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Anyone wishing to reletter a Sunset 3rd Rail E5A or B is at a disadvantage since Microscale Decals has discontinued set 48-74 54B52B05-BF38-4CC3-9352-FA21BC0F6538

I emailed Microscale regarding any availability of this set, and they quickly replied it is discontinued.  This is the only set I have, and made no attempt to duplicate and print my own.  I also emailed K4 Decals and stated their competition has discontinued a set of E5 decals that would highly complement their recent release of excellent TEXAS ZEPHYR decals. I also stated how 3rd Rail has produced these locomotives twice and once (sorta) by Lionel.  K4 gives me the impression they want to please their customers, so there may be hope in seeing a new offering for E5’s.
This A unit was delivered as 9913 and had the E5 model designation plate in the wrong place for FW&D, so that lettering was soda blasted away. It did damage the underlying paint, and this can be noticed in the photographs.  Rather than go through the pain of prepping the model for repainting, I got lazy and decided to make the area look weathered.  I did truly appreciate the fact how the A and B were delivered with the name plate blank and which was big enough to accomodate the longest of E5 names.  
83D7BFAD-5D2D-4E57-9E57-535F0189C2DEThe weakest point in my opinion was the number plate. After attempting to renumber this area I wish I had left it alone. The number plate is a thin piece of clear plastic which appears to be held in place with a product I know as “sticky tack”. The factory lettering would not come off the plastic, so I used the old number board as a template to cut new ones from clear plastic. (not easy for an arthritic 61 yr old), and reapplied them with superglue. One weakness in the Microscale decal set was the unit numbers set on a black background. They were not the correct font and do not look good.  
I have another E5A/B set from the first 3rd Rail offering. The A has the black nose stripes. This set will be relettered 9950-A and -B Silver Racer and Silver Steed, and will keep their truck skirts. And I will probably leave the A number board alone.

From the posted photos you will notice the B unit only lacks the E5 model designation plate which should be located between the forward sand hatch and the single window. Working on a solution for that.
I am actually relunctant to post a “how I did it” thread since I am not that skilled. After monitoring O Gauge Forum for 10+ years I know who the skilled modelers are, and truly appreciate their efforts. But  CBQ_Bill had a big list of questions for me regarding this work-in-progress, so here ya go…


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Original Post

Hi @Rob Leese

Thanks for posting your progress.

I really like the Zephyr font FW&D, 9980-A, & 9980-B numbers on the sides of your cabs. 

Although CB&Q did not use this exact style on their E5s, I do plan to use this style on the cab sides of my E5 models.  It looks so much better than the non-Zephyr font that CB&Q used on their cab sides.

I also have some Atlas-O WP F3A units that are both factory numbered as 803-A.   I plan to renumber one of them to 803-D (WP only had F3A unit 803-A and F3B units 803-B & 803-C).  Although WP prototype F3 units did not include the following, I also plan to add the Zephyr font cab numbers to the cab sides along with the F3 model designation plates. 

With regard to the number boards, I recall an OGR thread in which @gunrunnerjohn revised number boards on a model.  He printed the new numbers on copy paper and then glued them in place.  Vellum paper may be another goodoption because it is semi transparent.   

If overhead transparency film is still available, that may be an option to use for number boards.  If I try that, I will have Staples make the copies on their laser printers (in case the film melts).  The Staples folks probably know the capabilities & limitations of their copies & printers.  Don't want to ruin my own laser printer.

I have several duplicate plated aluminum Burlington cars (Lionel) and California Zephyr cars (Lionel, K-Line, Weaver, Williams, MTH) that I plan to re-letter to additional Silver car names (most prototypical names & some fictional).  To help with this effort, I have recently obtained a license for the RailFonts software, which includes the Zephyr font, Altantic font, & Burlington herald font.  I can print out my own Silver names on paper & then copy them onto Microscale decal paper. 

Rob, please keep your updates coming.  I will share my updates, too.

CB&Q Bill

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