NEW PRODUCTS: A Few Good Things & Wood!

It is always interesting to discover that a new source for decals in 1/48″ scale.  The decals are for Western Pacific GP-7 and GP-9 locomotives. The Western Pacific has small following of devoted fans that will be happy to see decals being made available. The source is Bill Kennedy who is a HO Western Pacific modeler. He does his art work using a graphics application and prints them using a laser printer.

Here is the decal set which includes the white and black stripes.


Black and white strip decals.  The sets sell for $15.00 and include shipping.  You can contact Bill directly to order sets.  He uses PayPal for payment.

kenfamily2 at gmail . com


Dan Dawdy has released new grab iron ends that are 3D printed.  He added two new styles used on caboose curved grab irons.  One type is for a rivet application on steel cars and the other is with square nuts and bolts for wooden cars.  In addition to the caboose hardware, he does produce a riveted and bolted style for use on frieght car grab irons.  The parts are very clean and come with a .015″ pin on the backside to help with securing the part.  Dan used a form of nylon resin to print his parts.  It is flexible and resists breakage.

Go to  Model Railroad Resource 3D Division

The top part is the riveted style with the bolted version below. As a reference, there is an old Grandt Line part attached to my caboose.

Here is a shot of the single bolted grab iron end avilable from Dan.

Plastic to Wood

I used to make my running boards from stripwood.  The end product wasn’t quite what I was hoping for.  Dissimilar expansion coefficient between wood and plastic or resin caused the boards to become separated from the car.  I switched to styrene found a more stable material.  The challenge became a finishing method to look like wood.  Recently, I tried a slightly different technique using readily available paints.  AK Interactive sells a weathering kit for finishing plastic to look like wood.

I combined this with a oil-based black color sold by Ammo would allow me to apply dissimilar paints without diluting the acrylic layer.

Here is my approach.  Evergreen styrene strips were cut abd assembled into the running board and laterals.  I did apply distressing the top surface using a fine wire brush and a #11 blade.  The boards were cut a length shown on a drawng.  The joints are always situated above running board supports.  The running boards were attached to the roof using plow bolts which have a slightly domed top. They appear to be countersunk.  I similuate this by drill a shallow hole with a .030″ drill.  Weathering will bring out this detail.

The running boards are temporarily placed on the roof.  It shows off the bolt detail and the distressing of the styrene.

The painting process starts with a gray primer like the one provided in the AK kit.  Once that is hardened i apply the Cork color using a distilled water and touch of dish soap to break surface tension.   You want to create a “blotchy” look.  I applied a thin wash of black oil paint to highlight the grain and bolt heads.  The gray and cork colors can create the appearance of replacement boards installed by the railroad.  It is best to go lightly with the these colors and go back and apply a second wash to augment the look.

So that was a short technique you might want to try on your next car project.





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