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I thought I would share the final product of my first project "set" I completed for someone else.

This loco started life as a HO Bachmann UP GP40 and the Caboose started life as a HO Bachmann Santa Fe.

The owner wanted me to create his first custom loco for his layout, based off an article he read, of a layout mentioned in a 70's Model Railroad magazine: Val Junction and Pinetree.

I started off working on designs that had what the owner described from our discussions: Mountains, Pine trees, brown lettering and a "cream" color. This was a learning curve for me, especially with colors. A member here" ktcards" helped me with learning colors a great deal and for that I'm very thankful :)

Once I had that figured out and got approval from the owner of the design, I moved on to printing the decals and painting the loco. I decided to use Testor's Cream paint applied with an airbrush. This took three coats to get the ideal depth of the color I envisioned.

I then moved onto designing the mountain with pine trees and font of the lettering and color. I did an online search and discovered that the CSX logo is done in Lubalin Graph font and that was easy to down load and install into word. So I created the lettering on a word document and used the "font color" drop down box to change the font color to brown. I used an "HO real scale" ruler and set my word document "view" to 100% and measured the height of the decals and compared that to the area I wanted to apply it to, to check it for being the right size. I use the ruler to measure the decal on the computer screen, once I though I had it right, I then printed the decals on regular paper, cut them out and laid them in place to make sure I had the correct size. This eliminated the possibility of wasting decal paper :)

I used Testor's decal paper and bonder spray and printed the decals that I had designed in Microsoft Paint. The mountain and pine trees worked great the first try, but the brown lettering was a fail. Keep in mind what I said about the learning curve with colors. Colors are designed in layers and the first base layer is normally white, since it is hard to print in white and most people print on white. I was using cream. So the brown letters turned out looking more burgundy than brown :-( I then remember the white base and cream paint, adjusted the brown color using the custom color tool on font color and took it two shades darker and reprinted, it looked almost black, but not quite. It worked and looked great! So I applied the decals. After allowing the decals to dry, I painted the front and rear of the loco in brown along with the handrails.

While doing all this, something kept eating at me and I could not figure out what it was, finally it occurred to me: what good is a loco if it doesn't have a caboose!!!! The owner had not mentioned a caboose, but I had all the materials and decals set up, so I grabbed a spare off my shelf and started to work it over. Everything was the same, I just had to resize it fit the smaller walls of the caboose and print it out. In the pics you can see where I placed the lone pine trees on the front and rear doors of the caboose, like I did on the nose and tail of the loco. I also decided to add the same lettering that I put under the cab windows on the front and rear of the caboose, between the windows of the observation cab. The owner did not want loco numbers under the cab windows of the loco, I never asked why.

I dropped off the shell and caboose over the weekend and used a small diarama that I built just for occasions like this and after adding the frame, snapped some pics. He loved it and was blown away with the set, and I enjoyed building it! Just wanted to share my experience here with you folks.

We're all about learning and sharing and helping here :)

























 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Carl. It was a learning experience. I need to look around and see if there is other types of decal paper available. Some aspects of the Testors brand I don't like.
 
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