NS 8772 - NS 8835 - NS 8840 - NS 8888 Delivered
The announcement by ScaleTrains.com that they would be recreating the unique NS C40-9 "Top Hat" locomotives was one of the most exciting announcements ever...for me. Nicknamed for the prominent appearance of the air conditioner on the spartan cab of these units, the Top Hats were some mean looking machines that were fun to photograph nearly new in 1996, the year I model.
Today, 4-29-2020, the four versions I ordered arrived! NS 8772, NS 8835, NS 8840, and NS 8888 are now on the Meridian Speedway roster.
Simply put - they are beautiful models! No disappointment with this ScaleTrains.com release.
A second package arrived today as well. This was an eBay score from seller emd710. Atlas 20,700 gallon tank car DOWX 4743 is from the original release of this model in May 2007. This acquisition is part of my effort to increase the number of generic "data only" tank cars and hopper cars to the fleet. I am pleased with this find.
First Installation of Metal Plano Walkways
As I have been researching available Islington Station Products decals, I managed to find a number of sets to decal Atlas "whalebelly" LPG Tank Cars. Plano Model Products makes a metal roofwalk set for this car and I decided to give it a try. Smaller details are not important form me to upgrade, however the roofwalks on this car are quite conspicuous. I had not worked with Plano Model Products roofwalks before.
The image below is the instruction sheet that comes with the product:
I learned much through the process, specifically how to take apart the ladder assembly on the Atlas tank cars. I made a few mistakes along the way and am more prepared for the next ones. This one will do, however. It will fit in just fine with the "Meat-and-Potatoes" fleet of cars I am bolstering.
Reynolds Materials P-S 4750 Hoppers
Still equipped with shop trucks and shop couplers, the three Tangent P-S 7450 covered hoppers painted in the last blog post now have decals and identities!
Though many years old, I had no issues using the Islington Station Decals. They performed flawlessly! Decals still wet in the above photo, RMCX 2080, RMCX 2118, and RMCX 2145 are now part of the fleet!
4-11-2020 - Paint Booth Action - "Meat and Potatoes"
As you have probably noticed, posts on this blog have been few and far between for the last several years. My children are at the age where parenting their activities is a never-ending feat. This dynamic has driven hobby interests, modeling and photography, to the back burner.
Enter COVID-19. The Coronavirus pandemic has swiftly and single-handedly put an end to all of the school, athletic, and other social activities that have been racking up miles on our vehicles and consuming many hours of every day. As it turns out, Model Railroading is an amazing hobby that can be shelved when time does not allow, but is there when you need or want it.
That being said, I have spent the last several weeks focusing on the Man-Cave. Some deep-cleaning, inventory activity, and rearranging the paint booth work area to provide more usable space has paid off.
On the other hand, when you peruse the freight cars being sold by most model train manufacturers the makeup seems to be just the opposite. The fancy cars attract attention and sell. As a result model railroad fleets seem to be just the opposite of real-world composition with generic cars being the exception rather than the rule.
I was able to pull two prototype photos I had taken in the 1990's of RMCX PS-4750 hoppers. RMCX 2080 was captured painted almost white with the small logo and RMCX 2098 was captured painted a slightly darker grey and without the logo.
Perfect I thought! This will be my first new project. I do remember the RMCX cars and am pleased to have them in my fleet.
I reached out to Dave Lehlbach of Tangent Scale Models and purchased the last two remaining undecorated PS-4750 covered hoppers in his inventory and I also purchased a Penn Central PS-4750.
I removed the trucks and couplers and replaced them with my own "shop" trucks and couples to use during the paint process. My shop trucks have one axle glued in place so the cars do not roll around. My shop couplers are old horn-hook couplers that I use to handle and reposition cars during the painting process.
Using the Solvaset and Scotch-Tape method of letter removal mentioned previously I was able to effortlessly remove the Penn Central lettering from the green PC car.
Yesterday, 4-10-2020, the three Tangent PS-4750's took a bath. The usual dish soap soak and rinse took place with a light scrubbing from an old toothbrush. This washes off any dirt and oil from handling that might affect the adhesion of paint to the surface.
After washing, the cars were set aside for 24 hours to dry.
Today, 4-11-2020, magic happened. Three cars were flawlessly painted in the paint-booth. These three cars were painted ScaleCoat II S2011 White with just a touch of ScaleCoat II S2020 MOW Gray. I have had a number of questions about how I paint cars so I decided to try something new and video the process.
I took videos of all three cars, however, the painting of the undecoated cars is less visual than the green car so that is the one I chose to share. Enjoy the un-narrated glimpse of my paint boot in use below:
I am quite pleased with the results of this effort and am glad to be participating again in the World's Greatest Hobby!
Once the paint is dry it will be on to the next steps of weathering, decaling, and sealing. Updates to come!