Repainting a caboose

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Russian

Saskatoon railfan
After giving it some though, I think a good starter project for a newcomer like me would be a caboose repaint.

I was thinking of repainting by BN caboose into a CP MOW caboose, which looks sort of like this: http://freight.railfan.ca/cprail/cp437451.jpg (notice the same roof) plus boarded up windows like here: http://freight.railfan.ca/cn/cn79482_2.jpg and some obvious things, such as "MOW" and weathering on the side.

What I need to know, is what materials I need to do this and how you would do something like this. I've already found a helpfull thread http://www.modelrailroadforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=790, but still am not sure how to do it.

1. So I strip it, do I open the caboose into parts or is that impossible?
2. Paint, are there special paints I should know about?
3. Buy/make my own decals
4. Do weathering and board up the windows. With the windows, where would I get the material for the job?

I hope this will lead me to more unique projects, this old caboose should keep me busy for a while.
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
Russian said:
1. So I strip it, do I open the caboose into parts or is that impossible?
Tyco right? it should come apart somehow, I'll let someone else take that.

Russian said:
2. Paint, are there special paints I should know about?
There's quite a few, there's a paint thread somewhere on here.

Russian said:
3. Buy/make my own decals
A few choices here. Check Walthers.com for referencing production decals, you can always write down the manufacturer. Then there's hand lettering, where you but just the plain letter and do it letter by letter (dry transfer OR water slide), lastly there's decal paper, Micromark stocks this stuff... but you may need a printer that does white if you need white anywhere (I'd suggest to AVOID the white decal paper).

Russian said:
4. Do weathering and board up the windows. With the windows, where would I get the material for the job?
Evergreen and Plastruct make sheet plastic that you can use, or you can use real wood (blasa like model planes use, or other stuff)... Weathering, there's chalks and paints, pick your poison.

I've included a pic of my handlettering (done sloppy on purpose too), thats roughly 45 mins of work per side, not counting the 3 layers or DullCoat to seal them.
 

Red Oak & Western

Active Member
1. So I strip it, do I open the caboose into parts or is that impossible?
You should be able to disassemble your caboose, at least into the major components. Remove the couplers, then the trucks. They may be held in by either screws (hopefully) or by plastic pegs. The main body of the caboose should then snap off the floor/underframe. Since its RTR, I doubt you'll be able to remove the ladders without damage, so just work around them. To strip off the old paint (something you REALLY want to do), I highly recommend you use a commercial stripper, such as Floquil Paint and Decal Remover, Scalecoat Paint Remover, or Chameleon Stripper. There are other products that will remove the paint from the plastic, but they are either toxic, dangerous, slow, or smelly, or a combination. Be sure not to use lacquer thinner or anything similar to remove the paint. They will melt the plastic. Once you have removed the old paint (per the manufacturer's directions), carefully wash the parts in warm, not hot, soapy water, then rinse well and set aside to dry. Now you are almost ready to paint. You need to decide what "condition" your caboose will be in: fairly recently transferred to MOW service, or old, beat-up, boarded-up derelict. You need to decide if you'll be boarding up just the cupola windows or most all the windows. Remember, in MOW service, the caboose is there for crew comfort as well as equipment storage. It would be pretty uncomfortable inside a caboose with all the windows boarded up. Anyway, the point of this is to decide if you want the boarded up windows painted the same color as the body, or paint them separately for that "added after" look.

Finally, I would really recommend using an airbrush. You'll never be able to get the job done as well with brushes. Review the painting thread for a discussion of airbrushes and paints. (Though you will be using a fine brush to paint the handrails white.)

2. Paint, are there special paints I should know about?
Again, see the painting thread. I would recommend using Scalecoat II paints for several reasons: they are inexpensive, they are plastic safe, and they are easy to learn to use. You'll need to buy S2010 Black, S2011 White, S2035 CNW Yellow (a close match to CP yellow), and S2049 Thinner.

