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Next steps in the quest for a better finish.


OK this is what things look like after I worked a lower area that was a little high and the edge near the generator bracket.



the two areas being pointed to are low, the first picture not too bad, but the second with the old putty is more noticeable.  Not sure I want more epoxy though, as I afraid of too much.  The bright spot is metal.


Here is the area ready for filler primer.  I forgot to wipe it down.  99% isopropyl alcohol?  Wet sand first before primer of not?

I know primer needs to sanded to start feathering in, that' s an always. Wet with 1000 grit or finer?


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Gray, no need to wet sand before primer, …..lightly scuff your repair area and how ever far you’re gonna apply primer……then wipe with sparingly with alcohol to degrease and pick up stray dust ……apply one medium wet coat of primer, and allow that to shrink & cure ….usually overnight, or sped up  with a hair dryer ( 2-3  hours hard cure ) ….do not wet sand the primer!…this is your golden opportunity to work on top of primer!…lightly block the area in one swipe or two if needed….now read your primer…..high spots, the primer will be removed, low spots, the block won’t touch them……let’s see your best shot buddy!…


And yes, you’re at the point now where pretty much all your work is 1000 grit or finer,….just depends on how long you want to sand…..😁😁😁😁……I mean, you start getting into 1500’s & 2000’s it’s like working with tissue paper…..unless you find a bad low spot, and you need more epoxy, then resort back to 600-800….you can always step it down too, …..say you have an ugly huge lump, you can knock on it with 400 or worse just to get a big lump closer then switch up,….but your work is looking good man, …I’m liking the blend lines I’m seeing,..when you got it right, your work should fade into the surrounding existing black,….


Remember Gray, use your first coat of primer as your reveal,….you can repeat the one shot primer step until you’re blue in the face ( or gray ) … can keep building up, & up & up, just keep in mind, you’ve got to block it at every stage …..sometimes when I’m doing a hard spot like you’re working on, I might sand off 99% of the first two or three reveals…..cause every reveal is like AHHHHHH! 🤮


Primer dried and I blocked the area revealing several digs.

I wiped the area with 99% isopropyl alcohol and it cut my primer where it was thin.  Guess that makes sense since I use that for paint stripper.


You can see in the upper right where the primer came off.  Since I had several nicked or low areas I mixed some JB quick and did my best to lightly swipe the areas.

So, time to start over and sand and prime and see what happens.

So what to wipe the sand dust with after blocking the primer to get the dust clear  50% alcohol?

If there is ever a reason to keep two projects going at the same time this is it.  15 min work and 24 hours cure.

Patience is a quality that my bucket is rather low on, but I'm trying.  It's no wonder car finishes cost so much.


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Knock your alcohol back Gray, …..I use 70% (very sparingly!) ……if you have compressed air, blow off the dust first, then just lightly wipe one time with a barely damp shop towel with a less aggressive alcohol,…..anytime you wipe with alcohol, never reverse on yourself, or change directions mid stream…..also, after any wiping, I allow the piece to sit for a bit till all the solvents evaporate off, and any primers reharden….


Next steps in the Mogul hole filling quest.


After a rewipe of JB, here was the first pass after a prime and two hours in a drying oven with 1000 grit.

I wasn't pleased as thigs looked awful, so I cut some more with 600 grit and another pass with 1000.mogul14

The spot being pointed to was low and is better now.  mogul15

The dark spot is also low.  I still didn't like what was to the right of where the cab will go.


This after my last block with 1000 grit.  Things looked and felt better.  I'm not going to swipe the dark spot as I'm afraid of making another bigger mess.  Will prime again after a thorough dry overnight.


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OK so what is the next step?

After multiple tries I think I have the hole done.


There were some rough spots on the left I wasn't pleased with so I blocked again with 1000 grit.


things look better.  Now I know there has to be some type of ridge where the tape is.

So what's next?  Pull the tape and touch the paint juncture?  Wet or dry.

I think I have to be getting close to the final color coat.

Good thing I have other projects going while I am fiddling while Rome is Burning - hopefully not.


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Gray, I’m being critical because I don’t sugarcoat, …..I see things that MAY be going on???….I’ve pictured high spots ( potentially) in red, and what looks like low spots in blue ….again, potentially,….can you catch a fingernail on any of these spots?…if you can, then more blocking is necessary,……ideally, when it’s perfect, the primer should be absolutely uniform ( look at the pic of the red primer spot before I went to color)  …..but, if you’re satisfied it’s smooth enough, then yes, open up your tape, and wet sand blend the primer into the surrounding black for a seamless look,….try not to break through the black, instead, blend the gray primer into the black….

Pat 725343E8-2EB9-42AF-9937-6B4E55BED2AD


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Here's what I hope is the final pass before color.


There is probably a little rough under the generator bracket, but you van barely see it and with the generator on, it will be even more obscure.  Besides, I couldn't get to it to sand.  I will admit - I have to cheat there.

Sanded with 1000grit wet, wiped with a microfiber cloth and air dried.

Color next?


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@harmonyards posted:

We aim to please,… aim too, please!…😁


This is definitely not my forte Pat, but I would imagine if I requested some sort of customized engine that doesn't exist from the manufacturers, I'm sure that someone I know would make it the real deal via something like what is going on in this topic. For now, I'll just sit, watch, and appreciate with glee. 😁

Well I learned a long time ago, I couldn't be a rivet counter.  But I do try to make some small changes to help get closer to what I want.  I consider my self a piddler, not really a true modeler but I enjoy it.  This is short of scratching of which is not me.

And besides I started out with Marx and postwar Lionel.  No need to even try rivet counting with that stuff but I still like it, especially Marx.

Black paint coming tomorrow 8-14.


OK here's the black finish


finish without cab on.



two views with the cab placed.  I can see a couple dings and as previously stated the area around the generator is a tad rough as I couldn't get to it to properly finish off.  Once I get the generator and pops on, that will add a little dimension to the area.  But no doubt it's not even close in comparison - much improved.


Here's what it looked like when I first asked the question.

Hope we all learned something from this exercise and thanks to Pat for the initial tutorial and the back and forth on this project.


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OK everyone here is the Mogul with, as Pat says, her clothes and shoes back on.mogul24


Not the prettiest setting (my messy work bench), but the final product.  The jewelry (decals) will have to be made.

This is going to be ET&WNC 206 which came from Illinois Central, was noted to be a speedster (on a twelve mile road), and had a large steamboat whistle.

Removed the steam turret at back, which is what started this entire thread.

Remounted the pop valves.

Put a Lionel Ps4 whistle on the steam dome.

Replaced the headlight with a visored one and brass number plate from an MTH Ps4.

Replaced the kerosene markers with Pyle National ones (no they don't light.  A short line would not need them in any case).

Moved the bell.

Replaced the road pilot with switching foot boards from Precision scale.  Used micro nails to pin and JB weld to secure them .  Thanks to member Norton for telling me how to remove the pilot - you don't without a complete teardown, so I drilled the mounting screws out from the bottom an redrilled and tapped new holes that are accessible. 

I may eventually put a Kadee on the front but the dummy looks good.

The real locomotive had square cab widows instead of arched but I will live with that.  See my previous comment about rivet counting.

I must say that the mogul isn't the easiest engine to work on and the lack of a removable smokebox front makes it even harder, but all is done now.


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