Official 2011 Galesburg RR Days Tribute Locomotive Build CB&Q GP40.

Jim Wiggin Jun 2, 2011

  1. mcjaco

    mcjaco TrainBoard Member

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    One of the best tricks I've ever been taught, is after burnishing the edges, go back and paint over the tape with the masked color. It seals the tape edges, and prevents bleed.

    Just for further reference. :)


    Enjoying this thread, as I know nothing about the BN's original paint scheme.
     
  2. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Matt, thanks for posting your hint, always another good tool in arsenal! Well as promised, the black paint came out last night, Polly Scale Engine Black. Cue the AC/DC, we're going back to black!

    First step is to use my favorite masking, Tamiya and use our pictures as a guide. CB&Q painted the engine black on the sill below the battery boxes and on the hood, just below the rear number boards on up. Using the pictures as a guide as well as the white stripe, I set out to masking. To ensure my cab top which is also black, remained consistent, I placed it on the hood and butted my masking as such...

    [​IMG]

    Once I have the tape where I want it, I remove the cab and continue around it. I was a bit worried about the BLMA door I had installed, but the tape went around it without any issues. Best of all, when time came to remove the tape, it was easy. Off to the the spray booth, paint stirred, a few drops of thinner, PSI set at 18, one last check of the mask and I'm off. Easy, peasy. Onto the pictures of the results.

    [​IMG]

    The sill was first. Glad this is the newer design sill, because the top of the walk way is green. That little white stripe really stands out here.

    [​IMG]

    The cab was going to be the hardest, so I thought. The Tamiya tape held tightly around the BLMA door and did not pull the part off when I removed the mask. Have I said lately how much I love the stuff?

    [​IMG]

    Finally the hood. This was the easiest yet most rewarding. It's really looking the part now.
     
  3. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    So with the black applied here is where we are at.

    [​IMG]

    The line between black and white or black and green is consistent.

    [​IMG]

    Hard to see because I'm getting some shadows, but the cab and hood line up just right.

    Now for the final step here and I can get started on one of my favorite parts. I like to apply a light gloss coat to give my decals a better surface to apply to. I use Polly Scale Gloss Clear, straight from the bottle at 16 PSI. The clear coat is another step that will give your models a much better "finished" look. The decals will not settle as well with a flat coat because the surface of flat is bumpy. This isn't visible to our eye but if you put a decal on it then seal it with a flat coat, you'll see a strange frosted outline around the decal. The gloss coat eliminates this. I assembled the shell and gave it a few light passes with the airbrush then set it aside to dry.

    [​IMG]

    There is just a slight sheen here, that is all that is needed. I'll give the clear about 24 hours to cure before I place decals, water and solvent on it.

    [​IMG]

    So that is it for now. The next post will be on decals. There are not a lot of decals on this locomotive, this GP40 was unique. We'll discuss that coming up. I'm exactly at two weeks before this heads to Galesburg, so still a bit more to do. Still need to paint the trucks, fuel tank, handrails, cab interior, number boards need to be decaled and installed, headlight work and general assembly with all the little bits.
     
  4. cf7

    cf7 TrainBoard Member

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    Wow Jim...That looks awesome! What is the #3 needle you refer to? I also use a Badger 150 and am still using the needle it came with. I've had this thing for 10 years and all I have done is clean it. The airbrush just keeps on spraying, and I've painted A LOT of stuff with it!
     
  5. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thanks Chuck, glad you enjoying the thread. #3 is the medium tip needle in most airbrush set ups. Badger usually includes it in most of the 150 sets. The medium needle is the best for flow with acrylics, just keep that PSI low.
     
  6. johnh

    johnh TrainBoard Member

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    Aw c'mon now, everybody knows that Mick said to paint it black........LOL!
     
  7. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Ok, I'll cue the Stones when we paint the trucks, handrails and fuel tank black:tb-biggrin:

    I see a gray handrail and I airbrush it Black!
     
