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Swissrail

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    The Red Bladder's Harem

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  1. Has anyone had any success with Xtracrylic matt varnish? I've used it twice now and I found it to be awful stuff. The instructions on the bottle tell you to dilute it with water by 10 to 15%. When I did that it was still so thick my airbrush wouldn't spray it. When I did dilute it enough so that the airbrush was happy with it, the finish on the coach side was disastrous. Blobby, uneven and just terrible. I had to immediately wash the stuff off under the tap. I was extremely lucky that the Railtec transfers I had applied the day before didn't come off in the process. I was lucky to get away with it. Needless to say the Xtracrylic went in the bin and I'm going to try Alclad 2 next of which I have heard good things.
  2. At the beginning of this year I started working on lettering artwork for my extensive collection of Swiss rolling stock, a large number of which I intend to repaint into earlier liveries or at least weather into the rather filthy state that was typical in the 60s and 70s. I commissioned Steve to do the printing after hearing good things about the standards he works to. What he produced for me is absolutely outstanding. The quality of his work is the best I've ever seen and that includes the Methfix transfers I used in my BR modelling days thirty to forty years ago. The backing film is very thin and once the coach is satin varnished afterwards, it becomes, to all intents and purposes, invisible even on larger transfers where there is some joining of the various elements to create a single piece. I've "backdated" my first coach now using the Railtec transfers...an SBB 85 foot RIC corridor first, in Swiss parlance an 'Am' and I couldn't be more pleased with how Steve's tansfers have performed. This is the Liliput model as it came out of the box: The first thing I did was remove the original lettering with 1500 grit Tamiya wet & dry finishing paper: The next stage involved airbrushing the livery colour to patch paint the buffed areas where the lettering had been followed by a coat of gloss varnish to make applying the transfers easier: After this came the new Railtec transfers: At the same time I decided the interior needed a repaint since the original was moulded in a lurid green plastic. This is it mounted on the already weathered underframe. An this is the finished article, fully weathered and ready to go. I think you'll agree, Steve's transfers may be waterslide, but they don't look like it. I'm a raving perfectionist and even for me, this is as good as a factory printing job!
  3. This is my first attempt at weathering a continental coach, in this case a 1962 DB Rheingold corridor first, officially an Av4üm. I thought I'd show it here since you don't often see continental stock weathered at all, for some reason most people seem to prefer to run their European stock straight out of the box. I used contemporary photos as a guide and read George Dent's excellent book on the subject from cover to cover before I lifted my airbrush. I'm very pleased with the result. I just have a couple of hundred others left to do!
  4. Update: I wrote to Bob about this and he sent me the guides free of charge. The man's a gentleman and I thank him for his kindness.
  5. Yes, who is it that decides a new livery colour should be as lurid and unpleasant as possible? There are some gorgeous greens in existence but the BLS's choice isn't one of them. The TPC who runs the former AOMC, ASD and AL lines have also gone for a livery that includes this god-awful colour. What wrong with Swiss railway company executives these days? Are they all colour blind?
  6. I've had one of these pens since 1985 although I haven't used it for a long time. I have need of it now and I discovered to my horror that I've managed to lose the little guides that are use to help you lines edges etc. Does anyone know if these can obtained as spares as I can't see any mention of them as such on the Phoenix website?
  7. I've recently received two sheets of custom lettering from Steve, one of SBB and BLS coach numbering panels amongst other things and a sheet of 3D window frames for my Liliput Swiss Express stock. I did the artwork then Steve tweaked and printed it. He has done a magnificant job of both. The best transfers I've seen and that includes the Methfix ones I used to use in my BR days. Pictures to follow of how they look on my Liliput RIC 85 footers sent back in time from the present day SBB logos to the old ones using these transfers.
  8. 'Fraid not. I haven't enough years left on the planet!
  9. Yes, my layout will be based on the period between 1960 and 1980. I love green rod-coupled electrics, red and cream TEE trains and international stock from all over Europe that was found in Switzerland at the time...and all of it covered in grime...running through stations that had very low platforms and their track infilled with wood. The modern era is not for me with its squeaky-clean appearance and garish, vulgar liveries that look like sticks of rock you'd find at the beach.
  10. Hi Jeremy It's HO, 1:87 Alan
  11. Not happy with the Sommerfeldt stuff, (I think it looks coarse) I've started on my own etches for my upcoming layout. Drawings done in CorelDraw, a test etch recently came back from the etchers and I assembled it at the weekend. I'm pleased with the results!
  12. I recently bought a Roco DB E40 with the intention of modifying it to match one of those that was loaned to the SBB in the early 60s. The replacement pantograph was delivered today and here it is, fitted to the loco. The mounting spigot had to be reduced in height, the original insulators removed and the corresponding holes filled with the correct diameter plastic rod and new mountings for the pantograph legs created. I’ve yet to weather this beast and the new number plates are still to be fitted to make this engine into E40 244 (shown below, copyright unknown) but so far I think it’s gone rather well.
  13. Thanks for all the ideas people! In the end I built a box out of plasticard that is just the right height, width and depth to house an SBB 85' saloon which at the same time doesn't swallow a ton of (very expensive) Precision Superstrip, although I am going to make my own from now on at a fraction of the cost.
  14. On the subject of stripping paint, does anyone know if what's in Superstrip can be obtained from other sources at less than the exorbitant price Precision charges for it? I have a fifteen year old bottle of the original formula and on the label it says: "Contains butoxyethanol, dimethylcarbonate and isopropylalcohol". I don't really believe Precision have this stuff mixed to order, so they must get it from somewhere...so what is it they ask for that has the above chemical composition which they then bottle, call "Superstrip" and sell at £79 a litre?!
  15. Thanks all. Lock n Lock do a 375mm box but it appears only to be available in the Far East. Since I made this post I have found one via Ryman office supplies but it's not airtight. I reckon I can make it airtight by applying some silicone sealant to act as a gasket. I'm stripping Swiss 85' stock so the Lock n Lock bacon box just isn't long enough.
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