Anyone wishing to reletter a Sunset 3rd Rail E5A or B is at a disadvantage since Microscale Decals has discontinued set 48-74
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.
The 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…