This week, I spent some time on the PIKO Tds project. I spray-painted two completed frames with Weinert RAL 8012, which turned out to be a very close match to the color of the plastic. A coat of dull lacquer and weathering will make the difference invisible.
Next, I renumbered two of the three cars. It was good that I ordered spare decals because I did end up destroying a few of them and still have to reorder two sets. The lettering could be a little sharper especially around the edges as numbers on the decals are hard to read compared to the printed PIKO lettering. I also found that the lettering doesn’t stick to the film very well and I accidentally wiped of part of a decal with a ruler.
After a few tries, I finally got the hang of it and here is what I learned:
- Cut the cardboard around the decal with a sharp pair of scissors
- Using a steel ruler and an X-Acto knife cut closely around the edges of the numbers putting very little pressure on the blade – just enough to slice the thin film
- Next put decal glue on the cleaned surface of the model and apply a little soapy water with a paint brush
- Dip the decal in soapy water for 10 seconds using a set of good tweezers
- Hold the decal still on the cardboard with the tweezers and gently push the decal film onto the model using the paint brush
- Apply decal softener and carefully position the decal with the paint brush
Lastly, I installed brand new high performance buffers I got from Günter Weimann. In German, these buffers are called “Elefantenfüsse” or elephant feet for their thick and stubby look. They are the best detailed spring-loaded Ho buffers I have ever seen. Each one has screw holes on the front and individually molded lugs on the back. Unfortunately, my camera doesn’t do them justice. The buffers are available from Wagenwerk or directly from Günter.
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