  8. GP9BN1799

    GP9BN1799 Permanently dispatched

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    very nice Jim

    Jim that unit along with a few others were used in the company film in 1968 this is burlington northern country as they were getting ready for the merger then something happened that pushed the merger off until 1970 just to let you, now when they tore the roundhouse down many many moons ago at delta yard in everett,Wa. a friend and i were granted permission by the roundhouse foreman to take what we wanted granted he approved it first i'm super pissed at my friend as he was allowed to take the sheet metal big sky blue lettering stencil for the gn boxcars, but when i find them again as somewhere i have duplicates of the original 8mm film this is bn country then i can see about making them into a dvd to preserve them can't wait to see this engine done
     
  9. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Jim,
    Excellent work. What I want to know, is how in the name of Zephyrus did you mask AROUND the installed grab irons? The lines on the end of the long hood are as crisp as the rest of the loco. I'm stumped! Kudos!

     
  10. johnh

    johnh TrainBoard Member

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    Now that's more like it! Nice job, I never knew the Q had a GP40 in this scheme. Now I need one!
     
  11. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    Golly Jim, You make it look "so easy, a cave man could do it"!

    Painting has always been my absolute #1, most hated, dreaded, cursed, task of MRR. You're how-to makes me feel like I could almost pull something like this off myself! :D :D

    Keep the updates coming! I can't wait to see the result!
     
  12. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Decals! They can make or brake a fine custom job. My first decal job was an HO Athearn F7 in the B&M blue dip scheme when I was 13. Decals were minimal but I learned a lot. First, some answers to some questions posted.

    GP9BN1799: First, thank you for your nice comments regarding the build. Second, regarding your comment on the delay in the merger. The original merger date had been set May 10th, 1968, but on May 9th, a temporary stay on the merger was set by Chief Justice Earl Warren. A three judge court had approved the merger, but appeals immediately took it to the Supreme Court, which caused, more delays*. The GP40 you see here was painted around that time and was seen like this until the actual merger of March 1st, 1970. When you get that film transfered to DVD, I would love to see it!
    *Burlington Northern In Color Volume 2 by Jim Boyd*

    HemiAdda2d: Thanks! Well the answer is real simple regarding the hand rails. I simply applied the masking tape like I normally do. The one handrail kept the tape about a mm off the shell so I sprayed away and at a slight angle to produce a sharp line. The beauty of an airbrush, allowing the paint where you want it to go. Since the Badger is a dual action, I metered in more air than paint to that area so as not to get any over spray.

    johnh:Sweet, the Stones rock. I almost always have music in the shop, usually classic rock. Yup, this GP40 was unique and the only one on the system to look like this. Stay tuned I have more interesting data on this Geep.

    Mark Watson:It's elementary my dear Mr. Watson. Sorry I had to do that! It's like I tell everyone, it's not hard, it's fun. You just have to do it and start spraying. Will you make mistakes? Yup. Fact of life, but you can fix many of those mistakes. In the 20 years (Yikes!) I have been painting, only a very few projects ended up in the stripper tank. My last one was in 1999. Planning is the key in airbrushing.
     
  13. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Ok, on to the pictures....

    [​IMG]

    Off to the workbench and we see the tools of the trade that make it so easy. First, my shop really has better light, my camera was having a hard time with the contrast last night. I use a foam cradle, #0 brush, paper towel, bowl of warm water, new #11 blade in a hobby knife, small tweezers and solution. All of this only helps. The tweezers allow me to pick up small decals, dunk them in water, place on the shell and position on the shell before decal solvent is used. My decal procedure is real simple. First, we need that book! If we want an accurate locomotive, placement of decals is critical, the book is the best tool. I cut out the decal with a brand new #11 in the knife and carefully pick up the decal with my tweezers and hold it in the bowl of warm water for thirty seconds. I next place the decal onto a paper towel. While I'm waiting for that decal, I usually cut the next one that will be placed on another part of the loco. When the decal moves freely on the backing paper, I carefully place it next to the desired area of placement. With my book as a guide, can usually center my decals by using hinges, handles, or latches as landmarks. Case in point, the Burlington below the cab on the battery box. The N was centered just below the middle battery latch. Sometimes a judicious amount of water is needed to float the decal in position. Once the decal is in position, use the corner of a paper towel to soak up the excess water, then with the #0 brush, apply a small amount of decal solution and repeat the process on a different area so as not to disturb what you just did. After about an hour I had one side done.

