Topics

Getting brass painted

Stephen Silver
 

Hi NG team.  I am looking at acquiring a very nice, unpainted K-37.  Runs great, Has wheels like new.  WSC.  I am not a collector and want this to run on the Silver Creek 
& Mellow Gulch Railway.  I also am not skilled/experienced enough to try and tackle this myself, so I am looking for recommendations for someone to do a pro paint job.  Anyone have a lead and what might one expect to pay for this?  BTW, I do have two brass pieces that I will be painting as my first try.  A short cent cupola caboose and a bulk head flat.  I figured those would follow a number of metal castings I am about to start.
Thanks all.
S

Ric Case
 

There are quite a few modelers that are very good at this on this site! The cost varies with the complexity of the paint job! Does it already have sound and lighting!

Ric Case 
EBT Modeler 
Hamilton Ohio 
1-513-375-7694

On Nov 13, 2019, at 8:54 AM, Stephen Silver via Groups.Io <ssilver996@...> wrote:

Hi NG team.  I am looking at acquiring a very nice, unpainted K-37.  Runs great, Has wheels like new.  WSC.  I am not a collector and want this to run on the Silver Creek 
& Mellow Gulch Railway.  I also am not skilled/experienced enough to try and tackle this myself, so I am looking for recommendations for someone to do a pro paint job.  Anyone have a lead and what might one expect to pay for this?  BTW, I do have two brass pieces that I will be painting as my first try.  A short cent cupola caboose and a bulk head flat.  I figured those would follow a number of metal castings I am about to start.
Thanks all.
S

Russ Norris
 

Hi Steve.  As the owner of several unpainted brass engines (East Broad Top) I can sympathize with your reservations about painting them.  I have several fine locomotives that operate well running on my railroad, but still unpainted after more than 15 years.  However, in recent years I have tried my hand at painting some of my brass collection with relatively good results. I painted the East Broad Top's M-1 gas electric motor car and made the mistake of over thinking it.  The end result was less than ideal, but you would be amazed at what a coat of paint can do!  More recently I painted a brass PRR I1s decapod that I bought on line, and although I still have to reassemble it and install a sound decoder, the paint job came out pretty good.  Along the way I learned how to disassemble and reassemble a brass locomotive, how to use an air brush, and a lot of other skills that I didn't know I had.  So don't be afraid to try your hand at painting your brass babies.  One thing I would underscore, however, and that is to take lots of pictures as you disassemble the engine, keep careful track of all the little screws and springs, and take your time.  You will get through it. 

If you are still looking to have a professional paint job, you might check the ads in the Gazette or the HOn3 Annual.  There was an ad in the latest issue of the Gazette by a fellow in Texas who offers a professional paint job.  A couple of years ago I wrote to someone whose ad I read in a magazine and he replied that he could paint one of my engines for $200, but it would take about 6 weeks to do the job.  I decided not to go that route.  Some of the folks on this list may have first hand experience with a professional, and they could speak to that.  Best of luck in any case.





On Wed, Nov 13, 2019 at 8:54 AM Stephen Silver via Groups.Io <ssilver996=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hi NG team.  I am looking at acquiring a very nice, unpainted K-37.  Runs great, Has wheels like new.  WSC.  I am not a collector and want this to run on the Silver Creek 
& Mellow Gulch Railway.  I also am not skilled/experienced enough to try and tackle this myself, so I am looking for recommendations for someone to do a pro paint job.  Anyone have a lead and what might one expect to pay for this?  BTW, I do have two brass pieces that I will be painting as my first try.  A short cent cupola caboose and a bulk head flat.  I figured those would follow a number of metal castings I am about to start.
Thanks all.
S


--
Russ Norris, MMR
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
http://blacklogvalleyrailroad.blogspot.com/

Stephen Silver
 

Ric, it does not.......yet.  Would you recommend a pre or post paint installation?

S

Life is mostly attitude and timing


On Wednesday, November 13, 2019, 06:14:16 AM PST, Ric Case <ebtmodeler@...> wrote:


There are quite a few modelers that are very good at this on this site! The cost varies with the complexity of the paint job! Does it already have sound and lighting!

Ric Case 
EBT Modeler 
Hamilton Ohio 
1-513-375-7694

On Nov 13, 2019, at 8:54 AM, Stephen Silver via Groups.Io <ssilver996@...> wrote:

Hi NG team.  I am looking at acquiring a very nice, unpainted K-37.  Runs great, Has wheels like new.  WSC.  I am not a collector and want this to run on the Silver Creek 
& Mellow Gulch Railway.  I also am not skilled/experienced enough to try and tackle this myself, so I am looking for recommendations for someone to do a pro paint job.  Anyone have a lead and what might one expect to pay for this?  BTW, I do have two brass pieces that I will be painting as my first try.  A short cent cupola caboose and a bulk head flat.  I figured those would follow a number of metal castings I am about to start.
Thanks all.
S

Stephen Silver
 

Russ, thanks all great advice.  I'll check the latest Gazette and see what I find.  Time is not as important as the quality of the job.