3. Buy/make my own decals
Here, you'll need to buy two sets of decals. The first set for the standard CP caboose lettering, such as Microscale MC-4339, which should include the black and white triangle/half moon, so you don't need to attempt to paint that yourself. Install the decals following the directions, but leave off the caboose's numbers. The second set of decals would be just letters and numbers, in black, close to the style of the CP Rail lettering. You will use these to convert the caboose from revenue service, CP 123456, to non-revenue service, MOW 4321.

4. Do weathering and board up the windows. With the windows, where would I get the material for the job?
Weathering is a whole topic deserves it's own thread, so I'm going to skip that for now. You can "board up" the windows with either boards (wood) or sheet metal (plastic). Railroads used both materials, depending on what as on hand. To simulate plywood, rather than individual boards, use plain basswood, available from Kappler, Midwest, Northeastern, or Mt. Albert (a Canadian company). For sheet metal, use sheet styrene from Evergreen Scale Models.

Here are some useful links:
Scalecoat paint: http://www.weavermodels.com/page7.html
Microscale decals: http://www.microscale.com/
Mt. Albert Scale Lumber: http://www.mtalbert.com/
Kappler Mill & Lumber Co.: http://www.kapplerusa.com/y2k/kp-main.htm
Evergreen Scale Models: http://www.evergreenscalemodels.com/


Hope this helps,

Kevin
 

Russian

Saskatoon railfan
Sorry for not replying earlier guys. I really appreciate you doing this. I'm still struggling with some of the vocabulary you're using, but its all coming together. I saved the thread BTW.


jbaakko said:
Tyco right? it should come apart somehow, I'll let someone else take that.
As embarrassing as this sounds, I have no idea who the manufacturer of my tracks, locomotives or cars is. All it says on the locomotive, is that it was made in Slovenia and the tracks were made in Yugoslavia.


I think I can manage to pull it apart, I've had to replace a number of couplers in the last two days, and when I pull on the trucks, the whole undercarriage just wants to come off as well, so it shouldn't be too bad.


Weathering, there's chalks and paints, pick your poison.
You mean regular chalk? Because I've been playing with that stuff since I was a kid! I would appreciate some tips on weathering. There's a lot to be done before I get there though.


Red Oak & Western said:
old, beat-up, boarded-up derelict.
You got it just right!


Anyway, the point of this is to decide if you want the boarded up windows painted the same color as the body, or paint them separately for that "added after" look.

I want two windows (where the multimark goes) to be painted the same color as the body and the other ones, including cupola and the door to be completely closed off (I've seen such a caboose in real life: http://www.railroadforums.com/photos/showphoto.php?photo=28695&cat=500&page=1)


Now that I think about it, perhaps it'd be better to buy an undecorated caboose? Are the trucks and the underframe usually decorated though?


If I get this caboose thing right, perhaps I'd do another one as a rider car, complete with graffiti. I really like cabooses, unfortunately I've only seen one in service as a real caboose, two as rider cars and the rest as either MOW transporters or sitting on the deadline.
 

Red Oak & Western

Active Member
Some quick replys --

Vocabulary -- anything you don't understand clearly, ask! We tend to fall into railroad/modeling jargon forgetting not everyone understands the usage.

Regular chalk -- almost. Artists chalks (pastels). They tend to come in the right colors, earth tones and black/grays.

Painted the same -- install the material (wood or styrene) before painting. Others: build, fit, paint separately, then install after the body has been painted, but before weathering.

Undec caboose -- it would save the stripping part. Everything else would be the same.

Trucks and underbody -- not "decorated", just painted and weathered.

Kevin

PS: Let me know if you prefer the short comments of this post, or the loooooooong comments in your other thread.
 

Russian

Saskatoon railfan
Red Oak & Western said:
PS: Let me know if you prefer the short comments of this post, or the loooooooong comments in your other thread.
I know the long comments are difficult to post, but there's a lot more detailed information which results in more discussion. Whereas reading your post I just ago "A-ha, got it, will try it..." after each point.

jbaakko said:
Buy an atlas Caboose!
After a day of thinking it seems I've forgotten something very-very obvious
(probably because it's the middle of the night!).

