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Slate Creek #8, first photo

2457 Views 10 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Larry Green
Well, it's been finished for a little bit, but taking photos on my layout is a challenge due to some lighting issues (fix in the works) and my lack of a suitable digital camera. However, when Bruce, Gaetan, and Doug visited last week, Bruce got this photo that I believe merits sharing.

The majority of work on this loco was done to the front end, but she has new tender steps too, new tender footboards, and a real coal load, as well as a Sierra sound system in the tender.

This represents my first "real" kitbash, and while I'm not yet in the ranks of Messrs. Fletcher and Strong, I think I'm learning a lot along the way!

Matthew (OV)
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Great looking engine. I saw the photo on Bruce's trip photos and wondered about it. I like the gunmetal on the smokebox very much too.
I thought Matt's treatment was pretty neat. Here's a closer picture.
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Man, I had no idea that thing was so dusty when you took the picture....

But the ceiling project is now a "go" ... thanks to some certain busybodies at dinner :)

Matthew (OV)
That's not dust! It's scale cinders... ;)
A ceiling sounds like a great idea. Wish I'd thought of that. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/laugh.gif
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Yeah, yeah. When it's up you all have to come back and help me make hardshell scenery!

Thanks for the info on how you did the realistic graphite smokebox. I bet a lot of folks here would like to know how you did it. I had no idea what you did until you told me.
Well, it's not step-by-step like the other folks do ...but.... here's how I did it:

1.) Paint the smokebox and stack a flat black.
2.) Take a tube of "lock lubricating" graphite (about $ .50 at your local hardware store) and squirt out a pile of graphite powder onto a piece of paper on your bench.
3.) Using the still wet brush from the flat black paint, scoop up a bunch of graphite, and slap it on the smokebox. Work it around, until all of the area you painted flat black is covered with a pastey graphite .... you can squirt powder from the tube directly onto the locomotive as you go; the parts you haven't painted flat black won't hold it unless you rub it in, and it can be blown off if you spill some where you don't want it. Using the damp brush make sure everything is covered.
4.) Your brush will dry out at this point .... generally from being covered with powdered graphite. Using it, and if you like, a larger soft brush, you can now polish/burnish the whole smokebox area until the semi-shiny graphite look is about evenly distributed. Be prepared to go over problem areas until you can make it somewhat even.... but remember, brush marks and a texture of sorts are PROTOTYPICAL. This stuff was generally applied to real locomotives with a really big brush, or even a broom! It helps if you have a cradle or other arrangement so that you can rotate the locomotive so that you're not trying to apply the powder to a vertical (or over vertical) surface.

I am working on a second version of this that's closer to how we did the real smokeboxes ..... the real shops mix graphite powder with boiled linseed oil to form a kind of paint, and apply as described above. While linseed oil will eat plastic, there are several light oils that will not, and I'm going to try to come up with a mix that can simply be painted on and polished just to save the powder all over the place. But... #8 looks great, I think.

Here's another one I'm working on (not a great photo, but you get the idea ... I need a real camera!)

What will be really neat will be what #45 looks like once treated, and given a round number plate (That's the K-27...)

Matthew (OV)
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Try steam oil. When I recoat the smokeboxes on my steamers, I just take a Q-tip dabbed in the graphite and rub it on the smokebox, steam oil and all. Just like the prototype, the oil and graphite mix together to form a kind of paint.

Also, a soft (#1) pencil works well for covering surfaces. I used that on the siderods of WRY #14, followed up with a Q-tip. The clay binder in the pencil lead helps hold the graphite onto the surface.

BTW, nice job on the loco.


Hey Matt
# 8 looks great!!! and so does that other engine your working on.
Need to see more photos of your railroad and #45 Hint Hint.

For graphited surfaces, I use Neolube, a suspension of graphite in alcohol, available from MicoMark. Apply with a small flat paint brush, and the alcohol quickly evaporates, leaving a dry graphite film which can be burnished if you want. The commercial use of Neolube is as a dry-film lubricant, so it is great for siderods and other moving parts.

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