After building a handful of freight car kits and detailing a few more, I had a traffic jam at my paint booth. I prefer to paint several models at a time but wasn’t expecting an eleven car pile up.
I needed to organize the work and keep track of the various steps for each model. I made a grid to aid in completing the work. After jotting it all down on a pad of paper, I realized it looked like a line up card. Hey, it’s baseball season, right? I can pretend to be Danny Murtaugh or Chuck Tanner, Pittsburgh Pirate skippers of the 1970s baseball teams. Better to remember the team I loved to cheer as a young lad than the players currently wearing those uniforms.
After making the line up card, I thought it would make a neat blog post. Rather than scanning my chicken-scratch notes, I created a spreadsheet in Excel.
When we get rolling on several projects, there are many steps and moving parts to keep track of. A simple spreadsheet keeps track of the work. The models are in the first column. The first six were undecorated while the final five hoppers (HM) would retain much of the original factory applied lettering.
The paints are noted on the bottom part of the spreadsheet. All models are painted and ready for decals. A few of the hoppers have had the weigh data and repack stencils updated.
I sprayed all hopper interiors with Valspar Labrador Brown from a rattle can. It’s a nice, flat color to use as a base weathering layer for coal hopper interiors.
Here are three models passing through the decal installation. The M&K hoppers are from a special run the Mon Valley Railroad Historical Society commissioned in 2006. They sold out quickly and I’m happy to have a couple. The D&H Seley hopper is a private run from a friend. I await the script “The D&H” emblem decals to wrap up this step.
This WM hopper is a Bowser GLa hopper with details installed to reflect the prototype. I used black trim film to cover factory applied weigh lettering and other lettering that would not be proper for a 1926 appearance. The new weigh decals were cobbled together from a couple Rail Graphics generic data sets, which are no longer available. I used a repack stencil from an old Champ decals set.
I’m enjoying the decal stages on these models. They will keep me busy through June. With luck, I’ll have them on display at the St Louis RPM at the end of July.
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