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NS class 5000

Painting & lining


The first step in the painting process brings a novelty for me. In previous models I immediately set out for degreasing the parts. Brass however is an unfavourable surface for paint to adhere to. So I got a fellow modeller's tip: "sand"blast the brass surface first. It roughens the surface without destroying the detail. Well, I had bought such a kit for a bargain, just €33, quite some time ago under the motto "you never know". I had already tried it on the frame and I liked the result. So now again the eraser kit came out.

The rather simple kit blast kit. "Sand" is actually aluminium oxide. The desired result. Left the normal brass sheet surface, right when sandblasted

After that the parts are thoroughly degreased.

  • First an hour in pretty aggressive soap from our dishwasher, of which the effect is supported by a few bouts of thorough brushing. 
  • Once the hour has passed the soap is rinsed off with lukewarm tap water. Doe not touch the parts anymore with your bare fingers.
  • Then the parts submerged in 4% acetic acid., again for an hour and some scrubbing.
  • After rinsing with tap water a good flush with demineralised water concludes degreasing. The latter is to prevent mineral residues in tap water to settle as scale on the metal surface which will impede the paint's adherence to the metal.

The parts are taken from the water and blown dry with an empty airbrush. Leave in a good warm place to dry for at least 24 hours in a dustfree environment.

Drying under cover to prevent dust settling on the model. Dust is your fiercest enemy at this stage. Cover of course removed for the photo.

Base coat

I made a video explaining the process, so if you are new to the subject of painting you might enjoy viewing it



I did not make a photo of all parts in their base coat, just this tender frame to represent them all.

You can see the coat is very thin, almost translucent. On the other hand the spray whirls so easily it descends everywhere and the paint has a very low viscosity so it tends to spread widely and into every corner and crevice.



Then the first colour is sprayed with the airbrush.

Parts that are all black are sprayed black straight away. Parts that will be green and black are first sprayed green. This is rather counter-intuitive order. I was first inclined to spray everything black as a kind of second base coat and consider the green as a sort of bonus.  During my NS 6200 project I found myself confronted with a mighty heap of masking when following that order. I soon found there was far less work in masking a green loco than a black one. It seems odd but there is a simple logic behind it. In the real world which parts where painted green? Well, those parts which can be cleaned relatively easy, those parts in relatively easy reach of the crew. So guess which parts can be masked with the least effort? Aha!!


After masking en spraying black I was reasonably proud of the results so far. I loosely assembled the locomotive, first to enjoy the sheer sight of it and second to check if everything still went together well. Well, it was a good thing I did that...

Is it turned out the steam pipe on the right hand side (left photo) would not touch the running board anymore. The other side did perfectly, but no matter how hard I tried I just could not get the right side to "touch down". Now what?

The vertical part of the water feed pipe was also "off the ground", indicating it was not just the steam pipe that somehow was misplaced.

First I went back to basics. During soldering I lined out both vertical pipes and both steam pipes on the running board. I placed the boiler on an absolutely flat surface (a Proxxon drill stand table) ...
... and found all four touching perfectly.
I also found that the running board itself had only a minor skewness, which was easy to correct. It did not help to resolve the problem though.
I also found the plate with the manhole covers perfectly aligned, but also noted the smokebox saddle protrude a little at the right side (left on the photo)
I but the boiler back in place and exerted a little force, and yes there a bit of damage to the paint on the running board. So I concluded that the boiler was forced a bit to the right by the plate with the manhole covers.
So I scraped away a bit of material

and ..... success!!

Problem solved.


Having ensured that the boiler had a good fit I could continue working on the boiler. Next job was lining the boiler bands

The boiler has quite a few molded-on pipes which I had to skip over with the boiler band. This made adding the boiler band detail a very slow process.

Masking the tender proved to be more time consuming than I expected

The result was most gratifying

Some details like the lamps and handrails were difficult to mask so these will be be painted black by hand.
But first the lines and the numbers are added
Which is also done on the cab sides

Buffer beams are masked ...

... and painted red. Small details are then filled in with black with a tiny brush.

In the cab the larger pipes are painted copper.

The end result of the painting process. A semi-gloss clear coat will dull the rather gloss.