Empire Belt RR ALcos

Empire Belt RR ALcos
Custom Painted FA / FB Units

Saturday, December 19, 2015

A Trio of Close Enough Projects

Greetings All,

With abundantly warm weather and low to no humidity the New York Central Train Layout outdoor  paint shop was quite busy over the past few weeks. Here is a run down on three of the paint projects that were recently completed.

First up is New York Central  bay window caboose 21505. This Athearn BB caboose was purchased at a recent train show sans numbers and reporting marks. Using a Micro Scale NYC/PC caboose decal set I added the NYC herald, reporting marks, number and "Road to the Future" logo. The roof, frame and weight were painted with rattle can flat black. A coat of Lusterless Flat was applied to protect the decals. Window "glass" and metal wheels were added as well. The car came equipped with knuckle couplers that I adjusted to meet the Kadee Height Gauge.

NYC 21505 sits at North Side Yard

This Athearn BB NYC bay window caboose was renumbered to 21698. I used Bluegrass Green acrylic hobby paint to paint over then previous numbers and them applied Microscale NYC numbers. A brush coat of clear flat was applied over the numbers to protect the decals. 

A four caboose set sits at North Side Yard. Each one is just a bit different but they are all in the family so to speak. I hope to add at least one more of these cabooses in the near future. The prototype New York Central had bay window cabooses but not this type. On the N.Y.C.T.L. they are close enough.

The next paint project was inspired by the "Big E", Emery Gulash and the "Big PC", PC Ralph. PC Ralph showed me a project NYC GP7 with just a NYC logo he was working on. Then watching the Green Frog NYC and PC DVD collections and listening to the narrator note that prior to the merge the NYC and PRR received their new motive power with numbers and logos only. I saw plenty of engines in this paint scheme in the DVDs. Of note were the later versions of the NYC GP40s. I had just the unit to try this on, an old Life Like ATSF GP unit I thought was a GP40. Nope it's a GP38 and more than likely a GP38-2. Oh well close enough for this project. The ATSF paint was stripped off in 91% Alcohol. A light coat of rattle can flat black and then a coat of rattle can gloss black. Decals were cobbled together from some NYC Microscale decals I had on hand.

The newly painted NYC 3067 a GP40 in GP38 clothing. The number is correct for the paint scheme.

The pancake motor has been disconnected and the unit is now non powered and free rolling.

A close up of the 3067

The final project for today's blog entry is a Penn Central 60 foot Auto Parts Boxcar. This project car started out as a TYCO Union Pacific model. I was able to cobble together enough PC decals from the Microscale PC Esoterica set, PC boxcars with PC numbers set and Freight Car Data set to get this car onto the roster. Not an exact PC match but close enough for the N.Y.C.T.L.  

Testing decal selections and placement.
The car has been stripped of of the UP logos and the yellow paint.
Krylon rattle can Sea Glass green has been sprayed onto the car.

The finished car sports Penn Central subsidiary Toledo & Ohio Central (TOC) reporting marks. 

An ACI label puts the car firmly in the PC era. 
The lettering below the ACI label reads
When empty return to D.T.I.R.R. Ford Park Lima, Ohio
This puts the car firmly into my own Ford Plant and in line 
with some of my NYC 60' Auto Parts cars that were also assigned to Ford. 

TOC 350562 sits at North Side Yard as it awaits being witched into train ML-12. 
Train NY-4 is in the background.

A short video of some hot shot train action that includes the above project cars 

Thanks for reading and watching!


  1. Hey, all that stuff is really great. I've kept my eye out for Tyco auto parts boxcars at swaps -- the UP version looks very nice -- but never quite find one when I have the spare cash to get it!

    The sound and headlight on the E7 are intriguing. I really like to see prototype DVDs with headlights going on and off. I keep looking toward shooting videos on my own layout.

    1. Thanks John! The IHC auto parts boxcars look to be very similar to the TYCO brand. The only exception I can see is the corner stirrups on the IHC cars are pretty much solid. It's funny how much Model railroading stuff I come across when the budget is exhausted! The NYC E7 was a pleasant surprise. I bought it used at my LHS it was not advertised as having sound. I'm looking forward to seeing your layout in action.

  2. "Close enough" looks very good on all three projects to me! I especially like the Auto Parts boxcar. I've seen Sea Glass Green at my local hardware store and wondered how it might look on PC equipment. I will definitely use it for future projects! Totally enjoyed the video! The sound effects were spot on. Your version of ML-12 looks like it includes a mile of Auto racks!

    1. Thanks Ralph! The Sea Glass Green was a surprise when looking at the spray paint display. Glad you liked the video. My ML-12 has become one of those trains that I just enjoy watching roll by. I'm having a hard time trying to rotate it out of the line up! Thanks for the inspiration on NYC 3067.