    [​IMG]

    There are a lot of small decals on this model, so a magnifying lamp is a must for some of us. Let the decals set for a while before going on to the other side. I'll do my other side on Friday. Next is the dreaded numberboards. No need to make this hard, Microscale #60-904 is a decal sheet with white and black backgrounds. Simply use the steps I outlined above. I usually do the front left, then back right, front right, back left so as to allow the decals to set and not disturb them trying to set the new decal. After about 20 minutes, we have this.

    [​IMG]

    Now the numberboards are ready for numbers. That will get done Friday. So there you have it, real basic decal tips. I plan to get the other side done tonight (Friday) and share with you how we can use decals to enhance or repair a boo boo. Also we have that large white chevron that has to go on the nose and over grab irons and other bumps. I'll show you and easy three step process to get that done.

    As always, should you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask. My goal is to get as many people enjoying this aspect of the hobby as I can:tb-biggrin:.
     
  14. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Ok, I originally thought when I started this build last week that my eyes were bad because of old age. Last night I started to decal at 10:00PM and even the smallest decal was seen okay. Maybe my eyes were out of shape. The others side of the locomotive was finished but two areas that were of a large concern still loomed in front of me. First the large chevron decal that goes on the nose and second, I wasn't to thrilled with the width of the stripe on the engineers side as it came down from it's radius. Too late you say to fix? Oh no, there are all kinds of tricks in my bag!

    [​IMG]

    The first picture illustrates my point. I'm not sure, but I think the culprit was the mask. Sure it maybe "okay" but I'm not happy with it and every time I'll look at it I'll know it's there. This is an easy fix. Microscale sells wide 1/8" white stripes of decals. I simply cut a small length out and placed in my water for 30 seconds, waited for the decal to move freely on the backing paper, then transfered it to the area.

    [​IMG]

    Now the important part. With the small decal on the shell, use a small amount of water to position it. Do not use decal solution yet as we want a nice straight line, decal solution will soften the decal and make a wavy line. Once the decal is in position, use your #0 brush and apply some decal solution. You may have to use multiple applications of the solution. Now, after about 20 minutes, here is the result.

    [​IMG]

    Once the flat clear is applied this will totally blend in and disappear.

    Now onto the nose.
     
  15. CAPFlyer

    CAPFlyer TrainBoard Member

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    Quick question and maybe you'll answer this with your next post - why not mask the nose for the chevrons and use the underlying white paint just as you did for the stripe instead of using decals?
     
  16. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    CAP, the quick and dirty answer is, Microscale included it on the decal sheet. I could mask the nose with strips of Tamiya tape, but this would be rather labor intensive. I would have to measure the width of the stripes as well as figure length and angle. On the full scale locomotive, the shops made a template. Think of it as a metal stencil. The stencil was held up the area and sprayed with paint. Now for this particular locomotive, the shops in Burlington may have painted this 40 in Cascade Green then used a mask to paint the white stripes. In N scale it is do able but time consuming, and since Microscale was nice enough to include it, might as well make it easy on ourselves. The nice thing too about Microscale, if you look through the catalog, they will offer white or other colored backgrounds or stripes for specific locomotive schemes. This has helped me with many Wabash and B&M F units in the past. Hope that was a help CAP.

    Onward!

