Updated frame, new numbers and buffers on the PIKO Tds

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.

Painted PIKO Tds frames.

Painted PIKO Tds frames. (click to enlarge)

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.

Fully assembled and renumbered PIKO Tds in the Tds928 version.

Fully assembled and renumbered PIKO Tds in the Tds928 version.

PIKO Tds928 from the other side.

PIKO Tds928 from the other side.

Eisenbahnstudio.com is not affiliated with the manufacturers of the products mentioned on this site and did not receive payment or samples for review.

2 thoughts on “Updated frame, new numbers and buffers on the PIKO Tds

  1. Terry Allen

    I have been looking for a supplier of decals for DB and DR freiight and passenger cars (N-scale) for a while. I really do not want to design my own decals if I can aviod the effort. Are you aware of any sources? Even if not N scale, I could use HO or another size and have them reduced and prepared by a decal manufacturer. Thanks! (Nice work, by the way.) Terry

  2. Johannes Post author

    Hi Terry,

    Thanks for your comment. I have been getting these decals from a FREMO member in Germany. I just send him the numbers I need, he sends a PDF for review, and when the decals are finished, he mails them to me in the States.

    Here is the website (in German) http://bit.ly/9L9kBQ He indicates that his decals are readable in N scale.

    If you drop me an line at blog@eisenbahnstudio.com, I can send you his email address.



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