...I'm a three man!
Numbers are important as I once witnessed at a boating lake “Come in number 9 your time is up”. “Oops we only have 6 boats”. “Number 6 you have capsized.”
The renumbering of trains is an important aspect of our layout as it is location and period specific. Fortunately I have the easiest job, all I have to do is remove the old number and renumber it with the number provided by Iain our historian. At first I imagined these were numbers Iain just pulled out of a hat. But I stand corrected as this searching for relevant numbers is a painstaking task. Iain with usually a number he picks from memory then consults a range of books cross referencing and researching the history of each specific number. The amazing thing is these books are devoid of pictures. Just rows and rows of numbers, dates and locations.
I must admit that I am in awe at Iain’s tenacity and single minded pursuit of perfection. I too consult books so that I can position the new number correctly and make any logo changes, but thankfully the books I consult are full to the brim with pictures. Sadly none of these books are colouring books but I still manage to get paint on them and the occasional coal dust smudge, that stuff permeates everywhere even Iain’s laptop (I am so sorry Iain)
The first step is to remove the old number. To do this I use various grades of micromesh. I have recently started to use nail buffing pads a cheap and useful tool. This is starting to look bad; hairspray and nail buffers. The girl in Superdrug eyes me with suspicion as I make my purchases and I try to explain they are for model trains “and the makeup brushes Sir are they for your model trains too”. I know she does not believe a word as I meekly reply. “Yes they are for weathering powder”. Do you know hard it is to walk out of a shop in high heels when you are embarrassed?
I then apply the appropriate decals using nail varnish, no I don’t, I use Microset and Microsol Decal solutions. When they are dry I apply matt varnish. And hey presto a newly numbered train. This afternoon I spent ages looking for number sixes in a specific style whilst bemoaning to myself we have loads of 7s 8s and 9s but no 6s. Then after a cup a tea of tea the penny dropped.