Sunday, June 16, 2024

Part 10 - New Haven DEY-3 (Alco S-1) #0967: Weathering & Finishing!

It's been a long week CHOCK FULL of blog posts, for a huge change from the once-or-less per month :^) but now we've arrived at the final post of this DEY-3 build. We'll take this "brand new" 0967 and make it look like it's been doing some actual work.

And that means weathering!

Now, I'm not going to go step-by-step through the process I used, but will certainly publicly thank Ralph Renzetti again for being my weathering mentor, guide, and guardrails. For a more detailed description of the weathering process, be sure to check out the January issue of Railroad Model Craftsman where I weathered a B&M SW-1. If you don't have access to that issue, you can get much of the same content (in a more rambling and less edited format :^) here and here). But here are the highlights:

The first step is an overall white acrylic fade (10:1 thinner to paint) airbrushed over the model, focused on the top and built up gradually. Next is an "oil dot" fade where you apply alternate dots of black, white, and gray oil paint to the top of the hood and cab . . .

. . . and then "pull" it down with a soft brush just barely dampened with mineral spirits (dip it in, then wipe on a cloth or paper towel),  mixing the colors together at the same time.

For rust effects on the truck sideframes and stack, I use burnt and raw umber gouache, applied with a sponge that's been ripped into a random pattern, as above. Dip a barely damp sponge into the gouache, daub the excess off on a piece of scrap paper/newspaper, then daub on your model.

The stack was first painted with flat aluminum paint (Tamiya XF-16), then the "rusty" sponge was daubed on the stack - heavier at the top, lighter on the bottom.

Here's the final effect - and don't forget to blacken the inside of the stack.

How's that for a brief overview?! As you might imagine, weathering is actually a much more involved process, involving multiple layers, clear coats to seal between layers, and all the time it takes to let things dry in between. For additional process details, be sure to click on the links at the beginning of this post.

Once the weathering is done (actually, I still have a little bit of final weathering to do - but I ran out of time before the NERPM where I really wanted to finish this loco enough to display), it's time for final assembly.  THAT ended up being close to the most stressful part of this entire build - both because I didn't want to mess anything up, and because I was literally putting everything back together with only hours to spare before my self-imposed NERPM deadline (BTW - the most stressful part of the build was having to solder not one, but TWO, 30 gauge wires that had broken off of the PC board end of the PowerPack - with only a few hours left to go...).

Reassembly really deserves its own post, but I was so stressed out and in a hurry that I forgot to take any pictures. Suffice it to say that the Cricut cut window glass that Mike supplies with his cab is great - but it's a bear to glue the panes into a one-piece cab without glue getting on the windows - or the windows not actually adhering (window installation is the only advantage the 5-piece cab kit has over the 1-piece cab - you can put the glass in before assembly). I used MicroClear as an adhesive, but Aleen's clear gel tacky glue or canopy glue would work as well.

The railings are just press fit - and may need to come off for additional/final weathering at some point. The handbrake chains to the brake pistons on the rear truck sideframes were reattached and glued with a bit of thick CA.

PROTIP: There are no air hoses supplied with the P2k model and no good - or prototypical - place to install them on the end sills. So, I just CA'd Hi Tech Details rubber air hoses to the side of the KD coupler boxes. Be sure the front one is glued to the "wrong" side - remember: air hoses on both ends of a locomotive are on the engineer's side. For the couplers themselves, I used KD #158s.

I used a tiny bit of MicroClear around the edges of the numberboard openings before press-fitting the numberboards themselves into the shell. I didn't want them falling out. Since daytime headlight use didn't start on the New Haven RR until the 1950s - and the Valley Local is daytime only - I didn't bother with lighting the lights and used MV lenses instead (P/N 21), with MicroClear applied around the openings again. Honestly, the MVs looks MUCH better than unlit wired headlights IMO.

And here's the (semi)final result . . .

At first, I thought Mike had shorted me a window pane - but then I realized: since he added an armrest to the engineer's window frame, he must've decided to leave that window "open."

Turns out, I'm mighty glad he did. Makes that cool cab interior & gauges actually visible!

So there you have it - New Haven Railroad DEY-3 class #0967, flagship diesel on the Valley Local c. 1949. As I mentioned, I still have some minor weathering left to do (handrails & couplers primarily, and maybe some more oil spill on the truck journals and fuel spill around the fuel filler), but it was done "enough" in time to be displayed at the NERPM this year - which was the main goal. Maybe some of you saw it there?

Getting the 0967 finished for NERPM was the main reason I kept plugging away so regularly and fast on it, despite the stress. But BEWARE: You run a high risk of killing this hobby for yourself if you try to do it to a deadline!  I won't do that again if I can help it. Better to be more leisurely and actually enjoy the process.

Thanks to all of you that have been "with" me during this process via this blog and/or on Facebook. I hope you've enjoyed this build and maybe even taken away some helpful tips - or at least advice on what NOT to do!

And so, as we close out this build and until next time, enjoy the 0967's maiden voyage (with my apologies for the bounciness - I'll use a tripod next time %^) . . .

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