Vol. 2 Issue 2
February 2010
Bargin Bin Image
  We start February off with some much anticipated new releases illustrated.
Check out the latest article: Modeling MD&W Rolling Stock
The Modeling tips we are highlighting this month is a "how to" article about converting Athearn Models to resemble freight cars from the MD&W. Using set number 87-1292. You can also perform this operation in N-Scale with set 60-1292. Even if the MD&W isn't your favorite Railroad. You can still utilize many of the techniques and apply them to your favorite Railroad project.
Regular price is $25.10

Trim Film Pack

Includes; Microscale Ruler, 8 Trim Film Colors in Engine Black, Reefer White, Boxcar Red, Tuscan Red, Reefer Yellow, Brown, Green and Gray - Micro Set and Micro Sol Solutions.
February 2010 New Releases
Modeling MD&W Rolling Stock from Athearn RTR Models

Part of this exercise involves using a model that is already painted as a starting point. The other part requires stripping and repainting in order to model accurately from the prototype.

Dan Risdons MDW From an Athearn RTR
Minnesota Dakota & Western (MDW) has a sizable boxcar fleet of FMC plug door type boxcars. Most schemes have been overlooked by model manufacturers where they have elected to produce cars from a larger more recognizable railroad that actually didn't have that particular kind of freight car. For this exercise I have used the Athearn RTR model #92952 which is a Burlington Northern 50' FMC Plug Door Boxcar. This kit arrives as a 50' FMC exterior post boxcar with non terminating ends and a 12' plug door. Burlington Northern never rostered these freight cars.
Stock Athearn Model #92952The dillema is what to do with this freight car in order to successfully model from a prototype. My early solution was to maybe strip it completely and repaint as a New Orleans Public Belt Railroad(NOPB) or as an East Camden and Highland(EACH) type car. Both of those shortlines had this exact car on the roster. As I dug more into researching this particular freight car I discovered that the MD&W had these freight cars on their roster. The only photos I found were these cars repainted in reporting marks only and also patched ex EACH livery. The BN Cascade Green was very similar to MD&W's repainted cars. Alas, an easy solution presented itself to recovering this model into a prototype scheme without having to completely strip and repaint.

1. Remove stock lettering as described in the March 2009 newsletter. A discovery I have made since I wrote how to remove Athearn RTR lettering is the usage of hand soap to help break surface tension and more accurately focus the MicroSol. By focussing the MicroSol it is much easier to selectively remove a single number. The hand soap also helps keep the area "wet" with MicroSol and lengthens the evaporation time thereby requiring less applications of MicroSol. All other steps remain the same.

2. Glosscote the model. I really recommend using an airbrush for this step. If that isn't available you can use a rattle can but make sure it hasn't been sitting half used for more then a week or is starting to run low. Past experience has found that old/half used gloss will turn into "stucco" and/or will bunch up in between the ribs forming puddles of sloppy glossy goo. An Airbrush using Model Masters Clear Topcote dilluted with Model Masters Airbrush Thinner will give the most even coverage and high gloss finish.

3. Use set # 87-1302 MDW and IBT freight cars to completely reletter the freight car. I recommend following prototype photos in order to aid decalling. Refer to http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/ for a great selection of prototype railroad photos of MD&W rolling stock. Use MicroSol and MicroSet as instructed on the bottle

4. Let decals set over night

5. Apply a layer of Testors Dullcote from an airbrush (best results) or a spray can if no airbrush is available. The same warning comes with Dullcote as I suggested for the Gloss. Avoid using cans that have been opened longer and are starting to run low. Use only fresh cans of Dullcote for the best most even finish.

There is one more car that can be modeled from the Athearn RTR line. That is the Combo Door (One 10' sliding and a 6' plug ABOX style) Freight Car. The most significant difference between the prototype and model is that the prototype has an extra rib (7 ribs) to the right of the 10' sliding door vs. the stock 6 ribs. A subtle difference is the tack board on the body to the left of the plug door is actually located on the sliding 10' door.

1. Completely strip the paint off the model.

2. With an X-acto chisel type blade, remove the three ribs closest to the right of the 10' Sliding door in between the door and the door stop. Remove the tackboard to the left of the  6' plug.

3. Glue .045" by .030" strip styrene next to the 10' sliding door to duplicate the prototype rib configuration I used .004" by .110" brass strips cut to the same width as the stock gussets between the body and the rib. I decided to glue on the tackboard on the 10' sliding door after final paint and weathering.

4. Paint the car BN Cascade Green. I used Tamiya Olive Drab as an alcohol wash after painting the main cote to weather it a bit before adding decals.

5. Glosscote the car with Model Masters Clear Topcote for best glossy surface for decal application

Follow steps 3-5 from the 12' plug door project to complete this car. I used Athearn Genesis 70 ton roller bearing freight car trucks to complete this model. You can also use TrimFilm to simulate the square patches to simulate repair work. I altered the green tones by airbrushing various green enamel paints onto TrimFilm and then cut them to fit and resemble the prototype.

2009 Catalog IN THE WORKS

Each month we will be letting you know what we're working on for the near future. Please remember to check out this newsletter each month for details of upcoming releases.

Coming Soon...
DT&I Diesels
Norfolk & Western 40' and 50' Boxcars
Marquette Diesels & Caboose includes GATX Rail Locomotive Group GMTX leasing and variations!
Union Pacific Two Tone Gray Steam Locomotives (Greyhounds)

Microscale has been serving the model train hobby market for over 50 years. We pride ourselves in delivering the finest quality products and service. We also provide a variety of custom printing services for manufacturers and other organizations alike. If you have a custom decal project and want us to provide you with an estimate please contact us at vickie@microscale.com or ryan@microscale.com.