Building rolling stock is perhaps my favorite part of the hobby. Since I profess to like it so much, you shouldn’t be surprised that I think building, painting and decaling a single-color boxcar should not be that much of a challenge. Then I ran into this project – a Missouri Pacific 10-6” 40-foot boxcar.
The origin is one of the Sunshine Models doorprizes from the Naperville Railroad Prototype Modelers shows Martin and Trish Lofton sponsored for years. Each year, the presenters and attendees staying at the show hotel were presented with a door prize – some are loads, and one year we got a complete flat car, but most have been an assortment of resin details (doors, ends, etc . . .) to convert an injection molded plastic car to some specific prototype or another. I have ten or so of these and they all produce some pretty neat and unusual transition era freight cars.
I constructed this freight car while we were building our present house, so it's the most recent freight car I've built.
The building process went remarkably well. The door prize parts were installed on an InterMountain 10’-6” AAR boxcar, and I even replaced most of the Intermountain details (ladders, brake rigging and the like) with parts from Detail Associates. Then I rearranged the brake components to match the prototype (which differed from the stock Intermountain arrangement and fashioned the underbody piping from brass wire.
I photographed the finished, but unpainted car and then sprayed the model with Polly Scale acrylic paint. Then, like usual, I gave the model a clear gloss coat and applied the decals. I finished decaling and applied the final clear flat overcoat. I have never had decals silver (leave visible film) as badly as these did. I suspect the issue was the Testors Acryl clear finishes I used. It was the first time I tried using this stuff, and found it left a visible, white, streaky haze. Perhaps I got an old bottle of the stuff.
What a mess.
I put the model aside and built, and rebuilt, the layout.
After all the issues I've been having with the Berry Machine kit, I figured a break to build a freight car was just what the doctor ordered. So I opened the box with the stash of freight cars and guess which one was the first one to greet me?
Great, another problem child!
I studied the model, and figured the basic car was worth the effort to strip and refinish it. But recently I’d been reading in FineScale Modeler about using Future Floor finish as a decal clear coating. I have some of the stuff, so I figured I had nothing to loose. If it worked, great, if not, it was just one more layer to strip. I lightly brushed a coat of Future on the sides and left it to dry overnight. This next morning the silvering had all but disappeared - although the car still had some streaking, but I think that will be easy to hide with some weathering. Once the model is weathered, I'll post a follow up. In the meantime, I think I'll use Future to do the decals on my next rolling stock model.