Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad
Historical Society

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PLERRHS Modeling Committee Product Reviews


Last Updated
January 11, 2011

Microscale Decal Set #1227 Review
    Microscale Decals has recently released decals with a product code #1227 (87- prefix for HO scale, and 60-prefix for N), a set of Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad Diesels (1971 - 1992). A sampling was sent to the Society for review and comments. While overall product quality is excellent, the instructions on this initial production run relating as to what decals can be used with which model locomotive is inaccurate. The Society is working with Microscale and we anticpate that the next production run of #1227's will superior to this fine first run.

    While Microscale provides the modeler with 3 sizes and 4 styles of big yellow P&LE lettering, not all of is currently useable. This review will direct the reader in which lettering can be used for what.

    In the middle of the top of the sheet, below the small red text stating "Lettering for GP38/GP38-2s." The decals under this header will ONLY work the the GP38-2s as it is much too LARGE for the GP38s . There are 2 P&LE's with the squared off ampersand. This lettering is excellent for the sides of a 2051 to 2056 series GP38-2. The next two have rounded ampersands. This is where I must begin to diverge from the data sheet. The lettering here is excellent for the former Rock Island GP38-2s (2057 to 2060), GP7s 1500 and 1501, and U28Bs 2808 and 2818. This lettering closely resembles the lettering found on other U28B's (2801, 2807, etc) that got the big yellow P&LE.

    The next size of P&LE I will cover are the ones under the header "Lettering for GP9s" on the decal sheet. Of course, P&LE had no GP9s, so the 1st thing you do is ignore that. The lettering here is close to being correct for the former Conrail GP38s. It is the correct height, but the letters are spaced too far apart. Also, I was unhappy with the ampersand (&) they came up with, so I had requested they replace it with an appropriately resized GP38-2 (bottom set) ampersand. If you can't wait for the second run, you can use these, just cut all the letters apart and use your photos or Atlas GP38 (if you want it to match perfectly) to place the letters.

    The forth and last size of P&LE included are located directly under the GP38-2 lettering. This lettering doesn't match anything. I believe it is supposed to be for the SW1500s, but it is much too large.

    You may be wondering what the strange yellow decals are that are on the left and right-hand sides of the sheet, in the middle section of it. These are for the GP38 and GP38-2 yellow doors. The square decals are for the SW1500 doors. You could probably use the EMD door decals for the U28B's, but it my look a little odd. If you cut them to fit, they should be ok. The parts of these decals with the Xs or stars are for windows sans glazing.

    There are some small yellow and white P&LEs in various places on the sheet. The NYC-style ones on the Upper Half (ONLY) are for the fiormer Conrail GP38s in their "interim" CR (or even PC) paint with P&LE numbers.

    The white P&LE and numbers above the extra yellow ampersands on the bottom of the sheet are for U28Bs. The remainder of the set is quite good and requires little digression on my part.

- Matt Adams
- P&LERRHS Modeling Committee Chairman
- July 21, 2003