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How to Install Fan Grills

Installing fan grills is a fairly easy way to add realism to any locomotive.  My main reason for installing the grill is because the locomotive has a sound decoder in it and I wanted the sound to be able to get out easier so it's louder.  Below are the steps I took to install the grill.  There are also instructions on BLMA's website along with a video.

Items used:

  • 48" Fan Grill Without Center Plate - (10 Blade)

  • Small round file

  • Black paint

  • White paint

  • Paint brush



Click here to see the official BLMA video on how to install their fans

Step 1: Remove the existing molded on fan cover.  DO NOT remove the circular fan housing!

Start by using a small drill bit and make holes close to the edge, but not too close.  You don't want to damage the housing.  I used a small drill bit in a pin vice to make the holes seen below.


Oncs you have made holes all the way around, use a hobby knife to cut the pieces between the holes to get rid of the center piece.


Step 2: File down the opening until only the housing remains.


Use a small round file to file the remaining plastic down to the fan housing.  Be careful as you get to the housing so you don't file the housing itself.

Once you're finished clearing the excel plastic, sand the top of the housing down very slightly to account for the thickness of the new fan cover

Once that's done, paint the inside of the housing black to give the opening some depth.  Lightly sand off any paint that got on top of the housing


Step 3: Paint the new fan parts

Here I painted the fan cover black and the blades white as recommended by the manufacturer.  The white paint really helps the blades to show through the cover. 


Step 4: Install

Use a hobby knife or small screwdriver to pull the pin up on the base plate the fans sit on.  Then use CA (Crazy) glue and glue the fan blades onto the pin.

Next, turn the model upside down and use CA glue to attach the base plate to the model.

Lastly, turn the model over again and use CA glue to attach the fan cover to the top of the housing

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