[CNLines-CNet] An unintended lettering glitch in the first run of True Line Trains' CNR Steel Boxcars

Ian Cranstone

Forwarded as per Stafford Swain's request near the bottom of this message...

Ian Cranstone
Osgoode, Ontario, Canada

Begin forwarded message:

From: Stafford Swain <sswain@...>
Date: April 6, 2007 1:04:00 PM EDT (CA)
To: CN CN LINES-CNet <CNLines-CNet@...>, CNR Steam Mavens Steam List Serve <CNR-SteamMavens@...>
Subject: [CNLines-CNet] An unintended lettering glitch in the first run of True Line Trains' CNR Steel Boxcars
Reply-To: CNLines-CNet@...

Late last summer Allen Ferguson and I volunteered our free consulting
services to True Line Trains respecting the CNR painting and
lettering requirements for their new "National Steel Car" boxcars of
the late 1930s and early 1940s.

While the team of Swain and Ferguson did a lot "right" back then, we
have very recently become aware of an unfortunate error in the
lettering that we specified for True Line Trains.

As many of you will know, CNR steel-frame (wood sheathed) boxcars
always had "C. N." in 5-inch lettering located fairly high on the
wood-sheathed side doors (even as late as the 1970s).

However, once the "all-steel" boxcars came along (1936 onwards) the 5-
inch "C. N." was NOT applied to the doors of any of the all-steel

By now you may be guessing that the first run of the these all-new
models will arrive with "C.N." on the side doors. Regrettably, you
will be correct!!

On the scale of "what can go wrong with this model" possibilities,
this one is relatively minor. If you buy some of the models (I sure
hope you will as there will be 4 lettering schemes and 24 different
cars in all) you have several options to address this glitch.

1. You can use the matching CN Red #11 paint from either Modelflex or
the CN Lines SIG to bury this incorrect lettering.

2. You can use a drop of isopropyl alcohol and a fine burnisher to
melt off the white "C. N. lettering thus revealing the Red No. 11
paint underneath .

3. According to a pal who has already tried this on a sample model,
you can use Floquil's " ELO" (this stands for "Easy Lift Off" not
"Electric Light Orchestra") to lift the lettering off the two doors
(this option will likely become my personal fix of first choice).

4. You can leave the lettering as is. After all, defective postage
stamps and defective coins that slip into circulation seem to command
premium collector prices (and you can bet our error will not be
repeated in future offerings)!

This message is only being circulated by me on the CN Lines CNet and
the CNR Steam Mavens message boards. Both True Lines Trains and the
" truly guilty" (Stafford Swain and Allen Ferguson) would very much
like this news to find its way quickly to all internet message boards
where freight car modelers lurk. So please pass this message on!

Let me also add that there is a great tendency in the model railway
marketplace to blame the importer (in this case True Lines Trains)
for this kind of flub. The reality is the importers are not the
experts and gaffes like this typically flow directly from an "expert"
consultant or two's mistake(s). In this case True Lines Trains
relied on us and we erred in this area.

Oh yes, this message also will tell you that these all-new (Canadian
features) boxcar models will be at the retailers very soon (maybe 4
to 5 weeks).

As for Swain and Ferguson, we will soon be enjoying a healthy helping
of crow feathers during our respective family Easter dinners . . .

Stafford Swain
26 Kenneth Street
Winnipeg, MB, Canada, R3T 0K8
(204) 477-9246

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