Thursday, March 17, 2016

Mid March Update

Seems like just yesterday we were discussing February updates, but here we are already Mid-March.

This post we are going to touch on a  newly arrived repaint, process for getting MCIS equipment to the paint booth, new layout lighting, and progress on the farmland scene.

We took delivery today of the newest repaint for the Michigan Interstate. GP38-2 #3825 returned from FRS repainted from its former weather beaten Family Lines patch job to a beautiful scheme honoring my wife's alma mater.

This project used Trucolor ACL Purple and Alaska RR Yellow. The results are fantastic to the point mechanical will evaluate making a paint vendor switch from Scalecoat. Over the next few weeks the Mt. Pleasant shops will be setting up the unit for service including glass re-install, details, and Soundtraxx EMD 645 non-turbo sound. With 3825 back on property this brings the modelled GP38-2 fleet up to 8 (25 total on roster).

The process for painting Michigan Interstate equipment is a very detailed process just like on the prototype whether painted at manufacturer, home, or contract shops.


First thing is first, gotta have a plan. Using drawing templates from photos I layout decal placement for the locomotive whether it is the standard MCIS scheme or something more custom like 3825.

Once outlined in the diagram I then transfer the work to be done to a work order for one of the vendors that will be doing the work.

    Standard locomotive paint work order 

Considering that someone over 1000 miles away will be doing this work every detail and instruction is covered down to warning decals placment, painting the fuel caps, and doing body work like removing the rear numberboards.. 

    Numberboards no more on repaints

Reference photos of the intended scheme are also provided. 

  Reference photos of standard scheme

Along with the diagram and work order I bring together all decals needed to complete work. 

                 Decals for 3825 project

Paints are ordered from vendors and shipped directly to the individual painting to keep for future work and the fact they are hazardous shipping commodities.

Last item before shipping is the disassembly of most details, windows, and lights. Since I am adding sound to this motor I removed the internal weight to cut down and prep while unit was in paint shop. Once it returns we can reinstall parts and begin the sound install immediately.

Installed a new Hampton Bay 48 inch fan that has a 4 medium bulb light kit. Paired with bright white LED bulbs and undermount lighting the room is now very vibrant. The color real helps bring out the layout colors.

After getting good results with the test soybean fields, I pushed forward to complete the soybean rows for permanent installation.

   Before gluing down the pipe cleaners

             Soybean field installed 

   View with corn and soybeans in scene. The blend between backdrop and foreground has worked very well.

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