GSI Identity Created for the Meridian Speedway!
Well an update is WAY overdue! Despite all of what was 2020, I did manage to get some modeling done...though I did not practice due diligence updating this blog. This post will focus on one project from this summer: Gulf and Ship Island freight cars.
One of the predecessor railroads that I have incorporated into my proto-freelanced Natchez Trace and Orient (NTO) concept is the Gulf and Ship Island Railroad (GSI). The prototype Gulf and Ship Island was in existence from its incorporation in 1882 until 1925 when it became part of the Illinois Central Railroad. From 1925 until 1946 the Gulf and Ship Island name existed as a subsidiary of the Illinois Central.
The fit for the GSI into my NTO is that the GSI provides access to the Gulf of Mexico at Gulfport, Mississippi. The channel from the Port of Gulfport to the protective barrier island named Ship Island is dredged to a depth of 36 feet. Taking advantage of the artistic license afforded by proto-freelancing, the Port of Gulfport is very busy in the Meridian Speedway empire!
In 1986 the real-world former GSI main line between Hattiesburg, MS and Gulfport, Mississippi was sold by the Illinois Central Gulf to regional railroad MidSouth Rail Corp., which was subsequently acquired by the KCS. All of MidSouth Rail was penciled into the railroads that I cobbled together to form my proto-freelanced NTO. In this reality the NTO (GSI) has trackage rights over the Illinois Central (I model 1996) from Jackson, Mississippi to Hattiesburg, Mississippi and on to Mobile, Alabama. In exchange the Illinois Central has trackage rights over the NTO from Jackson, Mississippi east to Meridian, Mississippi and west to Vicksburg, Mississippi.
As a kid growing up in the New Orleans area, I remember that trips along the Mississippi Gulf Coast always included stops at Gulfport to check out the ICG/MSRG/KCS (depending on the year) yard to see what power was hanging around. We also would visit the Seaworld Aquarium on more than one occasion.
Fascinating to me was all of the trucks of bananas that we would see streaming from the port. If I recall correctly there would be both trailers belonging to Dole and Chiquita parading perishable cargo unloaded from ships that had docked there. Both Dole and Chiquita have addresses in Gulfport, Mississippi today.
Now to the fun part--the manifestation of this story in HO scale equipment! I entertained ideas ranging from operating the GSI as a separate operation to not giving it any acknowledgement other than the route miles on the system map. I decided that I did want Meridian Speedway visitors to have a visualization of the GSI name, so I have decided that there will be freight cars lettered for the Gulf and Ship Island that will carry GSI reporting marks.
Because the real GSI ceased being a stand-alone entity in 1925, there never were any diesel locomotives or modern equipment bearing a prototype GSI logo. Internet searches reveal very few glimpses of anything of the original GSI or what its logo might have been.
My friend and fellow modeler Robert Tomb came across an image that showed an original Gulf and Ship Island freight car bearing a ship “Steering Wheel” logo that had the slogan “Deep Water Route” embedded in it. He previously had artwork drawn up that approximated this logo and included it on GSI models of his own. Upon request, Robert graciously made this artwork available to me and allowed me to use it in artwork for my own GSI equipment.
The below buttons will take you to some external Gulf and Ship Island content. Feel Free to visit!
From here I turned to Matthew Welke of Circus City Decals to bring the concept to life. Inspired by my memories of the white sandy beaches I visited on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, I decided that the cars would be white with black lettering. Because the steering wheel loco is fairly intricate I thought it best to keep the logo small so that it would all fit on a single flat surface, not having to wrap over the ribs on a PS-4750 type hopper car.
As always Matthew Welke is very good at turning concept into reality. I created a rough depiction of my vision using MS Paint. Matthew plugged in all of my specifications and applied a font that looks very much like the font that was used on orange-and-white Illinois Central Gulf locomotives. I was quite pleased with the final product which, in my mind, provides a respectful nod to the Gulf and Ship Island in name, the Illinois Central/Illinois Central Gulf in font, and to the Mississippi Gulf Coast in color theme!
