Sunday, June 25, 2023

Flatcar decks.

I have never been a fan of the plastic looking decks that come with most stock flatcars, then again I can't think of too many others who like them either?

I have had decent luck painting them to resemble wood decks, not a hard process and not too involved.

But I decided to try something different.  I found some of the preprinted decks online and found a decent image that I could download and clean up in my image software.  After cleaning up a few items I played around with adjusting the colors and the lightness of the image to give them a grayer appearance of heavily sunbleached looks.  

I had moderate luck with them, nothing outstanding to write home about but they are better than looking at the plastic painted decks that match the carbodies.

The hardest and most time consuming part of this was getting them sized to fit the cars I wanted them applied on.  As far as printing them, the color will vary a bit once printed and the black ink tends to have a bluish tint, so I tried printing a few on some old Manila folders that I had in the office, which did change the tint bit. 

The next step was to weather the cars before gluing the decks on.  For glue I tried using some of the Elmer's Glue Sticks for application, which seemed to work pretty good.  Although on some of the cars they have little spikes on the surface that need to filed down so the prints can make good contact.

Once the glue dried I gave the entire car and decks several light coats of Dullcote to seal everything up. I'm not sure I'll do this to all of my flat cars?  But it does give you a nice variation to the painted ones.

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Finished the cabooses

I really should have waited to get the decals in hand before I painted the cabooses or went back and painted the roof edges red before applying the decals.
While the block lettering fit nicely, the speed lettering is a bit too large. I painted the roof edges black according to images that I found online. If I hadn't painted the roof edges, both would have fit much better.

The K4 decals are OK, a touch thicker than Micro Scale, if you look real close you can see the outline on some of them, but not terrible. Overall I'm happy how they are turning out. I do like the Kartrak ACI labels! I need to go back at some point and add them to my locos as well.

I also added window glazing that I made from clear sheet plastic and lightly dusted with weathering powders.

This first image was taken before I added the brush guards, but with the stock Athearn caboose, you can see the amount of weathering I applied. Before weathering, it was very close to the Athearn model.

Here's the MoPac airslide hopper with it's final weathering.

With these wrapped up, I'm going to get the layout setup back so I can test the new files we made finalized in JMRI Ops and see how well they work.