I always begin painting a freight car with the underbody. Once I have the underbody sprayed I proceed with the car body color or colors. I used to tape off the underbody; however, I believed there had to be a better way. My solution to avoid the taping off the underbody after spraying is a simple jig anyone can build or use.
|Click on image to enlarge|
The jig consists of a piece of lumber, 3/4" x 3 1/2" x 6", four nails inserted as shown in the photo and a 3/4" band cut from cardboard surrounding the nails. The band has a cutout on each end for the coupler to sit in. The dimensions in the photo are for a 40 ft. HO scale freight car and can be adjusted to any car length. I can not avoid taping completely as the couplers, in my opinion, still need to be covered with tape to maintain proper working order.
|Car in jig with couplers taped|
The car is placed in the jig and sprayed using airbrush or paint "rattle" can. The jig is especially handy for a RTR car or any car that needs a quick clear coat. Just drop the car in and spray.
The simple jig I have shown and described here has saved me a lot of time in the paint booth. I hope you will find the same is true for you should you give it a try.
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