VIA Rail “Canada 150” P42 #916 Finished Gallery

A light coat of weathering, some mud on the pilot and underbody, and exhaust on the roof, and my VIA Rail Canada 150 wrapped P42 is done.

I like finishing projects, and this is the first time I’ve actually posed a finished project on my layout… ok. the pink foam scenery leaves a bit to be desired, but its a work in progress.

I haven’t done a lot of weathering, but will need to as my equipment for the layout shouldn’t look all clean and shiny, it should looked used. The weathering on the VIA Rail locomotive is limited, mostly around the bottom and the roof, but its still a chance to practice. I recently picked up some Com-Art weathering paints recommended by a friend, and this was my first chance to use them. The set linked was a way to get a range of colours to work with as I experiment and learn about weathering to build my skills.

Not a bad use of a snowy day off to end my weeks vacation, back to the work grind tomorrow, but for now, some more beauty shots of my finished locomotive. Off to the display case with her now!

More views of the VIA Rail P42 in the “Canada 150” vinyl wrap applied for 2017 by VIA Rail.

Decals for a VIA Rail P42, and a problem

IMG_0273Paint and Clear Coat have had lots of time to cure, ready for decals, what could possibly go wrong?

Nothing like a Friday night after a busy week where you actually get to go home and relax to make you feel like doing some modelling, at least not for me! Last night I decided I’d start the multi-day process of decalling my VIA Rail “Canada 150” P42 model. Its a multi day process as once each side is decaled, the decals need to be worked on with a pin and decal settling solution to make sure everything is fully adhered and down, before starting to apply decals on the other side so I don’t pull off decals on the done side in the foam cradle.

Everything went well at first, I started with the largest individual piece, the four City Names on one side. If I was going to run into a problem that would trigger the need for me to buy another set of decals, or get creative, I figured the bigest was is, so start there, if it went on, all should be fine.

This was my first chance to try my “Decal Hot Tub” as my friend Ryan whose idea this was calls is.

This was my first time working with my recently acquired coffee cup warmer..aka the “Decal Hot Tub”, an idea I can claim nothing for other than seeing my friend do it, and realizing how much nicer it would be if I could keep my decal water warm, rather than having it cool off and having to go get more from the tap!

End of the nights work, looking mostly good other than a too transparent red box…now to figure out how to fix that.

The last decal I was applying on the side was the large red box over the yellow “VIA” lettering, that then has the “Canada 150” art inserted in it, and as soon as I slid it off the backing onto the locomotive, I saw I have a problem. The decals by Highball Graphics (which are fantastic), are also super thin. Normally, thats a good thing, but when you are trying to cover two bright colours in the yellow and silver, it is less so. There are a few options, buy plain red decal sheet and cut out and add layers until it isn’t translucent, or mask and paint. I am going to go with mask and paint. I think it will look better in the long run, but poses short term challenges. I am going to have to let the decals set and finish getting them fully down, then spray a clear coat. Once that is done and the decals protected, I can use the see through red boxes as a mask to mask the shape and spray a new red box. Once that is done, I should be able to app;ly the final decal inside the box, do a final clear coat of everything, and get on with final assembly and eventually some weathering (mostly on the roof, the roof of VIA’s units are filthy!!). Nothing that can’t be fixed, but an important lesson and a minor setback. All part of the hobby process, so on we go!

Paint Progress on a Modern project

I wrote about my work to make a display case model of a VIA Rail P42 a couple of weeks ago here. Since then, I’ve gotten into the spray booth in earnest to move it forward to the look it needs before applying decals.

In primer showing the nose modifications to add the extra high-intensity headlight, and with the roof sprayed VIA Teal. Notice the significant difference between the old Athearn run of P42’s for George’s Trains and a more accurate colour reproduction from Rapido’s Proto Paint line.

This is for me, a project to work on building airbrushing skills. Masking, painting multiple layers and colours, are all things in the past I’ve struggled with. I’ve pulled the underlayer of paint off more than once by rushing between coats of paint and different colours and not letting paint cure.

Stages of masking and painting. First go round, mask the teal roof and spray the front half of the locomotive VIA Yellow, then remove the masks to check the paint lines. Then re-mask the roof and mask off the yellow to spray the overall aluminum colour and create the large “VIA” logo on the body.

So, with my home spraybooth, I can now work on a single project, it’s taking me around an hour for setup, paint, cleanup. That is manageable. When I used to have to paint on the balcony and hope for weather conditions, or go to someone elses, I needed to have many projects to paint, it just to become a holdup in my work as I’d wind up with four or five projects that I couldn’t work on as I couldn’t paint!

And main painting of the body is done. The “VIA” on both sides came out looking great. There will be some more little painting on details to do, and then a clear gloss coat for applying decals to.

