In the present post I continue progress on the two Lark sleeping cars I’ve been working on, described in four previous posts. (The immediate prior one is here: https://modelingthesp.blogspot.com/2023/05/modeling-sp-passenger-cars-part-15.html .) At this point, the cars had been given their two-tone gray paint scheme, though without the needed separation stripes, and still needed to be lettered. The background on lettering and numbering for these car is presented in the post just cited.
The stripes above and below the window band on these cars were 2 inches wide after the black edging was discontinued, and the color was the Southern Pacific “Lettering Gray,” a light gray. I have tried applying striping like this using decal stripes, and found it quite a wrestle to get them straight and in position. The alternative is to mask and spray. I found this easier than it sounds; one can pull the tape straight with a little tension, and either measure or eyeball the stripe width.
I used to prefer drafting tape for this kind of masking, because it doesn’t have too strong an adhesive, but the Tamiya masking tape works every bit as well or better, and is easy to apply. That a good result can be achieved this way is, I hope, shown by the photo below, of an AHM 10 roomette-6 double bedroom, or 10-6, car. These aren’t perfect — but they are straight.
In the photo above, you can see that there are no stabilizer bars added yet, alongside the diaphragms (for background on these bars, see this post: https://modelingthesp.blogspot.com/2021/06/passenger-car-diaphragms-part-3.html ). I use a length of brass wire, 0.028-inch or 0.035-inch size, to represent these. Here is the car shown above, with the bars added. It’s a full-width diaphragm.
I might also note that there are a variety of diaphragm face plates on SP cars like these. Many were delivered with the plain face plate you see above, running to the top of the car body, as part of a full-width diaphragm. This is what is shown on the 10-6 car above.
But in later years, when the full-width diaphragms were removed, in some cases a shorter face plate was either cut down from an original plate, such as the one shown above, or a new face plate of reduced height was a replacement. Here’s an illustration of that, also on a 10-6. The“rust” on the face plate was made with Pan Pastel “Red Iron Oxide” material.
For the present project, the 13 DB and 4-4-2 cars, I began with the striping as my next step prior to lettering. Shown below is the bedroom side of the 13 DB car.
Of course, the emblems that Southern Pacific used on its various passenger trains are a topic of great interest and pleasure to SP fans, not least the distinctive Lark emblem. It was obviously derived from the first of these emblems, the familiar ball and wing of the Daylight emblem, but nicely has the ball in silver, suggesting the moon, for this overnight train.
Below is shown the emblem, with dimensions, taken directly from John Signor’s artwork in the fine reference book, Southern Pacific Painting and Lettering Guide: Locomotives
and Passenger Cars, 2nd edition, Jeff Cauthen and John Signor (SPH&TS, Upland, CA, 2019). You can click on the image to enlarge it if you wish.
My next challenge here is decals. Some decal makers are out of stock on decals for these cars. (Microscale catalogs a superb set, 87-761, with insignias for most of SP’s streamlined trains, including the Lark emblem shown above, but it’s been out of stock for some time.) Champ offered an excellent set back in the day (Champ decals, set PH-110, “Southern Pacific Lark Passenger Car”) with white lettering and very nice Lark emblems. Thin Film Decals has a superb set, HO 158, intended for Two-Tone Gray cars and having outlined silver lettering, but no Lark emblems. Luckily I found an old Champ set in my stash, and will proceed with lettering. More in a future post.