Saturday, July 5, 2014

A New Player

After finding picture of Donohue's old switcher, I decided to repaint my Bachmann GE 44-ton locomotive into the same paint scheme.

The switcher shell was cast in yellow plastic, so it was a good start. First of all, I dipped the model overnight in a bath of purple cleaning product to strip the paint. I thought everything would go, including the factory paint and my own previous custom paint job, however, only the custom paint lifted up. Scrubbing with an old toothbrush was straigforward and the model was ready to be modified to suit my prototype.

Keeping the factory paint saved me a lot of trouble. I only had to sand the green roof paint which was easier to do. Some repairs were also done to the cab. Many years ago, a negligent visitors dropped the model on the concrete floor and two mullions broke of. The cleaning agent made the parts loose and thus I needed to glue them back in place.

Painting process was straightforward. The underframe, skirts and running board were painted with Krylon flat black spray paint. Truck sideframes were handpainted with a mix of brown and black. Finally, windows received an aluminiun coat over the trims, just like the prototype.

When everything was dry, I used pastel chalk to rust up the trucks and add some dust to the lower body and running boards. Yellowish chalk was used to discolor the horizontal hoods and cab roof. These parts are often discolored by the sun over time. I didn't apply an oil wash over the model because I once did that many years go and it survived the stripping. Also, the pictures from 1978 show the unit in a very well maintained shape. No need to turn the model into a rust bucket. All in all, it took me about 3 hours to redo this engine and I'm quite pleased with the results when I take in account the very minimal efforts needed to reproduce the prototype. The nice thing about this model is that Donohue never lettered or numbered it, which saved me a lot of time.

This is officially the first locomotive I complete that is prototypically accurate for the era and the layout. The funny thing is I didn't thought about it when I built the locomotive roster.

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