My cousin John is a year or so older than I am, and as a kid, I kind of looked up to him. Back then, kids built models the way they play video games today, and on one visit, John showed me a plane he was working on. I was astonished to see that the sprues were covered in pre-painted parts. Painting was the last step for my models. But John, whose father was a cabinet maker and knew a thing or two about making stuff, pointed out that if you want clean colour separations, the simplest thing is to paint the parts different colours before assembly.
I’m sure John’s forgotten all about that seminal visit. Yet today, this lesson is foundational to the way I plan my models. As much as possible, I build subassemblies that will be one colour, and I avoid masking if I can.
When I built Caboose number 2, I declared that in the future, I would model under frames in wood, and pre-paint all the hardware. Even if it will be hidden by murk and weathering, I’m quite pleased with the way the plan plays on these flat cars, which have been my focus for the past few weeks.
Don’t worry: the locomotive will be back. I was feeling a burned out by it, and needed a rest.