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Adding numbers to Heljan O gauge locos


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I've tried to search for an answer to this but can't find anything so I'm hoping this isn't a repeat question, but with Heljan O gauge diesels mostly coming un-numbered how do people apply number transfers?

 

I know the usual process is to spray gloss varnish to hide the carrier film, apply transfers and then coat with another layer of varnish to seal in the transfers, but I'm wondering if the gloss coat is needed given the factory smooth paint finish and I'm also slightly nervous about spraying a sealing coat of varnish all over a £500 model and so I'm wondering if there is any other method people are using?

 

Thanks, Phil 

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9 hours ago, philiprporter said:

I've tried to search for an answer to this but can't find anything so I'm hoping this isn't a repeat question, but with Heljan O gauge diesels mostly coming un-numbered how do people apply number transfers?

 

I know the usual process is to spray gloss varnish to hide the carrier film, apply transfers and then coat with another layer of varnish to seal in the transfers, but I'm wondering if the gloss coat is needed given the factory smooth paint finish and I'm also slightly nervous about spraying a sealing coat of varnish all over a £500 model and so I'm wondering if there is any other method people are using?

 

Thanks, Phil 

Hi Phil

 

The gloss base is for the decal to stick to the shell, and to hide the carrier film.  You can use gloss varnish, but T-Cut is just as good at providing a glossy surface - the smooth factory finish is too smooth!

 

Misting over with another coat of varnish will seal decal in place

Edited by Half-full
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A gloss varnish or a T-cut polished patch before applying water slide transfers is a definite requirement in my experience.

There is the option of using rub-on transfers (railtec produce them) which may remove the need to provide such a smooth glossy base, but either way a protective topcoat will be needed !

 

cheers,

Phil. 

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Thanks guys very helpful. So do you varnish the whole loco with a top coat or just a brief waft with the airbrush over the area that's had the transfers applied? I'm just worried that a brief waft of varnish will show up, unless the airbrushed varnish is an exact match to the factory finish which seems unlikely? Not an issue if you then go on to weather the loco.

Thanks, Phil. 

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10 minutes ago, philiprporter said:

Thanks guys very helpful. So do you varnish the whole loco with a top coat or just a brief waft with the airbrush over the area that's had the transfers applied? I'm just worried that a brief waft of varnish will show up, unless the airbrushed varnish is an exact match to the factory finish which seems unlikely? Not an issue if you then go on to weather the loco.

Thanks, Phil. 

I usually varnish the whole bodyside, just for consistancy.

 

I very rarely just renumber though, I usually respray the whole loco, and then weather

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48 minutes ago, Phil Mc said:

There is the option of using rub-on transfers (railtec produce them) which may remove the need to provide such a smooth glossy base, but either way a protective topcoat will be needed !

 

cheers,

Phil. 

I like dry-rub lettering, that's what I use, but even if you don't need a gloss base coat you still really need a top coat varnish to protect them. I do varnish the whole shell. With my HJ 31, I removed all the glazing. With my HJ 37, I didn't, as cab interiors seemed rather well glued in, for one thing. I just masked the glazing as best I could with low-tack tape. I used Testors Dullcote for the matt top coat.

20200423_184646.jpg.1db3dc2392cb35e351a7db7e151e5a81.jpg

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It is possible to blend a patch, but as half-full says, a full coat gives a more consistent finish.

I tend to patch over the gloss area with a few coats , using a hairdryer to dry each one (leave it a minute or two before recoating, to cool down again) then finally give the whole body a couple of coats to give an even finish.

I tend to thin varnish 50/50for this.

Make sure you mask all the windows.

 

cheers,

Phil.

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  • 4 months later...

HMRS Pressfix decals do the job without any need for varnishing beforehand, nor have I found any need to do so afterwards to seal them.

 

They consist of rows of numbers, "D"'s etc., so you need to make up your own. Far cheaper as well in the long run if you have several locos to do, you don't need to keep buying another sheet for this or that class.

 

John.

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3 minutes ago, SirBud said:

Phil,

Tom explains the need for a gloss surface at approx 2.0 minutes into the video, but it's not full gloss, he used a semi matt gloss.

Regards,

Trevor

Thanks Trevor - I was just wondering if he air brushed it or if there was some other method - will drop a comment and see what comes back. 

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On 08/06/2020 at 22:00, F-UnitMad said:

 

I like dry-rub lettering, that's what I use, but even if you don't need a gloss base coat you still really need a top coat varnish to protect them. I do varnish the whole shell. With my HJ 31, I removed all the glazing. With my HJ 37, I didn't, as cab interiors seemed rather well glued in, for one thing. I just masked the glazing as best I could with low-tack tape. I used Testors Dullcote for the matt top coat.

20200423_184646.jpg.1db3dc2392cb35e351a7db7e151e5a81.jpg

 

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5 hours ago, paulbb said:

Nice looking layout there F-Unit. Any more images or has it featured elsewhere?

Sorry about no text in the above

regards

Paul

There is a very old thread on here, but all the photos disappeared in that Photobucket fiasco a few years ago. I've neglected to update it. The layout name is "Withyn Reach", 6ft x 1ft plus fiddleyard. It's still unfinished despite starting it back in 2008!! It scratches my 'British O scale itch' with occasional use.

A similar but more updated thread with photos is on Western Thunder forum:-

https://www.westernthunder.co.uk/index.php?threads/withyn-reach-point-rodding-question.42/

 

 

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Phil,

I am fairly sure it would have been airbrushed.  Tom's video series was mostly about kit building. With an existing painted surface you could use something like T Cut locally, as others have suggested.  Otherwise some fine wet & dry paper, say 2000 grit, would also polish the area on which you want to add numbers.

Best regards,

Trevor

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