More Painting! An SP 2-8-0

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Espeefan

Well-Known Member
#1
While goofing around in the basement this past weekend I was re-arranging storage racks and dug out a neat little 2-8-0 I bought several years ago. After doing those two Mikes the juices are still flowing. I took a look at it and thought WTH, this one looks pretty easy! Now some folks cringe at painting brass but it's really not that hard, and if you do goof you can dunk it in lacquer thinner and start over. With these I strip the model first. Any clear coat has to go. There are several good strippers on the market, but in this case I just used lacquer thinner and a toothbrush. After that it gets a trip through the blasting booth at low pressure (60-70 PSI) to rough the brass so the paint has a profile to stick to. After the blasting booth, everything goes into the ultrasonic cleaner for 15 minutes or so, then a rinse and blow dry. Once that's done I let it sit for a day or two so any residual water I missed will dry. At this point it looks like this:
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Lots of work? Not really. Everything was done in a couple of hours after dinner. Tonight it all gets painted black. More posts as the job progresses!
 
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Espeefan

Well-Known Member
#5
Hi All! Good progress tonight. It only took an hour and fifteen to get the black painted, then two hours of baking at 200 degrees in the oven. This levels the paint, and this is why I like Scalecoat! Take a look at that shine! It won't stay that shiny, but that high gloss lets me see flaws and thin spots in the paint.
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Espeefan

Well-Known Member
#6
The next coat will go on tomorrow. Even after baking I like to wait a while. There is a difference between dry paint and cured paint. Cured paint can't be damaged by masking tape! I usually use the smell test. If you can smell paint, it's not cured! Bake some more or let it sit. Until then, I start putting things back together. Start by cleaning paint off of where it doesn't belong. Journal points, flanges, drive axle bearings to frame slots, bolsters, and so on. Tenders are easy, just re-assemble the trucks and re-attach the coupler. The mechanism isn't much harder. It's mostly a matter of remembering where things went, which is why you need those photos. In the old days before cell phone or digital cameras I used to draw sketches for driver position and running gear. It only goes together one way! Don't be afraid. It's not hard
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Espeefan

Well-Known Member
#8
I'll also make a comment here regarding brass. Lots of people look at these models and say "Oh, that's brass, no way I could afford it!" Not true at all. There are many common early models out there that can be had for cheap. I have friends who have spent more for plastic or diecast steamers than I have for brass models. I've even done it myself. I paid $339.00 for my Athearn Semi Daylight Mt-4's. That's a good price, and I got it because I'm a regular at my LHS. They take care of me. At a train show in Madison I found a Westside brass GS-4 for $195.00. Factory painted, never been run. I had to re-motor it and decoder it, but still came in at less money that the Athearn. Had I put sound in it, it would have been a tie, and the Westside will still be running long after the Athearn is in the scrap heap! The Westside is also much easier to work on. Check your swap meets, and e-Bay. There are bargains to be had out there!
 

Espeefan

Well-Known Member
#10
ALAN - (LOL) - Quit trying to support the brass models! I am having a hard enough time already!

p.s. Love your work!
LOL! Years ago when I decided to model the SP in the steam era I was told by several experienced modelers: "model the diesel era and get the Bachmann GS-4 and do an excursion now and then, or you'll spend a fortune on brass." I spent the fortune. Of course it took nearly 30 years. Thing is now with estate sales, and the gradual decrease in steam era modelers, dad's and grandad's models are starting to come out of the closet and turn up at sales. I see stuff below $200.00 all of the time. It's now possible to get the model you always wanted for a reasonable amount of money. Do it! :cool:
 

Sirfoldalot

Plucked Tailfeathers
Staff member
#11
YES - VERY TRUE!
Everyone wants the big, ugly, giant, look-a-like diesels that dominate the market with DCC, smoke, sound, lights,and all the bells and whistles. I still just like to see trains run- and with my hearing - I can imagine all the sounds! LOL
 

Espeefan

Well-Known Member
#12
Getting close now guys! Decalling done, which is fiddly, especially with the San Juan Decal sets. They are very accurate but the film is super thin. Look at them wrong and they'll wrinkle! Anyhoo… that's all finished, and they'll set up overnight and get a clear/flat coat tomorrow. The decoder is in and she passed the run test. I have to hook up the headlight, then re-assemble and she's ready to roll!
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Espeefan

Well-Known Member
#15
So when you're hot you're hot right? Wasn't that a song back in the 70's? But I digress. This one will take a bit longer than the C-10 I just finished. It's an older model and needs a few more things. A new headlight casting; lagging clamps, air hoses, maybe a few other odds & ends. The biggest thing is it needs a re-motor. All of these '60's and most of the '70's models need their open frame motors replaced if you have DCC. When I first got the model, I shoehorned a huge can motor into the boiler. It was actually too big, so big I had to put the decoder in the tender! Well it's been a few years, decoders have gotten smaller, and there are plenty of cheap Chinese motors out there. Plus I can use that larger motor in a larger engine! I already have a new home in mind for it! So out with the old and in with the new! This batch of photos show my methods. Yours may vary, but I find that this works well for me. First I remove the old motor, and look at what might fit. As a rule the largest one that will fit practically is the way to go. I make a cradle from brass flat bar and angle stock soldered together, and mount it to the frame. The old screw holes work fine for this, and I drill and tap for a 2-56 screw or two. The motor sits in the cradle, and I look at how the shafts meet. If necessary, and If I can immobilize the gearbox, I'll use a drive shaft instead of silicone tubing. That wasn't practical this time, but the alignment was pretty good, so silicone tubing it will be. After painting the frame, I'll mount the motor to the cradle with silicone. Some modelers don't like to use silicone, but I like it for its noise dampening ability, plus it lets me fine tune the motor placement before it sets. This method also lets me return the model to the factory configuration in case a collector should ever want it returned to the as built configuration. The last photo shows the motor held in place with masking tape. I do this to check for binds when it runs, and to verify internal clearance and scope out where the decoder might have to be mounted.
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Espeefan

Well-Known Member
#19
:) My fastest time is a Great Northern 0-8-0, start to finish in a weekend. No re-motor, no DCC, no detail parts changes, just prep and paint. Another painter I know did a GN steamer in a day. He started at 8 AM and finished at midnight. Green boiler!
 





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