Custom Box Labels - Rolling Stock
Y&MV Freight Car Box Labels Added
It has been a long time since I made custom box labels for my rolling stock. While running errands today at Costco I noticed that they had their own brand of Professional Glossy Inkjet Photo Paper. I forget the exact price, but a box of 150 sheets was under $20.00. I decided to grab a box and experiment with this paper to see if it would be suitable for box labels.
Particularly annoying to me is how small the reporting marks and numbers are on the ends of rolling stock boxes as produced by nearly every manufacturer. For me there is no bit of information more useful than that. To have to put my nose up to a shelf of boxes and read the tiny print should be unnecessary, but necessary it is.
My master PowerPoint file has separate pages with basic label templates sized to fit most of the different sized boxes in production. It is easy to size these labels for different boxes as needed.
The current need for me to create some labels is the cars I am custom painting now that the paint booth is in production mode. The Y&MV Thrall All-Door boxcars being the current project on the workbench put them at the front of the line for new labels.
The image above emphasizes the issue of font size that has steered me to design the labels as I have. Visible are stock boxes from Intermountain, PWRS, Athearn, Athearn Genesis, Walthers Proto, Walthers Platinum Line, and BLMA. From this distance you really cannot read the individual car identification on ANY of them. For contrast, some boxes that I have made labels for are mixed in. If you are holding NTO 880890 in your hand, you waste no time finding the right box to put it in if its layout time has come to an end.
One last addition to the label format is the manufacturer's stock number in very small font centered at the bottom of the label. One thing I noticed while cataloging my freight cars is that many manufacturers do not keep a history of car numbers/stock numbers out of production on line. I keep the stock number as part of my database. I spent considerable time researching the stock numbers for several cars that I had previously made labels for, obscuring that information. It is easy to just add that info to the label so I will make that a standard practice going forward.
The labels printed on the Kirkland photo paper just fine. I used a metal straight edge and an X-Acto Knife to cut the printed sheet into properly sized labels. In the past I have had adhesive labels fall off after the passage of some time. I have experimented with different glues since then and have settled on one that is perhaps a bit overkill, but it works and will likely last forever!
My adhesive of choice is Liquid Nails. I always have a 4 FL OZ tube of this stuff around the house so squeezing a bead of this product on the end of a freight car box is easy. Then I use my finger to smear the Liquid Nails evenly over the area that will be covered by the label. Next I gently press the label onto the adhesive and it is done! Any excess Liquid Nails that is pushed out by the label can easily be wiped away before it dries.
Welcome GM&O 85035 & Peco Switches - Y&MV Decals
Today was a busy day. An important shipment arrived and some decaling was completed. The first two pieces of track ordered specifically for my Vicksburg Terminal layout are now in the Man Cave! These are both switches which I primarily ordered to use as templates for the planning process. One is a Peco Insulfrog #7 right hand curved turnout and the other is a Peco Electrofrog #8 right hand turnout. Both are beautiful pieces of track!
In addition, a singe Tangent Scale Models 4180 Airslide covered hopper was also included. This car is my first GM&O purchase and I am glad to have it! GM&O 85035 is one of four GM&O offerings in their first release of the 4180 Airslide. This car has printed instructions on the side that state: "WHEN EMPTY RETURN VIA REVERSE ROUTE TO MP RR ATCHISON KS FLOUR LOADING ONLY". Very cool!
I have also decaled one side of the two All-Door Boxcars I painted earlier this week. Y&MV 2020 and Y&MV 2025 now have a face! The Y&MV 2025 is marked for shipment to Hank Stephens in appreciation for the time and skill he devoted to designing the artwork for these cars. The two previously painted cars Y&MV 2028 and Y&MV 2035, were on-hand to serve as guides for the decaling process. The fleet is growing!
