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Thread: Custom painting Locomotives

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    Default Custom painting Locomotives

    Thinking about doing my first custom paint scheme.

    When custom painting a loco that is not undecorated from the factory, do i need to try to strip the decals/paint from the body or is it OK to spray a primer coat right over the factory paint?

    If it makes a difference, the loco in question is an Atlas diesel loco.

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    I strip it off, otherwise you will see the factory pad printing through your new paint. You won't see the color, but you will see the elevation changes. Stripping is pretty easy and it gives you a clean slate to start with. Heck... add a few details while you have it stripped off.

    I also highly recommend Tamiya Fine Grey Primer. Paint sticks really well to it.
    Karl

    CEO of the WC White Pine Subdivision, an Upper Peninsula branch line.

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    hummm i was thinking about trying a repaint my self...... keep us updated on progress please .

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    As Karl said, you will see the elevation changes of lettering, stripes ect. You usually won't see paint changes.......for example the black to green transition on a BN loco. So I usually just sand off any lettering, then prime and paint. IF there is any problem, you will see it when you spray the primer, but I can't recall ever having issues. I've simply sprayed over the existing paint as well, but a lot depends on what color you are spraying, and what your existing color (or colors) is. There can also be an issue of losing detail if you spray over existing paint.....adding a layer of primer and another coat (or more) of paint can start to cover up details. Stripping is always the safe way to go since it removes any chance of issues, but it often isn't the easy way to go, an 90% of the time it isn't neccessary......you'll have to evaluate your loco and make the call.

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    Hi DanB80,

    I see quite a few locos pass thru Cleveland with spray or roller paint over the former RR name/number. If you're a short line railroad who purchased the loco used...might be an interesting "repaint when time permits". A class I railroad would usually sandblast, bodywork and prime before a repaint.

    It's usually better to strip before repainting N scale equipment to avoid losing any small details under the paint.
    Happy Modeling

    Bruce

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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceNscale View Post
    spray or roller paint over the former RR name/number. If you're a short line railroad who purchased the loco used
    That did cross my mind however they would be purchasing a loco from the future , I was offering my GP35 in Conrail scheme for trade but no interest so I've ordered a decoder for it and want to paint it into CB&Q or a custom paint scheme for my very SHORTline. The loco could only be a maximum of 7 years old since the BN merger in 1970 so probably unlikely that it could be a patched unit.

    I'm contemplating between the regular Chinese red paint scheme which would be prototypical to the loco, maybe doing a retro blackbird scheme or even the old white and red F3 freight scheme or maybe do something more unique like a scheme based on the green and yellow Burlington refrigerator express cars.

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    Current progress, 90% IPA is my choice of paint stripper, the decals took a lot more work than the paint. The hand rails and the sills are soaking currently, I am a little nervous about damaging them.
    Realistically am I going to get much more of the paint off? I've been scrubbing away with a toothbrush and cue tips.

    IMG_2405.jpgIMG_2406.jpg

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    That's pretty clean! Are the handrails painted as many are thermoplastic with molded in color? You won't be able to strip the color if they are of that type.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingmeow View Post
    That's pretty clean! Are the handrails painted as many are thermoplastic with molded in color? You won't be able to strip the color if they are of that type.
    Paint isn't wanting to budge very easily on the handrails, it does look to be very slightly fading in one or two spots but I can't tell for sure The sills are cleaning up though, a little tougher in some areas but its getting there.

    Considering leaving the handrails and just painting over them.

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    The body shell is about as stripped as it gets. The handrails aren't as critical IMO. Just do what you can and prime it.
    Daniel Dawson

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