The other day, I noticed an interesting ad by Rapido Trains Inc. in the July issue of Railroad Model Craftsman. It was advertising custom runs of a car with different paint schemes and showed an example of their nice HO scale Wide-Vision Caboose with custom lettering for the CSX Great Lakes Division Mechanical Department.
I find the ad interesting because custom runs make a lot of sense for large clubs like FREMO. If you get an order big enough (Rapido indicates a 300 piece minimum which is really not that much), you can easily get a run of a cars with no number, which would make unique renumbering for club operation much easier. Instead of trying to carefully remove the original road number, which sometimes damages paint and surface, one could just apply a custom decal, apply dull clear coat, weather the car and be done with it. Leaving a number off instead of making a whole custom scheme should also be a lot cheaper.
Maybe it’s time that European train manufacturers such as BRAWA are starting to openly advertise similar services or at least offer cars with no lettering so one can do the whole thing from scratch.
By the way, I do like this Rapido caboose. They just released new paint schemes and the one I want is among them. But more on that another time…