SW1200RS project: Decals

I managed to get the Multimarks, logos, and numbers onto the carbodies over the weekend.


I also assembled the cab interior details, and painted them, along with the inside walls of the cab.  Switcher cabs are bit of fishbowl, with all those windows.

It was nice to work on aspects of the project that are more straightforward 🙂


7 thoughts on “SW1200RS project: Decals

  1. It’s nice to see the multimarks in their proper place on the side of the cab. I never quite got used to the multi in front of the cab on switchers. We will probably need to have one or two like that at the club for the sake of authenticity, but I will always prefer this version.

    It’s good to see convergence at work at the club once again. We will have both ore cars and the engines to pull them just as the Crean Hill ore spur becomes operational. It’s an almost eerie effect which has manifested itself on the Sudbury Division time and again. It’s one of the reasons I never worry about the fact that models or technology required at the club don’t exist–whatever we need always seems to come along at just the right time…


    • I have more nostalgia for the narrow stripes scheme as well. If I’m not mistaken, the multimark in front of the cab also requires wide stripes and ditch lights. I’ve always associated the wide stripes scheme with the 1980s, despite the fact that it was implemented in the late 70s.

      • The hood side multi on switchers was introduced in 1978, I think, at the same time as round reflective dots on the frame (CP begrudged the cost of all the Scotchlite that went into the continuous stripe introduced with the 8″ wide stripes.) If you look at photos of narrow stripe vs. wide stripe units, you will also see the CP Rails were smaller after the wide stripes came in. This is because with the narrow stripes the CP Rail was painted on with a stencil, while later a Scotchlite decal was used…and a smaller decal was cheaper, no doubt.

        To do a painted on CP Rail, I used to use the Herald Kink CP Rail set, since the CP Rail in that set was larger than the one in the Accucal set which was the state of the art back then. Now you need to piece Microscale sets together, and I haven’t checked how they scale out.


  2. From looking at photos, I noticed the CP Rail on switchers seems a bit narrower (as is the block and script lettering on switchers) than on regular road switcher units like the GP9, GP35, etc. Not that noticeable until you start putting decals on hoods and trying to line them up according to doors. This was also present on earlier block and script scheme lettering on switchers.

    I had a similar dilemma with my CP 8151 unit, and settled on just using the Microscale block lettering as the spacing was not exactly 100% on for a switcher, but close enough. I later found out Black Cat decals makes differently spaced lettering in their CP block and script unit sets. Always the way…

  3. Dan,
    The size of the ‘CPRail’ logo did indeed differ over the years, but not the way you think. It had nothing to do with switchers vs road units. If you look at early 1970’s photos of Action Red SW1200RS units (or MLW/Alco switchers for that matter) and compare them to late 70’s or later photos of the same units in the “wide stripe” schemes, you’ll notice the lettering size shrank. The reason is the switch from painting the logos on directly, to the reflective 3M “stick-on” decals. The font on the older painted stencils was thicker. Actually, you see this on larger road units too, it’s subtle (about a real 10-12” loss in overall logo length) but it’s there.
    Comparing Hunter’s two models to a real photo of the 8117 taken in the early 70’s, the decal he used for the CP Rail is dead-on in size. The “C” of the logo begins exactly where the lateral grab irons end, and the base of the ending “l” finishes just where the 5th set of hood door louvers begins. That’s exactly how it was on the real 8117.
    If I remember right, Microscale’s “CPRail” logo in their Action Red diesel set is the early, slightly larger painted-stencil one. Accucal (now out of production) had the slightly smaller 3M reflective size in their sets, they even had a slight silver colour to them to attempt the reflective nature of the logo. Not sure of the ancient Herald King sets, but I believe they were all the older thicker lettering too.
    Despite the Accucals being out of production, there is a source for the thinner logo stencils. The “CPRail” logos in Microscale’s general freight set (87-221) are actually a bit smaller, but spaced out more between the CP and Rail. If you cut these apart and space them closer together, they are pretty close to the thinner, later stencils. I also have a suspicion their “CPRail” logos are the more modern, thinner size in their “Dual Flag” diesel sets, but I’ve never purchased one of these to find out.

    Ted K

    • I had no idea there were different font sizes for the logo, but I’m not surprised to learn about this. I was concerned about the possibility of an issue with font size when I was ready to put the first logo onto the model. I used the grab irons and door frames to line up the logo as compared to a series of photos from which I was working, in exactly the way Ted described in his comment. It all seemed to line up, so I just forged ahead and didn’t give it another thought. Pure luck.

      Luckily, I’m more interested in the narrow stripe scheme, rather than the 3M Scotchlite versions. It seems the Microscale set accommodates my interests.

      Incidentally, the Microscale set also includes wide stripes to use on the ends of a unit, and the reflective circles for the frame (as per the later scheme), but they didn’t offer a smaller logo to go along with it. My guess is that they aren’t aware of the minor differences. Maybe we should contact them and let them know. I’m sure they’d do a revision.

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