This went much better than I thought it would – and for that, I have a couple of suppliers to thank.
First, there’s Al Ferguson at Black Cat Publishing. As the photo shows, I’ve added the CNR Roundels from Al’s S scale set for CNR cab units. But, given that S scale is not as well served as HO (and therefore, I can’t be as picky), I also decided that I could use other pieces from this decal set – including the cab numbers and the road name. That saved me a lot of aggravation. (Thanks, Al!)
Second, there’s Alclad II. As those in the hobby who do their own painting will know, it’s getting harder to find certain paint brands. This is forcing us to sometimes look further afield – and sometimes, with wonderful results.
One place I’m exploring more for paint and finishes is Wheels and Wings Hobbies, an area shop that caters to those modelling aircraft, armour, automobiles and so on. On a recent excursion I came across the Alclad II line of finishes.
Alclad II offers some wicked products for creating a convincing metallic finish, which I’m looking forward to trying on future projects. But for the RS18, I picked up bottles of Alclad II’s gloss and matte finishes, plus a bottle of thinner/airbrush cleaner.
Well, I’m really impressed by what came out of the airbrush. The gloss coat created a terrific surface for applying decals, while the matte finish did a superb job of blending the decals and paint to create a uniform finish. I’ll definitely be recommending these to others.
With the lettering applied, I can move on to finishing the DCC installation, which at this point consists of installing and hooking up lots of little LEDs. I have headlights, class lights, and number boards to do. This will require a trip to the hobby shop for MV Lenses plus a couple of packages of the super-tiny LEDs that are now on the market.
Beyond that, there are photo-etched grilles to weather and install, window glass to add and number boards to create. (Fortunately, I can use numbers from the CNR decal set for these.) But with the lettering applied, I feel like I’m over the hump on this project.
The finishing coat on the RS18 will get plenty of time to cure – Barry Silverthorn and I are loading up the TrainMasters TV cameras and microphones, and heading to The Fine Scale Model Railroader Expo this weekend in Scranton, PA. Maybe we’ll see some of you there!