YMV 2020 & YMV 2025 Take Shape
Two More Y&MV All-Door Boxcars
Last Friday Greg McComas came over to deliver several of my locomotives. He also gave me a surplus Walthers Thrall All-Door boxcar that he did not need. I now had a second car to paint with my model of BENX 107 since I have decided to keep my model of RSP 20277 as is...thanks Greg! I prefer to paint these cars in pairs since a mixed bottle of paint covers two cars nicely. The car he gave me was USLX 50508, decorated green and white for the Chandler Corporation.
Today I prepped the cars and gave them their first coat of Y&MV brown paint which doubles as the primer coat. The USLX 50508 is from an older run and did not have the vertical grab iron at the left end of the car or the end walkway grab iron. I fabricated these grab irons from piano wire and installed them first thing.
I applied the shop trucks to the cars during the paint prep process. I noticed that one of the truck on the BENX 107 angled inward towards the center of the car. A closer look revealed that the bolster was sitting at an off angle. So I dismantled this car - separating the floor, underframe, weight and center sill components.
At first I though that a piece of flash at one end of the underframe was the culprit. I removed this excess plastic, however, it was not the cause of the problem. A little more hacking and experimenting ensued. I finally decided that the underframe bolster screw mounts were just a tad closer than the same mounts on the floor. This was made evident by putting the pieces together and pressing down on the side that was a bit wonky. This caused the other end of the floor to lift up off the table.
I decided to make a little reduction to the inner bolster screw sprue on the floor panel and then Crazy Glue the bolster ares of the floor and underframe together. This ensured that the bolsters would be parallel. Once dried this component was screwed to the metal weight and the bolsters lined up just fine. The car probably would have run just fine without this exercise, however, it just did not meet my standards.
Next I decided to spend some time on the car roofs. Walthers kindly left three roof panels with irregularities where the body molding was separated from three sprues. I masked the roof details around these panes and then used two grades of fine sandpaper to smooth the panels.
The masking tape lattice easily came off the first car so I was able to quickly apply the same masking to the second car and file the excess plastic off of that car.
Next was the reassembly of the cars.
Down to the kitchen for the next step. A bin was filled with warm water and a couple of drops of dish soap. The two cars were submerged for a few minutes to remove any oils and other debris. Under cold water the cars were scrubbed with an old tooth brush and then rinsed off.
A dish towel was used to gently blot the water on the cars and then they were set aside for some time to completely dry off. The shop trucks were removed to aid in the drying process.
Finally it was off to the paint booth to apply my fresh mix of Scalecote IC Orange and Tuscan Red. The paint booth worked just fine though the airbrush was being a bit finicky. I think it may be time to get a new one...
Anderson-Tully Company of Vicksburg, MS
In an earlier blog post focusing on some HO scale Thrall All-Door boxcars I have painted for my Proto-Freelanced Yazoo & Mississippi Valley Railroad, there were images of a stock Walthers All-Door boxcar lettered for the Anderson-Tully Company. This car was purchased by me to be repainted into my Y&MV scheme. The image below is linked to the Walthers executive summary of the model.
My father asked me if I had purchased this car intentionally because the Anderson-Tully Company was headquartered in Vicksburg, MS. In fact, an industry next to the railroad yard on Levee Street in Vicksburg, MS that I have seen loading GM&O and ICG woodchip hoppers belongs to Anderson-Tully. This significance of the car purchase was completely coincidental as I had no recollection of the name Anderson-Tully being associated with Vicksburg.
The above images were sent to me by my father - Vicksburg exactly as I remember it. The detail of the faded Anderson-Tully Co. Mill "D" sign above the cars being loaded escaped me however. The above image is linked to a larger file posted on rrpicturearchives.net.
I have no recollection of having ever seen a red Anderson-Tully Co. Thrall All-Door boxcar nor can I find any images of these cars easily on the Internet. I have to imagine there is a prototype for it since Walthers produced the model. It is very interesting that the car has Roscoe Snyder & Pacific (RSP) reporting marks. A search of RSP cars on rrpicturearchives.net yields very few results, and no Thrall-Door boxcars. The button below will take you to the RSP freight car index on that site.