S

Life is mostly attitude and timing


On Wednesday, November 13, 2019, 06:26:44 AM PST, Russ Norris <rbnorrisjr@...> wrote:


Hi Steve.  As the owner of several unpainted brass engines (East Broad Top) I can sympathize with your reservations about painting them.  I have several fine locomotives that operate well running on my railroad, but still unpainted after more than 15 years.  However, in recent years I have tried my hand at painting some of my brass collection with relatively good results. I painted the East Broad Top's M-1 gas electric motor car and made the mistake of over thinking it.  The end result was less than ideal, but you would be amazed at what a coat of paint can do!  More recently I painted a brass PRR I1s decapod that I bought on line, and although I still have to reassemble it and install a sound decoder, the paint job came out pretty good.  Along the way I learned how to disassemble and reassemble a brass locomotive, how to use an air brush, and a lot of other skills that I didn't know I had.  So don't be afraid to try your hand at painting your brass babies.  One thing I would underscore, however, and that is to take lots of pictures as you disassemble the engine, keep careful track of all the little screws and springs, and take your time.  You will get through it. 

If you are still looking to have a professional paint job, you might check the ads in the Gazette or the HOn3 Annual.  There was an ad in the latest issue of the Gazette by a fellow in Texas who offers a professional paint job.  A couple of years ago I wrote to someone whose ad I read in a magazine and he replied that he could paint one of my engines for $200, but it would take about 6 weeks to do the job.  I decided not to go that route.  Some of the folks on this list may have first hand experience with a professional, and they could speak to that.  Best of luck in any case.





On Wed, Nov 13, 2019 at 8:54 AM Stephen Silver via Groups.Io <ssilver996=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hi NG team.  I am looking at acquiring a very nice, unpainted K-37.  Runs great, Has wheels like new.  WSC.  I am not a collector and want this to run on the Silver Creek 
& Mellow Gulch Railway.  I also am not skilled/experienced enough to try and tackle this myself, so I am looking for recommendations for someone to do a pro paint job.  Anyone have a lead and what might one expect to pay for this?  BTW, I do have two brass pieces that I will be painting as my first try.  A short cent cupola caboose and a bulk head flat.  I figured those would follow a number of metal castings I am about to start.
Thanks all.
S


--
Russ Norris, MMR
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
http://blacklogvalleyrailroad.blogspot.com/

Ric Case
 

I myself do all the install to make sure everything works before I do the paint! 
I usually run the locomotive for a week or so before and after I do the work 

Ric Case 
EBT Modeler 
Hamilton Ohio 
1-513-375-7694

On Nov 13, 2019, at 9:39 AM, Stephen Silver via Groups.Io <ssilver996@...> wrote:


Ric, it does not.......yet.  Would you recommend a pre or post paint installation?

S

Life is mostly attitude and timing


On Wednesday, November 13, 2019, 06:14:16 AM PST, Ric Case <ebtmodeler@...> wrote:


There are quite a few modelers that are very good at this on this site! The cost varies with the complexity of the paint job! Does it already have sound and lighting!

Ric Case 
EBT Modeler 
Hamilton Ohio 
1-513-375-7694

On Nov 13, 2019, at 8:54 AM, Stephen Silver via Groups.Io <ssilver996@...> wrote:

Hi NG team.  I am looking at acquiring a very nice, unpainted K-37.  Runs great, Has wheels like new.  WSC.  I am not a collector and want this to run on the Silver Creek 
& Mellow Gulch Railway.  I also am not skilled/experienced enough to try and tackle this myself, so I am looking for recommendations for someone to do a pro paint job.  Anyone have a lead and what might one expect to pay for this?  BTW, I do have two brass pieces that I will be painting as my first try.  A short cent cupola caboose and a bulk head flat.  I figured those would follow a number of metal castings I am about to start.
Thanks all.
S

Mark Kasprowicz
 

Even simple non sound installs involve some drilling. Lights are, I suppose, the obvious example. If it's painted then you've got a real danger of chips and scratches through handling. So do the install, then take out what cannot be easily masked and paint it. Then put it all back together.
I don't know if you'vr ever watched 'Monday Morning Express'. They had a guy on there a while back who did a paint and weather job and charged $1000! My wallet o I agree with Russ about painting your own. I have painted all of my locos and stock for 20 years.
There are three secrets to painting. Preparation (cleaning, perhaps stripping) masking and using the airbrush correctly. There are plenty of how-to videos on YouTube etc but practice on scrap materials before going for the big one. Get a good double action airbrush. I use Badgers.
If it all goes wrong (and sometimes it just does) there's always laquer thinners that will strip the paint off to the raw brass in less time than it takes to write an Email like this.