Upon receipt of the decals I selected four covered hopper cars to paint. Two of them are Tangent Scale Models PS-4750 cars. The other two are smooth side ACF 4650 covered hoppers, one by Atlas and the other by Intermountain. One never knows how paint schemes will fare with the transition from drawing board to actual model until one is painted. I have to say I like these cars! A unit grain train of Gulf and Ship Island hopper cars will make a grand visual rolling along the HO Meridian Speedway!
Undecided as of now is the question of motive power. I could have no locomotives decorated for the GSI. Or I could follow the theme of my Natchez Trace and Orient Railroad and my Texas and Great Northern Railroad which share a blended locomotive roster of engines wearing the same “Tedder-Green” paint scheme that I have adopted. This route would involve selection of some locomotives to wear the same scheme but have GSI lettering and logo. Or…I could do something different to make them stand out. The basic Tedder-Green paint scheme looks very sharp in any number of color combinations. I have considered perhaps painting some GSI locomotives either red or blue with the same white-stripe arrangement found on the NTO and TGN locomotives. So many choices! What to do…what to do???
Speaking of future unknown Gulf and Ship Island variables, I was quite surprised to see the below image appear recently in social media:
It appears that modelers are not the only ones who find the story of the Gulf and Ship Island alluring. Mr. Robert Riley, now famous for bringing back the Rock Island name and image on his former Mississippi Delta short line, has registered the Gulf and Ship Island name with the State of Mississippi for a future business venture. While it is unknown at this time if these plans include any actual former G&SI property, one thing is for sure: it will be a welcome addition to the railroading world!
Not wanting to run into any future issues, I have reached out to Mr. Riley and have his full support for continuing to model my interpretation of the Gulf and Ship Island Railroad!
Atlas 33,000 Gallon LPG Tank Cars Painted
The first two Atlas 33,000 Whale Belly LPG tank cars that I have custom painted received their final decals today. Using Islington Station decal set 150-212 C (AMOX and TGPX LPG Tanks), I made both cars represent Tamak Transportation Corporation TGPX cars. I chose numbers 33508 because that is the one ready to go on the decal set and 33510 because I have taken a photograph of that car in New Orleans.
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!
Orange Paint and Decals Applied Today - 3-6-2019
The first coat of Solva-Set is still wet on the first locomotive of my proto-freelanced Mississippi Central Railroad. Alco C425 MCRR 2425 wears my Illinois Central "inspired" color scheme. The decals are by Matthew Welke of Circus City decals and they look great!
On the drawing board this bold color scheme received quite a bit of criticism. Perhaps it is a face only its creator can love, however, having seen it materialize in person I could not be more pleased with it! More to come....
Club-Lounge Rio Bravo Takes Shape
Today the window tinting I ordered from Amazon arrived in the mail. It was a long trip from China via Los Angeles, Houston, and Detroit before being delivered to my home in Fort Worth.....go figure. I am not 100% satisfied with the tint finish, however I think it looks much better than without the tint. I applied it this evening, reassembled the car, and applied the decals I had made by Circus City.
I had considered several ways to decorate the business cars. Two things were important: 1 - they need to look good and 2 - they need to look unique. My initial thought was to have them all silver, but many railroads did that and the BNSF business cars are all silver. I have fond memories from my younger days of Southern Railway lightweight cars that were aluminum with black roofs with the classic Southern Logo on the right end. For the TGN businees car fleet I decided to go that route, but instead the car roofs, trucks, and under-bodies will be painted a dark green.
Also seen in the paint shop this evening is what will become TGN 8051 - dome car Pelican Vista. The Rio Bravo is a Walthers Proto 85' Budd 1 Drawing Room 29-Seat Lounge. On the upside with the Walthers car, the roof comes off, making it easy to paint the separate colors. On the downside the windows are glued in and need to be masked if the car is going to be painted.
For the Pelican View I purchased an undecorated Rapido Trains Budd Dome. This car came with the windows not installed which is great, however the roof is molded into the one-piece carbody shell. So I traded having to mask the windows for having to mask the roof. At least the window tinting will be easier to apply on the Rapido car!
