With the Liberty Village area my layout is set in being served by both Canadian National and Canadian Pacific Railways, and it being set in the late 1950’s (specific date TBD, closing in on 1956/57, probably will leave some leeway by choosing a year/season vs a specific date), I need both steam and diesel locomotives. I have previously touched on projects to provide small steam 0-6-0 switchers from CNR and CPR, and my CNR diesel needs are met by ready to run models from Rapido Trains (I’ll be using an SW1200RS and a GMD-1 as the CN diesels, both could have been seen in Liberty, long term, slightly earlier models like an NW-2 or S-2 would probably be more regular sights). But, back onto topic, for my primary CPR Diesel, I am going to be using an Alco S-2. These were the first diesel switchers delivered to the CPR in Toronto, and in fact, my model will be the first, which is preserved today in Toronto, though I won’t be painting it in a “normal” paint scheme.
I forgot to take pictures before stripping it down. Here is the body shell ready to have all the paint stripped off it after taking off all the separate parts and glazing.
I recently picked up one of the newer Atlas S-2 models, which is DCC ready, but doesn’t have a decoder. It was painted for CPR, but in the “wrong” paint scheme, it was in Maroon and Grey with script lettering. If it had been “block” lettering, I maybe could have used it, but I am going oddball and going for an intermediate scheme between the as-delivered black with Maroon and Gold Trim, and the introduction of the Maroon and Grey paint scheme that is classic Canadian Pacific. In between, there was an overall maroon with yellow trim paint scheme applied to some Alco and Baldwin locomotives, including 7020 and some other S-2’s assigned to Toronto. As such, to be different, I am going with this scheme. There is a collection of pictures of different early S-2’s in schemes including the “Smiley Face” at this link.
7020 and 7027 in the “Smiley Face” (which is on the other end) scheme on the turntable at John Street. Photo by Dom McQueen, 1952. From the Bill Sanderson collection. Scan From Here.
This scheme would have been phased out starting in 1954 or so when the Maroon & Grey became the standard. I don’t know when 7020 was repainted from this scheme to Maroon & Grey, but applying Rule 1 of “Its My Layout”, I’ll have a very dirty and weather worn 7020 in this scheme clearly ready to be repainted switching Liberty Village.
A picture of the locomotive after the paint had been stripped off it. It’s now been primered and is ready for applying CPR Maroon over the entire body.
This is when compared to the steam locomotive projects, a pretty simple one. Strip off the old paint, spray on maroon, decal, seal, weather, and install DCC decoder. To strip the Atlas factory paint, I used my preferred first choice of 99% isopropyl rubbing alcohol. It’s cheap, readily available at pharmacies/grocery stores, and compared to a lot of other paint removal techniques, relatively begnin. That doesn’t mean you don’t take precautions. Use it in a well ventilated area, and wear gloves when handling, the isopropyl softens the paint when the shell is submerged in it, but the paint comes off in the alcohol and makes a mess if you aren’t careful, and you don’t want the paint/alcohol mix getting on skin or all over your desk. I find that soaking for about half an hour softens the paint that a first pass with a toothbrush gets off a lot of paint, then you can look for areas where the paint is holding tight to soak and scrub more vigorously. In my experience, it hasn’t softened the plastic, but I also don’t leave the model in the alcohol and ignore it. It’s in and out and scrubbed and when I’m done, into soapy water to wash off any loose bits of paint and left over alcohol. After a chance to sit and thoroughly dry, its then washed and dried again, then painted with Tamiya Fine Surface primer to look for any issues and give a good clean surface for the new paint to attach to.
The real 7020 at the Toronto Railway Museum, and my other model of 7020, an older non DCC Atlas S-2, part of my Toronto Railway Museum collection of models that I take to Train Shows a couple of times a year for the museum. I’ll now have a pair of 7020’s from different eras in my collection!
I suspect, that the painting of the maroon will happen in the next couple of weeks, time and such cooperating. Given its going to be some time before my layout has a DCC system or is running, buying the decoder and getting the right sounds installed for the locomotive aren’t going to be a rush, but will get done when it gets done.