Posted by: bgtwindad | November 28, 2011

Company-Owned Cars

Untitled by BGTwinDad
Untitled, a photo by BGTwinDad on Flickr.

It’s fairly common in the real world (“prototype” to modelers) for a “customer” company such as a chemical firm or a power plant to lease their own equipment to haul either supplies to their plants or product from them (or both!).  Quite often, especially in the case of long-term leased equipment, the customer will place his own logo on the car, while the reporting marks still show the leasing company.  One will thus see covered hoppers with grain or chemical company names, or tank cars from various chemical companies or ethanol vendors or fuel suppliers.

The CH&FR serves NSN Scientific, Inc., a fictional chemical company with sites in a number of places, including Glover’s Bend, the town I am currently modeling.  I thought it fitting, then, that some of my leased hoppers bear the company logo.  These are the first, and I’m sure there will be more.

These particular hoppers have just had an initial base coat of clear gloss applied, followed by the “NSN Scientific” logo decal.  Next up they will receive a coat of matte finish to seal the decal, hide its edges, and kill the glossy finish, and then perhaps a bit of weathering.

I custom printed the decals using decal paper from Micro-Mark on my father’s Lexmark inkjet printer, and used Krylon Crystal-Clear and Matte Finish spray-can paints for the coats. The Micro-Mark paper seems to work well for black decals, but the color ones I tried on another model seem to run… I need to experiment more with that, as it could be user error.  The process is simple.  You just make up your decal artwork in any suitable computer program (I used a mix of GIMP for the image work and OpenOffice Draw for the page formatting), and print on the special paper with an inkjet or laser printer.  Then you spray over the decal paper with Gloss Coat spray paint.  Once the paint is dry, you use the decal just like any commercially purchased decals.

Both cars are Atlas models, the smaller a 70-ton ACF 3560 cu.ft. 3-bay hopper leased from GE Rail Services (ACFX), and the larger a 4-bay 5250 cu.ft. centerflow hopper “on loan” from Union Carbide Corp (RAIX).



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