These are the first models I have painted with Badger Model-Flex paint. I am not sure that I am comfortable with it yet... I decided to go with a darker green than the shade on my locomotives. The green is Badger Model-Flex 16-192 Western Pacific Green. The silver is a mixture of Model-Flex 16-32 Santa Fe Silver and 16-193 CB&Q Imitation Aluminum. The mixture is approximately 75% Santa Fe Silver and 25% CB&Q Imitation Aluminum.
For the Rio Bravo, I will have to mask the windows again before I clear coat the car. Not looking forward to that; however, I am excited to get a few business cars in service!
TGN 527193 - NTO 527565 - NTO 527748
In addition to the E&C Shops car belonging to Greg McComas, this batch included two ExactRail Gunderson 6269 cars. Both were purchased as model EE-1452-1 decorated for BNSF. I chose this model because they were brown and would not need a coat of primer. The lettering was also pretty sparse and looked easy to remove.
I created a rather detailed spec-sheet for the decals and submitted it to Circus City decals. They (Matthew Welke) did an amazing job on the decal sheet, and it was done very quickly!
Next I made a quick revision to the roster. These cars were in the 527000 series, with the first 500 being T&GN and the second 500 being NT&O. I divided the numbers further, designating the E&C Shops cars as TGN 527000-527099 and NTO 527500-527599. The ExactRail cars would fill the rest of the numbers, TGN 527100-527499 and NTO 527600-NTO 527999.
The BNSF markings came off easily using Solvaset-Soaked paper towel patches to soften the letters. Scotch-Tape then removed them cleanly! I mixed a 50/50 batch of Scalecoat II Boxcar Red and Boxcar Red #2 which is standard for these cars. The paint went on smoothly with my Iwata Revolution airbrush.
The Circus City decals were a pleasure to work with. Each car has a total of 58 individual decals!
Today the cars received dull coat to seal the decals. On the advise of Eric Goodman I used an aerosol can of Krylon ColorMaster Flat Crystal Clear. I picked up a can at WalMart! Being careful to just spray a very thin and even layer of the product on the cars, the result is very good! I do miss the Floquil flat finish however....
NTO 527565 will be interchanged to the MCIS soon. As Greg models a later time period than I do, this car will be updated with yellow FRA conspicuity stripes.
A shipment from ExactRail arrived on Monday. Included were four more copies of BNSF 726653... Batch 2 will be making its way to the paint booth soon!
Well it has been almost a year since my last post here on the Meridian Speedway blog. There have been many distractions and time seems to fly by faster than ever! You may notice the website now has a newer format. Though it is a bit nicer, all of the individual page headings and slideshows were deleted with the upgrade. I have spent a great amount of time trying to replace some of the lost data. That project continues.
That being said, the good news is that I have finally decided on the scheme for my third proto-freelanced model railroad. My version of the Mississippi Central (MCRR) has been in development for the last two years. This railroad compliments my Yazoo and Mississippi Valley and is the other half of the IC regional spin-off property in Mississippi in the Meridian Speedway storybook.
The paint schemes I experimented with numbered approximately two-dozen. The above image represents the final version. I sent my specifications to Circus City Decals and was pleasantly surprised with a very quick turnaround on artwork and printed decals. The first sheet arrived yesterday!
The above artwork was the final version provided by Circus City before we went to press. Though the MCRR does not roster any EMD locomotives, the GP38 used for design purposes does look sharp!
The Y&MV pays tribute to its Illinois Central heritage with a paint scheme inspired by the classic black scheme worn by Illinois Central freight locomotives which displayed the famous "Green Diamond" logo. The Y&MV rosters only EMD locomotive.
In contrast the MCRR rosters no EMD locomotives and the paint scheme is inspired by the Illinois Central "Chocolate-and-Orange" passenger scheme. Intentionally the colors are not the exact Illinois Central shades of orange, brown, and yellow. I have decided to go with Scalecoat II 2014 "PRR Caboose Red" for the long hood and running gear, Scalecoat II 2015 "Reefer Yellow" for the cab, and Scalecoat II 2016 "Reefer Orange" for the nose and hood band. The yellow band and frame stripes will be from the decal set.
