Sunday, December 18, 2022

SW1 #1109 - Another Fail - Forgot the Builder's Plate and the "F"

After my last post on painting & lettering the SW1, I realized I forgot a couple of decals - namely, the builder's plate and the "F" on the sides of the frame.

But in my defense, they're not all that visible in my prototype photos, so they were easy to overlook:

But you can see them in this nice broadside - especially when I highlight them :^) (as always, you can click on an image to enlarge it):

Now, the "F" is easy enough to figure out - I'm just going to use the "F" from the Accu-Cals set I've been using on the rest of the model (#5820H).

But what about the builder's plate? It's really hard to make out in the photos, so I spent a pleasant hour going down a quick rabbit trail researching EMD SW1 builder's photos. Spoiler Alert: there ain't much out there, but I did find this . . .

. . . which came from the always-so-very-helpful Boston & Maine Railroad Historical Society (the full PDF presentation is actually online here). It's not an SW1 plate from 1939 (when the 1109 was built), but it should be close enough - especially since it's essentially weathered black in all the prototype photos I have.

Next step was to see if I had such a decal on-hand. Thankfully, I do:

Microscale 87-48 Data for Diesels - Black and White (1940-1992)

I don't know the dimensions of the real-life builder's plate, but the decal measures a scale 6"x18" so I think it'll do.

So, a bit of a fail that I didn't take care of this already before I dullcoted the frame. But here's my plan to save it (thankfully, turns out it shouldn't be all that difficult):

WRT to the "F":
  • Apply a little Future with a brush to the spot where the "F" goes, using it like Microset to place the decal.
  • Place the "F" & wait to dry.
  • Brush an overcoat of Future to blend the decal.
  • Airbrush/spot spray dullcote over the area to match the rest of the frame.
  • (thanks to Andrew Castle who weighed in over at the Valley Local FB group that he's used this process himself and confirmed it'll work).
WRT to the Builder's Plate
  • I'm going to try something a little different here. . . The proto-photos show the plate as a plate (duh), which is to say, it has a thickness, so I plan to mount the decal on styrene to simulate a plate.
  • I'll apply the decals to thin styrene strip (thickness TBD) 6 scale inches wide.
  • Cut to length and glue to the side sill, per the protoytype photos.
  • Just have to figure out how to weather/tone down the silver lettering without totally covering it (the prototype got all dirty and black, but you can still make out the raised lettering - I can't do that here).
So stay tuned & we'll see how this all works out . . .

1 comment: