Painting a loco step by step tutorial (pics)

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Smoke

Southern Railway lives on
Here is my step by step thread of how to paint a loco. I am starting with a Athearn BNSF R-T-R C44-9W. I have already stripped the shell. The first step is to clean the shell with warm water and soap. After the shell dries it's time to paint. I'm using Modleflex paints for this job so no thinning is neccasary. I am using engine black for the base coat of paint. Pics to follow soon.



Now that the shell is stripped it is time to clean it for painting. here is a list of what you need to clean the shell:

Soap
Warm Water
Your shell
Toothbrush
gloves
paper towel

Here is a picture of the items I used(wiht the exception of the paper towels).

With your gloves on take your soap and put some on your toothbrush. Start gently scrubbing the shell till you get suds. Your shell should now look like this.

Now start rinsing your shell in the warm water till all the suds are off. make sure you get ALL the suds off. Now take your shell and place it on your paper towels.

Let the shell dry overnight. That's all for now check back later for updates.



-Smoke
 

SRT

New Member
I need this. I suck at painting. 'Nuff said. Carry on. Nothing to see here.

SRT.
 

Smoke

Southern Railway lives on
Now it is time to paint the white stripe. To paint the stripe I am using Navy white with a drop of engine black added. Here are the tools I used.
Badger 150
compressor
Badger Modelflex Navy White
Shell
gloves
paint bottle
Here is a picture of the equipment I used.

Now paint the shell using normal airbrush procedures. Make sure to get all the nooks and crannies with the white paint. If need to cover up a darker color, use light coats rather than one heavy coat. here is what it looks like now.


Check back later for updates,
Smoke
 

IronBeltKen

Lazy Daydreamer
Kewl!:cool:

What I'm anxious to see is how you do the masking between the white and the black (or is it white-to-gold-to-black?) Masking has always been my Achilles Heel of painting.
 

mtrpls

Ignorance is Patriotic
Can't wait to see this baby mixed into a NYCS lashup! Maybe at one of the upcoming train shows so the entire public can witness our "perfect world"?
 

Smoke

Southern Railway lives on
Now that I ahve the gray painted on I am going to paint the yellow on. I am using modelflex Windjammer yellow. I taped the shell with tamiya 5mm tape. I had to cut off a mm of tape so I could get 5mm. After the taping is finished it's time to paint. Here is what it looked like before painting.

And after painting.

Now take all the tape off to reveal the white and yellow. Now take the 6mm tape and tape it up again. Here is what it looks like now.

And after painting. Now take the tape off. This is what it looks like.


Now it's time to put the decals on.

questions and comments welcome.

-Smoke
 

IronBeltKen

Lazy Daydreamer
That is one great-lookin' shell! :cool:

Now a few questions:

1) How do you keep the paint from seeping under the masking tape? My attempts at masking have always failed miserably, because the capillary action of the tape would suck the wet paint right up - I always had to go over it again with a touch-up brush after it dried.

2) Does your technique involve sprying a preliminary coat of clear gloss to seal the edge of the tape? I never really wanted to do that because I was afraid of obscuring alot of detail...
 

Smoke

Southern Railway lives on
How do you keep the paint from seeping under the masking tape?
I put the tape down and when I like where it is, I take a pencil eraser and press it down. For the doors and hatches take an X-acto blade and cut the tape. then come over it again wiht the same size tape to cover the slits.

Does your technique involve sprying a preliminary coat of clear gloss to seal the edge of the tape? I never really wanted to do that because I was afraid of obscuring alot of detail...
Nope, I didn't spray down a glosscoat. I jsut pressed the tape down and went from there.

-Smoke
 

RexHea

RAIL BENDER
Excellent! She will be a beaut with her clothes on.;) :D

Smoke, I am not all that familiar with paints. Is the Modelflex paint a solvent or water based? What ratio did you use for thinning? and what did you use for thinning?
 

Smoke

Southern Railway lives on
Rex,
The modelflex paints are waterbased and pre-thinned. I like using them better becasue I don't have to thin it and they don't smell near as bad. I have really liked using them and have no complaints.

-Smoke
 

mtrpls

Ignorance is Patriotic
^ My only complaint with ModelFlex paints is their color inconsistency. Two years ago, I purchased several bottles of their "New York Central Dark Gray" to paint some locomotives. Just a year later, I purchased some additional bottles of the same color to paint more locos. I found a very dramatic difference in the shade of gray between the bottles purchased a year apart, and was forced to custom mix a color only after much tedious trial and error.

After doing some research, I found that other model railroaders had run into the same problem as I had; it became clear ModelFlex (owned by Testors) had issues with their paint mixtures varying in shade between production runs. I sent them the paint back, including a letter, and never received a reply from them.
 

RexHea

RAIL BENDER
Thanks Smoke! I always have a problem trying to thin the paints in the right combination. I have used Polyscale waterbase and haven't tried to use windshield washer fluid as a thinner. Sounds like ModelFlex would take care of all my problems.
I guess the biggest headache and even frustrating problem with my painting is clogging the danged tips. I use a Paasche and usually with a med tip, but if I thin enough to be able to work without a clog...it's too thin.

mtrpls: I have ran across the same with Polyscale, particularly with the browns, greens, and grays.
 
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IronBeltKen

Lazy Daydreamer
Rex,

I'm having that exact issue with PollyScale CSX Yellow on this GE unit I've been working on.

About a year ago, I bought a jar so I could paint the ends of this model to make it a teensy bit more colorful than the drab gray CSXT 'stealth' scheme. Recently I decided to do the full-blown 'YN2' scheme on it, but I misplaced the original jar of CSX Yellow. No problem, just buy another jar, right? Nope! The new paint is a much deeper, 'orangey' shade of yellow. Very nice, but it doesn't match the earlier paint! :mad: So I had to completely repaint both ends - what a PITA
 




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