Re: N4 cabin car

O Fenton Wells

Hang in there Bruce it will be worth it

On Dec 9, 2020, at 11:15 PM, Bruce Smith <smithbf@...> wrote:


I was tempted to get a little extreme on the weathering, but then I decided it had been shopped only 3-4 years previously, so I'm going to model that. However, I do plan to try a few things to add some detailed personality to the weathering. 

1) Worn, bare spots on wood surfaces like the end decks.
2) worn off paint where crewmen's feet would contact the steps
3) A little wear and just the hint of the start of paint failure on the bottom ends of the boards
4) Paint fade
5) Splatter on the end of the steps and end sill, and to a lesser extent, the end of the car

We'll see how that goes! 🙂


From: <> on behalf of Pat McKinney via <PKMac101@...>
Sent: Wednesday, December 9, 2020 9:18 PM
To: <>
Subject: Re: [PRRPro] N4 cabin car
           The body looks great and the second paint job really looks nice when I enlarged the photos. Can' wait until you get the decals on. Is it going to be a fresh out of the shop look or light weathering after a couple of months of med use and some sun and dust and dirt.

Pat McKinney

-----Original Message-----
From: Bruce Smith <smithbf@...>
To: <>
Sent: Wed, Dec 9, 2020 9:16 pm
Subject: Re: [PRRPro] N4 cabin car

Good Evening Folks,

Some of you may have been wondering why, after a flurry of posts on the N4, I've been quiet for more than a week!  Well, one person on the list knows.... he's supplying me with new decals...

The short story. After painting the cabin car with my mix of Vallejo, and a coat of Future, I decaled. I got everything on one side, flipped the car over, got the decals on, applied the 1st dose of MicroSol and went to bed. In the morning, when I looked at the car, the PENNSYLVANIA was crooked! (note, it was probably crooked when I added the MicroSol). The human eye is incredibly sensitive to these issues, and the lettering being between the roof and windows doesn't give much room for error. I tried to soften the decal and move it, but no joy. So, into the 99% Isopropanol it went and off came the decals and the paint. I will also note that the paint had scratched in a couple of places. This was my first time using Vallejo thinner and I think it has a retarder in it that made the paint softer, probably due to the heavier layers and lack of drying time. 

So, back to the paint shop we went!  Well, first, I decided to replace the Archer rivets on the curved side grave with nut-bolt-washer castings. A #77 hole was drilled, the NBW inserted and glued from the back with CA and then the end was trimmed. 

This time I did not do a coat of primer. I probably should have as the even grey would allow better coverage. I painted the interior with PolyScale depot buff (NOT PRR buff, which is far too yellow). Then I painted the car with an approximate mix of 4:1 of vallejo 818 (red leather) and 829 (amaranth) in repeated light coats. Since I paint in my garage and even in Alabama the weather has cooled off, I made sure to bring the car inside and use a hair dryer to help really dry the paint between coats. It took about 3-4 coats to get good coverage. 

Following that, I sprayed on a coat of Future (acrylic clear gloss).

While I wait for the replacement decals to arrive from Mount Vernon Shops (I'm so glad I got John to put the N4 on that sheet!) I', going to play around with some weathering. The underbody is already well along, with a coat of Tamiya black panel line accent, followed by some chalks and a clear flat coat. I also had to do more surgery on the diagonal braces on the ends of the car as they still interfered with the wheels. I guess there was a good reason that F&C supplied flat stock instead of the prototypic "L" stock I used!

Here are some current photos. You can see that I added an ounce of weight to the car. The trucks are Bowser 2A-F5 that have been grit blasted and the wheels are Reebox 1.035 axle with semi scale flanges, painted model master flat black from a rattle can.

Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL

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