Intermodal Update #2…

In a couple week, something of a marathon session I have gotten all painted intemodal cars decaled. The process got off to a slow start as I tried to figure out how to keep track and apply so many different, small decals to each car. With the first unit it was locating and identifying each small decal on the sheet. Then cutting out and applying the decal. Time consuming and tedious. Plus I had to use a magnifying lens to read most of the decals.

After doing only one side of one car I figured there had to be a better way. My solution was to grid off a sheet of paper. Then each square was labeled with each decals text, large enough to read.

Decals for the Gunderson Twin Stacks cut out and labeled. Makes application go quicker then cutting out each one as needed.

Once this was done I then selected the needed decals for the car side I was working on and laid them out as they would go on the car. This sped up the process greatly. I would do a side, hit them with Solvaset and while they dried lay out the decals for the other side. With this method I was able to get a couple cars done in an evening.

Side note, the decals are from Proto Power West / A-line and I bought them at the same time as the cars. For their age I had very few problems. I had considered buying new except that PPW/Aline was only selling off what they had left and I figured what they had left might be as old as what I was using.

After each car was decaled it then moved to the paint booth for a coat of Dullcoat.

The first problem…

One thing that did slow me down for a night was that I found one of the SeaLand mid unit cars was missing the brake piping along the side. I had to add the brake piping, piping protectors and then paint that side of the car. After letting it dry for a day it was then ready for decals.

Some how missed the extra detail on one of the cars and had to add after painting, before decals.

After the cars were all Dullcoated it was time to add the wheel sets. The wheel sets on the ends of the 5 unit set are 33″. The wheel sets on the shared bolsters are 36″. I had use a  spacer washer on the 33″ trucks to get the cars to set level.

And then the second problem…

As part of the construction process I ran a drill through all the holes in the metal parts that act as bolsters or car connectors. I then tapped any hole that would be receiving a screw. And that was working perfectly till I was screwing on the last (why is it always the last) truck. The screw got stuck. I could not screw it in and when I tried to back it out it broke off. I removed the bolster from the car with the thought that I would try and grab the screw with a pliers and turn it out. There wasn’t enough to grab onto. My thought then was to drill it out. The problem there is that the screw is harder metal then the bolster.

The casting with the broken screw. Tried to drill out, but the screw is harder then the surrounding metal.

The bolster was toast. So I built a new one out of styrene. And I believe that it turned out rather well. For your consideration.

Because it’s the way it always goes. Screw broke off in casting. Had to make a new one out of available styrene.
Replacement in place ready for paint.
Replacement painted and ready for service.

Anyways, the Sealand cars:

The SeaLand set done and ready to hit the table.Next up the cars in TTX yellow.

And the BN Gunderson set:

The second set of Gunderson TwinStacks decaled and ready for the layout.

And finally the Thrall well cars:

Alternate / better view of the Thrall well cars.

I still have the set to be painted, but I felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment getting these done after all these years.

Maybe next time I’ll have the last set done. Till then, take care…


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