P2K has used, and I have routinely replaced them with Details Associates #101101. However, these seem to have been improved and are less bulky on the GP7's.
Footboards: P2K chose to use the footboard style from EMD's earliest production, with the sloping support to the board itself, without the receptacle to retain the ends of the MU hoses. Unfortunately, I have not seen this style in any PRR photos. These should be replaced to look like the P2K GP9 style. Trim off the existing structure and replace with P2K parts, if you can find them, or Detail Associates #2208.
Horn: The horn is mounted in the wrong place and is the wrong type. Remember for PRR the long hood is the front. From the scant photos, I believe on the dynamic brake version the horn could either be just in front of or just behind the dynamic brake fan. For the non-dynamic models, just ahead of the rear pair of cooling fans. I have been unable to find a good three-trumpet-all-forward horn in brass for GP's or other PRR applications. I have been using Cal-Scale #316 and grinding off the top two small trumpets. I prefer brass just for the strength of the item.
Antennas: Some did, some didn't. Cal-Scale #408. If installing antennas, also use Cal-Scale #457 "Receiver" on top of the short end.
MU hoses: The included MU hoses are really puny looking. Detail Associates #1508 look good when installed and placed in the footboard receptacles.
Grab Irons: Replace with Detail Associates #2202 drop type or equivalent.
Cab Seats: Remove and reinstall facing forward.
DCC: Lenz #LE103XF decoder is one type which fits after removing the P2K circuit board and is an economical choice. Either retain the P2K 3v. bulbs and use 150 ohm resisters, or use 12v, 30ma bulbs without resisters.
From the "PRR-Talk" list: Steve Hoxie.