As mentioned previously, in researching paint schemes for my scale test car I decided to paint my all-black model. So yesterday I gave my scale test car a coating of CNR mineral brown (the colour used on CNR boxcars, also known as CNR Red #11).
It looks too bright – more orange than mineral red – but that’s the way my chosen paint goes on. Experience tells me that with a light weathering treatment it will tone down to a browner look that’s more appropriate to the prototype. To see what I mean, check out the “CNR Boxcars” category on this blog, and note the difference that weathering makes.
This was a fairly straight airbrush job, but it prompted two things that I wanted to note here:
First, I wanted to keep the paint off the wheels but did not want to disassemble the unit. I made up the masks shown by cutting them out of notepaper.
I folded the paper and used the fold as the centreline to freelance the slots for the wheels with a pair of scissors. When I unfolded the paper, I had a nice U-shaped slot to slide over the axle between wheel and horn block.
Note that I didn’t try to make the masks for both ends of the axle from a single piece. Instead, I cut pieces for each wheel, and left enough paper that they would overlap under the car. I fitted the pieces, then taped them together. The weight of the car kept them trapped between the model and the much-abused plastic Lazy Susan that I use as a painting platform in my spray booth.
Second, a lament for lacquer-based paints. The paint I used was made by Scalecoat for the CNR Historical Association, and it’s awesome stuff. I airbrushed this model directly over the black paint it wore from the factory. The paint covered 90% of the black in the first coat and by the time I sprayed the other side I was able to go back and shoot a top coat to cover the rest. What’s more, the gloss finish will be perfect for applying decals.
I’m going to miss this stuff when it’s no longer available – but given some of the bone-headed, lung-threatening things I’ve seen people do with airbrushes and rattle cans, I’m not surprised that it’s being phased out. (A friend and I were discussing this recently – and wondering why people are so eager to pay $300 for a new locomotive and yet are so reluctant to spend that kind of money on safety equipment, like a proper paint booth, to protect their health. But that’s a rant for another day…)
Following the notes on scale test cars found on the White River Division blog by George Dutka, I’ve emailed Andy at Andy W. Scale Models to find out more about his CNR Scale Test Car decals. These are HO scale, but I’m hoping he prints these himself and can do a couple of sets in S for me. If not, well, I’ll just have to buy the HO ones and see what use I can make of them.