Sunday, June 15, 2014

CNW Hopper Fleet: Done With Paint

In a nearly unprecedented stretch of contiguous modeling, I am done with paint!

I used decals from the Microscale 60-1299 set for all the numbers and reporting marks, and the heralds on the green cars. The black & white herald and the teeny one on the patched car were done with Paint.NET, Testors decal paper, and my 10 year old printer. They turned out ok, not great but passable. The film is a little thick and the ink bubbled up just a little, but they're not bad at normal viewing distance. I left off a lot of the tiny warning labels and such, in my experience they are not visible after even the lightest weathering and after individually applying all those numbers I was done with decals for a bit. They stuck fine to the blue craft paint, but were kind of a one shot deal. The water and Micro Sol made the paint tacky so you pretty much have to put the solution on, put the decal on, position, walk away. I'm not very good at the walk away part. After several dry, Micro Sol, dry Micro Sol cycles the big heralds laid down and settled over the ribs nicely. Even the thick home made one. All the cars then got a shot of Krylon Acrylic Crystal Clear Flat, my new Dulcoat alternative of choice.

You'll notice there's a 5th car snuck in here. That is an Exact Rail high side PS 4427 I got second hand. It was lightly but tastefully weathered when I got it. As long as I was printing decals I printed up a CNW patch for it and stuck it on. It is from the first run, so no body mount couplers. That might get addressed later.

Friday, June 13, 2014

CNW Hopper Fleet: 3 More Paint Jobs

The paint is done on the 3 other cars in this batch now also. These were painted with model paint vs the craft paint on the Rock Island patch earlier this week. Gray is Model Master Gull Gray thinned just a bit with WW fluid, green is Polly Scale CNW Green. This is more of a "93 Green" than the earlier 1970's green and I always have trouble getting it to cover without getting thick. These were no exception. It's also got an odd glossy sheen that is hard to dull even with a flat finish over the top. Thankfully it's almost gone so I won't be tempted to use it many more times. The Gull Gray went on pretty smooth. I did have to touch both up just a bit with a brush, there are so many nooks and crannies on the end frames and bottom it's near impossible to spray and hit everything without over doing it on other areas. I'll need to scrape the paint off the coupler pad on the Micro Trains car, the pad is actually the top of the coupler box and is pretty clogged with paint. In hindsight I should have put a dab of jelly or grease there to keep the paint from sticking. The paint is all done now though. They're dry to the touch but I'll let them cure for a day or so before trying to decal or weather.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

CNW Hopper Fleet: Bankruptcy Blue Patch

A quick update on this one. I spent several hours (way the hell longer than I should have/needed/wanted to) trying to shoot craft store paint through my air brush. I ended up with about a 50/50 mix of WW fluid and paint, which was just about a wash but sprayed out nice and after like 10 coats it built up and covered. Would I do it again? Meh, probably not. But this blue was what I though to be a good bankruptcy blue color. It's actually Apple Barrel Pool Blue that I bought to paint a backdrop several years ago, it turned out to be way way to blue for that. It might be too blue now that it's on. The patches are Apple Barrel Regency Blue painted on with a brush about the same width as the panels. That part went pretty smooth and gave the streaky quick and dirty patch look I was going for though I wish I had weathered the PB before adding the RB patches.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

CNW Hopper Fleet: Couplers and Details

Continuing with the CNW Hopper Fleet project, this rainy Sunday I managed to spend a little time adding some details and fitting mounts for body mounted couplers. Was hoping to get some paint on today but of course ran out of time. It's not a race, so no real reason to push it.

Not being really for or against body mounting, but it seems like a neat thing to do and it isn't difficult. I'm not about to body mount every single car I own, but as long as these are stripped down and apart it seems like as good a time as any. The Atlas Trainman car was easy, it just needed a hole drilled in each end. It may need a shim or two to get the height just right but otherwise it's ready to receive a coupler. The Precision Masters car had an open frame, as did the Intermountain. For the PM car I sliced off a chunk of thick For Sale sign and shaped it to fit the round part where the truck mounting pin goes in. It was cut to length so it fits under the end frame and glued on with styrene glue. The thick sign material looks like it will put the coupler at just the right height. The Intermountain car was similar, but instead of thick For Sale sign I used thin and tucked one end up on top of the bolster and trimmed it to fit flush with the inside of the end frame. This one may need a shim also, but it is pretty close as is.

Two of the cars needed some additional detail parts. The Micro Trains PS 4427 is going to be numbered in the 170000-170499 series built in 1967. The herald on these cars was painted on a large flat plate welded to the sides of the car, though the exact placement is up for grabs. Some cars in the series seem to have the plate mounted on the first-third ribs and the lube plate below on the second-third and some have the herald plate on the second-fourth ribs and the lube plate on the first-second. My understanding is it was difficult to paint the herald over the ribs so they welded plates on, but these plates were prone to damage and broken welds that would cause them to tear and slide off while the car was moving and later in life they were removed. I used .005 brass for the herald and lube plates and stuck them on with super glue.

The other car that got a little extra attention was the Intermountain car. It received a rib across the top to mimic what the cars in the 174700-174899 series built 1976 received. To make the rib I sliced of a super thin strip of thin For Sale sign and cut it to fit between the 4th ribs from each end. It was glued on with styrene glue. You might notice that the car had this top rib on it when I started the project, for some reason it did not stick and both sides fell off. This time I made sure to scrape down the primer to bare plastic before gluing so it is permanent now. Arguably everything I did tonight should have been done before primer. I'll probably squirt a little primer into a cup and brush on the brass parts so the paint will have something to bite on.