Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Empire State Express…the Painting and Assembly Begins

Pieces and parts

I’m starting to pull a few pieces together and to make some decisions on how things are going to look on the Empire State Express.  After looking at the pictures of the actual train that I found online, I have decided to deviate from the original paint job to something a little more…well… interesting.

The way I see it, the original manufacturers just didn’t bother to take into consideration what my opinions were of how their locomotive should look.  They probably thought only in terms of manufacturability, maintainability and ruggedness and gave very little thought to my thoughts of style:-)

The original locomotive appears to be made primarily of cast iron and steel.  So it is black with just a few decorative touches of  white.  Now, I don’t plan to make my locomotive look “Gaudy” but I do think that a touch of brass makes it more appealing.  So I am adding it to my locomotive. 

Although I once gave my VW bug two coats of the best brush-on Rustoleum paint that money could buy, I do not continue in that vein.  Carved items that are supposed to be metal really need to be first covered with sanding sealer, sanded and then spray-painted to give that smooth, “metal” finish.  No brushing!  You can see in the photo how the steam and sand domes and how the bands around the boiler are brass-colored. 

Now, before you ask me why the back end of the boiler is painted to look like brass, I’ll tell you.  The majority of the boiler will be black with just the domes and the bands in brass.  I set off over the weekend to laboriously mask off the boiler so that only the bands and the domes would be exposed to the flying paint.  It was only when I was almost done with applying the tape that I finally realized that…DAH!…I could just sprayed the whole thing and then painted the black over the brass where I needed to.  I didn’t need to mask anything.  You can see from the photo just when that realization finally hit me:-)

You can see that I sprayed the edges drive wheels with aluminum paint.  I’ll pull off the tape and paint the insides of the wheels -- probably red -- with a dirty brown/black between the spokes to make it seem like you are looking through them to the boiler beyond.  The small wheels for the front truck are loaded up on a small dowel rod for a trip to the “paint shop”.  The edges will be aluminum and the centers will be whatever color I decide to paint the drive wheels.

Right there in the center of the shot you can also just make out the bell.  I have yet to photograph the bell in its “frame” but I’ll be sure to do that for the next installment.

Well, that’s it for today.

One for the Bench:

We never really grow up; we only learn how to act in public.

‘Til next time…Keep makin’ chips!

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