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  • You Might Be Preferred 45 Cool. But You’ll Never Be Xtra-Repaint Ghosted Preferred 45 Cool.

    2013 - 07.17

    It’s been a while since I did a model train post. One thing I’ve been working on lately is a set of blank 45 foot trailers which I’ve been decaling for the Milwaukee Road’s trailer service. They have a number of neat paint schemes which had caught my eye, namely the “Preferred 45”, “Preferred 102”, and “Preferred Pool” trailers. One of each is on display here:








    The decals are by Micro Scale and although they have been out of production for probably 10 years, you can still find them floating around (pun intended?). Old decals can be tough to work with, since they like to fall apart on you, but with some patience I think I nailed it. The trailers are also out of production models, from the Promotex line by a Canadian company called Herpa. I went with these simply because I liked the amount of detail on them. The reflective stripes on the sides are probably an anachronism, but eh, whatever, I think it looks neat so let’s run with it.

    It was actually really tough to find reference photos taken of the prototype (aka the real thing for the non-modelers out there). Below are two which were shared with me from the slide collection of Mr Nathan Dahms. Thank you for these helpful images Nathan!  And thank you for permission to post them here so that others in search of reference images will have something to use :


    I got this first image after decaling mine.  Although I followed the decal sheet instructions (which are consistent with the image below), this trailer is a bit different.  I think for the next ones I do, I will mimic this photo instead…

    And lastly, in the process of searching for images, I rediscovered this dude who goes by the handle Mellow Mike. I had seen his stuff on weathering forums years and years ago, then lost track of what he was up to when those forums closed. This guy is seriously god-like with an airbrush (and whatever other secret alchemy sauces he uses). If this kind of thing interests you, his website will totally blow your mind. Anyway I randomly found a trailer he had done via google image search. It’s a Milwaukee Road Preferred 45 trailer which was sold and painted over, although the original scheme remains faintly visible, a state referred to as ‘ghosted’. He said he based this off a photo. So my little decaling project is neat and all, but check out the real master at work:

    JUST.  WOW.

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    2 Responses to “You Might Be Preferred 45 Cool. But You’ll Never Be Xtra-Repaint Ghosted Preferred 45 Cool.”

    1. Jim Fitch says:

      Your decal job looks great. The trailers you want are the Athearn 45′ Fruehauf trailers based on the old A-line kits. They are accurate for many of the 1980’s era trailers typically on TOFC trains, and into the 1990’s as well. Athearn offered the 45′ Preferred Pool version a few years ago and I’ve managed to collect about seven of the as they were very common on Rio Grande TOFC hot shot trains.

      I’ve got a photo in my Rio Grande in Color Volume 2: Utah, showing a 1981 TOFC train with 3 40′ Preferred Pool trailers visible – the Athearn 40′ Fruehauf would be ideal for that. They are just out on the market again now in November 2015 FYI.

      BTW, Mellow Mike used to frequent the Atlas Model Railroad company forums and showed some very realistically weather freight cars. That forum shut down in 2012 but the Atlas Rescue Forum was created just afterward. http://atlasrescueforum.proboards.com/

      Nice job on the trailers.

      Cheers, Jim

    2. AC says:

      I thought I also seen smaller versions many many years ago in Chicago that said 81 Pool down the side.Been 80’s