Silver StripeOne item you can do to vastly improve the external appearance of your models is to cover the gray stripe above the windows on the letterboard with a 1/32” silver stripe. Any manufacturer of striping can be used.
Car NumbersThe next thing to do is to place the silver number of your car(s) on the letterboard just in back of the motorman’s location. The numbers on the Silverliners were silver outlined in black. You may need to purchase them from Eric Bronsky. Take a look at photos of Silverliners to see the correct location with regard to the passenger windows.
After you have installed the silver strips and numerals, to protect the decals, an over coat like Testors Glosscote should be applied to seal the decals on the models. Mask off the area and spray on the Glosscote.
Windshield WipersGlue the windshield wipers in place on all of your cars. A dilute solution of “Kwik Seal” will work.
Test Run the 3-Car TrainPlace the 3 cars and couple then up. Don’t forget the electrical connection between the lead car and the 415. Run the train. I suggest taking one of the trolley poles off the wire so you know what happens if this should occur during an operating session. You will know what to expect.
There is a tremendous amount of satisfaction knowing your models of the Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee 3-car replacement Electroliner in the Silverliner paint scheme looks like what you and others remember. You and the models have come a long way since you first open the Sunset box containing the models.
The lead car of my 3-car train #738 including, or should I say un-including, the small skirts near the doors.
The Tavern-Lounge car #415
The last car, shown backwards, of the 3-car train.
Introducing the Sunset Electroliner and the Sunset Silverliner 3-car replacement Electroliner models.
Repairing the Sunset Silverliner Stripes
First, please understand no matter who designs or prints replacement decal stripes, no two stripe applications or decals will be exactly the same as those designed and printed by someone else.
Greg King has had striping printed up. The print job has black striping. The striping is too dark for the models.
The striping was reprinted lighter but is too light to match the models.
This is a close-up photo of the lighter stripes. One picture is worth a thousand wards!
Second, this is going to sound just like the discussions revolving around whether a shade of paint is the same as the prototype shade of the same color. The Sunset Silverliner striping can seem to fade or disappear under different sources of lighting depending upon the direction from which the model is viewed (photoed). This comes into play as replacing the striping is attempted.
When the too dark stripes are applied 1st and then the too light stripes are applied over the dark stripes, the effect is a chose match to the Sunset stripes.
From what others or I have been able to discern, the stripes on the Sunset Silverliners appear to not be true decals but rather silk screened onto the models. If you carefully rub your fingers over the side of the models, you’ll fell the raised striping.
There are 2 conditions you will run into - medium to large areas to be replaced or medium to small areas to be repaired.
To repair a medium to large areas it’s best to replace all the striping on the side of the car to have a consistent looking striping effect. The NSL Silverliner plaque was easy to remove by placing a single edge razor blade under the plaque and raising it up. Then all the Sunset striping can be removed. Carefully using your finger nail as a scrapper, scrape off the striping. The only solvent I found which will soften, but not remove, the striping is lacquer thinner. Other solvents were tried including acetone, isopropyl alcohol, the thinner for Scalecoat I paint, and kerosene.
Lacquer thinner does not soften the striping much. It was used to clean the strip loose “bits” of striping off the side. You will probably not be able to remove all the striping. The striping immediately under the belt rail plus some other stops didn’t budge. As much as possible was removed. The side was then painted with Floquil Old Silver (metallic) paint.
Now Greg King's darker decal stripes can be applied to the side of the model.
There is a procedure to follow in placing the new stripe decals on the car. Trim the decals squarely. Apply the middle third of the side either between the 2 vertical rivet strips OR just over the 2 vertical rivet strips. Tip the model so all the excess water will flow to the bottom edge of the side. Blot the excess water to remove it.
Apply a small amount of Walthers Solveset to the top stripe of the decal. Allow the decal to dry. Then apply Solveset brushing downward once. Do not go over the decal again. Allow the decal to dry for 12 hours or more.
Now apply either the left or right third of the side but not both at the same time. In applying the decal butt it up against the center decal. Tip the model to drain off the excess water. With a cuticle scissors cut the area of the decal over the trucks. Cut only the outside and inside parts and not the top.
Apply a small amount of Walthers Solveset to the top stripe of the decal. Allow the decal to dry. Apply Solveset brushing downward once. Do not go over the decal again. Allow the decal to dry for 12 hours or more.
Now apply the last third of the decal to the side following the steps outlined above.
When the decals have completely dried, gently wipe away any excess decaling chemicals with water and allow dry again. When dry, spray a coat of Testors Glosscote over the decal.
At this point the striping doesn't look that bad - depending upon the light, direction of viewing, etc. However, to obtain the same gray color and visual effects of the Sunset stripes; a layer of Greg King's light decal stripes have to applied over the dark decal stripes. Follow all of the above instructions to apply the light decals including the application of Testors Glosscote
These close-ups are too close to truly show how close the application of the lighter strip over the dark stripe matches the Sunset stripes in color and visual effects when the model is rotated. The new decals fade and disappear the same as the Sunset stripes.
When you are too close the print of the striping shows up but from afar it looks correct.
If you are replacing small sections of striping, you will need to cut the strip of striping to almost exactly the size needed. If you don’t the overlapping striping will look darker. The same double application of both dark 1st followed by the light decal striping is required to fix the missing Sunset stripe.
This may seem like a lot of work. If it is worth fixing, it is worth doing it correctly with what is available.