While searching the Internet for clues about these cars I came across a wonderful image as part of an 'Urban Decay" blogspot posting. This image below credited to Andrew Morang is linked to that urban decay blog article. The article is actually focused on the brick railroad shop building in the yard adjacent to the Anderson-Tully Co. Mill "D". There are a number of really great photos of the once proud and busy Vicksburg shop in this blog post and is worth checking out!
So I will share this post to a number of Facebook and Google groups looking for anyone who might have images of a prototype Anderson-Tully Company Thrall-Door Boxcar. Does anyone know how many, if any, were decorated for Anderson-Tully Company? Did they operate much in Mississippi? Does anyone have more detailed images of Mill "D".
I suppose, given the circumstances, this model of RSP 20277 will be removed from the stock of cars to be repainted and will be allowed to operated on my Vicksburg Terminal railroad decorated as is!
Thanks Dad for bringing this to my attention.
Paint Stock Page Added
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:
Y&MV Decals Applied to Thrall Door Boxcars
This will not be a lengthy update. Yesterday after work I decaled one side of Y&MV Thrall Door Boxcar 2035 and today after work I decaled one side of Y&MV Thrall Door Boxcar 2028. These are officially the first freight cars to be painted and lettered for my proto-freelanced Yazoo & Mississippi Valley.
The decal artwork was designed by Hank Stephens and the decals were printed by Highball Graphics. Many thanks to both for a job well done! The decals were very easy to apply.
Hank Stephens and I corresponded a bit on the element design for the decal sets. All of the features I wanted were included. In an earlier post I shared his artwork for the car. This can also be seen on the monitor in the below image. With the actual model and decals in hand, I made some minor adjustments on the actual placement of a few items based on best fit locations with the odd-shaped door panels on these unique boxcars. I am quite pleased with the results.
In addition to the artwork I had a few additional Walthers Thrall Door Boxcars on the table for reference. Yes, they will be future Y&MV repaints....
ICG & YMV Cars Painted - 11-20-2015
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:
Highball Graphics Y&MV Custom Decals
An envelope arrived in the mail today from Highball Graphics. Inside were the five sets of custom decals designed by Hank Stephens to Y&MV specifications.
These are the first decals I have ordered from Highball Graphics. Each sheet contains both white and black-and-white artwork. Of the five sets, two of them had blurred black artwork, however and extra strip containing three copies to the black-and-white images was included so all is well!
I look forward to working with these decals in the very near future; however, the airbrush paint booth requires a few finishing touches before the first two Thrall Door boxcars will receive their coat of Y&MV brown.
The Meridian Speedway Decal Page has also been updated with the addition of this decal set. The button below will take you to the Decal Page:
This decal set is very specialized as it applies to one specific group of cars, Y&MV 2000-2044. These are Thrall All-Door boxcars represented by the current Walthers model. The Y&MV freight car roster can be accessed via the below button:
First Y&MV Freight Car Decals Ready To Go To Press
The Y&MV has outsourced the development of the decals for its fleet of Thrall Door Boxcars to the Design Team at Stephens Railcar of Dadeville, Alabama. While the actual placement of some of the items may be adjusted on these cars, all of the components are in place!
Many thanks to Hank Stephens for his assistance with this project. This particular decal set was particularly labor intensive with much small writing, including the door opening and closing instructions.
Working through the revisions was a pleasure. Hank made the process very user friendly. I specifically requested that he include a "Stephens Railcar" shop logo as I would like to simulate some cars painted by an off-line shop. Inspiration for the concept came from the logos for Zwolle Railcar that I recall seeing stencilled on cars painted by Zwolle Railcar of Zwolle, Louisiana in the 1990's. As soon as I can find a photograph of that logo I intend to have it included in a future decal set.
Highball Graphics will print the decal sets. This will be the first time I have worked with this company. They come highly recommended and I am looking forward to the process.
Now I need to design and complete the window vent for my spray booth exhaust so that I can get the first two boxcars decal ready!
