Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Second hand locomotives

As you can see, I haven't been doing too much to the layout lately.  After getting El Dorado yard rebuilt I've kind of taken a break from the layout so I could work on a few other needed projects.

One was getting a bunch of cars re-trucked.  A few months ago I made a swap with a friend who wanted to trade his Micro Train trucks and couplers for my Accumate trucks and couplers.  I think we traded in the neighborhood of  200+ pairs.  I'm still not quite done with that project as I have about 30 cars to go because I'm waiting on some wheel sets.

Also still working on a DCC problem.  Once I get a couple of locos speed matched they run fine.  When I shut the layout down and come back in a night or two those loco are still matched for speed, but they both run about 15-20% slower than I had them set for.  I'm running a bunch of different tests trying to get to the bottom of this.  I think I have it narrowed down to the Command Station or my programming skills with JMRI. If anyone knows how to cure this, I'm all ears.

The other was to get more Rock Island power chipped so I could return several leased chipped locomotives that Quin had loaned me to fill in so we had enough power to commence operating sessions.

So, continuing with my allure of  Rock Island oddballs, I recently scored a couple of locomotives pretty reasonable from the Bay that I've always wanted to add to my roster.  A pair Kato E8A/B in UP colors, even though they are a little older than the time frame I'm modeling.  After getting the resurrected "F" units finished and the Ex- Rio Grande GP7 completed, I started in on the E's.

This was my inspiration;

On the GP7  I used a light gray oil paint for the fade since black will normally fade to gray.  On the E's I wanted them to look very faded from years of use, so I started out with a white oil paint.

These units both started out as factory painted UP units.  I removed the lettering and logos, applied new decals and gave them a flat coat of Model Masters Flat.  Then I used a slightly thinned white oil paint and applied it with a brush, working it into all the nooks and crannies.  Using a "Q" tip and a small brush I removed what paint I could.  The oil paint has a tendency to stain the flat coat leaving a white-ish film.  After letting them dry for a day or so, I sealed it with a another flat coat.

The next step was to apply the colored washes; I used Burnt Sienna on the B unit and Davy's Gray mixed with a little bit of white and touch of Burnt Sienna for the A unit.  The A looks more faded with the gray wash while the yellow on the B unit look a little richer.

The "A" unit is on the right

The "A" unit is on the top


After the paint has dried, I attacked them with weathering powders and some black wash on the grilles, then sealed them up with a final coat of flat.

The snow shields were fabricated from sheet brass.  JnJ Trains has UP Snow Shields listed on their web page in a etched, folding brass kit but I have never been able to make contact with them.   So I did the next best thing, I made my own.

I think these are gonna look great pulling a string of  TOFC's!

Now I need to get back to the layout...



  1. Nice job on the E-unit set! They look great!

  2. Variety makes life worth modeling th I se look great