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Thread: Decaling a "Big Hook"

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    Default Decaling a "Big Hook"

    Good day folks!

    I wondered if anyone had any recommendations for decaling a Bachmann Crane Car & Boom Tender? I took said MOW equipment and stripped off the bright yellow Union Pacific colors and painted it in Conrail blue. Now for my dilemma, how to find decals (white) to finish the job. I have looked at what is offered on the auction sites and realize that although there are many to choose from, most are for engines, boxcars, hoppers, etc. Has anyone done this kind of project who knows where to get the best size/proportions for a decent looking basic appearance? I am not rivet counter and this is my first attempt at such a task. Accuracy is far from my goal. Only looking for a passable approximation. Thanks for any ideas!

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    Hi Gryxter,

    I've done white Conrail logos, lettering, number, stripe and warning decals previously.

    I would be happy to assist you with your project.

    Do you have any photos of a CR "Bighook"? Or, another RR's image we could use as a pattern?
    Happy Modeling

    Bruce

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    Bruce

    I guess I should have led with pictures. Duh. As I said this is a Crane Car & Boom Tender set by Bachmann. A pretty common set as far as I can tell. What I did was really quite a bone-headed move as far as modeling goes. I took an old pickle jar and filled it half-way with a clear paint thinner to strip off the shiny yellow coat it was wearing. As an advisory to others who may wish to do a similar task, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT assume the liquid is paint thinner. For the life of me I cannot believe that I hadn't labeled the can. What first caught my attention was the horror of watching the paint fall away, along with most of the small detail, and a good portion of the plastic! Upon closer examination, I found that it was lacquer thinner! The smell alone should have been my first clue, but as they say, Speed Kills. I will chalk this up as a beginners error. (not the stupidity the immediately comes to mind) So if you look at the pictures closely, you will see the ragged finish of the plastic, yup, pretty gruesome. If I can find a set of decals that will work with this, I will take the assumption (again) that they usually come with more than one logo, letters, numbers, etc. and use them to see if it becomes passable. And then I will try again on another kit. I'm still shaking my head over this one to be sure! Thanks for your reply and all I need is something that will make it passable. When done, this one will be hiding out in the "back-forty" or the "shame" track somewhere.



    P.S. Anyone have a Bachmann Crane & Boom Tender they want to get rid of?
    Crane Car & Boom Tender Union Pacific Crane (bachmann) a.jpgCrane a.jpgCrane b.jpgCrane c.JPGCrane d.jpgCrane e.jpgCrane f.jpg

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    Ouch!!

    I use 91% rubbing alcohol to strip paint. Takes a a long soak and scrubbing with a toothbrush but it doesn't melt stuff.

    Hope you labeled the can this time!!

    Still, it's not really that bad. I think if you stipple all the sluffed up bits with rust color, grime it all up with washes and chalk it, will look just fine from any reasonable viewing distance
    Last edited by ranulf; 6th May 2021 at 10:37 AM.
    "Do Not Hump!?!?! Does that mean what I think it means?!?"--Michelle Blanchard

    "People saw wood and say nothing, but railroad men saw trains and say things that are better left unprinted."--Charles De Lano Hine

    Down with UP

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    Ranulf

    That had crossed my mind. Enough weathering would hide most of the disaster I guess. I didn't realize the Pledge coating would make such a shine in the pictures. I used a flat water-based paint that went on quite nicely. I like the color (Accu-Flex Conrail Blue). When dry, I used Pledge Floor Gloss for a seal coat prior to decaling. I have heard good things about it. So I figured at this point there's not much else that can go wrong!!?? Once I find some decent looking decals, I'll seal the whole thing with a flat finish and then weather accordingly. I don't expect it will look all that bad after the touch-ups, decals and weathering. Glad I used a cheapo Bachmann kit, and not something expensive, yikes! Knowing my first time at this would be a learning curve, I at least had some forethought....not much apparently, but some. I bought that kit so long ago that I doubt I paid very much for it, so it's not much of a loss. But dang, that was a "Good Gravy" what the hell did I just do moment!!! I can laugh about it now though. And yes... the can is VERY CLEARLY MARKED.....now.

    I recently picked up a small bottle of 70% alcohol (I didn't know what percentage I needed) and I'll try it out. When I was doing some reconditioning of badly built DPM building kits, I used Simple Green, that stuff worked like a champ! It took off the paint, glue, crude, etc. and left the plastic like new. Used a toothbrush for the detail areas. I recommend that process to anyone trying to bring a plastic model kit back to nearly out of the box condition. Put it in a jar fully submerged, and the next day most of the gunk was at the bottom of the jar. On the upside, I just poured it back into the bottle through a gauze pad, and it was good to go again (Although I made sure to keep that bottle for that one task). Plus it has a much more pleasant odor, not like most paint removers.

    Thanks for the helpful post.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gryxter View Post
    I recently picked up a small bottle of 70% alcohol (I didn't know what percentage I needed) and I'll try it out. When I was doing some reconditioning of badly built DPM building kits, I used Simple Green, that stuff worked like a champ!
    And I'm going to try out Simple Green!

    It sure does look glossy in the pics! I'd heard of people using Future for gloss coat but I have no idea what the advantage over any other gloss varnish is supposed to be. I've used Krylon clear coats mostly.
    "Do Not Hump!?!?! Does that mean what I think it means?!?"--Michelle Blanchard

    "People saw wood and say nothing, but railroad men saw trains and say things that are better left unprinted."--Charles De Lano Hine

    Down with UP

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    Ranulf

    The only thing I can say about the use of Pledge is that I can brush it on pretty quickly. I only coated the Crane body and the Tender "house" in prep for the decals. It dries fast, and cleanup is a cinch! I tried it out first using my airbrush on a building to coat the weathering paints, prior to putting the chalks over the Pledge for final weathering. Then I would use the air brush for a clear flat coat to complete the job. And using it (Pledge) on the Crane to get a smooth surface for the decals was simply a last ditch effort to help with the ragged surface created by the buffoonish act of using Lacquer Thinner as a "primer"! If you caught that attempt at covering my tracks, I meant it! In the long run, the airbrush takes more time (both in stirring the mix, and clean-up of said airbrush) for such a little surface. I can cover a flat area 3 times faster with a brush. And shooting Pledge on buildings, hell the airbrush gets every nook and cranny. Plus it's cheap as heck for a large bottle! I will probably won't have to buy another. When I get more experience in painting rolling stock, I will most likely use the "good stuff" for them as they get handled more often than a building. But I'll cross that track when my skills improve.

    P.S. Does anyone think that these might do the trick?

    N Scale - Conrail Covered Hopper Airslide 40ft Large Name Brown/White
    s-l1600.jpg

    Thanks Folks.

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