Primer Coat Fail - Scalecoat II Paint
In anticipation of the arrival of Y&MV Thrall-Door boxcar decals currently under development, I decided to get ahead of the game and spray primer on the first two cars. I have decided on a paint formula for my Y&MV freight cars. The paint will be a mix of 75% Scalecoat II S2027 IC Orange and 25% Scalecoat II S2012 Tuscan Red.
For the primer I used Scalecoat II S2041 Erie Lackawanna Grey and added a bit of the IC Orange and Tuscan Red to begin the color transition to the end product.
I replaced the couplers and trucks with shop trucks and shop couplers for handling and painting. I like to use those old, useless horn-hook couplers when painting cars as they make excellent handles for positioning and carrying the cars.
The texture of the spray was a little disappointing. It is a little grainy or "splotchy" for lack of a better word. I sprayed these cars in the garage which is my normal spraying environment The temperature was 94° with 48% humidity.
While the texture of this finish is unacceptable, I believe it can be corrected with a more controlled spray of the final color.
As a side note, Scalecoat Paint has been purchased MinuteMan Scale Models. Hopefully this will ensure the future availability of these colors, unlike the Testor's genocide of the Floquil line of paints...yes, I am still not happy about that one.
Are the cars salvageable....? We shall see.
HO Freight Car Detail Photography
iPhone 5S Model Photography - LUNX 80026
As part of the Y&MV Thrall-Door boxcar project I created a detail page for the Walthers model of car LUNX 80026. Though this car will be repainted and it is unlikely that a car painted in this attractive Lignum scheme will operate across the Meridian Speedway, this car comes with exquisite markings that can serve as an exceptional reference for the creation and placement of decals on the Y&MV cars.
For model photography I have leaned heavily on the camera that comes standard in my iPhone versus the more heavyweight Canon cameras in my photography arsenal. For individual roster shots and even closeups up-to a half a car in size, the regular view of the iPhone camera is just fine.
Today's HO scale models have incredible detail at the fine-print level, however. These details can be difficult to capture with the depth-of-field limitations of many cameras. To capture these small markings, I actually moved the iPhone farther away from the model and then zoomed in on the fine print to capture the image. Now I can easily read this microscopic writing on my computer screen. To read all of this writing on the car would require a magnifying glass and much patience.
To view the slideshow of all of the detail images of car LUNX 80026, visit this car's detail page by clicking on the images or the button above!
Y&MV Freight Car Image Development
Another one of the many projects underway is the development of the image and decals for Y&MV freight cars. The Y&MV has contracted Stephens Rail Car to develop freight car decals for this railroad. The first car type to be focused on is the Thrall All-Door Boxcar. There are 45 of them on the Y&MV freight car roster, Nos. 2000-2044.
Y&MV management has provided Stephens Rail Car lettering specifications in a text format. The above image is the first visual mock-up which has come back from Stephens Rail Car. This is a very impressive step in the right direction!
There will be continued communication between the two companies as the details are fine-tuned. Hank Stephens of Stephens Rail Car is excellent to work with. The decals once finalized will be printed by Highball Graphics Decals.
Y&MV Thrall All Door Boxcar
The Y&MV Vicksburg Shops has a number of these Thrall All-Door Boxcars on-hand for repainting. These unique cars were specially designed for the lumber industry which is a major contributor to the Y&MV's total traffic base. Below are images of a couple of the cars that will soon be painted and letterd for the Y&MV:
Y&MV Freight Car Roster
One of many current projects - I am working with the experts on developing decals for my Y&MV freight cars. One of the most important features are the road numbers....so the Y&MV Freight Car Roster is now created and posted under the Meridian Speedway operations tab!
New Fleet Additions....
NS GP49 4600, Southern Big John, & Santa Fe Hy-Cube
I was pleasantly surprised with a gift this week! Welcome the newest additions to the fleet:
Athearn Genesis GP49 NS 4600, ExactRail PC&F 6033 cuft Hy-Cube boxcar ATSF 15692, and ExactRail Magor 4948 "Big John" covered hopper car SOUTHERN 8273. Thanks Mom and Dad!