    There are two schools of thought here when applying nose and end stripes (barricade) on locomotives. If you have just painted your locomotive and did not detail it with grabs or headlights, you can just go on to the decal. Our Tribute locomotive has those grab irons and a CB&Q headlight on the point. One can place these details after the decals have been applied as well as the flat clear coat.

    Advantages: Easier to get the decal centered and to lay flat and faster.

    Disadvantages: Harder to locate the #80 holes drilled for the grabs and risk of scratching decal or paint trying to find said holes.

    I have done the above technique with success. It takes practice but can be done as illustrated here with the CB&Q GP30 I did for the 2006 Galesburg RR Days Tribute.

    [​IMG]
    However, if one looks closely, one can see the grabs are between the barricade stripes so location of the #80 holes was not a problem.

    Not so with today's subject. I decided to install the grabs first along with the headlight. With the stripes at a 45 degree angle, at least one #80 hole would be seen per grab iron, while the second was a 50/50 shot guess as to where the other was.

    Advantages: Easier in the detail phase, easier in alignment at the decal stage.

    Disadvantages: More bumps and protrusions to deal with.

    Stage one, with decal in tweezers and ready for application, place the decal on the nose with a #0 brush and water only. At this stage we only want to worry about the center of the decal.

    [​IMG]
    Looks like someone just threw a tarp on it huh? This is where my years of working with iron on covering with model airplanes has paid off. With the #0 brush, center the decal on the nose. I used the headlight as a landmark and the picture as a guide. Turns out my headlight cut out is dead on. Don't worry about the edges yet, work only on the center, this dictates the rest of the decal. Now, carefully apply a small amount of decal solution to just the center section and work out. When your decal gets to the grab irons, it will want to float. Walk away for a bit, say ten minutes. Now with a brand new #11 blade, carefully lay the blade across the width of the grab iron. Do not saw, press hard, or stab. Just allow the blade to rest on the grab and make a nice motion across the grab. This is all it takes to make a nice slit into the decal. Now with the #0 brush with a small amount of decal solution, press the decal down and around the grab iron then work the decal out. Patience is key here. Work the decal to the edge and you will soon have this.

    [​IMG]
    The small indent you see was worked out later. Also the area around the headlight was cut out per the pictures from the prototype.

    I do this process on a case by case process. I hope this is of use to some of you. It seems there are not many on Trainboard who enjoy the detail threads as much as we used to. In the end, hopefully this has been a help to you.

    Back to the workshop today to get more finished so there are updates later. I also need to build a T-Trak module for Galesburg. The clock is ticking...........
     
  17. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Jim,
    Thanks for the tutorial to doing decals OVER installed details. I generally go with installing details after I lay paint and decals. I would predrill the holes before painting/decaling, however.
    As far as decals, Microscale makes stripes and sheets of solid color. The sheets of stripes were useful for my BN TigerMacs: http://www.trainboard.com/railimages/data/1049/tiger3.jpg
     
  18. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Hemi, no sooner did I say that and I spent a half hour trying to work out one area that I did not like. I could have left it, maybe no one would have seen it, but I don't roll that way. I use the Jesse James motto in the workshop. If it looks wrong, do it right or it's not worth doing. So, out came the tools and the grabs were removed along with the decal and I started over. I can sleep tonight, although the fact that the locomotive didn't take a trip to the booth for the final clear has pushed me back a day. Oh well it's better now than before.

    Updates with more pictures, tomorrow morning.
     
  19. Kevin M

    Kevin M TrainBoard Member

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    Jim this is amazing. It is inspiering me to do a CB&Q/BN U23C. Great work.
    Kevin
     
  20. MRL

    MRL TrainBoard Member

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    This IS helpful!!! Now I am asking myself why didn't I think of this before... A person can take a BN kato U30C and paint the hockey stick on it and re do the nose stripes and there is a pre merger U30C!!! My dad said they went to guernsey all the time so they would fit my layout.
     

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