Source for Custom Painted Engines?

JKeenan0407 Dec 24, 2014

  1. JKeenan0407

    JKeenan0407 TrainBoard Member

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    Looking for links for custom painted N scale locos.

    Found one individual but wanted $150 to custom paint an RS1. I wrote back that I could buy a DCC loco for that price and even some cars!!!

    Also, what is a reasonable price for a custom painted loco. My paint scheme only requires one color with no fancy painting....pretty simple I think.

    Thanks
     
  2. urodoji

    urodoji TrainBoard Member

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    150 for a custom painted loco seems perfectly reasonable to me, once you consider the time, tools, skill, and material that go into it.
     
  3. jpwisc

    jpwisc TrainBoard Member

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    I like how you insult the painter and then ask us what a reasonable price is...

    If you want a good paint job, plan on spending $100+. If the painter is supplying the engine and the decals, don't expect less than $200 for a quality job. If you want details added or other modifications made it can go up from there. You can find them for less, but you get what you pay for.

    Time and skills equate to $. Don't expect to get quality if you are only willing to pay $10/hour.

    Here are some good painters:
    Jeff King
    Brian K.
    Andrew (Ridgeline)
     
    jshglass likes this.
  4. JKeenan0407

    JKeenan0407 TrainBoard Member

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    I can understand $150 for a fancy or complicated paint job where various masks are required.

    The SP&S paint scheme seems pretty basic especially since my engine is a solid gray so only the bottom yellow needs to be painted. I sent the individual a photo of the engine. There is no tiger stripe or anything requiring skilled masking for this paint scheme. Just me two centavos. :)

    As you can see the only painting is one band of yellow and decals for the sp&s.

    I may end up doing this myself. When I raced 1/10 RC cars I did my own custom painting using masking material and an xacto knife, but at age 70 the motor skills and eyes ain't what they were 30 years ago!!!!

    sp&s.jpg
     
  5. James Costello

    James Costello TrainBoard Member

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    Sounds like the right type of paint scheme to learn to paint and decal on....
     
  6. LOU D

    LOU D TrainBoard Member

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    You need to consider just what you're asking.First of all,just what railroad are you talking about? Just something simple like a Penn Central RS involves taking it apart,stripping it,painting it,paint the railings,do the numberboards,decal it,clear coat it,ETC.I'm really fast,I'd be flying to paint a pair of them in 8 hours.Even a single color unit with stripes can be a lot of work.For just something like a simple black PC unit,PRR,CNJ,I'd expect to pay at least 80 bucks.Except,of course,I paint my own,LOL!!
     
  7. bill pearce

    bill pearce TrainBoard Member

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    I once did a lot of custom painting. I didn't set a solid price, I charged a per color price because it was alway more trouble if there were three colors. I also charged for complex masking. A single color with simple decals would be more like 60-75.
     
  8. urodoji

    urodoji TrainBoard Member

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    Will the yellow go over the black without the black bleeding through?
     
  9. WolfWorks

    WolfWorks TrainBoard Member

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    urodoji, You would have to apply a lot of yellow to not have the black bleed through. I have always had better results with painting the lighter color and then covering with darker.
     
  10. cf7

    cf7 TrainBoard Member

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    This type of thread is one reason I stopped painting for everyone except for a few friends.

    Reading your posts, it sounds like you want an SP&S loco. The gray that you speak of should be a dark green. That would make it a two color job. Or was the SP&S listed as an example of perhaps a freelance scheme?

    Also, if the shell is gray, is it bare plastic or it it an undec with a primer coat (like an undec LifeLike)? If it's bare, that would also need to be painted, so counting your yellow stripe, that would also be a two color job.
     
  11. barlowfaudio

    barlowfaudio TrainBoard Member

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    There is plenty of skill involved in creating a nice straight and sharp line between colors for a stripe that lines up around the entire engine. Your ignorance is showing. You really should try it
    yourself since "no masking skills" are needed! Also Yellow is a difficult color to apply correctly… lol
     
  12. Backshop

    Backshop TrainBoard Member

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    Let's not forget the set-up and prep of the airbrush & compressor, plus thorough cleaning of it between paint colors. Plus the setting solution for the decals, having at times to build car or loco numbers one at a time from the decal sheet, especially the tiny ones. That's part of the labor, too.
     
  13. jpwisc

    jpwisc TrainBoard Member

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    Yellow is a pain in the #@$! Just to get a coat of yellow I need to shoot a coat of undercoat grey first, then the yellow. Then mask and spray the rest of the engine. The walkways are usually black, so that needs to be done too...

    If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. It's not impossible, but it takes some practice.

    Honestly, about 6 years ago I ordered two custom painted engines from two different pro shops. One was beautiful. The other was a turd. That was what pushed me to buy my own airbrush and start painting my own engines. I will never regret that decision.
     
  14. SPsteam

    SPsteam TrainBoard Member

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    I am a steam era modeler, so I have few diesels on my line, however each of my steam engines is painted and detailed. I would say I have 4-5 hours into the painting alone. If I detail and have to add parts and pieces, the hours go up. My P-10 4-6-2 has about 100 hours into it and I am just finishing up a P-8 that I have about 15 hours on. 100-150 isn't out of the question by the time you factor in paint and tools.

    As far as yellow and other light colors. They are difficult to get right. I usually use silver as an undercoat to any light colors, to me it looks a little brighter than white as a base.
     
  15. LOU D

    LOU D TrainBoard Member

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    Not in this universe..Yellow,as mentioned,is horrible to work with..Painting trains is nothing like painting RC cars,I know,I've painted hundreds of cars,thousands of trains.Something you don't even notice on an RC car body is a huge flaw on a train. I suggest you try painting some junk shells first..And don't thing you're going to use regular masking tape.You need Tamiya,or some other very fine,thin tape to even think about going over the small details on an N scale shell.5 bucks for a roll of tape,primer,5 bucks + each for two bottles of paint,5 more for a bottle of flat finish,thinner,ETC,you're at 30 bucks before you even start..I just painted this for a guy that worked on the LV,this was his caboose,it's brass..I gave him the cheapest price to paint it,$150.00..

    toms_hack_049.jpg
     
  16. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Scale is ?
     
  17. LOU D

    LOU D TrainBoard Member

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    HO scale..I'm supposed to do two more for another Valley guy..
     
  18. umtrr-author

    umtrr-author TrainBoard Member

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    Really nice work, Lou. If I'd have tried that yellow stripe it would have looked like wayward spaghetti...

    Echoing the thoughts of others, $150 isn't really out of line these days. Also please consider the new difficulties in obtaining paint since RPM decided the model railroading market was no longer big enough to warrant bothering with the Floquil and Polly Scale brands.

    There is an RS-1 in SP&S that was done as a special run by Atlas for The Hobby Smith. If I recall correctly, those units go for north of $100 when they are offered on eBay, which is not often, so again, $150 does not seem out of line.
     
  19. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Are we talking $150 for the engine + painting? Or $150 for the painting alone? His current SP&S custom run is $119, or all three versions for $297.

    (PS- This does NOT violate our retailer rules. We are talking of a custom manufacturer, which these items do not compete with any TrainBoard advertisers!)
     
  20. LOU D

    LOU D TrainBoard Member

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    George,I live in the land of the stripe,LOL!! EL,LV,RDG,CNJ,PRR,D&H,ETC,if you can't lay down a line where I live,you're dead,LOL!!
     

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