Painting your locos

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chrismoore93

Central Phoenix Railroad
Hello all long time no see,
Well, I am about ready to paint some of my locos and was just curious and what the cost of painting one was. I already have the airbrush so we can coun't that out!:D I understand that in different countries, states, or hobby shops they may be a little more expensive but I am just trying to get a estimate of how much it would cost me PER loco.
Thanks a bunch,
Chris
P.S. I know I change my avatar alot, but I like to change every once in a while to show some of my favorite railroads :D:D
 
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RCH

Been Nothin' Since Frisco
I'd say it depends on the locomotive and the paint scheme you're replicating more than anything else, Chris. Complex paint schemes will cost more, simple ones will cost less.

For example, on the simple end of the spectrum, if you were going to paint a Norfolk Southern diesel, you'd need a bottle of black paint, a bottle of silver and a bottle of yellow. Depending on the type of paint you use, you'd also need some kind of thinner or solvent (or not, if you're using water soluble paints). Then there's masking tape (I use Scotch Magic tape, which is always around my house), newspaper for a dropcloth and for masking large areas, and a cardboard tube from a roll of paper towels for holding the locomotive shell. Don't forget the decals (I use the NS set and the diesel data set for these locomotives) and the Micro Sol and Micro Set, a paper towel, two fine paintbrushes, a sharp knife, and some scissors.

Add all that up and it's a lot of money, but some things are free like the paper towel tube and the newspaper (or at least, you've paid for their original use, the next use is free). Other things only have to be purchased every so often, like the yellow and silver paint, which are used for the handrails and window frames, respectively, so they last practically forever. You'll go through the base color faster, but still I can paint at least a dozen locomotives with a single bottle of paint, and that's over several years. And the decals will do four or five different models, too.

More complex locomotives will generally only require more time, not necessarily more money. Of course, you may have to buy more colors of paint, but you'll use less since you're covering less of the model with each color than a single-dip paint job like NS.

So, if I mentally ring up my average model for just the paint, not the details or the weathering or anything else, and assume that I'm spreading the expense over past and future models (so as not to count the full cost of a bottle of paint, for example), I'd say a dollar for the paint, a buck-fifty for the decals and probably three and a half dollars for general supplies. But don't get any ideas that I'd do any custom painting for six bucks! ;)
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
Generaly, paint and decals, bought new, for a BNSF unit, runs me about $25. But I bargin hunt, and I buy in bulk. I bought a pile of those "generic colors" from Wal*mart when they switched from Testors to HoK. I have like 10 1oz bottles of black & white & yellow, cause I allways need them. I'll draw up the costs for the paint & decals for my SD50F next week sometime.

As for extra materials, I use an old shoebox, those free ad newspapers & religious ones, and I bought the airbrush & paint brushes on sale. I don't usually stand the shell on anything like Ryan suggested, but thats old habit of mine from Woodshop.

The TOP expendatures in the way of paint HAVE to be Dullcoat & primer... Right everyone?
 

dingoix

Certified CGW expert
Let's see - I'm currently painting / decaling an IANR GP38-2.
I use spray paint, not an airbrush.

Gray Primer (I used it for the gray paint) I had several cans on hand- plenty to do an HO model.

International Red- had on hand- but I think it's $2 at Farm*Fleet

Sun Yellow- bought at Pamida for $1.29 (altho I'm prolly decaling the stripes next time)

Flat Black- bought at Pamida for $1.29

Gloss- testors- about $5 for a 3 oz can

Dullcote- testors- about $5 for a 3 oz can

Decals- microscale generic letters- roman- red- $4

Decals- microscale stripes- 4" and 6"- yellow- $4
But remember, these quanities are enough to do several engines.
 
dingoix said:
Let's see - I'm currently painting / decaling an IANR GP38-2.
I use spray paint, not an airbrush.........
Got any pictures of a spray painted locomotive/rollingstock you've done? Id like to see how it looks. I didnt know people used spray paint.
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
okanaganrailfan said:
Got any pictures of a spray painted locomotive/rollingstock you've done? Id like to see how it looks. I didnt know people used spray paint.
I use Spraypaint from time to time, cause its easy to manage, as long as you use basic colors there's less available in RR specific colors. I'm gonna use Testors black on my CN SD50F & IB SD40-2...
 




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