Passenger car name change

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by jtbterri, Oct 29, 2004.

  1. jtbterri

    jtbterri Member

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    I want to add another passenger car setup to my little line. Because the curves on my layout are 18" and 22" I need to stay with 60' or 72' max lengths. I want to keep with a Midwestern road name and am looking at the Wabash.

    That being said, my research has turned up nothing in 60 or 72 ft passenger cars for Wabash.

    I have found some 60 ft Heavyweights that I like made by Rivarossi and listed in the current Walthers catalog. They were/are offered in a 4 car set; RPO, Baggage, Combine and Coach. A LHS has a couple of them in the Western road names, and maybe the Burlington, in Pullman Green with gold or what they refer to as enhanced lettering. As I understand it, enhanced is used for a flattened type of lettering.

    My question is, has anyone done a name change on these cars and if so how difficult is the process? I'm not into air brushing so complete stripping and repainting isn't in the equation this time around. Would just like to mask out the existing road name and apply Wabash decals to the cars. A LHS mentioned that it would be very difficult to match the paint used on these cars.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    George
  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    Heaveyweights can be difficult to match the paint on due to the fact that you don't know what paint the manufacturer of the car used. Most use ink rather than paint for lettering, I don't know if they use ink as well for the base color. Is the paint scheme for Wabash heaveyweights a single color or a multicolor scheme? If it is a single color, don't be afraid to shoot it with an airbrush. You can tale out the windows and shoot one solid color. For a single color "dip job" a single action air brush will work fine. Harbor freight sells one for less than $10.00 regular price and frequently has them on sale for under $5.00.

    On the other hand, if the color on another car is right, but you just need to change lettering, you can sometimes take the lettering off with a light application of decal setting solution on a "Q" tip without disturbing the paint underneath.
  3. jtbterri

    jtbterri Member

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    I've found a Rivarossi 4-car set with "Burlington" as the roadname in gold letters painted pullman green.
    I don't have any airbrush equipment, nor the budget right now, for one.
    I was told by the folks at Arnie's in Westminster that it would be very difficult to match the paint to cover the roadname. I'm also having trouble locating "WABASH" in the expanded format fonts.
    Is this name change really feasible???
    George
  4. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    George, its not a good idea to paint over lettering anyway, it will still show thru as the thickness of the lettering will appear thru the paint. If you are willing to experiment with a car you ought to be able to remove the lettering. You can try Walthers Solva-set applied with a brush onto the lettering, let it sit a bit, then use a pencil erasure to rub. It will take awhile and at first it may seem to be doing nothing. Patience! This has worked for me with Life Like and Bowser lettering, never tried Riverossi. Now the paint under where the lettering was will be noticably flatter than the rest, just use a spray can of glosscote. This will prep the surface for the decals. Wash between removing the letters and applying the glosscote of course. Don't know about availability of Wabash decals, have you checked Microscale?

    Gary
  5. jtbterri

    jtbterri Member

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    That's kind of what I thought but I received this response on an earlier inquiry on the Railroad Forum

    The fellow at the LHS yesterday indicated that he thought that the printing on these Rivarossi cars was "stamped" on, rather than screened or some other technique. This would make the letters flatter and possibly easier to cover with paint.

    I have found the decal set, Microscale, which appears to be good for this application,but I don't have a Rivarossi car to experiment on and need to buy the full 4-car set to proceed to the next step. That's about a $100 experiment which at this point is somewhat iffy, to say the least.

    I was hoping that someone had tried this out before on a Rivarossi car.

    George
  6. BillD53A

    BillD53A Member

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    The Walthers/Rivarossi cars are models of CNW cars. They won't be exact models of Wabash equipment anyway so I wouldnt worry too much about the exact shade of paint used on them. Disassemble the cars and strip them in 91% Isopropyl alcohol, then paint them with a squirt can of any paint that is close to Pullman green. Champ, Microscale, and Walthers all have online decal catalogs that you can check for Wabash decals. Also try the Great Decals website. If they arent already offered, use extended railroad roman alphabet sets to letter the cars. Use a decal setting solution and then a clear top coat to keep the decals on. Bill
  7. jtbterri

    jtbterri Member

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    Okay. I found some Athearn Blue Box kits at the train show here in Del Mar last weekend and am ready to experiment in changing names. Oh yes, I have the decals for Wabash from Microscale.
    Has anyone tried this with Athearn kits? All of the dealers I talked to at the train show agreed that the Athearn kits don't use decals but have the road names "painted" on. Some suggested a Poly S decal remover, others Isopropyl alcohol, but all cautioned that these techniques would possibly remove the underlying paint. I'd like to minimize my risk of removing the paint down to the base plastic as I don't have airbrush equipment now or in the near term budget.
    George
  8. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    George, sorry to say I don't have an Athearn to try it on. I just received a Lionel Turbine which I will be relettering for my road, so I tried the Walthers solvaset on it. Applied just as I wrote above, and the lettering is painted on, just as the Life Like and Bowser were, I don't know of any manufacturer using decals. I suppose you figured if I'm using Solvaset I must be removing decals. Nope. Here is a photo of the result. You can't see it in the photo, but there is a noticable difference in the finish where the lettering was, when you hold it to the light at certain angles. As I mentioned before, a bit of gloss and you can reletter then apply the finish of your choice. Oops, I just typed all this in the quick reply, so can't attach the photo, it will follow in next post!

