This is another in my continuing series about the application of graffiti to freight cars for a layout set in 1999. To locate previous posts in the series, the simplest process is to use “freight car graffiti” as the search term in the search box at right. For the previous post about autorack cars, you can use this link: https://modelingthesp.blogspot.com/2021/01/freight-car-graffiti-part-22-autoracks.html .
To repeat a comment from that previous post, my observation of prototype autoracks shows that the graffiti are almost always of the kind that can be done fairly quickly, small pieces near the bottom of the car, and lots of tags or “throw-up” pieces (for background, see my article in Model Railroad Hobbyist, January 2020). An example prototype photo that I took is below.
In model form, these cars have complex side screens and are thus an interesting
challenge to decal. Like the previous autorack models I showed, they
are InterMountain products. The first model autorack I want to show is a Burlington Northern rack on a Trailer Train flat car, TTX 604393; it is shown below as I received it.
I applied a variety of decals here. On the left side of the car, I used decals from Blair Line set 2262 and from Microscale set 87-1536. After a coat of flat and weathering with acrylic washes, and adding a few tags, the left side looked like this: (You can click on the image to enlarge it if you wish.)
The right side of the car was done a little differently, using all Microscale decals, sets 1533 and 1536. Then again, a coat of flat finish was followed by acrylic wash weathering and a few tags, mostly with “Gelly Roll” fine-tip pens.
The other autorack in this pairing was a Santa Fe car, slightly different in that the rack rides on a Santa Fe flat car, ATSF 88428, unlike the practice on most railroads of using Trailer Train flat cars.
I will again begin with the left side of this model. Here I used decals from Microscale set 87-1523, from Blair Line set 2262, and a T2 decal. The decals were given a coat of flat finish, followed by acrylic wash weathering, and a few additional tags with “Gelly Roll” pens. The car then looked this way:
For the right side of this rack, I again applied T2, Blair Line (set 2263) and Microscale (set 1535) decals, and followed up with a coat of clear flat, weathering, and tagging.
These large models have been a challenge, both for sheer size and for the relatively rough surfaces of the side screens. But careful decal application can still be done, and I feel like the results give a good representation of what is seen on prototype autoracks.