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painting - preparing to paint

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Speedy Builder514/08/2020 17:19:47
2145 forum posts
152 photos

My 5" SPEEDY is nearing completion (Ha Ha). Anyway, certainly ready to paint the chassis. Spent most of today taking it all to pieces to get to the chassis, making notes about certain assemblies, photos and bagging up or marking everything that is being removed. It made me think, how many individual items go to make up a steam loco ?

I am waiting (and waiting ...) for a response from a couple of French paint suppliers for their advice on paint selection (France goes on holiday during August). I would have liked to have used an established UK supplier with track record in supplying the model community but they hesitate to ship outside of the UK.

I am thinking of going down the rattle can route and would like to hear back from other forum members of their ideas.


Brian Oldford14/08/2020 19:39:35
685 forum posts
18 photos

Since Speedy is very closely based on the BR built (but GWR designed) 15XX pannier tanks you shouldn't have any trouble in sourcing the correct colour.

John Purdy14/08/2020 20:00:19
220 forum posts
101 photos


Can't help with the paint but to give you an idea about the number of parts in a loco when I built my 5" gauge 0-4-0 ST "Gemma " (to the design in EIM) I kept track of the number of individual parts and it came out to 1970. Since then I have added a few more bits and pieces.


Speedy Builder514/08/2020 20:23:46
2145 forum posts
152 photos

Thanks Brian, colour is not the problem, it is the complexity of paint types available. Although I have read "How not to paint your Locomotive", paint types talked about bear little resemblance of what is available today. I had previously asked on this forum about what paints others had used with little response. I have to buy my paints from suppliers here in France as UK can't deliver due to transportation regs. Our hobby is not well represented and trying to find a supplier like Pheonix or Precision paints etc is like looking for Hens teeth.

stephen goodbody02/09/2020 18:57:53
56 forum posts
40 photos

Hi Bob,

I'm based in the USA and, although none of the paints mentioned in Chris Vine's book are available here, I followed his advice regarding preparation, techniques, and so-forth and found them to be absolutely invaluable. In my opinion it's one of the best reference books of any kind because everything is written with first-hand knowledge and bitter experience and the information is largely universal.

To your specific question, I use the the most commonly-available brand of paints which are in stock at every big-box hardware store in the country. These paints, branded "Rustoleum", are generally looked down-upon by model engineers in the USA but I have found that, with the right technique and patience (Chris Vine's book again) the results can be excellent.

I use rattle-can etch primer as a base for everything, followed by oil-based enamels for large parts and rattle-can paints for the smaller parts such as nuts, bolts, brackets, valves etc. I spray the oil-based enamels by diluting with mineral spirits and use an HVLP gun fed from a large compressor through a water separator.

Practice is vital with whatever paint you use and there are definitely do's and don'ts with the paints I use as with any other paint. Unfortunately the only real way of discovering those do's and don'ts is to get some paint and try it out. That's perhaps one reason to start with the most readily-available paints - you can easily get it and try it.

I have never regretted using these commonly-available off-the-shelf paints for the following reasons:

1. Identical colors are available in both rattle-can and enamel format, hence I can use whichever type best suits the job in hand.

2. The paint colors are 100% consistent from can-to-can and tin-to-tin.

3. The paints are readily available everywhere, and over time.

I painted my chassis over 10 years ago and have just finished painting the rest of the engine - I buy the same paint today that I used for the chassis and there is no-way of telling what was painted when.

Everything in the below picture was painted with the oil-based enamels and was painted about 10 years ago, however the picture was taken last year (apologies for the dust on the endcap).


Best regards


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