Read the Free Trolleyville Times Monthly for the Latest News on Prototype and Model Traction!

Monday, July 18, 2022

SDERy Class 1 Car #135 ~ Tru-Colorization

Mahogany and Golden Yellow Paint for #135 

#135 went to the paint shop for some color:

Tru-Color brand paint is the paint of choice for this car:

TCP-256 Light Primer
TCP-069 Reefer Yellow
TCP- 082 Rich Oxide Brown
TCP-010 Black
TCP-730 Metallic Copper

Battleship Grey was tried for the roof but it was too dark. So I reverted to Light Primer which seems to be a ringer.

The front end prints of the car include a trolley controller! I painted the top of the controller Metallic Copper.  The Brass paint is used for the grab-handles next to the doors.

It has occurred to me that painting the car may be easier while it's still in its kit form.  This would simplify painting the interior, as well as installing window glass and gate screens.  If this car is a successful runner on my layout I will most likely build some more of these cars. I will give painting and detailing before assembly a try.

Color Theory

After their useful service life, three SDERy Class 1 cars were pushed together to make a "triple wide" house in El Cajon, California. A few years back these cars were "rescued" and one of them was cosmetically restored. But they painted the windows green. I don't think this is correct. 

Newspapers and magazines back in the day liked to write accounts of new streetcars. This article written for the Electric Railway Journal by H. M'Nutt, Superintendent of Motive Power San Diego Electric Railway describes the cars; "Selected cherry is used for all doors, sashes, moldings, etc, the surface being rubbed down and left with a dead finish".  
This leads me to believe that the window were painted green by the residence to help the cars feel more "homey". So I stuck to the Yellow and Brown scheme without the green.

Next comes the stripping and lettering.  Which include gold!  So this will be a new venture in decal making for me.

Yes sir!
Special decals!



  1. Interesting read, that ERJ article, Dan. The half-open design of the car, rarely seen on this (European) side of the Atlantic, proves that tram passengers were fond of airco, even before it was invented! The sense of history displayed in San Diego is encouraging; let's hope the car will see active service in the future, as a witness to the city's transport heritage.

    1. The cars are at the SDERy Museum in San Diego now. There was a push for them to run between downtown and Balboa Park, but that seems to have run out of steam. Maybe the museum can eventually get them running