Alco C425 tweaking and install


Jay -

The next time I do some paint testing I want to try lightening the PS Pacemaker Red with Golden High Flow Naphthol Red Light. The latter is a bit transparent but it is much closer to light barn red. As you observe, adding white creates “Mary Kay” pink that would be fine if you are modeling the GW GP7 #705 in the WP Museum. Also the PS Pacemaker Red is a bit on the magenta side. Perhaps a few drops of a bright yellow would help here. A cool red can clash with a warm gray. So far the Golden acrylics seem compatible with PS paint.

My interest in black primer is only for the trucks. The gray primer works great on the car body to create a uniform neutral base color.

On trucks I want to use a primer for better paint adhesion because during ops they will get knocked around more than the car body. Black seems useful because it would disguise any spots that receive too little primary color and weathering. A lot of O-scale brass trucks, including the ones on the C425, actually equalize so I want to minimize the thickness of paint to avoid gumming up the works.

The NR&W hoppers will be black. About half are currently black so I just need to remove the pad printing then shoot a light black coat on the sides and ends. The other half are a box car brownish red.

I’m not a fan of rattle-cans, but Rick uses them with great skill. He warms the can in a pot of water (not boiling!) to make the paint more fluid. I prefer the greater control afforded by an air brush.


Hi, Bob!

I’ve been doing some research about the Stynylrez and Pledge Floor Care Finish (acrylic), and I have a question.

Since all my freight units that I’m kit bashing are black (CentralFan as in NYC…:wink:), can I just use the Black Stynylrez straight as my locomotive black and then just use the acrylic floor wax right over the Badger primer, and then decal?

Or do I have to put a coat of black paint over the primer, then the floor wax, then decal?



Mario -

The only reason I can imagine you would need to paint black over the primer is if the primer isn’t quite what you want (weathered black, perhaps?) Otherwise, a gloss coat over the Stylynrez should work just fine.

In hind sight I wish I had picked up a bottle of the black to use on locomotive trucks. On those, there is a lot of 3-D relief to paint. If a later color coat misses spots in a nook or cranny, what peeks through would look like a shadow.

Let us know how it works out for you.


We’re on our way to an EMD-repowered FM CFA-20-4.



Mario -

It appears that Badger is coming out with a glossy black version of the Stynylrez primer. On one hobby site it was back-ordered. This might save a gloss coat step prior to decals.


Getting back to C425s, does anyone have information about the Alco Century rear class lights? The cab usually has individual white, green and red lamps. On the rear of Delaware-Lackawanna’s 2453 I have one photo showing yellowish lamps in full sunlight. Yet in a video recently posted to Trainorders, the rear lamps appear to be lit red.

There are doors next to the rear class lights. Is there a lever inside to change colors?

If anyone knows, I’m all ears.

******* a few minutes later…

I can answer my own question. There is a wonderful fallen flags web site that has scans of some operator’s manuals. Quoted from the C420-C628 manual:

At the front, individual lenses and lights for each of
three colors are provided. Control switches for each
aspect are mounted on the access door in the front
wall of the cab.

At the rear, two colored lenses, red and green, are
arranged so that each in turn may be swung between
the light and the clear glass lens to give the desired
color indication . The colored lenses, accessible
through small doors in hood, are moved by pushing
upwardonthe knob at the bottom of the light assembly
and rotating it in increments of 90 degrees to the
color indication desired. A switch at the compartment
control panel will turn “On” both classification

Time to order some tiny red LEDs! I’ll need to make an interior rear lighting fixture to hold both white and red LEDs.

Farther up in this post is a Loksound slot 10 example of how to rotate class lights with a single function. Several prototype railroaders have told me that number board lights should only be on for the “lead” unit, presuming that’s the lead # given to the dispatcher. So… it would be easy to change that sound slot programming to rotate the lights as follows:

off / number boards / number boards + white / number boards + red / off.


Hi Bob,
I wanted to let you know that P&D still has a substantial inventory of MV Lenses in the shop. For whatever reason, they do not appear on the website (or at least I couldn’t find them there). There were many different varieties, some for specific locos and others for general use. I’m sure Pat would be happy to send some out to you.



Jim -

Thank you for the tip on MV lenses! Your post is very appreciated. I need a few more MVs in selected sizes.

I’m grateful for what Pat and the P&D staff continue to do for us O-scalers who like to build stuff. Years ago David and I visited the “Mother Ship” and a feeding frenzy broke out! Since that day P&D has frequently received funds from my checking account and credit card. For any of the readers who enjoy the craft of O-scale 2-rail, if you haven’t shopped there you need to! — end of unsolicited commercial message…

There are a few A&O locomotives that will need upgrades for MV lenses that have yellowed over time, or have glued-in burned-out regular bulbs, including ones to fill the early style Pyle National “big glass steam-era reflector” headlights. I don’t mind turning my own polycarbonate class light inserts for most locomotives as the best fit rarely lines up with sizes that MV produces (tooling a new size is expensive and not expected!)

Thanks again.


How sandable is the primer? Should I fill the scratches and sand what I can first, or prime and sand and prime and sand, and prime?

Here’s some of the scratches…

Perhaps use a more traditional primer to spot prime and sand, and then use the Badger?



It is a primer, not a filler. It does sand very nicely. It won’t hide much of anything in the way of scratches, and certainly not the deep ones on the nose of that engine! You will need to first use a traditional body filler of your choice. I usually use orange Bondo from a local body shop, particularly on brass engines.

So fill, sand, repeat until everything is buttery smooth.


Dang blasted…