Not quite La Grange in November 1939 – my EMC 103/103A is seen under final assembly (below). They’re almost ready: first section of 103 (on the right) only needs glass installed.
The portal glass was masked for painting with tacky putty. There are some definitions moulded in the glass for internal body structural members and these were painted in the interior colour – Testors Model Master acrylic RAF Sky Type ’S’.
The toothpick and piece of .030”x.080” strip styrene were used to form the putty and make the straight edges respectively.
Next, the diaphragms were mounted on both sections. On the rear of the second section, this sub-assembly was glued in place using styrene cement (I had masked the area for gluing before painting both the diaphragms and bodies).
The canvass diaphragms were simply pressed into two holes as per the American Limited mounting instructions. I drilled the holes prior to painting and chased them again afterward before installing the diaphragm. By pressing into place without glue, if they get damaged, I can replace them easily.
The carbodies were then weathered. I wanted a mild weathering job as my EMC 103/103A is representative of how they appeared in very early January 1940 (a month old) just as they were about to visit their second prospective customer, the AT&SF.
First, I airbrushed Polly Scale Earth (with a little more thinner than normal and at a higher air pressure) onto the pilots, lower body and car ends representing dust thrown up from the wheels. Then I added much more thinner to the cup and in a wide spray I gave the roofs and car ends two passes each, with the sides getting only one pass. This was for a slightly dusty effect. Next I airbrushed normally thinned Polly Scale Grimy Black on the pilot and car ends (again) to vary the dirt. I did this in a restrained manner. As I did with the dusting coat, I added much more thinner to the Grimy Black and gave the roofs one broad blast. Lastly, I airbrushed normally thinned Polly Scale Engine Black around the exhaust stacks. To complete the weathering, I very, very lightly dry brushed Testors Model Master enamel Afrika Dunkelgrau ’42. This sandy-grey colour compliments the olive green body, picking out the details.
Completion came very quickly – the rear door of each second section had “glass” applied with Microscale Kristal Klear (the Stewart model does not come with a clear window here). I like having the cab side windows rolled down so I separated the windshield glass and entrance door glass from the one-piece cab glass molding (I did not use the side glass). To avoid cracking the brittle glass molding, I heated up an X-acto chisel blade by candle to separate these parts; trimming them afterward with a sharp No 11 blade. They were fixed in place with the Kristal Klear. The headlight lens and the marker lights were installed next. The portal glass was snapped into place (no glue needed – these parts also snap the body shell onto the chassis).
Finally, the Sergent couplers in Stewart draft boxes were the last items installed.
So here we are…
Definitely not as crisp a paint job as one from a model railroad manufacturer, but I did not expect this to be as good. The masked/painted stripes and logo turned out better than hoped for. She sounds great, and runs very smoothly. Here are more Rollout photos…
Thank you for indulging me all these weeks and putting up with all the Model F/FT minutia, my fretting over the colours, the listing of seemingly endless references, and the general babbling about drawbars and such. This has been a satisfying build. Very Delighted!
But how would steam era engine terminal operations go with EMC 103/103A? Fortunately, I know where there is such a place…