Friday, May 19, 2017

Building the DT&I 7000-series gon - part 2

In Part 1 about building the DT&I 7000-series gon, I covered all of the building, detailing, modifications, etc. This post discusses the finishing of the model.

The deck after application of a primer coat before additional coloring

I had a spare floor from a Proto 2000 gon kit, as I had used a laser cut wood floor in one of my Proto 2000 gons. It was a simple matter to shorten the styrene floor to fit the DT&I gon. I used 150 and 220-grit sandpaper to roughen up the surface of the deck and also to remove enough material that the grooves in the deck were less prominent, and even barely discernible in some places. When I primed the model (more on that below) I also airbrushed a thin layer of primer on the deck. Next, I airbrushed the deck with Tamiya Desert Yellow (XF-59). After allowing the deck to dry, I drybrushed the surface with Testors Model Master Flat Interior Tan. Drybrushing is a technique where a paintbrush (usually with stiff bristles) is dipped in paint and then most of the paint is removed (by rubbing on something such as a paper towel), so that when the brush is rubbed along a surface, it highlights raised details. In this instance, it created a subtle difference in hues, although it can also be used to create strong, but subtle contrast. Next, I used a stiff wire brush, working in strokes parallel to the floor boards, to blend and slightly roughen the surface. I sealed everything with Testors Dullcote. I then added various colors of PanPastels and Bragdon's powders in browns and grays, varying the application and/or intensity for different floor boards. Everything was again sealed with Testors Dullcote. Finally, I applied a dilute wash of acrylic flat black applied with a brush. This is the first time I have tried this method and, overall, I am happy with the result, although I still feel that the effect is not a muted as I would like. I will keep refining the technique and will report back with more results.

The finished model
I have a fairly standard regimen I follow for painting models. I use a Paasche Air Eraser to blast all metal and engineering plastic surfaces to improve paint adhesion on these surfaces. These include wire details, truck sideframes, wheelsets, hand brake wheel, etc. The medium I use is 220-grit aluminum oxide. After this I wash the model, trucks, etc., with liquid dishwashing detergent and a soft toothbrush. I rinse the model and allow it to thoroughly air dry. I always apply a primer coat, Tru-Color in this instance, although I have used other brands. I painted the DT&I gon with Tru-Color CB&Q Freight Car Red (TCP-240), a darker shade of freight car red with no orange hues. The truck sideframes and wheelsets were painted black. The Tru-Color paints dry to a glossy finish perfect for decaling.

I applied the decals (Speedwitch D157) with water followed by Walthers Solvaset setting solution. The bubbles and trapped air were popped and sliced followed by more Solvaset. I omitted the capacity data, reweigh location, brake test, and repack stencils until after weathering. I decided to model a car circa 1951 that had not been repainted since delivery, a period of ten years. I sealed the decals with with Testors Dullcote.

I weathered the car in stages. I started by applying Bragdon Enterprises dark rust (FF-63) powder to all surfaces. This served two purposes: it made the color of the car look slightly faded and also made the white stenciling appear slightly faded, a desired effect for a ten-year-old paint job. I also added PanPastel Raw Umber powder. I sealed the powders with Testors Dullcote followed by Testors Glosscote. I added numerous chalk markings (Speedwitch D135) followed by Testors Dullcote. Over these, I added Bragdon Grimy Gray (FF-67), again sealed with Testors Dullcote. Lastly, I applied fresh paint patches and "clean" load limit, light weight, reweigh location and date, brake test, and repack stencils. Again, these were sealed with Testors Dullcote followed by a very light application of Bragdon Grimy Gray, sealed with Testors Dullcote.
The finished model showing the floor boards

For the interior surfaces of the gon, I sprayed it black, but then covered it liberally with various shades of Bragdon rust colored powders followed by Grimy Gray. These were sealed with Testors Dullcote. I glued lead sheet to the interior cavity in the gon and then added the floor.

I applied small paper bits on the routing card boards, affixed with the Goo-MEK mixture. I added Hi-Tech Details angle cock/air hoses. I replaced the trucks and the model was ready to go. I will go back and add some debris and dunnage to the floor for added realism.

Some of these castings and decals may be ordered from the Speedwitch site.


  1. Ted,
    Do you know when this series of gondolas was sold to the GM&O?

  2. Hi Justin,

    I don't know for certain, but I have one photo of such a GM&O car and the reweigh is "JN 9-67" if that helps.


  3. Same car? Same photo?

  4. Yes (follow-up to my previous comment). The GM&O acquired series 13200-13251 second hand from the United States Railway Company in 1968, previously DT&I 7000-7299. The book has a shot of GMO 13239 taken August 12, 1987 by Ray Kucaba (or from his collection) at Forest View, IL; online there's a photo of the same car taken 27th June, 1987 at Chicago: taken by Dave Wagner, Dennis Schmidt collection.

    1. Forgot to mention that "the book" is the Morning Sun Books Color Guide for IC/GM&O by James Kinkaid.


Comments always welcome!