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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. 
 

Robert R Leese

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Your engine in my opinion looks great .

I've only attempted single color repaints and decals/numbers that were bought commercially made.

Something I guess I've always never understood is why some modelers think that repaints or even manufacture applied paint , decals and numbers have to be perfect or no bleeding of the additionally applied colors to the base color.

I've worked now on the railroad starting 30 years and have been around real railroad equipment all my life ( I'm 4th generation)  and can tell you I've never seen a perfect painted locomotive or rolling stock.

I think the closest railroad equipment I've ever encountered have been the Norfolk Southern heritage units . They really have sharp lines and flawless base paint.

 I fill that paint jobs on repainted , non-prototypical models , or even those mimicking the real thing need to not be perfect to more resemble the real thing.   

 So good job and please share the others you paint 

Collin "The Eastern Kentucky & Ohio R.R."

I think it looks fantastic!  We are always our own worst critic and flaws you see many people would never see.  I am looking for some good priced engines I can redo in a line not made commercially as well.  I figured if I mess up, I would weather it and that way it truly will not be noticed!

Andy

Robert,
It looks like I am seeing where you did not use a setting solution, especially on the decals over the louvers. If these decals are as thin as you say, use only Micro Sol and Micro Set, no Solvaset!
BTW, before you put the engine up for sale, you can strip it and try all over again...this unit can be saved!

Big Jim posted:

Robert,
It looks like I am seeing where you did not use a setting solution, especially on the decals over the louvers. If these decals are as thin as you say, use only Micro Sol and Micro Set, no Solvaset!
BTW, before you put the engine up for sale, you can strip it and try all over again...this unit can be saved!

I do use Micro Sol and Micro Set on these jobs, and it usually works to perfection.  What I am going to try next is: put on my ultra magnifying glasses and use an X-acto blade to make lateral slices on any lifted portions of the decals that landed over the louvered area.  Then, apply more Micro Set. 

In regard to stripping it and starting over, I will not do that since it isn't the correct geep to begin with.

To everyone, thank you for your kind words. 

Robert R Leese

I tend to be my own worse critic. I understand your disappointment with the locomotive, but, from the distance you to took the video, I thought it looked fine. I also like the cars you've been working on, Robert, great work on those! I also look forward to how your Lionel GP7 turns out as QA&P locomotive.

When I was in HO I was always kitbashing locomotives or rolling stock, because they just didn't make what I wanted. I have yet to try doing anything in O scale.

Rusty

And as the sunset faded, I spoke to the faintest first starlight.
And I said next time, Next time, We'll get it right!

Laying down a super-glossy clearcoat, using some Micro Sol and Micro Set, then another gloss-coat and a final coat of matte or dullcoat will fix those pesky deal problems.
Overall it looks good. You learned some things and got respectable results.  Who's layout were you running on? It looks great.

Keep up the good work!

Rich Trowbridge

GTW Trenton & Western Railroad

richtrow posted:

Laying down a super-glossy clearcoat, using some Micro Sol and Micro Set, then another gloss-coat and a final coat of matte or dullcoat will fix those pesky deal problems.
Overall it looks good. You learned some things and got respectable results.  Who's layout were you running on? It looks great.

Keep up the good work!

This is on #90's Panhandle& Santa Fe Railway.

Robert R Leese

richtrow posted:

Laying down a super-glossy clearcoat, using some Micro Sol and Micro Set, then another gloss-coat and a final coat of matte or dullcoat will fix those pesky deal problems.
Overall it looks good. You learned some things and got respectable results. 

Yup. I've found when laying decals the best bet is glossy finish, Micro Sol and Micro Set, gloss clear finish over the decals, then flat finish.

One other tip: lightly wet sand raised lettering/stripes before painting. That will make them disappear under the new paint. Another option, instead of wet sanding, is to wet a rag with lacquer thinner and rub it over the surface. That removes most factory lettering and leaves the base paint intact. Don't let the lacquer thinner sit, but rub it back and forth quickly. 

Santa Fe, All the Way

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