Modeling Monon #37: Surprise it is a PS-1

Bill Welch

Here is a link to some photos of Monon #37, a PS-1 I am now finally decaling:


Until the 2017 Collinsville RPM I did not realize how special the model of Monon #37 I have been working on on-and-off for two years is but in the first few minutes of Ed Hawkins presentation about the Pullman PS-1 I learned that despite such parts as Standard Railway Equipment’s Murphy paneled roof and Improved Dreadnaught Ends I was actually modeling a PS-1. When I started the model I was interested because it offered me the opportunity to us the pair of 7-panel Superior door tooled by Dan Hall of Southwest Scale Productions ( that I had purchased from Andy Carlson. It also meant I could finally use the some of the Monon decals I had purchased from Mont Switzer in about 1995. Having been caught “asleep at the wheel” by Branchline selling their fine kits to Atlas, at the time I only had a stash of undec. C&BT Car Shop kits so I started removing rivets and panel lines and then once I had perfectly smooth side began to add the needed details.

In the intervening months I sculpted the tabs along the sill; added rivets—both harvested and Archer decals; weld lines w/Archers’ Aircraft Panels Lines; and scratch built ladders, Placard Boards and Route Card Holders; trust plates; and gussets under the door tracks. Since Collinsville I have decided to build a Pullman underframe instead of the AAR u/f I was ready to install but I wanted to go ahead and paint and decal it. I began by spraying the roof with a mixture of Tamiya’s Sky Grey and Aluminum in an attempt to re-create something that looks Galvanized. Then I brushed on “Bob Dively Model Aircraft Liquid Masking Film” in a random way, and then painted the roof with Polyscale “Tarnished Black. After a couple of days I peeled the liquid making away and masked the roof with Tamiya’s Masking tape and painted the body with Badger’s #16-15 Maroon Tuscan Oxide Red, then added a coat of Microscale’s Clear Gloss. All of this was done with my trusty Badger 155 Anthem siphon feed airbrush w/a .75 mm needle/tip combo at 20 PSI.

Despite being at least 22 years old, Mont’s decals are going on with no problems using Microscale’s Blue and Red label decal setting solutions. His set does not have a Pullman Builder’s stencil so I used one from a Speedwitch WofA set. If you look closely you will see this is for their Bessemer, Alabama plant, which is probably wrong for this car. Also missing is the stenciling for the door: “Lift Handle — To Open Or Close Door.” Not finding this phrase in any of the decal sets I have I bit the bullet and decided to piece this together from Microscale’s Gothic Data Sheet, ugh it has been maybe 18 years since I had done this. First I used Microscale Decal film on the very small data as my set is pretty old and I did not want this small type to crumble and then made coffee. The night before I had confirmed all of the letters were there and which words would require piecing together—“Lift Handle — To.” I started in the middle on either side of said handle and somehow managed to keep everything straight.

Once the decaling is finished I will give them a protective coat and use oils to weather the roof. I have a spare roof set aside already painted and peeled to experiment on before moving onto the model. The Yarmouth running board will be attached having been painted separately. I am using brass wire rivets to secure the RB’s end supports so the Kadee Ajax brake wheel will be installed after the RB. I will probably use PanPastels for the sides and ends. Once this is done I will add new Reweigh and Lube stenciling.

In retrospect this has been a labor of love. I worked on it in spurts since it involved some thinking and problem solving. In some ways the C&BT body was not the best choice although the only choice I had at the time. But as I look at the result I am happy. I have one bad weld line per side and the tabs on the side you see are better than those on the other side. Question, comments?

Bill Welch

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