If I want to model a CP caboose, maybe I should buy a stock CP caboose and go from there? That's what I'm planning to do with CN and CP vans, buy two of each, one for the road, the other for who knows what.

While I'm still deciding, I'm thinking of making a CN MOW caboose, because CP already has a gorgeous MOW scheme, and as for CP, a rider car, since CP never had a true transfer caboose, like CN.

All the information posted is very useful for the projects though. All I have to do now is find a good donor, maybe Atlas, maybe someone else...

As for the BN caboose, I'm going to keep it. Good for a BN detour train, lead by a C-Liner!
 

Red Oak & Western

Active Member
Roman -

Actually, I think it would be a good idea to use the caboose you already have. Here's why: Nobody's first effort comes out as well as they would want (not even mine, especially not mine). Think of this as a training exercise. If you mess up (and don't be worried or embarrassed, we've ALL messed up one time or another), you won't feel you've ruined "that special purchase". You might find after you've built and painted the caboose, you don't like the way it came out. Just knock it apart and do it all over again! It takes experience to do a great job, and the only way to get experience is to DO IT :D! Then, after you really like the way it came out, buy that special caboose and super detail it and custom paint it and decal it and weather it and you'll have an awesome model to be proud of.

Kevin

PS: I don't mind writing the long replies if you don't mind reading them!
 
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Russian

Saskatoon railfan
Red Oak & Western said:
Actually, I think it would be a good idea to use the caboose you already have.
I like the BN caboose the way it is, not to mention that the CP based one will require less work.

Then, after you really like the way it came out, buy that special caboose and super detail it and custom paint it and decal it and weather it and you'll have an awesome model to be proud of.
The caboose I'm going to work on isn't special. It's a standard CP caboose, on sale in most US hobby shops for $7-10. However I'm going to add things to it that'll make it special, such as defacing the multimark like this: http://freight.railfan.ca/cprail/cp434659.jpg

Another small question.
One locomotive I'm planning on purchasing has a multimark which shouldn't be there. The rest of the paintsheme is fine, but the multimark was never present on those ex-SOO units. What would you suggest be the best way of removing something so simple? Should I try to take off the decal (is it possible?) or simply paint it over?

Thanks.
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
Most units that come painted have printed on numbers and letters, which do come off with a little work, I don't know how the Multimark will turn out though.
 

RCH

Been Nothin' Since Frisco
Not sure how much experience you may have in building "craftsman" or resin kits, Roman, but I found this link after vaguely remembering that somebody made Canadian style vans...

http://www.isp.on.ca/sylvan/ho-scaleproducts.htm

Their stuff is also shown in stock on InternetTrains, so if you'd like to avoid doing some major surgery on Atlas kits, you might give them a try.
 

NWR #200

Irish Expatriate
Hey, I have a few related questions if I may. I want to repaint a factory painted PROTO 2000 GP38-2. If I remove the handrails and paint them seperate, should I use CA to resecure them? And how difficult is it to strip PROTO's paint to a clean surface? Are model strippers apply, sit, and wash?
 
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RCH

Been Nothin' Since Frisco
Use 91% isopropyl alcohol to remove the factory paint from any Proto 2000 models. I just dunk the shell in alcohol for a couple hours, brush the majority of the loose paint off with an old cheapo electric toothbrush, then work the nooks and crannies with the toothbrush and a teaspoon of fresh alcohol at a time until all the paint is gone. I don't have one of the P2K GP38-2s, so I can't comment on how the handrails attach, but the pressure of the tight fit alone secures the handrails to my P2K SD60s. P2K models are among the easiest to strip.
 

RCH

Been Nothin' Since Frisco
Glad to help. Just think, if I weren't so narrow minded when it comes to modeling North Dakota, this might be another candidate to add to the list of models to build. Like I need any more....

:D
 




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