Lehigh Valley X-58 Decal Dilemma

I started to apply the decals to my Railyard Models X-58 boxcar over the weekend.  I trimmed the letters into vertical pairs in order to apply between the ribs of the boxcar.  All was going swimmingly right up to the point that the decals were floating in a puddle of water in their respective places.

IMG_0142The ‘L’ and ‘V’ pair split apart from each other while I was moving them into position.  I managed to save the letters because the tear happened in the clear part of the decal.

Next, the ‘E’ and ‘A’ pair gave me grief.  The letter ‘E’ tore in two places.  It took some patience to save it.  The following two pairs went on without incident, and then the ‘G’ started to disintegrate.  I worked carefully and slowly, manipulating the pieces of torn decal with an extremely delicate touch.  Then, as if in the ultimate show of defiance, the ‘H’ fell apart into a multitude of little black shards.  The photo above shows the outcome after everything settled in.

I can easily touch up the ‘G’ with a spot of paint, and I can build a new ‘H’ from some black decal sheet (which I received in the mail last week), but I’m not proceeding until I spray the decal sheet with some of this stuff:

liquiddecalfilmOf course, I can’t find my bottle of Microscale Liquid Decal Film, which is making me wonder if I ever had one.  My work space isn’t so messy that I could lose something like this.

I think we have some at the club, so I’ll have to rejuvenate the decal sheet on Wednesday.  This project is on hold again for a few days.  Sometimes you have to just walk away.

Photos Needed For New Decals – NYC 86′ Boxcars

masklogogrey

One of the beautiful things about the times in which we live is the speed at which information can be shared.

Earlier today, I blogged about the NYC 86′ auto parts boxcar that I’m building.  Yesterday, I posted on the PCModeler yahoo group about the fact that there are no commercially available decals for this car.  A discussion ensued, and within a day, the various resourceful people on that group suggested that this represents a void in the market that someone might benefit from filling. Scott Pandorf (whom I’ve never met) posted on that group indicating that Hubert Mask of Mask Island Decals has expressed interest in producing these decals.

That was fast!

So, now Hubert needs lettering diagrams and/or quality photos of NYC 86′ boxcars.

I sent Hubert an email this evening, and he made a point of assuring me that the information he gets is used only for the purposes of creating decals. I’m going to dig through my slides, but I doubt that I have any such photos in my collection.  The readers of this blog have proven to be very resourceful in the past, so if you or anyone you know has photos or diagrams that could help with this project, please contact Hubert Mask directly at MaskIsland@hotmail.com

NYC 86′ Hi Cube progress continues

Over the past week, I’ve made some progress on a number of projects that I currently have on the go.  My NYC 86′ auto parts boxcar is a step closer to completion.

IMG_0136I don’t have studio lights, so I posed the model in the afternoon sunbeam shining into my livingroom.  Don’t be fooled though, it’s -11 degrees Celcius outside.

Since my last post on this car, I’ve come up with a number for the car (NYC 67208) that falls within a block of cars that were equipped with Hydra Cushion draft gear. Here’s an outline of the work that was required to bring this $5 model up to its current condition:

  • carved off all of the molded-on details, which included reshaping the ribs in the ends
  • weighted the car to NMRA specifications
  • reconfigured the floor/frame/coupler mounting system
  • body-mounted Kadee couplers in Cal-Scale cushion draft gear
  • reshaped the body bolster
  • installed Kadee trucks
  • added Hydra-Cushion detail parts underneath (only what can be seen when the car is sitting on the rails)
  • reshaped the top and bottom side sill beams at either end of the car to more closely represent a Greenville car (see my previous post on this car for more details on this)
  • added grabs on sides and ends
  • added crossover platforms to each end (cut from Plano roofwalk etchings)
  • added brake details to b-end.
  • repainted the entire car with Polly Scale NYC Jade (Century) Green

Still to do: paint the trucks, couplers, draft gear, and the whole underbody in a grime/rust combination, shoot some gloss coat on the car and then decal-bash the lettering from a number of different Microscale sets.  Of course, it will have to be weathered like a ten year-old car to be appropriate for my layout.  I’ll post again when there’s more to report.

Here’s a shot of the A-end of the car, just to be thorough.

IMG_0137

Com-Art Colors

I bought a set of weathering colors by Com-Art the Springfield show. I’ve never seen this brand of paint before. The vendor had an airbrush set up, so I tried them out.  I liked the way these paints sprayed and saw some potential.

After working on some detail parts and finishing touches for my SW1200RS project this evening, I shot a bit of “Transparent Smoke” to simulate some exhaust grime on the roof of 8159.

The verdict: I like these paints for weathering. I was able to achieve some very fine effects. This is nowhere near finished, but here’s what some subtle roof grime looks like.

20140205-214701.jpg