I want to see those hubs spin!
A quick and easy way to add more realism to your Barber trucks.
Keith Stratton

ABSTRACT
This article describes, step by step, how to add some easy detailing to the rotating wheel journals of a barber truck. The same technique can be used on Aristocraft or USA Trains trucks.
There is something about a consist of freight cars slowly rolling by that is just so pleasing to the eye. The level of detail on our modern freights is incredible, but when it comes to Aristo’s and USA Trains Barber S2 trucks, their fancy rotating wheel journals are only noticeable if you are fairly close in, and don’t stand out at all if you are even a few feet away.
If you look at Picture #1 you can see the unadorned Aristo Craft version of the Barber S-2 truck up close. The journal bearing caps on these trucks are beautifully detailed, and just crying out for some embellishment!


Picture #1
In picture #2 you can see where a yellow paint stick is being used to apply paint to the three raised edges that encircle the hubs. Just a light touch is needed and a bit of dabbing to get enough paint to cover the top of the ridge, yet not enough to drip down the sides. It only took a few moments to develop a technique that was quick and clean. The truck was clamped in place such that the wheels still spun which made the application easier.
Picture #2
From Picture #3 you can see a finished hub and I think you’ll agree that it looks striking!
Picture #3
The ‘before’ truck on the left and the ‘after’ truck on the right in Picture #4 really show off the detail.
Picture #4
The paint stick I used was purchased from Michael’s (a local craft/art store) and came in a box of five colors which were Yellow, White, Black, Red and Green allowing you to choose a color to your liking. As you can see, the brand name of the paint sticks is DecoColor. They are described as a Glossy Oil Base Paint Marker and are recommended for use on Glass, Porcelain, Stone, Metal or Wood. The paint contains Xylene and should be applied in a well-ventilated area. The paint certainly took to the engineered plastic that these trucks are made out of and it will be interesting to see how the paint stands up over time. The USA Trains trucks are made out of metal so no concerns there at all.
Although I did not time how long it took to do both trucks from a piece of rolling stock, I’d estimate it to take roughly ten minutes including the removal and reinstallation of the trucks. In a couple of hours all of my rolling stock with rotating wheel journals were done and back on the storage yard tracks!
Picture #5 shows the truck mounted back on the boxcar, in this case a 53’ Evans Boxcar in Rail Box livery.
Picture #5