It's time to build again!
BY NOW, a great many precise H0 Scale F Units have been produced in many configurations and paint schemes. These have been produced to a high standard in ready to run form by Athearn for their Genesis line of products. These models use the very same Highliners F Unit tooling for their shells that were used to produce our kits.
Even though these finished models are extremely well executed, mass-production techniques using polyester type paints and “tampo” printing cannot match a very well done, custom airbrushed and decaled model. The reason is simple. The sheer level of the extremely finely engraved details found on our shells and kit components are actually finer than that found on most commercial N Scale models. These F Units are made to true H0 Scale and as a result, this crispness of detail may at times unfortunately be obscured by commercial-type factory-applied paint.
There also are many configurations and details found on specific prototype F Unit diesel locomotive that Athearn cannot possibly fully address, but may be easily and perfectly replicated by and with the use of Highliners kits and components. Consider mixing the type of "between the porthole" carbody filters as the AT&SF did on some of their Warbonnets. Or switching the forward louver and porthole locations as on a few of the Clinchfield F's. Use of Highliners kits guarantees a true "stable-mate appearance" to the ready to run Athearn Genesis models you may already own.
Another reason a self-built Highliners kit may be a true contest winner is afforded by the typical thinness of a self or custom airbrushed paint finish. By its very nature, an airbrush-applied paint finish actually makes our “true-to-H0 scale” screw, louver, batten and other ultra-fine detail seemingly “pop” from the surfaces of the carbody’s sides, ends and roof.
We are of the opinion the effort expended, even if on a single or lone A unit is most worthwhile. You will have the enjoyment of building from this kit a true one-off engine. A one-off engine for only yourself, enabling the production of a model that is to your exact specifications and finished to your own likes and tastes. Yet it will still perfectly blend in with an otherwise commercially acquired model roster.
Each prototype locomotive, at any given moment in time was a unique device. If one were to look closely, each prototype locomotive differed from its (at first glance) seemingly identical stable mates. Even the era of a given engine’s use is identifiable by those with a good working knowledge of the prototype. This allows for yet another enjoyable aspect of this sub text of F Units: a very fine level in the recognition of the prototype locomotives and the correct time periods of their use. All of these detail aspects are easily replicated with the Highliners F Unit series model kits.
We fully believe the assembly and painting of our products is more satisfying than simply settling for what’s commercially available, a production model that is also owned by many others.