Thursday, November 23, 2023

MLW RS18 Madness - Part 21 - The RSD-17 tale 3

Work on the RSD-17 has progressed quite steadily with a good coat of paint and some decalling. I thought it would be more straightforward, but as with most projects, the issues always arised in the most unexpected way.

When decalling, I started to apply the obvious and easy pieces, such as the CN name, the logo and lower flares on the hood ends. Things went pretty smoothly until it was time to apply the upper flares on top of the hoods. They are always tricky because they overlap with several details and have to wrap around curved shapes.

To make my life easier and find a fool proof way to apply them, I made a template using tracing paper. Instead of decalling in one shot, I had this idea about cutting the motif in smaller parts that would be easier to set in place. I would say it was the good way to do it, but with some hindsight, I sure would cut them differently to ensure better results and a faster process.

That said, the biggest surprise was to discover the upper flare overlapped on the CNR logo on the front end. At that specific spot, RS series MLW locomotive have a recessed brakewheel housing which require the logo to be located much higher than the other hood. Such an issue doesn't arise with EMD locomotives became the brake is located elsewhere. At first, I thought I made mistake but the more I looked at my sole CN RSD-17 picture in color, the more I discovered the flare on that end was different. The bottom part was flatter to accommodate the logo. I thought it was a specific thing to this particular locomotives, but when people on Facebook started to share pictures of RS-18s in the green paint scheme, it became evident that short hood flares had always been squished. It was both a fascinating discovery, but it also proved that once again you can't trust commercial decals completely. Not that I want to criticize the work behind these decals, but just to show you that when they write "please always refer to prototype picture", they do mean it.

Making a custom flare wasn't that hard and the end result was convincing! As from completing the flares, I pieces together as much decals as I could. However, the headlights and numberboards weren't covered by decals due to their intricate shapes. Also, some voids remained here and there. As was the case with the CV GP9 I did two years ago, I simply mixed some acrylic paint to match the color and painted over it. As a matter of fact, I made sure to apply a perfect coat of white paint in the spots to be painted. It was absolutely important that coat was even and perfectly white because yellow pigments are notoriously poor at coverage.

Once done, we have an almost complete rendition of a CN RSD-17 which only existed for about 3 months in real life back in the late 1950s. It's always fascinating to resurrect things from the past that most living people have never seen. Also, when I started to paint the model, Chris Mears ask me how I thought the classic CNR paint scheme looked on a longer locomotive. At first, I was under the impression that it looked a little bit silly because there was much more green empty space around the yellow motifs. However, when it was almost completed, I changed my mind and must now admit it looks good on a big power locomotive... to the point I feel almost some regrets this locomotive didn't became famous later as a Canadian National icon instead of a CP one.

No comments:

Post a Comment