Last week the first locomotive destined for the MCRR roster arrived in the form of a LokSound-equipped Atlas Alco C425 model decorated as Delaware Lackawanna 2457. The paints also arrived directly from Minuteman Scale Models.
This decal sheet is my first ever order from Circus City. They do look nice! I am looking forward to getting this project underway!
More to come....
Small Delivery from Model Train Stuff
With the pain booth being back in business I decided it was time to try out the wheel masks offered by American Model Builders.
New Air-Hose Installed
The new air hose and Iwata airbrush come post locomotive display case, so I made a few modifications to facilitate painting. Swapping the hose with the Badger fitting for the hose with the Iwata fitting was easy enough. A few turns with a wrench and the job was done.
The air tank is positioned where the air line comes through the floor from the garage below. I decided to place three brass hook under the display case to hold the air hose as it extends from the air tank to the paint booth. This keeps it out of view and always handy. I also place a couple of hooks on the side of the pain booth that fit around the moisture trap on the hose and feed it into the paint booth.
Looking forward to doing some painting soon.
Iwata Revolution HP-SAR Arrives Today
The Meridian Speedway paint shop has been inactive for some time now. A couple of packages arrived in the mail today that will change that!
I was quite displeased with the spray consistence of the last cars I painted with my once trusty Badger airbrush. These cars were the four Y&MV Thrall all-door boxcars. At the recommendation of Matt Sugerman, I decided to make the switch to Iwata. My comfort zone lies with single action, so I elected to get the same brush Mr. Sugerman has, the single action Iwata Revolution.
At first glance, this feels like a finely machined instrument! The weight and motion of the pieces are impressive. The kit comes with some needle lube, a wrench, and a bottle. I also got a badger hose with a moisture trap and the Iwata fitting. I was quite pleased with the Badger hose I was using before.
I look forward to great things from this airbrush!
Busy Week - Update
Since my last posting on Friday much has happened. Determined to get some NTO gondolas created I managed to push the painting process for four more Gunderson 2420 gondolas into the routine. Friday night while watching A Christmas Story with the family I multi-tasked, using the Solvaset and Scotch-Tape method to remove the logos and numbers from four gondolas: 1 MP, 1 CNW, and 2 SSW cars. The process worked very well.
Then on Saturday, after work and before attending an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party at a co-worker's house I prepared the cars for painting, applying shop trucks and couplers to all four. Additionally I have decided to go with brown for the truck color on the rock gon fleet, so I removed the trucks from the two cars already painted, TGN 403056 and TGN 403222.
The wheelsets were removed from all of the truck frames and the inner parts were masked. I had recently purchased a Bluecell Alligator Clip Stick set off Amazon for painting small parts. I used these for the first time, mounting them in a block of Styrofoam from an old Walthers kit to hold the truck frames for painting. The clips were very cheap, about $5.00 for 25. The wooden sticks are pointed at one end and can double as uncoupling sticks for Kadee couplers as well!
I also nailed one more snap-track panel to a scrap MDF strip for car handling in the paint booth. This brings the number of these done to four. They are very convenient for placing and removing rolling stock on the turntable in the paint booth.
After work on Sunday the cars got painted. A bottle of 50/50 mix of Scalecoat II Bocxar Red and Boxcar Red #2 was made. One small bottle was more than enough to paint all four cars with a little left over.
First I painted all four cars upside-down with the shop trucks removed. Once all four cars were painted this way I reapplied the shop trucks and painted the cars right-side up. This allows for even coverage of all of the detailed surfaces of the cars.
By the time Monday evening rolled around, the paint had cured enough to apply decals. On Monday cars NTO 403305, NTO 403472, TGN 403110, and TGN 403129 had identities and were added to the equipment database!
Now sporting matching brown trucks, the two cars done earlier also posed for new builders' photos:
So six down...18 to go! Then I should have the start of a respectable unit rock train.