I’m quite happy with how this project is coming out, and how its progressing. This was a kinda side project anyways. I’ve actually done a good job of getting rid of most of the random non-layout models and projects I had acquired over the years, so doing this one will leave me with just layout things to work on for a while!

This seems awfully modern…

What’s this then, its not from the 1950’s???

Every now and then, much as I build a plastic kit or do something else to work on skills, I work on models that aren’t actually for my layout. This is one that’s been kicking around for a couple of years since I picked up a decal set for the VIA Rail “Canada 150” wraps that ran in 2017. This is a moderate detail up project, using an unpowered Athearn “Blue Box” P42 locomotive that I got cheap at a flea market show. I don’t care if it doesn’t run, this is one for the display case as I really liked what VIA did for Canada’s 150th anniversary of confederation by decorating a number of locomotives and coaches with different names of Cities and Towns served by the train.

The project is a fun one, adding some rooftop and underbody details, the new high intensity headlight that isn’t in the old body, and adding some photo etched metal grills on the radiators at the rear. Then it will be a chance to practice on airbrushing and masking for painting. Not a high priority project, but one that as I’ve been cleaning and organizing around the layout room and workbench, I decided this week to make a start on for something to do aside from layout construction.

IMGP9501VIA Rail Canada P42 No.900 leads a train eastbound near Newtonville Ontario on June 26, 2017 showing off the “Canada 150” wrap.

Royal Hudson Glamour Shots

IMGP3393RawConvA view of CPR 2850 inside my John Street Roundhouse diorama.

I promised this when I posted about my Rapido Trains Royal Hudson. This is a photo heavy post of images of the model. Not much to say about it, just sharing images of a gorgeous model!

Pictures of the Rapido Royal Hudson inside my diorama of Stall 15 at the Canadian Pacific John Street Roundhouse.
A couple of camera phone closeups. I don’t have a macro lens, and gettting in tight with the big camera is hard as it’s too close for it to focus!

Rapido Royal Hudson – Initial Review


In October 2015, Canadian Model Railroad manufacturer Rapido Trains chartered coaches (including a Dome) with VIA Rail for a trip from Toronto to Montreal and Exporail, the Canadian Railway Museum for a product launch. The launch was an announcement of a new line of steam locomotives, potentially ten in total over a multi-year span if the products were successful.

22144508038_1f696a19e7_o.jpgJason Shron, president and founder of Rapido Trains announcing the “Icons of Canadian Steam” line at Exporail in 2015.

The first entry in the product line was the Canadian Pacific Railway “Royal Hudson” 4-6-4 locomotives. These locomotives are amongst the most famous in Canadian Railway history, coming to notoriaty in the 1939 Royal Tour, when the reigning monarch King George VI became the first King or Queen to visit Canada. The tour was a PR event to build support on the eve of World War 2 that would start that fall, but a single CPR Hudson, Number 2850 hauled the entire trip westward for the Royal Family without fault or deputation. Upon request of the CPR, the Royal Family allowed the locomotives to be called Royal and to maintain the cast crowns on their running boards which had been installed for the royal tour.

The outer slip case packaging for the Royal Hudson

A semi-streamlined passenger express locomotive clearly has no place on a switching layout like Liberty Village, but a model Royal Hudson was something I’d wanted since I was a kid, same as with a model of the Canadian. Now I have both. And because this is a display case special, I went for the 1939 Royal Train version, which was prepared in a special scheme of stainless steel cladding with deep two tone royal blue and the royal crests on the smokebox door and tender. If its going to be a display piece, might as well really be a display piece!!

More art on the main box inside the slip case, then the instruction manual and exploded diagram, and finally, beneath the foam, a steam locomotive!

This is the second accurate plastic Canadian steam locomotive in my collection, the first, the much maligned True Line Trains Canadian National Railways 4-8-4 Northern. I won’t go into its many woes real or imagined, but the Rapido Hudson blows it away in terms of detail, running qualities, everything. The Hudson is heavy, one of the key differencees to other plastic locomotives I own (mostly british) is that large parts of it are diecast, so it has weight and heft to pull. It features the expected crazy level of details, and sounds recorded from a real CPR Hudson, Number 2816 which is still owned by Canadian Pacific, and was used until the past few years for employee and charity specials.

First photos of the Royal Hudson, with the working front coupler switched out for the much better looking fake one, and the etched stainless steel “Canadian Pacific” name board added to the runnig board. I haven’t added the raised brass numbers to the walkway yet, I may not as it looks fine without them.

Video of my test of the Hudson on my test track via my ESU LokProgrammer is below:

I need to do a proper photo shoot with the Hudson. I think I’ve figured out where and how as well, just need to get sorted out to do it and I’ll post another more photo heavy page on it. All in all, my first impressions are excellent, and It will look great in my display cabinet, and who knows, maybe someday down the road I’ll have a layout to run it on. I’ll probably at some point take it to others HO Scale layouts just to let it stretch its legs and work in the motor and gears.