Sign my

SBB Ae 3/6


After "undressing the old lady" (excuse me for the pun) I started masking the black parts of the body in preparation of a first brown repaint. But I found that the masking tape would come loose again taking numerous numerous black chips with it. I desperately tried to protect the decals but to no avail. For the second time in this project I found myself confronted with the for more serious condition of the paint than I had expected. Realising that I could not get a good durable result if I kept building on sand I took the radical decision to part with the original paint altogether.

I washed the body with thinner and thoroughly scrubbed it to remove all paint

Then a base coat was applied. Maybe a base coat is not strictly necessary with a plastic body. But I am going to take no risk. It is simply too much work to do it over

After one layer of brown-red paint. The colour is bit high-toned but that is caused the grey base coat that still shines through. Maybe it would have been better if I had sprayed a dark grey over the base coat first. Well never mind. First I'll let this layer dry for a few days so all chemical activity has ceased before proceeding with the following layers. I guess I'll need at least another four layers.


This is the result after the second layer. I had expected by now that the colour would have darkened.


I made a remarkable discovery. The colour that had so nicely matched the original locomotive's body colour proved to be too light after airbrushing. Was it the airbrush process that lightened up the colour? Or the fact that I had only made a small test strip, too small to make a valid comparison? It wasn't the light grey base coat, as I initially suspected. Even after three layers the colour just would not darken. So I could only conclude that the formula I found needed to contain more black and red.


I bought a new tin of brown and made a new mixture. For a fourth layer I used this formula:

  • Base colour Revell SM381
  • Remove 4 ml (which leaves 10 ml)
  • Add 80 drops Revell SM302 (black)
  • Add 100 drops Revell SM330 (red)

Even after mixing a new formula I was not entirely happy but I'm going to leave it like this.


At the left a photo of the original coating. It is definitely more reddish. But time is pressing so I must go on. In comparison with the prototype I think I found a closer match than Märklin did.

After masking. Next thing is spraying Humbrol Aluminium 27001 on the roof


After spraying and removal of the mask. I need to do some rework as some overspray crept under the mask (e.g. left top of middle side window). The bright colour of the aluminium paint will tone down once sprayed with semi-gloss clear coat.


For the last colour, black, the body needs to be masked all over. To work on the model I put it in a foam cradle so as not to damage the still vulnerable paint.

The plastic is from a simple plastic bag for deep freezing food. It saves on masking tape and time.
The inside is masked as well to prevent black paint getting into roof holes and windows.

I rarely make photos in the paint shop area (a simple shed attached to our house). Its is simply too much fuss and it does not add much to the story of most projects.


Well, here it is in three colours. Some layers of coating to go.
Well this is the final result after giving a clear semi-gloss coating. I'm not entirely happy with it. This gloss is too hard to my taste, I'd preferred the softer gloss before coating (compare the previous photo). As this is a model of a museum locomotive I find it acceptable though. The good news is that the metal roof has toned down.