Also on Monday a small package arrived from Internet Trains. I had ordered some paint to keep the paint shop in business. While looking though their website I was a bit disappointed to see that some of the colors I was looking for were out of stock. There seems to be a consensus that MinuteMan Scale Models will be a reliable steward of the Scalecoat line of paint which it purchased from Weaver Models which went out of business this summer. Therefore I am not too concerned about the out of stock colors. Paint can also be ordered directly from MinuteMan Scale Models. The button below will take you to their site:
The order received from Internet Trains on Monday 12-7-2014 included 4 bottles of Scalecoat II Paint: 1 x S2002 Oxide Red, 2 x S2027 IC Orange, and 1 x S2087 Boxcar Red #2. Since IC Orange makes up 75% of my Y&MV freight car mix I ordered the two bottles to keep my bottle of Tuscan Red going. I see many more Y&MV freight cars in the future! The Oxide Red is a new color for me to experiment with. And the Boxcar Red #2 is of course part of the TGN/NTO brown formula. The Boxcar Red that goes with it was out of stock.
I also made my first Tru-Color Paint purchase - 1 x TCP-017 flat and 1 x TCP-018 gloss. This is part of my effort to find a replacement for the "Floquil Weathering Trinity" discussed in an earlier blog post. Give the endorsement of Tru-Color Paint by new model manufacturer ScaleTrains I figured it is time to become familiar with their products.
On 9-17-2015 I received two of the three numbers of the Atlas DOWX 23500 gallon tank cars--DOWX 40033 and DOWX 40040. I had noticed that the third number, DOWX 40037, was available at Internet Trains so I did add that single car to this order. I really like the appearance of these cars.
Well I guess this is enough for a week in review!
Compressed Air Routed Through the Floor
As my air compressor is rather large and noisy, it belongs in the garage...at all times! My newly confiscated man-cave room that will house my first serious HO scale railroad (Meridian Speedway Vicksburg Terminal) sits directly above the garage. I used my vacation time this week to take advantage of that positioning and drill a hole. A simple task...or so I thought.
A 20-foot reinforced 3/4-inch diameter water hose from Home Depot was my conveyor-of-choice to transfer air from the compressor in the garage to the air tank in the train room. Again I enlisted the assistance of my uncle, Joseph Scorsone, for the project. We figured we should have this done in about an hour.....not!
As it turned out there is about 18 inches between the floor of the train room and the ceiling of the garage which meant a second trip to Home Depot for a LONG bit and then a third trip for a bit extension. I do feel better about the house knowing how much insulation there is around the garage!
Also it seems that the width of the wall of the garage is wider that the width of the wall of the train room. The first hole, and the second hole we drilled down from the train room ended up in the wall of the garage. At last, the third hole drilled about six inches from the side wall of the train room landed in the garage! The hose fit snugly to the bit extension and was easily pulled through the floor into the garage. Success at last!
A metal file cabinet used to store indexed photographs fits nicely over the hose's entrance through the floor, both protecting and camouflaging it at the same time. The 15-foot hose from the tank to the airbrush will allow me to not only easily paint items in the paint booth, but also paint items on the railroad as it takes shape.
The entrance in the garage ceiling is nothing spectacular. It is directly over some wall-mounted shelves, also camouflaging the air line's entrance into the garage. This hose was fitted with male Quick-Connect fittings at both ends. The air tank valve and the air compressor hose are now both fitted with female Quick-Connect fittings so that when disconnected, the air in both the air tank and the compressor will be bottled.
And the timing of this project while my wife was out of town on a business trip...strictly coincidence!
Moving Forward - First Meridian Speedway Railroad to be Built
Yesterday I noticed that one of the two light bulbs in the Paint Booth had burned out rather prematurely. After opening the package I noticed that the fine print said that the bulbs should not be oriented upside-down. Perhaps that had something to do with it.
After dropping the kids off at school this morning, a quick visit to the Home Depot yielded a pair of new GE LED bulbs. Man they are nice! Great light and no heat! A bit pricy, $15 for the pair; but, given the proximity of the bulbs to where I am working, having no heat is a great thing.
