Painting a U.P. loco shell.....

Sumner Nov 8, 2021

  1. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    Anyone seen a video or article on the steps to mask and paint a U.P. loco shell?

    Thanks,

    Sumner
     
  2. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    Check out YouTube there are lots of videos there.
     
  3. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks John for the input, and I have been looking some time back and before posting. Most of the ones I've seen paint the loco in one solid color (not U.P.'S colors) and then decal it. I did find one earlier today with a different paint scheme than U.P. but still three different colors like what I'll deal with going U.P. so he had to mask in steps as he laid down the colors. It was in HO though so somewhat easier to mask.

    I've done some car painting where I've had to mask in steps as different colors go down so have an idea how I'll approach shooting U.P.'s paint scheme but wouldn't mind seeing what others are doing.

    Sumner
     
  4. JMaurer1

    JMaurer1 TrainBoard Member

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    Step 1: Paint entire shell black
    Step 2: Paint ends silver
    Step 3: Decal using Microscale 60-201 Southern Pacific/Cotton Belt - Diesels, Black Widow Scheme (1947-1958)
    Step 4: Done...wait, that's pre-UP paint.
     
  5. Carl Sowell

    Carl Sowell TrainBoard Supporter

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    Jeff, that's my favorite scheme you just outlined !

    Sumner,

    probably not want you are asking about but here is one that I recently re-painted. . . . .
    [​IMG]

    I air brushed (all Tru-Color paints) all the light gray, let dry for a week and then masked off the domes and such with liquid mask, hand brushed the black items, hand brushed the smoke box and, removed the mask, added decals, and finally sealed with a matte finish. You can see in this image that my 80 year old eyes and fingers let me down in a couple of places but I have since touched up using a toothpick.

    here is another shot. . . . .
    [​IMG]

    BTW, this is a KEY loco with an Athearn tender.

    If I was painting a UP diesel, I would air brush the yellow, let dry for 2 to 3 days, mask and spray the gray, let dry, mask for the red stripe along the bottom, then decal and seal.

    Be well,
    Carl
     
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  6. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I concur. Paint the lightest color first, then mask/paint the next darker color, and so on.
     
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  7. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks guys that does help and is about the same advice I got on another board so I'll try and do what you both suggested. Which liquid mask do you prefer?

    What about the top red stripe? It was suggested to me to use a decal for that one.

    Also Carl my eyes are about 2 years behind yours and to them the loco looks great. Good job. Since I'm in the next state maybe I'll get down your way and see what all of you Southern New Mexico N-Scalers are up to at some point. Through there a couple years ago going to the boat in Florida but is is now sold so not sure when I'll be that way again.

    Sumner
     
  8. freddy_fo

    freddy_fo TrainBoard Member

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    A red stripe decal would be how I'd do it. This way the edges for the gray on yellow don't have to be perfect with the idea that the red stripe would cover flaws if there are any. Ideally you'd want to butt the top edge of the red to the bottom of the gray rather than overlap so plan the mask line of the gray accordingly.

    Microscale usually include the red decal/stripe in their decal sets for the UP locos.

    Regarding liquid mask I really like the Bob Dively model aircraft liquid masking film. I've used microscale a bit but the bob dively adheres better/less tendency to lift while working with it. Consider using tamiya 4mm masking tape where possible. That helps to keep your edges straight over distance. Downside is that you have to spend time to work the uneven surfaces with a toothpick to get it to lay down as much as possible in those areas. Then use liquid mask in the areas where it's impossible to get the tape to lay in the uneven surfaces.

    If you are using gray/yellow scheme I'd use a white primer base coat. Yellow then mask and shoot gray. Tru-color makes the best selection of color matched paints. The possible downside with them though if hand brushing is most of the railroad paints are thinned for airbrush. You may be able to find the color you need in their hand brush formula.

    One other tip: keep the paint coat as light as possible at the masking edge. The thicker the paint overlapping the mask line the more likely when you remove the mask it will pull paint from the area where you want the paint to remain. You can always score the edges lightly before removing the masking with a hobby blade (fresh blade always) to ensure the edge remains as clean as possible.
     
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  9. bman

    bman TrainBoard Member

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    So as mentioned above using a decal for the red stripe makes things easier. I believe Microscale included the red stripe on their diesel sets for UP. So looking at the OC GE's I have painted it is a bit similar to UP's style. I primed everything gray with RRcolor gray primer. Then masked off the nose and side sill and sprayed the yellow.
    Then masked off the rest and sprayed the maroon. The yellow stripe hides where thr gray and maroon meet in case I didn't mask well enough. I will add I ways brush the color i am masking over to seal the tape to prevent thr color I am spraying next to bleed under the tape. That gives me a nice clean paint separation line when done.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2021
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  10. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    [​IMG]

    Nice job on the loco's. I'd be more than happy if I get similar results. I think I understood what you do but could you clear up a couple details?

    Are you referring to the top yellow stripes? Are they decals?

    I've seen painters do a light 'spray' along the tape to help avoid bleeding under the tape and saw an art demonstration (not railroad oriented) where the person 'brushed' the tape line with Mod Podge to help prevent bleeding. So the question is are you brushing the same paint that you are spraying lightly along the tape line?

    Thanks, you and the others have been a big help,

    Sumner
     
  11. JMaurer1

    JMaurer1 TrainBoard Member

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    Most (if not all) liquid mask is just liquid latex so they are all good to go. Personally, I use auto pen stripe for my tape. It comes in all kinds of widths and (used to be) easy to find. Lets see if I can describe how I do this...I paint the lightest color first, then put the tape NEXT TO the color I just painted at where I want the edge to be. I then brush the liquid latex rather heavy (sometimes using two coats) over the tape and (after it drys) lightly run a Xacto knife LIGHTLY down the tape edge and remove the tape (now the masking is just the liquid latex). If you were careful, there is now no tape that the paint can creep under. The latex will peal off clean if you did a heavy enough coat (if you didn't you can still get it off with an Xacto). At the same time, I use decals whenever I can. For the SP Black Widow I was teasing about above, I use red decal stripes for the red stripe that goes below the walkway. It's just easier and there's almost no chance of messing things up (bring lots of decal softener to the party and use the heat from a light bulb to help the decals snuggle up around any details). One more thing, when doing stripes, especially long stripes, look down the stripes at an angle to make sure that they are straight. Stripes on the side should be viewed from almost the front of the loco to make sure they are straight. It's surprising how they will look straight from the side, but suddenly you are looking at the engine on the layout at a 45 degree angle and they look like a road map of the rockies...good luck and post pictures!
     
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  12. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks, I wouldn't of thought about using the liquid latex that way. I do have some Micro Mask that I haven't used yet.

    I have used the auto tape...

    [​IMG]

    ... and have some in the shop somewhere but doubt it is still good. I do have some good tape though. Thanks for the help.

    Sumner
     
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  13. bman

    bman TrainBoard Member

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    Your welcome
    Yes the yellow stripe near the top is decal striping from Microscale.

    So I airbrushed the side sill yellow and then masked it off, brushed a little of the yellow at the tape edge almost like a dry brushing then I shot the maroon. Sometimes I brush a clear depending on my mood is there is no consistency when I do things at times.
     
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