Facebook Page
Reworking a FR Small ACF Reworking a Front Range Small ACF Covered Hopper...
Well it was bound to happen, I was not happy with the outcome of one of my cars.  This will undoubtably happen to you too.  If it does, what I offer below, is a way to turn a bad into a good.  This project is a reworking of a decorated kit I got a year or more ago.  The decorated kit was yellow plastic with Chessie lettering (see below).  I tried to hide the translucent yellow plastic with heavy weathering, but frankly did a lousy job of it.  To make matters worse, the car was one that did not have a dark blue side sill, making it a repainted car.  This car would not look this dirty and rusty, since it was an early 1980's repaint.  So, what to do???

Below is a pic of the real car I decided to make after reworking.  It too is a C&O repainted car.

                                                                                John Whitmore Photo

How to:
1.  Ruin a car you really wanted to keep.  See my Decorated Front Range ACF tips page for how I did that.  Remove trucks and couplers.
2.  Strip off the old paint with Polly S Easy Lift Off (ELO).  This paint stripper is excellent.  Apply with a Q-Tip, allow to sit for 15 minutes, and scrub off the paint with an old tooth brush.
3.  Rinse the model to remove the excess ELO.  I then wash the model with warm soapy water to make sure all the ELO is off.
4.  Sand, with 400 grit sand paper, any markings left over.  Rinse again to remove the dust from sanding.
5.  Sit aside to air dry.
6.  Paint the car with UP Armor Yellow.
7.  Spray the model with gloss coat.
8.  Decal with Herald King or Champ decals.  I used Herald King for this one.  Note that the placement of some markings on a Chessie repaint are in different locations than a ACF factory painted car.
9.  Touch up the black underside, if needed.  Add diluted white glue to the end platforms and sprinkle in some fine sand or brown weathering chalks.  This will simulate the dirt that naturally accumulated in the ends of the cars.  Reassemble the car.
10.  Spray whole car with dull coat.
11.  Weather lightly with roof brown oversprays.  Lightly streak the sides with white chalks.
12.  Seal with dull coat, you are done.

Below is the kit how I got it originally.  Notice the lemon yellow color.  Chessie cars are a golden yellow.

Below is the car when I finished with it.  To say the least, I was not happy.

Below is the car after stripped with Polly S Easy Lift Off stripper.  The heavy lettering did not come completely off, but will after sanding.

Below is the car, still wet, sanded and rinsed clean.  Next up painting it yellow.

Below is a pic of the car painted UP Armor Yellow.

Below is a pic of the car decaled, assembled and ready for weathering.  I have already added the dirt to the ends in this pic but still need to add the weathering chalks and oversprays.  Note that on this (as in the case of most repaints) the Ches-C logo and the "Chessie System" markings are in different places than on a factory painted car (like the ones with the blue side sill I have done).  On this car the Ches-C and "Chessie System" decals are positioned higher than normal.  Also the consolidated stencil (two black squares) are in the bottom right corner instead of just to the right of center as on a factory painted car.

Below is a pic of the finished car.  I kept the white streaks (simulating a spilled load) to a minimum, as this car would be freshly painted in the middle of the Chessie Era.  I also kept the weathering light, for the same reason.  This car looks much better now than it did at the start of this project.  I can now run this car equally with my other Front Range cars and it will blend in perfectly.