Building a Penn Central X58 50′ Box Car (Part III)

It’s been a few weeks and I am happy to finally report on the progress of the Penn Central X58 project in this last installment.

Because I am painting inside a small apartment, I decided against using the solvent based Scale Coat Penn Central Green sold by the Penn Central Railroad Historical Society. Instead, I painted the car with the water based Floquil Polly Scale paints Penn Central Green for the car body and Flat Aluminum for the roof.

Rail Yard Models Penn Central X58 after paint job

Rail Yard Models Penn Central X58 after paint job (click to enlarge)

A few days later, I added a glossy finish using Badger Modelflex paint. The outcome was less than desirable as the glossy paint seemed to crystalize in some spots. In my next project, I am going to mix Model Master glossy paint with the Polly Scale green to save me a step and minimize the risk of messing up a nice paint job.

I let the glossy finish dry for a few days as recommended in the X58 instructions and then started to apply the decals.

The decaling was an easy albeit slow process because I was customizing the lettering based on a prototype photograph. After cutting the decals, I prepped the surface with Micro Set, slid the decals on it and let Solvaset work its magic. Excess fluid was sucked off using a cotton swab. The cotton swab did a great job in removing fluid but occasionally left tiny fibers behind. Next time, I will try a micro fiber cloth used for cleaning lenses instead.

Putting the decals on the X58 was a slow process

Putting the decals on the X58 was a slow process

Two evenings later, I was ready to decal the other side. I thought about a way to peek at the other side without turning the car over all the time. The solution was to make a copy of the decaled side. Make sure you cover the area around the car with blank sheets of paper to avoid wasting a lot of black ink.

Copying the decaled side for reference

Copying the decaled side for reference

The copy turned out to be just a tad smaller than the actual model but I found that when referencing lettering to other parts such as ladder steps it was still helpful to use and sped up the decaling process. Every now and then I did take a digital caliper to measure key proportions on the other side, though.

Using a copy of the decaled side of the car sped up the process

Using a copy of the decaled side of the car sped up the process

So here it is, the finished product complete with roof, brake hoses and extra weight.

Finished Rail Yard Models Penn Central X58 36 18 25

Finished Rail Yard Models Penn Central X58 36 18 25

For a first try at a craftsman kit, I am very happy with the result. Let me know what you think in the comments below. I hope you will join me when I report on the weathering after I return from the FREMO:87 meet in Glottertal, Germany.

2 thoughts on “Building a Penn Central X58 50′ Box Car (Part III)

  1. Pingback: Building a Penn Central X58 50′ Box Car (Part II) - eisenbahnstudio

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