The main message is with a bit of good advice and practive, painting is not that difficult.

Mark K
Oxon England.

Stephen Silver
 

You are right on.  I am not planning on doing the electronics install but now, I think the approach may be to get the electronics installed and then wait until I have had a chance to refine things.  What concerns me most is the disassembly and reassembly.  Doing a video is good, know the tricks from rebuilding many auto motors.  But I can say I am not particularly handy when it comes to mechanics so even if I can deliver some decent paint results, the R&R is daunting to me.

S

Life is mostly attitude and timing


On Wednesday, November 13, 2019, 12:05:47 PM PST, Mark Kasprowicz <marowicz@...> wrote:


Even simple non sound installs involve some drilling. Lights are, I suppose, the obvious example. If it's painted then you've got a real danger of chips and scratches through handling. So do the install, then take out what cannot be easily masked and paint it. Then put it all back together.
I don't know if you'vr ever watched 'Monday Morning Express'. They had a guy on there a while back who did a paint and weather job and charged $1000! My wallet o I agree with Russ about painting your own. I have painted all of my locos and stock for 20 years.
There are three secrets to painting. Preparation (cleaning, perhaps stripping) masking and using the airbrush correctly. There are plenty of how-to videos on YouTube etc but practice on scrap materials before going for the big one. Get a good double action airbrush. I use Badgers.
If it all goes wrong (and sometimes it just does) there's always laquer thinners that will strip the paint off to the raw brass in less time than it takes to write an Email like this.

The main message is with a bit of good advice and practive, painting is not that difficult.

Mark K
Oxon England.

Mark Rosche
 

Hi,

I can fully appreciate your thinking this would be a daunting task...I had reservations about disassembling a “well working” brass loco to paint it...I model in Sn3 where the costs are higher than in HOn3...at the end of the day, it is all about building your confidence in yourself and your modeling abilities...before I tackled my first locomotive, I purchased some “cheaper”, “older” models on which to practice and hone my skills before embarking on the brass locomotive...my conscience did not feel so bad when I “messed up” something on a $30 model vs how I would of felt when I “messed up” on a $800 locomotive...it is like everything in life; practice, practice, practice...  

The only way to truly learn something is to make mistakes and correct them so you know what to avoid in the future...no one is perfect on the first try 😁

Regards,

Mark

Don‘t take life too seriously...no one gets out alive anyway....

Doug Cummings
 

I don't know what the problem here is but I model in HO/HOn3 and have had many of my brass models painted. 

Doug




Hi,
I can fully appreciate your thinking this would be a daunting task...I had reservations about disassembling a “well working” brass loco to paint it...I model in Sn3 where the costs are higher than in HOn3...at the end of the day, it is all about building your confidence in yourself and your modeling abilities...before I tackled my first locomotive, I purchased some “cheaper”, “older” models on which to practice and hone my skills before embarking on the brass locomotive...my conscience did not feel so bad when I “messed up” something on a $30 model vs how I would of felt when I “messed up” on a $800 locomotive...it is like everything in life; practice, practice, practice...  

The only way to truly learn something is to make mistakes and correct them so you know what to avoid in the future...no one is perfect on the first try \uD83D\uDE01

Regards,

Mark

Mark Kasprowicz
 
Edited

This is a Westside K37 right? Unless it is very unsual there are just three screws holding the body and frame together. Two under the cab floor at the rear and one going in from underneath at the front - I think you may have to remove the front truck to get to it or it may swing enough to one side to access it.  The tender has four crews underneath.
Now some people go further and strip out the wheels and running gear from the loco, I do but it's not necessary. If you connect the loco to a power source via the frame and drawbar and start the wheels rotating you will be able to spray paint the frame through the wheel using an airbrush. You need to mask off the bits you do not want to paint like the gears, motor and wheel treads with tape and detail with Maskol and you need to keep an eye on how much paint is going on the wheel and motion but you'll end up with a good finish. For detail work Tamiya tape is much better than the stuff you get from the hardware store which can be used for more general masking (together with a generous supply of newspapers.)  If you need to cut thinner strips from masking tape stick it down on glass and then cut in the normal way. I know of pro painters who use this technique and never strip the loco down.

Mark K
Oxford England

LARRY KLOSE
 

I’ve painted 8 or 10 brass locos, both HO and Sn3.  It’s not that difficult.  Some disassembly is required but except for the big K’s the mechanics are very simple with care and a lot of documentation as disassembly is done.  Early on I painted most of mine with a Binks Wren B airbrush, a rather basic model.  I’m using a Badger 200 now, but the Binks does fine with practice.  My locos came out beautiful, earlier with Floquil, later with PBL Star Brand.   A couple of friends here in Tucson have done beautiful jobs with spray cans as has Steve Hatch, so it’s technique, not equipment, that rules the day.

