Tuesday, October 25, 2022

HO scale 44-ton Switcher

 Since I've been on a train kick lately after finishing my On30 train for gaming use, I decided to fix some of the old HO scale trains I've bought over the past few years. This is a Bachmann GE 44-ton Switcher I bought off Ebay 2 years ago that was advertised (with pics!) as the unlettered yellow version.....but the only thing I received was a box for the unlettered yellow version, with this lettered black Pennsylvania switcher inside! Since it was cheap and I got a partial refund, I decided to remove the lettering and repaint it for my Wisconsin-centered layout.

First, I disassembled the entire model, cleaned it, removed the Pennsy roadname and some of the numbering with white spirit, and removed any mold lines. I then repainted the grabirons, railings, and lower chassis to match the existing numbering and safety lines using a 75/25 mix of Tamiya Lemon Yellow and Flat Yellow. I then repainted the engineer figure with Vallejo, and painted the cab interior Vallejo Golden Olive. Chipping and window frames were painted in AK Gunmetal (love this color btw).
Once the acrylics were thoroughly cured, I ran into a problem - the painted interior was too small for the plastic windows! Installation would be tedious and potentially damaging to the paint, so I opted to reglaze the windows using Testors Canopy maker. While it took days to dry, the end result looks a little more realistic than a plastic window insert.
I weathered it using a mix of enamel washes and oils. The exhaust stains are mostly dry blended oils, as are the rust patches. Any streaking effects are AK enamel washes.
While this was a tedious rebuild, the end result is better than I expected and I had so much fun weathering it, I grabbed a few train car kits, weathered those too, and I'll be releasing more pics this week.

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