My interest in trains can be traced back to Christmas of 1978 when I got my first trainset, Tyco if I remember correctly. I can recall it was a red and silver Santa Fe GP38. Not that I knew that at the time, the thing I remember most was that it looked nothing like the trains that ran through my hometown of Katy, Texas.
The Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad or the Katy was the main influence for this passion I have with railroads. The bold green locomotives with the large billboard MKT on the flanks, yellow zebra stripes on the nose, cab and ends were quite eye catching and to a 9 year old kid, it was love at first sight.
Needless to say there were very few models of any type of Katy equipment much less locomotives. Not knowing about water slide decals I can remember my first attempt at modeling a Katy engine was painting it forest green and using peel and stick vinyl lettering. They were a bit thick on the sides of the model but at the time they looked damn good to me.
I drifted away from the hobby in my late teens, girls and parties took the place of that nonsense, but I could not excape it for long. Returning to the hobby I was amazed at how much had changed since the last time I had stepped inside a hobby shop. I tried my hand at modeling the Union Pacific, my new hometown railroad after it absorbed the Katy, even purchasing several Kato Dash 9's but I realized very quickly that I missed the Katy and the only way to bring her back was modeling her in my scale of choice, 1/87.
I have met several people within the last three to five years that have pushed me into replicating prototype equipment and weathering. I am forever in their debt for opening this door to me and for the guidance and help they've offered. I have found this aspect of modeling to be the most enjoyable part of my modeling experience and I am happy to be able to share it here with you.