Onto bigger and better things, I have decided to build a railroad in my current house. I had originally planned to wait until we moved into our next home with a bigger space by design, however, my wife is not quite ready to move yet. Some nonsense about the kids and high school and blah, blah, blah!
It has been nearly two years since I moved back to Fort Worth, TX from Lincoln, NE and I have the itch to build something. Today I evicted my kids from the spare bedroom that has become their playroom. Really superfluous as the kids live on the xBox anyway.
I have big plans for the room - my Man Cave. This will be the test bed for me to learn some modeling, scenery, and electrical skills. I spent a good portion of the day clearing out all of their stuff. It is nearly a clean palette for me to start. There will be updates coming soon!
The room is 10'X12' and will house my office with several work stations, including the paint booth. Sitting directly over the garage, the room is positioned perfectly to run an airline from the compressor. That will be tomorrow's primary task...
More Hooks Added - 11-30-2015 Mods
Everything has its place in a clean and safe shop environment. The paint booth is no exception.
Another dozen brass hooks were strategically placed within the painting chamber of the air brush paint booth.
A single row of seven hooks spaced two inches apart on the right hand wall are now home to seven pair of shop trucks.
Three hooks in vertical formation on the right wall between the front panel and the electrical box will house shop couplers.
Finally an additional hook was placed on each wall about 2 1/4 inches to the front of the existing airbrush hooks to cradle resting airbrushes.
Everything in its place.
Floquil Crystal Cote, Glaze, and Flat Finish
Now that I am getting back into the swing of painting and decaling, it is time to focus on the next step - weathering. Because I have been detached from painting for about five years now, since brfore I moved to Lincoln, NE, my experience lies with products that are no longer available. I'll pose the question here, looking for answers on FaceBook....
Back in the day, my trusty standby mediums for decaling and weathering were Floquil Glaze, Floquil Crystal-Cote, and Floquil Flat Finish. If using Scalecoat II paint, the finish was always glossy enough that I would apply decals directly to the painted surface. If I were painting with Floquil or some other paint that dried with a dull finish, I would spray a coat of Floquil Crystal-Cote to the model before decaling.
Once decaling was complete, I would usually spray either Crystal-Cote or Glaze to the model to seal in the decals before weathering. Floquil Flat Finish was always an ingredient in the weathering colors I concocted to spray on the decaled models. Some Glaze or Crystal-Cote might be mixed in as well to achieve the look I may have been aiming for.
After the weathering layer dried, I might even spray the model with some mixture of the Trinity to tweak the final finish and seal in the weathering layer. A hint of a secondary weathering color might be included at this level. I found that several clear layers as well a a weathering layer do an excellent job of hiding the edges of the decal film.
While I still have a few bottles of the "Floquil Trinity" in my secret stash, I guess it is time to search for a replacement. What are the expert painters using today? I have seen posts touting the use of aerosol cans of flat or gloss finish, however I do not intend to point an aerosol can at my models!
I pulled out of couple of CCBX ElastoFlo covered hoppers I painted and weathered several years ago to review. The aim for these cars was a very light weathering with some luster in the finish. The Floquil Trinity was used to achieve this.
I look forward to hearing from the airbrush weatherers out there. What are we using today now that Floquil is no-longer?
ICG 822649, TGN 403056, and TGN 403222 Get Decals
Today some decaling was on the task list. Specifically the three cars painted yesterday would become ICG 822649, TGN 403056, and TGN 403222.
ICG 822649 is the third Walthers 50' Seico Pulpwood Flatcar I pained Scalecoat II IC Orange and lettered for the Illinois Central Gulf using Daniel Kohlberg's decal set ICG-32. The earlier cars completed are ICG 822604 and ICG 822676.
The other cars and Daniel Kohlberg's template made fast work of the decal application. I do enjoy working with these decals. Putting the cars together reminded me that the underframe should be painted black. I am not really sure that I will take the time to correct this as I plan to keep the car upright!
