The online magazine on the history and operation of vintage scale model trains in American OO gauge

Saturday, November 23, 2019

More cars with Tichy OO decals

Back in 2017 (more here) I first purchased Tichy OO decals, which they will make on special order, scaled up from their HO decals. I purchased more this past summer, and finally have a few cars done to show them better.

First up is I think a particularly interesting comparison, a Scale-Craft stock car decorated for the Missouri Pacific with the Tichy decals, and an S-C car with the original pre-war decals for the same road. The S-C ones are a bit heavier looking, and of course they have yellowed with age. The Tichy set matches a prototype photo I found online, and I used that and their decal drawing as a guide. Each side of the car took 18 separate decals, but they went on easily on the gloss paint and flat surfaces of this model.

The other four cars I’d like to feature today are these, three MP hopper cars and a Rock Island boxcar. Although the MP hopper decals are for a different style of car, they worked well when laid out to match examples I found online. The Rock Island car was slightly more of a challenge and I’ll explain why. The issue is that Scale-Craft cars have relatively tall rivet details, and the paint used to print the decals does not really stretch and in large sections wants to begin to roll up. The Rock Island Logo as applied almost goes over the lines of rivets, and the printed logo won’t snuggle down over them. (Conventional decals the printed letters and images will stretch).

Which is all to say some of these sets will work great on SC cars and some won’t. I purchased two Frisco Fast Freight sets that I’ll need to use on a different style of car due to the large printed areas -- which is fine, I already found cars with wood sides that will do well.

Two other random footnotes. I don't normally use S-C couplers, but I opted to use them on the hoppers. At first the cars did not track well due to the couplers being overly tight. I then ran across a coupler that had been filed down a bit and it was an learning moment, I hit the worst offending S-C couplers with a file -- so that they would couple easily -- and they are working fine now. The other footnote is out of a longstanding habit I basically never oil trucks. But several recent projects, they were poor rollers in spite of my best efforts, and I finally gave oil a try. It works! I used French horn rotary valve oil, should use something thin for sure, really helps an otherwise correctly adjusted S-C truck.

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