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Thread: Re-Numbering a Locomotive

  1. Default Re-Numbering a Locomotive

    I now have three identical switcher locomotives from a regional shortline. I'm okay using them as is, but it would be cool to change the numbers so that they are unique and more prototypical. I do have some prototype photos and there are plenty of numbers to choose from, all two digit.

    Can someone point me to a 'how to' on renumbering?

    On another note, I'm also looking to replace one of the cow cabs with a calf cover. Of course, I can't find one to match since the prototype used slugs, so I will need to repaint the calf cover to match the rest of the engine. Are there any references to paint codes out there?


  2. Default


    I renumber locomotives alot since I also freelance a shortline. It depends upon the manufacturer. Athearn's lettering and numbers can sometimes be removed with a bright boy or even an eraser. Atlas' can be removed using Pine Sol on a Q tip and lots of rubbing. P2K seems to be the most stubborn and I use 91% alcohol on a q-tip.

    Remember, over use of the chemical or harsh rubbing will remove the under-paint also no matter what you use, so go slow. And you will remove some paint anyway, so be prepared to touch up the area.

    I have gotten to the point to where I just use a curved bladed hobby knife and scrape off the numbers, sometimes dipped in alcohol to help loosen the paint.

    For adding numbers, I just paint over the numberboards and use decals to renumber, since I'm not impressed with lighted numberboards anyway. Also, instead of paining, decal producers sell white and black decals to fit into the numberboards for just this purpose, and sell numbers small enough to fit onto the numberboard decal.

    For matching paint, I assume you mean, for example, will Polyscale Erie maroon actually match the Erie Maroon of, say, an Atlas locomotive. I have never found an exact match of any pre-mixed paint to any manufacturer's locomotive. Be prepared to mix

    Others may have some opinions has to which brands best match which locomotives.

    For touching up scraped off paint from renumbering, hand mixing a color and brush touch up is no big deal, for larger areas, like your slug project, takes more time.

    I have put nondynamic brake hatches onto dynamic-braked locos and have had to match the paint. After spraying as close a match as I can get, I then dry brush the surrounding area to help the hatch not stand out, leaving streaks of the new paint. I also then mix more paint, that also will not match either color exactly, and dry brush the hatch and surrounding area with another "slightly off" color, leaving streaks of paint showing through as well.

    This helps represent reality that paint fades unevenly on the prototype after exposure to the sun.

    After some weathering with grimy black or rust very sparingly, and dullcoating, the area that was painted does not stand out, since there are no sharp demarkations of paint color noticeable.

    If you want to represent a slug that has been freshly repainted, you'll probably have to repaint the entire locomotive, since matching exactly will be impossible, IMO.

    Good Luck.

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