Re: PFE 1950s Ice Reefer Decals

Dick Harley

A few questions have come up, so I am going to answer them here and send this out to several lists.
Please keep in mind that when I say "ok" below, I don't mean it is correct, but just that 90+% of prototype modelers will find it acceptable.
I don't have any Walthers decals, so I can't comment on them.
Also, FYI, the UP medallions are measured vertically from tip to tip.

1) Is there anything incorrect on the old one [Microscale 87-501]?

The shorter answer would be what is correct on the old -501 sheet. The medallions are sort of ok, but the new ones are better. The reporting marks and road numbers are about the right size, but are spaced wrong. The words "Pacific Fruit Express" are ok, except the "A" is the wrong shape and the PAC in Pacific is spaced way too far apart. "Refrigerator" and class numbers are about 85% of correct size. "Fans, Stage Icing", capy. data, and dimen. data are about 75% of correct size. I have not figured out (and don't intend to) what classes are represented by that data, so I don't know what they are. There is a spreadsheet in the new instructions that tells you what data goes with which class. The repack stencils are pretty good.
REMEMBER: The new set has two identical sheets, which are not dated.

2) There were a few variations of this: "What about us pre-1950's modeler's?"

First off, the 1960s ice reefer set will be my next PFE project, because I want it. Then I will redo the -414 set. Lots of the artwork is done for that set, but I need to do the research to get all the appropriate class data, and then match to photos - no small task. However, I expect to have that done in about 6 months - I do several other things besides PFE decals.

The June 1946 to June 1950 period (with the double medallions and the color 45-inch UP medallion) is presently covered by either the Microscale -414 set (REVISED 4-95) or the Champ SHS-190 set with substitute UP medallion. The Microscale medallions are sort of ok; the Champ SP medallion is about 6% oversize, and their UP medallion is hopelessly wrong - shape and lettering. Champ's version of "Pacific Fruit Express" is pretty good; the -414 version is too short and has some funny letter shapes. The -414 class and capy. data is much too extended, and the dimen. data is about 80% of correct size. The Champ capy. and dimen. data are too extended. Both Microscale and Champ provide data with and without "lbs.", "ft." and "in." Those units were removed from PFE lettering in 1947.

The Jan. 1936 to July 1942 period (color 42-inch UP medallion without "System", but with Overland banner) and the July 1942 to June 1946 period (color 42-inch UP medallion without the Overland banner) is presently covered by either the Microscale -4021 minical set (Revised 03/06) or the Champ SHS-190 set with substitute UP medallion. As I recall, the Microscale medallions are pretty good, as are the Champ versions of the UP medallions - though I have not sized any of them recently. It's been awhile since I looked at those sets, but I suspect the -4021 may have similar problems with the lettering and some funny number shapes.

Before 1936 - I don't know.

3) Are there decals for the Dark Olive express reefers with Imitation Gold lettering?

Champ had set BRH-340. I have not analyzed it for accuracy.
There may be others choices that I don't know.
If enough people ask, maybe Microscale would do a minical. But it will be awhile before I can get around to that artwork, and if someone else puts the art together, who knows what data you will get. It's on my list but not near the top.

Have a good July 4th,
Dick Harley
Laguna Beach, CA

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