With the headbox decals complete, it was time to move onto the cabinet body decals. This was supposed to be a 2 part update (first for the headbox and the second for the cabinet). Sadly, I’ve run into a problem which is going to set me back about 4 weeks. Even with all my planning, I can’t predict everything. But that’s OK, I’ll go as far as I can and just do a short update for now.
The side art on the cabinet is faded, just like the headbox. The rails are also damaged – the worst being the right side rail (as you can see about 1/3 of the way up the rail).
First step was to remove the legs. The decal around each leg is damaged. Some of the colour has survived the elements and time. I held up some off cuts from the headbox to compare the colours. It’s pretty close. You can also spot small touch ups that have been done with paint over the decal in the past. I have purchased leg protectors to protect the new decals before I put the legs back on.
Now it was time to remove the rail. I was unsure how this would go. A few of the nails were already slightly loose and came out really easily. The last few were a bit more challenging but came away without any further damage to the rail or cabinet body. I put the nails aside, although I have brand new ones waiting to go in.
The blue has held up well over time and the yellow under the rail still looks good.
With the rail off, I could now remove the decal. This came up mostly in a single piece without the use of a heat gun and left a clean surface. If you look closely you can actually see a ghost outline of the fireball and flames..
I put the new rail on to check the alignment of the button hole, bolt hole and nail holes. The bolt and button holes lined up perfectly. The nail holes were offset about 5mm from the originals which is perfect as I can add new holes for reattaching it.
But here is where I hit the problem. The button holes in the rail are too small. Compare the last photo to this one (taken of the left side rail still attached).
The entire button should sit inside the hole. With these holes the button sits over the rail. I grabbed one of the buttons and checked to see if it could still be installed – sadly not.
The rails were purchased from Jeff at Railways. I sent him a message with some photos to explain the problem and see what we could do. The customer service offered by Jeff is amazing. He was great to deal with when buying them and after sales is just as good. On a Friday night when he should be feet up relaxing, he took the time to get back to me and was really positive about it. Long story short – Jeff will be sorting out a new set of rails with the correct hole size for me, free of charge. The down side is there is a wait until mid January (being so close to Xmas and new years, everyone – including myself – are shutting down for a few weeks, so it’s understandable).
So my Fireball Classic project goes back into hibernation for 4 weeks. While I wait, I want to patch up a few spots on the base of the cabinet side. The return gate coil isn’t working properly either, so i’ll take a look at that to pass the time.