The thirtieth anniversary of the Norfolk Southern Corporation and their Heritage Fleet of locomotives painted in schemes of companies that make up today's NS spurred the Nickel Plate Historical Society to sponsor a "What if..." category in this year's modeling contest. Now most of you who visit here regularly know that I try to model a time around the middle 1950s, give or take a few years, but this idea sounded interesting to me so my hat was in the ring.
A trip to a hobby shop in Toledo garnered a modern 60-foot auto parts boxcar lettered for The Milwaukee Road. A little work on the car's original lettering removed the Milwaukee Road and I was down to a semi-lettered car ready for some "new" Nickel Plate graphics.
Quite some time ago, I had toyed with this scheme for a modern Nickel Plate but never did much with it. The three stripes came from a common locomotive lettering scheme used back in the 1950s and the swept Nickel Plate Road still implied their trademark "High Speed Service." A scan of the car and a little work on the PC created this mock-up for my consideration. I shared this with the rest of the crew and got a general thumbs up so it's the scheme that I used.
Lettering the car wasn't all that easy as Athearn has added some small details after assembly on most of their newer cars and this one was no exception. There were two rods on each of the plug doors that I had to slide the decals under and then tried to keep them straight over all of the outside ribs of the car. But patience prevailed and the finished car was allowed to dry then oversprayed with a clear seal coat to complete the project.
OK, so I'm going to brag just a little here... the car won first place in its category and I was very pleased. But to be fair & balanced just like Fox News, I have to admit that there was only one other entry in the "what if" category among the various models entered at the convention. So thanks to the judges who selected my car as the first place entry and congrats to George Greene who had a nice looking pair of NKP trailers on an 86-foot flat car that finished second.
People are always asking how to remove factory lettering on pre-lettered cars so I'll share my experience with that in my next post.
On an unrelated personal note, I'd like to thank the Riverdale High School Athletic Department, the Riverdale football team and head coach Jeremy Kloepfer for their salute Friday night to the women from Riverdale Schools who have battled breast cancer. The team donned pink socks and the traditional white helmet stripe was replaced with a pink one as a tribute to the women. Those women were chosen as honorary captains, they were allowed to speak to the team prior to the start of the game and they were chosen to break the paper banner/sign to lead the team onto the field prior to kick-off.
The cheerleaders & band members also wore pink Cheer for the Cure t-shirts for the evening. There were cake raffles, a pink balloon launch and other awareness events. The cheerleaders & band members from both schools also took part in a "dash for cash" fundraiser where additional funds were collected to go towards breast cancer research. From the bottom of my heart, thanks to each & every one of you for your efforts.