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I have a Dreyfuss, MTH 20-3045-1, that I believe has a factory paint error. The fireman’s side is missing its cab number entirely. Its cab number is 5445. The engineer side and rear of tender have the number correctly placed, but the fireman’s side is missing the number completely.

1. Has anyone encountered a problem with MTH like this before?

2. Is there anyone out there that could add the number to the firemen’s side for me?  I know there are water slide decals out there, but I am not artistic enough to make such a thing look good.

Thanks for the help!


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Odd, I have exactly the same model and the number is on the fireman's side as well as the engineer's side.

I have like a gazillion blem shells, all kinds of oddities, …..I have water tenders with Santa Fe on one side, & N&W on the other, …..but I have seen some missed print Dreyfuss’s escape into the wild,….my favorites are the ones that have a thumb print in odd locations, ….obviously where the worker was grabbing the rack of wet models and must’ve accidentally touched the wet paint……I’ve got a 611 boiler where the stripe is all smeared up from being handled wet,….


The only option I'm aware of is the decals as you mentioned. Walthers makes a product called Solvaset that may help the appearance. I've used it before and it helps create a good tight bond between the decal and the application surface, and helps reduce the film, although from my experience, not entirely. Hopefully Pat (harmonyards) will see this as he may have some good ideas for you.

@Alex Ashman posted:


My wife is going to make me a number decal on her Cricut machine. I’ll post a picture here when it’s done.

Can you post some pictures of other painter oddballs you mentioned? I’m curious!

That would be the ideal thing to do!!…see if your wife has the thin silver vinyl, …..that’ll look as good as factory!….here’s the trick with vinyl, ….if your wife has a Cricut, then surely she has transfer tape, …have your wife plot the numbers exactly as they are on the other side, ….carefully do the weeding ( pulling the vinyl and leaving the numbers behind ) then pick up the numbers with the transfer tape, ……find your position on the locomotive by marking the bottom with a piece of colored tape, make sure it’s straight, as you’ll use this as a guide, …before you apply your graphics, get a paper towel ever so slightly damp with alcohol, …just barely damp, & give one swipe across the area you’re gonna apply your numbers, ( the alcohol prep activates the vinyl adhesive and makes it cling like concrete ) then apply your numbers, nice & straight and if you’re satisfied with the position, lighty burnish with a rubber eraser, ….I prefer to press burnish, as rubbing could make them shift, then slowly pull back the transfer tape on a sharp angle to do the reveal, …watching as you reveal, and make sure no edges try to pull up,….then slap your pappy for a job well done!!….


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