Next on the work table were the two Gunderson 2420 gondolas. Since I repainted a MP car and a CNW car one has black trucks and one has brown trucks. I am thinking about painting all of the trucks brown but I have not made up my mind.
And below are a few more imags of the work completed at the end of the day:
Black trucks or brown....that is the question!
Booth Upgrade and More Cars Painted
Hopefully you all had an excellent Thanksgiving! I am starting a week of vacation which means lots of projects around the house. One of the many tasks is the conversion of the kids playroom into my new office and the transformation of the loft into the new playroom. This is a good move for me.
Among some of the adjustments today was the movement of my paint booth to my new office. The window exhaust panel fits nicely in that window as well. Of course a test run in the new location was in order!
Once in position in the new office I decided to make a modification to the paint booth. I installed six brass hooks inside the booth to hold paint droppers. This will make it easy to find these items and keep more objects with wet paint contained within the painting chamber. This was a very easy mod to make!
I had taken the lettering off two of my new Gunderson 2420 gondolas this morning - one MP and one CNW. With another 14 coming to make an even two-dozen, I had better get started painting the fleet. I also needed to an another coat of orange paint to the Seico Pulpwood car I have been working on. Only the upward surfaces needed painted so this car would only get painted upside down.
Before painting came some of the preparation - getting everything in order. These gondolas will be the first NTO/TGN cars to be painted brown. For this color I have decided to use a 50/50 mix of Scalecoat II Boxcar Red S2013 and Scalecoat II Boxcar Red #2 S2087. Similarly to the bottle I marked for the Y&MV 25/75 brown formula, I marked a bottle for this 50/50 mix.
First up for painting was the ICG Pulpwood Car.
My son Jacob took a quick video clip of the paint booth in action:
Next up were the two gondolas. I decided not to prime these cars to see just how well the Scalecoat II paint covers the models. With a total of 24 of them in the works, priming each would be a lot of extra paint. This is why I decided to start with one green one and one brown one to see if I can tell the difference once the cars dry.
All done. At first glance it appears that the single coat covered the gons quite well. Tomorrow they will get a closer inspection once they are dry.
Freight Car Paint Stock
As I continue with the cataloging of my freight car fleet I have decided to create a separate section in the Meridian Speedway Freight Car Index for equipment purchased for future custom painting. This will allow me to focus on specific projects and identify surplus equipment.
A new page was created for Freight Car Paint Stock. This page can be accessed from the Freight Car Main Index page via a button in a new section under the Rolling Stock Alphabet Section.
The button below will also take you to the new page:
Pulpwood Flat and Thrall Door Boxcars Painted
This morning I was able to do some painting in the new paint booth. It has been almost five months since I applied primer to the first two Y&MV Thrall All-Door boxcars with unsatisfactory results. It was this event that inspired me to build a paint booth for future painting.
In the interim I have formulated the color for my brown Y&MV freight cars. The formula is 75% Scalecoat II S2027 IC Orange and 25% Scalecoat II S2012 Tuscan Red. Yes, I know that the Scalecoat brand is changing hands...we will have to wait and see what the future holds.
Since I would be painting with the IC Orange, I decided to first paint the Walthers 50' Seico Pulpwood Flat that I had primered with Joe Bohannon's Chinook Lines Gray straight orange. I have already painted and decaled two of these cars ICG, and I have on-hand three more ICG pulpwood car decal sets.
After a thorough cleaning, my trusty Badger single action airbrush was ready for painting.
I had hoped that painting in a more controlled environment would allow the less-than-perfect primer coat on the Thrall-Door boxcars to remain. As the final paint layer dries, it looks to me like the cars will be just fine! Once the cars are decaled, gloss-coated, weathered, and clear-coated I am certain they will be sharp looking models.
I am very pleased with my color selection for my Y&MV brown. The shade of brown is very appealing! Using IC Orange as the base for this color subliminally ties this equipment in with IC/ICG orange equipment that will be roaming the rails of the Meridian Speedway with them. Below are a couple of shots of these cars drying this evening: