So, I'm done... FINALLY! This car may seem lightly weathered and I'm calling it lightly weathered but being subtle sure takes work. I started this car back in August or September of 2009. At the time I had been working on several projects at once, so work on the Pink Panther was an off and on affair. All together I'd say there are around 40 hours into this car. And, no, in case you're wondering, I'm not saying that for effect. I roll my eyes whenever I see "8-12 hours" in ebay listings. I guess we know how long it takes for someone to produce a run-of-the-mill weathered freight car, don't we?

THE WEATHERING
Many times when people look at things, anything, they don't see the entire picture. They don't really take the time to notice all the little things. All the things that no one notices unless they aren't there. So, since this car has almost no rust, one may think that I was taking it easy. Mailing one in so-to-speak. HA! This is where all those little things come in.

How many times have you looked at a covered hopper or a boxcar and noticed that the sheet metal has waves in it? You probably wouldn't unless you were tipped off to this fact by all the grime and dirt that tends to accumulate in the low part of these waves. I've seen some fellows replicate this wavy look in plastic but i've never seen anyone try to do it with paint. Hence the challenge with this project.

With a little insight from a friend I cracked the code on how to do these grime patterns and i think i've represented them fairly well. I ended up using chalk and more or less drew them on and set the chalk with alcohol before putting a flat finish over the grime.

The car started as an obnoxious color of pink that had to be faded down and that was accomplished with a custom mix of light pink oil paint. Intermountain, in all their wisdom, decided to move the word COOP one panel to the left. When I noticed this I figured it must have been some evil conspiracy to make my model less prototypical. That's fine, though, if there's one thing I've learned recently it's that there is no such thing as a truly prototypical model. You can chase that rainbow if you like, I'd rather get on with weathering.

The stock model came with the words FARNHAMVILLE, IA instead of CRESTON, IA underneath the FARMERS COOP. I gently sanded this off and added the CRESTON, IA name to the car. One thing that stuck out to me was that it was tough to match the font of the proto car. I acheived that by gently trimming the letters after they were on the car.

One big thing I noticed in going over the pictures of the real CPAA 629120, (yeah, there's a real one!), was that the ladders on one of the end cages looked darker than the rest of the car. Could this be rust? I thought for sure if it was, the rest of the car would be showing more age. I ended up concluding that some time during this car's lifetime it had sustained some damage that had been repaired and instead of painting the repaired areas pink, a black primer was used. This lended some contrast to the car as well as a little character.

Most of the weathering on the car was done with artist oil paint and weathering powders came into the picture for the bottom of the car and the trucks.

THE DETAIL
Speaking of those trucks, they are Exactrail 100 ton trucks. The detail on them is unbelievable and they lent themselves well to the powders. I added a little burnt sienna oil paint where needed. The wheels are Intermountain Semi Scale 36" wheels.

The clunky roofwalk was traded out for an etched metal one by Plano. They also supplied the cut levers.

The couplers are Sergent Engineering Scale Couplers, just like you'd see on the prototype. If you don't run Sergents, that's fine, I left the coupler box unglued so you can swap them out if you like.

I figure if someone is going to drop a decent chunk of change on one of my models, they should at least be detailed to the hilt. 

THE PRICE
You know, I spent a considerable amount of time deciding what I was going to say in this little blurb. I could come in here and talk trash about ebay and the fellows that sell there but that would be kinda lame considering two of my site mates here sell on ebay regularly. I could talk trash about a few of my fellow weatherers but that would just seem lame and tacky. And besides, I'm a firm believer in talking trash in an upwards direction. Meaning? Talk junk to the people in front of you, the people you see as better than you, not the people who produce inferior work or have inferior skill in comparison to your own. That being said, there's no trash talk going on here.

Speaking of ebay, you'll never see me on there. I don't need to sell these cars. I can simply put them back in the box and wait until the day that I build a layout or give them away as gifts to family. I guess somewhere along the line I just figured it would be cool to see if there's a market out there for my work. That being said, I'm not afraid to ask for a premium price for my work. If no one wants it, so be it. Think of it like this; instead of five or 10 people bidding on this car, I'm bidding on this car and my price is what I think it's worth. If you want it, you have to match my bid.  If you think I'm nuts, that's cool, send me an offer and I'll consider it.

So, that being said, I present ELOGGER #005, CPAA 629120, aka THE PINK PANTHER

PRICE: $400.00    
SOLD
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