A big part of this build was to see if I could paint the wave striping and nose logo using masks, as opposed to using decals. I previously had much trouble getting the stripe decals to conform with the sharply raised boarding ladders and rivet strip details. I had, however, an advantage in knowing that the decals would fit. If I had not known that, I would have decal’d an unpainted plastic first section shell to see how they are sized. My plan was to mask and paint the stripes and nose logo using the decals as patterns.
Here’s how I did it…
I started off with the nose “GM” logo. Since the Microscale decals were appropriately sized for the model, I photocopied them to a 1:1 scale, as seen below.
I first laid a strip of 18mm Tamiya Tape on my cutting mat. Then I cut the logo out of the photocopy, laid it face-up on the tape and fixed it in place with a piece of scotch tape on top (below).
Using a straight edge, I traced the logo shape using a new No 11 blade. I then peeled the two letters out from the Tamiya Tape and positioned them on the nose door. I found that making the “G” in two parts was easier to handle. I made sure to press these masks well onto the model (to try to obtain good definition for the paint applied onto them). Below is shown the two masks in place.
Before going to the nose wave shape, I applied 3mm Tamiya Tape (as described in PAINTING PT1) on the carbody for the lower edge of the upper wide stripe.
The wave pattern was next. I cut out the wave from the photocopy. I only needed to make a pattern of the upper thick stripe. I laid a piece of .015” sheet styrene on my cutting board, the wave stripe photocopy on top of it (it is held in place with wide frosted scotch tape – below).
With a straight edge on the straight portions of the stripe and going free-hand along the curves, my cuts scribed the thin styrene with the desired shape. I snapped it out and cleaned/smoothed this template with a file and sandpaper, as shown below.
The pattern is used to make left and right-hand wave masks. As seen in the following photo, I laid a piece of 18mm Tamiya Tape on the cutting mat. I placed the pattern on top and taped the end down. I ran my No 11 blade around the pattern while holding it down very firmly. I was concerned that this very thin pattern would easily get damaged with the blade, but not so…
…the result is the wave shape transferred to the Tamiya Tape…
…and after some positioning by eye on the nose of the body, I pressed it into place (I had cut it to length while still on the cutting mat). In the picture below, the mask is seen in place along with a piece of 1mm[.039”] Jammy Dog tape going over the boarding ladder connecting to the bottom of the 3mm Tamiya Tape. Also applied is 1.25mm[.049”] Jammy Dog tape above the lower rivet strip to use as a guide for aligning the lower stripe mask made from 1.50mm[.059”] Jammy Dog tape.
The picture below shows the aligning tapes removed after the lower stripe mask was pressed in place. Narrow strips of Jammy Dog further mask the area of the boarding ladder and the wide stripe is fully masked.
I also applied .75mm[.030”] Jammy Dog tape for the upper pinstripe. This was aligned by eye carefully. The nice thing with the tape is that one has all the time in the world to fiddle with it.
The fully masked first section bodies went into the paint booth and below is shown the result immediately after the masks were removed. I am ssoooo delighted! The result isn’t as crisp as a factory paint job, but I’ll take it!! 🙂
The pinstripes on the rivet strips were painted after the Pullman Green had dried a day (see Painting PT1 for further details). The grab irons were mounted and set with CA from the inside of the body. They were painted the same way as I did those on the second sections.
In the sideview shown below, the body has additional decoration details applied (Tamiya TS-80 Flat Clear has already been applied to kill the gloss for the decals). Starting at the nose, the buffer was sprayed Engine Black, the anti-climber was sprayed Tamiya XF-16 Aluminum, and the trim ring of the headlight was high-lighted with a silver Sharpie marker. The number boards are masked with white tacky putty to maintain the gloss for applying the number board decals. The number board characters from the Microscale set are way too big!!!! I couldn’t apply them! I can’t believe that they made them that size. The font for the characters is unique to the Demonstrator, so I didn’t want to cobble up some characters out of Roman or whatever I had on hand. Rail Graphics to the rescue – I provided artwork and Ron will make up some number board decals for me (Thanks Ron!!!!). I will apply these later.
It seems the only decal from the Microscale set I could use were the tiny yellow F’s (for Front), one each side behind the anti-climber. The builders plate in front of the boarding ladder is from another Microscale set (MC-4056). The stainless steel kick-plates are a combination of decals and masking/painting – the upper rectangular ones were sprayed Tamiya Aluminum while the two lower ones for the boarding ladder were from another Microscale set (87-794) – the ones supplied with the Demonstrator set were not the right size, oh Murphy! My feeling was that it would have been very difficult to mask for these kick plates due to all the raised ladder detail nearby. The “ELECTRO-MOTIVE” lettering is a decal I had made up long ago by Microscale. The brightwork around the fuel fillers and door handles is brush painted with Tamiya Aluminum.
While I generally love an absolutely flat finish, I think this locomotive looks better with a little lustre. I masked the pilot in preparation to spray Tamiya TS-79 Semi-Gloss Clear on the sides and nose only. As part of a “weathering” effect, the roof, body ends, and pilot are left in flat finish.
And there we have the completed first section, ready for the final assembly…
FT Tidbit: The Model F debuted the now iconic “bulldog” nose that not only visually defined the entire EMD freight cab production from F2 to F9, but it was also introduced into passenger E-Unit production starting with the E7 (early in 1945). I guess this was a sign of the times.
E-units prior had elegant slant noses that evoked speed, efficiency and style – “modernism” was the word of the day. The era prior to 1942 was a unique time, not only in railroading and all forms of transportation, but especially so in the evolving popular culture in America. The economy was improving after the Great Depression; people had hope that the future would never see those difficult years again.
Those hopes were crushed with the coming of a most terrible World War. At the conclusion of that catastrophe the pre-war euphoria did not return in the same way – the bulldog nose on the E7 didn’t give the locomotive the same personality that the slant nose did on the early E-units. Nor did the post-war paint schemes from GM’s styling group. They were not as colourful or as flamboyant as the pre-war years and they gradually became so simplified that they hardly made anyone take notice. Those heady pre-war days of “modernism” had long passed.