I am not a good enough modeler to do any sort of "product review" or a step-by-step "how-to" thread. Having said that, there were some lessons to be learned on my latest painting/lettering project.
I wanted to recreate one of three SLSF GP7s that the railroad graciously lettered for their subsidiary Quanah, Acme & Pacific Rwy. (3 units numbered 546, 547, and 564). I bought for an amazingly low price a new MTH RailKing ps3 locomotive advertised as a GP7. It turned out to be configured more like a GP9 with an abundance of louvers on the forward section of the long hood. If you do a web search of GP9 images looking at the various paint schemes they wore you will see how railroads avoided lettering or painting logos over that particular area. My project required extensive lettering over the same area which would otherwise be clear of louvers on a GP7. "x" number of demerits to MTH for this occurrence.
The sole reason for undertaking this project is the fact of K4 Supply Company selling sets of decals for this obscure railroad, and the fact that I worked the line in its last years of existence. Other forum members have previously weighed in on the use of these decals stating that they are thinner than some other brands making them more difficult to apply...I agree. It was not pleasing how the unit numbers for display beneath the cab window did not seem to be the correct thickness, so I substituted numbers from a Microscale set. The photo showing the cab and its unit number indicate how the yellow color of the K4 decals are not the same value nor as saturated as the Microscale yellows. Since the K4 yellows are pale and somewhat transparent it gives them a faded and weathered look from the start. Could you call this built-in instant weathering? It is clear that the two types of decals alongside each other make an unpleasing contrast. The K4 white-on-black numbers provided for the number boards were too big to actually fit so Microscale numbers were used here too.
One additional lesson I learned is what might happen if too much Dullcoat is applied too quickly. Closeup photos of the engineer's side show a crackling occurrence caused by heavy handed applications of Dullcoat.
I plan to do this project again using a recently purchased Lionel Legacy GP7 painted for Pennsy. With the PRR lettering removed the Lionel unit appears to be entirely accurate to the project having no dynamic brakes nor a steam boiler. I cannot say I am looking forward to individually applying those 34 safety stripes along the frame a second time, but I did discover a system for getting them spaced uniformly.
This "rehearsal version" is going to wind up for sale at the next Train Show in Grapevine, TX this upcoming March. The custom paint and lettering portion of this hobby may be one of the most enjoyable aspects for me, yet it can be costly while you get your skills developed to a point of satisfaction. My inspirations continue to come from the exquisite work of modellers like Erik, Santiago, and SIRT. And I am guessing that BAR GP7 #63 gets this same enjoyment as he continues to create rolling stock for his Shark Bay lines. Fun stuff.