Painting locos-1st attempt

Discussion in 'Freelance' started by trainchaser007 (Brandon Adams RIP 9/22/2017), Sep 5, 2011.

  1. trainchaser007 (Brandon Adams RIP 9/22/2017)

    trainchaser007 (Brandon Adams RIP 9/22/2017) Passed away September 22, 2017

    My first loco was an HO Bachman GE B30-7 lettered as ATSF 350 (chrome/red). After about 15 years, it died and I converted it into a dummy. Two or three years ago, I bought a pair of locos just like it on ebay, only they were gray/red...both also lettered ATSF 350. One ran and the other had been converted into a dummy. I swapped out shells so that I could run my original shell and have the option of pulling 2 matching dummies. After recently learning that SLSF not only owned 8 GE B30-7's, but that at least some of them are still being used by shortlines today, I decided to repaint the 2 I bought on ebay as former Frisco, State Line Railroad (STLN) 007 & 008. My idea was to model my freelance shortline using a couple of former Frisco B30-7's as its primary motive power, just like the real shortlines who are currently using former SLSF B30-7's. (See my post with pics of former SLSF B30-7's in the Historical - Motive Power - B30-7 forum.)
    This was my first attempt to repaint a this case 2 locos. For my freelance State Line Railroad 'shortine, I chose the school colors of Miss. St. Univ. (maroon/white). The locos are not lettered yet but I will letter them under the cab's side windows (probably on a coonskin for heritage pride) STLN 007 & STLN 008 (I print my own decals but I'm not great at it). I'm thinking of putting STATE LINE on the sides somehow in the old Frisco font from the o/w era, especially since I have the font already.
    Well enough talk already... Here are some "before and after" photos.

    Attached Files:

  2. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    Looks like your off to a good start. Like the idea. Those turned out better than my first painting project *shutter*

  3. trainchaser007 (Brandon Adams RIP 9/22/2017)

    trainchaser007 (Brandon Adams RIP 9/22/2017) Passed away September 22, 2017

    I discovered very early into the project that in order to paint different parts in different colors, I needed to seperate the shell into as many parts as possible. With an exacto knife, I delicately cut away at the "plastic welds" inside the shell until everything could be delicately seperated... "delicately" being the key factor or else you break handrails (like the 2 or 3 spots I broke then had to glue back together). I strongly discourage anyone from making their first paint attempt on a nice locomotive. Buy some junk from ebay and practice, practice, practice. It took a lot of patience & time for me to do even just a "beginner level" quality of work. I must say, either my testers paint is too old or either I just plain hate testers paint. It's a little "gunky" and you can't clean it up with water... luckily I had some paint thinner around for cleaning up. I thought about trying to thin the paint with the paint thinner but I didn't know if it would work so I didn't try it. If there is a better paint for plastic models, I'd like to know. However, I've used testers black spray paint on about 10 open hoppers and it worked great.
  4. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    Krylon rattle can works for me. But I've always been told you get better results with an air brush

  5. renapper (Richard Napper RIP 3/8/2013)

    renapper (Richard Napper RIP 3/8/2013) Passed away March 8, 2013

    I would use 3M's blue painter tape to mask off the different colors to be painted, alot easier than cutting the shell apart. If you spray paint, always thin the paint with the approved thinner.
  6. trainchaser007 (Brandon Adams RIP 9/22/2017)

    trainchaser007 (Brandon Adams RIP 9/22/2017) Passed away September 22, 2017

    By the way, I would like to correct myself. It's "Testors," not Testers." Anyway, I'm better satisfied with testors spray paint better than brushing on testors paint from a bottle. However, I'm thinking of testing good ole cheap Walmart ColorPlace spray paint on something I wouldn't get upset about if I messed it up. Most of the items I would paint for my custom shortline would be one color anyway...maroon... with white decals... so I don't plan on doing a lot of different colors on the same items in the manner that I painted the locos. Thanks for the advice, everyone. - Brandon
  7. mktjames

    mktjames Member

    I airbrushed with Floquil for about twenty years and then started using their spray cans, I was tired of the airbrush clean up. I sprayed the equipment ,decaled, and then clear coated with semi-gloss. About five years ago I started using Tamiya , a Japan made spray paint for military models , sold at Hobbytown USA. I like it the best, it has the finest particle matter of anything I have sprayed. Practice by spraying a coke can, start spraying about six inches before the can and keep a even distance. Spray the Tamiya paint in thin coats allowing five minutes between coats, about three thin coats. Spray the semi gloss clear in three thin coats, five minutes between coats, as if it is too thick it will crinkel the under coat. I superdetailed a plastic 2-10-4 with brass parts and painted it as described above, the club members at the TWMRC thought the engine was brass. When I am finished with the Frisco mountains I will paint them the same way and post new pictures. mktjames
  8. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    James makes probably the most important point about spraying paint; spray in thin layers, allowing some dry time in between. That is the best way to preserve details while still covering well.

    Additionally, he points out that you should start spraying off the model, spray parallel to the surface being painted and then stop spraying off the model. There are two reasons for this:
    1) When you start spraying, as the air (or propellant) starts the flow of paint droplets, the size of the droplets are large at the initial onset of flow. The same occurs when you release the valve for flow.
    2) By keeping the spraying tip the same distance from the surface being painted, the paint goes on in an even layer rather than heavier in the middle if move your hand in an arc.

    I have used an airbrush to paint small stuff such as locomotive details all the way up to gumball vending machines using the above techniques.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2011
  9. Bruce Adams

    Bruce Adams Member

    I really appreciate all this airbrush & paint information. Send more!
    I am a novice. I've had success with light, overall weathering and painting of wheel faces, but I haven't mastered airbrushing to lay down solid color, even on a simple structure. On my last set of DPM buildings, I did the backsides (common brick) with a simple hardware store spray can. It yielded the best results I've had so far. Next time I sent up my painting station, I'll practice with my Paasche.
    In the meantime, I'll post a couple of my Frisco weathering projects (from last year) - I'd appreciate any advice.

    - Bruce
  10. FriscoFriend (Bob Hoover RIP 4/12/2018)

    FriscoFriend (Bob Hoover RIP 4/12/2018) Passed Away April 12, 2018 Supporter

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