    Gary
  9. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    OK, Here you go.

    Attached Files:

  10. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

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    have removed athearn lettering by soaking in warm soap water then gently scrub lettering off. the other way would be to use a letter board out of thin plastic.
  11. wjstix

    wjstix Member

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    You know floquil makes Pullman green paint in aerosol spray cans, you could just get undecorated cars and a can of gray primer and Pullman green and paint the cars yourself, then spray em with glosscote, put on the decals, and seal it all in with dullcote. All available in spray cans. I know the 'perfessionals' say you have to use an airbrush (and I often do) but if the color I need is available in spraycan form I'll often use that, especially on a larger project like a building.

    BTW some manufacturers offer passenger cars painted in pullman green but unlettered for you to add your own decals. Bachmann Spectrum does for example.
  12. wjstix

    wjstix Member

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    BTW you don't state what era you're modelling, I see Con-Cor offers 72' Wabash passenger cars pre-decorated but they are post-war (streamlined) cars I believe. Rivarossi does / did offer fullsize heavyweights in Wabash colors and lettering.

    p.s. You might want to research the Wabash a little before buying too much paint and such, apparently for many years their passenger cars were painted blue not green!!
  13. jtbterri

    jtbterri Member

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    I purchased a bottle of Walther's Solvaset yesterday Gary, and am going to start with the removal process. First though, I'll try Jim's idea of warm soap water,sounds too good to pass up. When I purchased the Solvaset at the LHS they kept trying to steer me towards a remover like ELO from Poly S. Didn't think the Solvaset would remove paint.

    As far as the era I prefer the 40's and early 50's but I'm not too fussy. I like the Midwest roads and have started with the Wabash as my better half used to take it from Chicago to Columbia, Missouri to get to college, and keeping the missus involved is one of my priorities. I prefer the heavyweights myself as I grew up watching them pass through my hometown in the suburbs of Chicago on the CNW. I briefly looked at the Con-Cor 72 footers, but again, prefer the heavyweights over the streamline.

    For colors, yes, the Wabash used a blue on its early coaches according to all of the data I can find. Don't particularly like it so I'll stay with the Pulllman green for my road. Not too prototypical but better to my eyes. The Athearn Cars I'll try to modify are Santa Fe Pullman Green.

    If this works out, I've got my eyes on the Rivarossi 4 car set of 60 footers; Baggage, Combine, RPO and Coach. It's much easier to invest $20 to test and learn, rather than $100.

    George
  14. wjstix

    wjstix Member

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    What kind of locomotive were you planning to power the train with?? I'm sure in steam days (20's-30's) Wabash used pullman green (everybody did back then!!), probably didn't go to the blue until they started running streamliners. Just thinking if you were thinking of diesels, it might look a little odd to have a blue/white Wabash diesel pulling green passenger cars??

    :) BTW if stripping doesn't work out too well, you can always go for this look:

    Attached Files:

  15. jtbterri

    jtbterri Member

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    Hopefully the erasure method will work. I'd hate to have to weather them to match your photo!!
    For loco power I've got a 2-8-0 Wabash Consolidation ready to roll. I also have a GP-7, but you're right, Pullman Green behind the blue and white diesel might be a little too much. However, I thought that I saw on one of the Wabash sites some of the dark blue Heavyweights behind the diesels. Have to check that out again.

    George
  16. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    I just reread my advice above and I should add that the first application probably won't look like it did anything. When you have a lot of erasure debris, wipe it off, apply more solva set and rub again. It takes awhile. When it starts to come off, it speeds up a lot. A very soft erasure won't work as wellas a harder one. Just be patient tho, as too vigirous a scubbing will scratch the underlaying paint.
  17. wjstix

    wjstix Member

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    Yes to the blue heavyweights !! I've seen pics, I think Rivarossi or somebody offers (or offered??) heavyweight cars in Wabash blue. Look pretty neat. (BTW even that pic of the old Wabash car I posted earlier looks like it was blue.)

    Probably wouldn't be hard to paint cars that scheme, even if you don't have an airbrush I'm sure you could find a spraycan with a very close shade o blue.
  18. jtbterri

    jtbterri Member

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    Success!!
    Tried the warm soapy water first but couldn'g get any noticeable result. Maybe it just takes a very long time. So I went to the Solavaset method.
    Gary, everything you said worked as described. Here's the result of about 30-45 min. of work Before:

    [​IMG]

    And after

    [​IMG]

    Can't thank you enough for that tip. Next step in the learning process will be putting the decals on. I assume that you only spray the Glosscoat on the area where you're putting the decal, not the entire car.

    There's another GAT show up in LA this weekend so I'll look around for some more to modify.
    George
  19. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    George, I'm glad it worked for you. People often find it hard to believe. As far as the glosscote goes, it's better to apply to the whole car. Otherwise you'll see the difference when you're done. After the decals are applied and you've washed the car upon final setting, I like to apply a satin finish rather than flat but thats just preferance.

    Gary
  20. wjstix

    wjstix Member

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    Some people would say you don't have to do that, but I've always sprayed the whole car with glosscote and dullcote too, just to be sure the entire car showed the same finish on it.