 

Jim Brown and Bill Adkins on the Sn3 list did a piece in 2003 regarding painting a Brass K-36.  It’s one of the best demos on how to do it that I’ve seen.  A unique feature was how they did it without completely disassembling the mechanism.  I’m trying to get a link to Jim’s web site.  I have my own copy of the web page but without permission, I’m reluctant to post it—it’s copyrighted.  I don’t have the URL.  I’m seeking permission  and will post it if I get that.

 

Jim and Bill used Scalecoat paint, a very good product.  It works well with baking between coats and there’s some waiting for drying time.  There’s still a lot to learn from the article even if you use different paint, especially regarding preparation.  My personal preference is PBL Star Brand paints, which gives outstanding results with extremely thin coats that don’t fill detail and are quick drying.  It’s fast drying lacquer.  It does take some practice with thinning and using retarder to keep if from drying before it hits the model, with retarder especially important in dry conditions (like our frequent 5% RH days here in Arizona).  This is lacquer with volatile solvents so good ventilation, a good safety mask and careful handling is a must.  Star doesn’t like brushing unless a lot of retarder is used so I only brush touchup.  Lately I’ve used Vallejo and craft store acrylics for brush work on trim and other small areas because of the ease of use and cleanup.

 

To summarize: with a little practice it’s not that hard, so go for it.

 

Larry

LARRY KLOSE
 

Here’s Jim Brown’s website, which includes the K-36 painting web site. Lots of other good stuff, too!

Larry

Stephen Silver
 

Larry I don't see the link.

S

Life is mostly attitude and timing


On Wednesday, November 13, 2019, 10:12:47 PM PST, LARRY KLOSE <lklose@...> wrote:


Here’s Jim Brown’s website, which includes the K-36 painting web site. Lots of other good stuff, too!

Larry


John Hutnick
 

Trying to paint an engine frame by turning the drivers while still assembled is sloppy workmanship, which I would never recommend.  This procedure results in many interior areas of the frame in partial or unpainted condition.  I do not want the rods and valve gear to be painted the same black as the frame.   

Mike Conder
 

Back in the '80's Jim Vail had a really good series of articles on painting brass, maybe 8 articles?  All but one or two were actually focused on getting the loco running right, with one or two in the actual painting.

Mike Conder

On Wed, Nov 13, 2019 at 9:24 PM LARRY KLOSE <lklose@...> wrote:

I’ve painted 8 or 10 brass locos, both HO and Sn3.  It’s not that difficult.  Some disassembly is required but except for the big K’s the mechanics are very simple with care and a lot of documentation as disassembly is done.  Early on I painted most of mine with a Binks Wren B airbrush, a rather basic model.  I’m using a Badger 200 now, but the Binks does fine with practice.  My locos came out beautiful, earlier with Floquil, later with PBL Star Brand.   A couple of friends here in Tucson have done beautiful jobs with spray cans as has Steve Hatch, so it’s technique, not equipment, that rules the day.

 

Jim Brown and Bill Adkins on the Sn3 list did a piece in 2003 regarding painting a Brass K-36.  It’s one of the best demos on how to do it that I’ve seen.  A unique feature was how they did it without completely disassembling the mechanism.  I’m trying to get a link to Jim’s web site.  I have my own copy of the web page but without permission, I’m reluctant to post it—it’s copyrighted.  I don’t have the URL.  I’m seeking permission  and will post it if I get that.

 

Jim and Bill used Scalecoat paint, a very good product.  It works well with baking between coats and there’s some waiting for drying time.  There’s still a lot to learn from the article even if you use different paint, especially regarding preparation.  My personal preference is PBL Star Brand paints, which gives outstanding results with extremely thin coats that don’t fill detail and are quick drying.  It’s fast drying lacquer.  It does take some practice with thinning and using retarder to keep if from drying before it hits the model, with retarder especially important in dry conditions (like our frequent 5% RH days here in Arizona).  This is lacquer with volatile solvents so good ventilation, a good safety mask and careful handling is a must.  Star doesn’t like brushing unless a lot of retarder is used so I only brush touchup.  Lately I’ve used Vallejo and craft store acrylics for brush work on trim and other small areas because of the ease of use and cleanup.

 

To summarize: with a little practice it’s not that hard, so go for it.

 

Larry

LARRY KLOSE
 

And now, the URL... https://sites.google.com/site/jimbrownsdrgw/home

--------------
Here’s Jim Brown’s website, which includes the K-36 painting web site. Lots of other good stuff, too!

Larry