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Two Updates

Scalecoat Paint

The big news today is that Minute Man Hobbies announced today on it’s Facebook Page that it has bought the Scalecoat paint line from Weaver Models. As I reported in my last blog, Joe Hayter announced his retirement and closing of Weaver Models earlier this month. This would have been a big blow to the builders in our hobby. I wish them nothing but continued success with this and their other products.

Although Joe Hayter’s retirement sparked my own retirement from model building, the continued availability of Scalecoat Paint does not change my decision to retire. I will be selling off untouched kits and R-T-R models (such as my Genesis cabooses, Athearn SD45T-2s, MTH Daylight Passenger Cars and other models) and my brass models (both steam and diesel). As I’ve said, without a layout to run my trains on, there’s really no reason to build, and they are just cluttering up my home. I will continue in the hobby as a historical researcher of California railroads and the Southern Pacific in particular, although all I can do is parrot what others have said. I have yet to decide the vehicle I will use to dispose of my collection. Ebay is an option, but so are the many groups on Yahoo and Facebook.

GS Gondola Decals

From some e-mails posted to the Steam Era Freight Car List, it seems Tim O’Connor has convinced Hubert Mask of Mask Island Decals to produce decals for the Southern Pacific GS (Drop Bottom) Decals. These are decals I’d worked on producing for myself, but I ran into a lot of problems trying to avoid spending a lot of money to produce the decals myself.

I had prepared artwork for the SP G-50-9/10/11/12 classes (the Ulrich Drop Bottom Gondola) from as-built through the mid 1950s paint schemes, as well as the composite gondolas (G-50-20 and G-50-23 class) and  the steel sided G-50-15 and G-50-18 class. Tim O’Connor had provided Hubert some reference material. I’ve made my artwork available to Hubert for free. He’s free to go forward with the project as he sees fit, but he’s under no obligation to use my artwork. I have gone through a lot of work, from research, buying and learning Adobe Illustrator, to having a final product that I could print if I had the right kind of printer. I don’t, so the option is to convert my OkiData 3200N to print white decals (about a $600 conversion process that Charles Hostetler presented at Cocoa Beach, and will presumably make public next year), or have them commercially printed at $35-$40 a sheet from Kadee or Rail Graphics.

Some modeling notes:

For composite cars (all Sugar Beets were shipped in composite side cars), the Detail Associates (OOP) and Red Caboose cars build to G-50-23 class. The G-50-20 have “Reverse Dreadnaught Ends” that can be modeled by reversing the ends, and modifying the top lip so that it sticks out rather than in. I suggest shaving off the top lip from the end casting (it’s separate on both models), and using thin styrene for the lip.

The Detail Associates (OOP) and Red Caboose steel sided drop bottom gondola with the dreadnaught ends (RC-5000)represents the G-50-18 class. If you substitute the plate ends [Detail Associates FC 6222, or the “UP End” Red Caboose kit (RC-5020)], you will have an accurate G-50-15 class.

Thanks for reading this!


  1. George Corral wrote:

    Thanks Arved. Lots of good info about these gons. I have several of the DA gons in both steel and composite sides as well a several Ulrich metal cars. I also have several Champ SHS-144 sets of decals but I’m looking forward to the Mask Island decals.

    I also enjoyed by Chuck’s session on printing white decals at Cocoa Beach. A bit over my head though.

    Finally, I enjoyed your write-up on building the PFE R-40-26. I have’t started mine but look forward to it.

    Keep up the blog. It’s been one of my daily visits for a long time.


    Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 09:42 | Permalink
  2. Arved wrote:

    I wouldn’t come here daily, George. I don’t post very frequently! Nut thanks for your support.

    Charle’s method is very simple, actually. Replace the black toner cartridge with white. Sounds simple enough, except there’s only one company selling white toner. Oh, he also replaces the Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow toner with shades of gray to fade lettering. I wasn’t going to go that far.

    Be careful with that Champ SHS-144 set. There are some serious flaws in it, especially with the weight data.

    Good luck in your modeling!

    Thursday, July 23, 2015 at 20:40 | Permalink

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