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How I Painted the CNW Engine

By Kurt Jacobs 

1)     Prepare the unit by removing all items such as bells, horns, whistles, decals, lights etc. Clean the unit as needed with solvents (make sure they don’t eat the plastic!). Use warm soap and water for the final wash. Rinse well and allow to air dry. Do not use sandpaper even the finest will scratch the surface. Some people recommend using #3 brake fluid as a cleaner and I tried #4 fluid and won’t use it again. It leaves a nasty residue. Ed Goldin recommends Pro Force Floor Stripper. 

2)     Prime the unit using the airbrush with acrylic primer (gray is the preferred). Use two or more coats as needed with sufficient drying time.

3)  Decide on the paint scheme and use historical photos if necessary. Since I like the CNW, I used the CNW Historical Society web site.

4)      I used a Paashe VL airbrush at about 30-40 PSI. I used a Polyscale paint from Cherry Creek Hobbies.  When painting, dilute the paints about 20%. Distilled water is my choice for dilution. Use a #3 nozzle for thin paint at PSI and #5 for primer at 40 PSI. 

5)      Put down a base coat with the lightest main body color you plan to use. Then after at least 24 hours of drying time, tape off the unit. Use a high quality masking tape and use a plastic tool to ensure a solid and complete contact to avoid bleeding. Avoid an overspray by taping and paper covering. Multiple colors will necessitate repetition of this step.   

6)     Another way to avoid bleeding is to use just a single light pass with the airbrush over the tape prior to the second color. Don’t leave the tape on any longer than necessary. A couple of hours should suffice then “roll” the tape off. 

7)      Wax the unit with Future acrylic floor wax using the airbrush to apply. 

8)      Apply the decals. 

9)      Wax again with the Future acrylic floor wax using the airbrush. 

10)  Apply a “wash” or weathering as desired. Use a couple of drops of black enamel paint very well    diluted. Apply with a brush and allow drying. You should be able to see through the wash mixture. 

11)  Apply flat acrylic finish with an airbrush or use a dull coat.

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