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Custom Painted F7 and Caboose

This was the first custom painted project I ever did and to say it was a learning experience would be severely toning it down.  This is where I first learned about air brushing, drilling holes for railings and grab irons, and learning how to use decals.  I also experimented with simulating rust on the trucks and wheels of the caboose.

I started out with an old F7 Chessie System locomotive and an old Santa Fe caboose.  Neither of which I would be too upset about losing if things went south.

First I air brushed them both New Jersey Transit silver.

Next I masked off all of the areas I wanted to remain silver.

Then I sprayed the remaining exposed area with flat black enamel paint.

Once it was dry to the touch I removed the masking tape and was shocked that I didn't remove any of the silver paint and how crisp the line appeared to the naked eye.

Next I turned my attention to detailing the locomotive.  I bought some F7 detail parts made by BLMA.  I didn't have anything I could use for a handrail so I used a piece of wire.  It looked ok, but not great.  It's a little too thick, and the sharp curves make it look a little warped.  First I drilled holes and test fitted the wire.

Then I cut out all of the pieces I needed, held them between 2 pieces of tape, and airbrushed them orange.

Once the railings dried I fit them into the holes I drilled and glued them in place.

Applying the Decals

I got decals from Microscale and used Micro Sol and Micro Set to secure them in place.

**Note:  For best results you should put down a coat of gloss or high gloss paint.  You can then use matte clear paint later to dull down the finish.  I did not do that for this and got lucky.

The picture on the left shows the decal after I floated it in place using the Micro Set and used a paper towel to soak up the excess.  The top picture on the right shows the decal on the other side after I applied some Micro Sol.  Micro Sol is necessary to help soften the decal further so it can flow down around the rivets.

Once it dried I sprayed it with Testors Dull Cote spray paint to seal in the decal and provide a nice matt finish.  I also installed the grab irons and painted the foot steps orange.  Here are some pictures of the finished locomotive.

The Caboose

With the locomotive finished I turned my attention to the caboose which already has its paint done.


First I painted the steps and railings and steps orange.

Next I hand painted the stripes onto the side of the caboose.  I also painted the molded on hand railing.  I would have used a decal except they don't make any that would have fit.

While that was drying I used my air brush and sprayed the wheels and trucks with a rust colored paint.

All that was left was to let it dry and put it together.  Here are some pictures of the finished caboose.

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