Michigan Prototype Decals by Fritz Milhaupt

Formerly a line of exclusive decals to letter models of Michigan-prototype locomotives and rolling stock- now a place to announce special projects.


A Single-Run Project to Make PM and C&O Switcher Decals in O Scale


For many years I'd promised a number of O scale modelers that I'd run an O scale version of my old decal set for PM switchers. Although I have gotten out of the decal sales business, I am putting together a project to honor that commitment.

So, this summer I am having a single run of decals made, where each set will decal one O scale PM switcher with nose stripes- an SW1, an NW2 or a GE 70-ton switcher. Unlike my old PM-2 set, this set will only letter PM switchers and will not include C&O, or M&NE lettering due to space constraints on the decal sheet.  I'm calling this set PM-14(O).

Suspecting that there might be interest in a set to decal C&O switchers #1850-1856 that had the same nose stripe arrangement, I will run one if interest in that set warrants. I'm calling this set CO-14(O).

My plan is to do this the same way some friends and I used to run one-off sets when we needed a specialty set to complete a particular model- I will take the orders committed to by a deadline, then everyone involved will pay a proportional share of the total cost of the order, according to how many sets they commit to buying. My estimate was that the sets would price out to somewhere between $20 and $30 per set, unless were a lot more interest than I expected. The greater the number of sets we'd order, the lower the price per set. The PM and the C&O sets will be priced separately, due to there being set-up costs specific to each set.

As of July 15, there was enough interest expressed in the PM switcher set to drive the cost per set down to $15 each. There has only been interest in two sets of the C&O version, so it is not looking like it will happen at this time.

I do not intend to buy any sets to keep for stock- this will be a one-time deal.

If you are seriously interested in ordering one or more sets, I'm starting to collect names and commitments- please contact me offline at my personal email address (this is easiest using the groups.io web interface, which lets you click on a "Private" button to send a response directly to me). If you have communicated with me via email in the past, my email address hasn't changed since 1998. It is also shown at the bottom of this page. No money will change hands until the decals have arrived and I'm ready to mail them. I will only have as many sets printed as there are commitments.

I'm setting the commitment deadline as 11:59pm, Saturday July 31, 2021. Once I have the final number of sets to order, I can have the decals turned around in a couple of weeks from my supplier.

As for my HO scale switcher decal set, I am arranging to have it re-run and sold by another decal vendor, one who is known for his high-quality work. I cannot commit to timing for him, and will leave it to him to announce when it is available.


The Ludington & Northern/Kendallville Terminal SW8 Set is Back in HO and N scales...


...just not from me. I've stopped taking decal orders effective May 30, 2020 (see below), but I have found a new home for one of my old sets.

The decal set for Ludington & Northern SW8 #16, that I first ran in 2001, is now available as an updated set from Bill Mosteller of greatdecals.com. With my permission and cooperation, he is now offering my former set LUN-1. This updated set will stripe and letter one HO scale SW8 in any of the paint scheme variations that #16 wore from its construction in 1953 until Fall 2019. This covers its time on the Ludington & Northern, the Tuscola & Saginaw Bay, the Ann Arbor Railroad, the Michigan Southern and the Michigan Shore, and the Kendallville Terminal.

With the addition of flag decals and a new leasing stencil, Bill's updated version adds the post-2003 Kendallville Terminal scheme to the variations covered by the set.


Ludington & Northern SW8 #16

These sets are available now at http://greatdecals.com


Shutting Down Retail Sales


After giving it some thought, I've decided that I will no longer offer decals for general sale after May 30, 2020

Circumstances that are constraining my hobby time have reached the point where I need to cut back on things that do not contribute greatly to my enjoyment of the model railroading hobby. Some things have to go, and I've decided that selling decals is one of them. Issues with the availability of suitable supplies and with having time available to fill orders are factors in this decision.

I will fill orders postmarked by May 30, 2020, so consider this a "last call." Any orders received postmarked after May 30 will be returned unfilled.

For lettering Pere Marquette rolling stock, I highly recommend decal set DF0187 from Smokebox Graphics. This is the Mother Of All Decal Sets for PM equpment. It is a professionally-printed sheet of white decals that includes lettering for PM boxcars, hoppers, covered hoppers, gondolas, flat cars and cabooses. This decal set is a work of art. I have a few projects coming up in the Modelers' Column in the PM Historical Society's PM Tracks that use these decals.

Thank you for your support over the years.

-Fritz Milhaupt

Previous Products (Discontinued)

Jump to Locomotive Decals Jump to Freight Car Decals Jump to Maintenance of Way Equipment Decals


Ann Arbor Steam Locomotives

Kato NW2 painted as PM #56
Ann Arbor Mikado #2494 at Owosso

There are a number of good models out to represent the Ann Arbor Railroad's steam locomotives, and now there's a set to letter them! This set will letter one locomotive and tender for the Annie. It includes prearranged numbers for an 0-8-0, a 2-10-2, a 4-4-2 and a 4-6-0, plus an assortment of numbers to allow you to letter any other Annie steam locomotive.

HO Scale:
Set AA-1: $5.00 each
N Scale:
Set AA-1(N): $3.00 each

Please see Ordering Information for postage cost before placing your order.

Ann Arbor Railroad GP38s

Kato NW2 painted as PM #56
Ann Arbor Railroad GP38s at Milan

In the early 1980s, the Ann Arbor Railroad Acquisition Company, operating as the Ann Arbor Railroad, acquired three ex-Conrail/ex-Penn Central GP38 diesels. While they painted these orange with a black and white herald and black lettering, the arrangement was considerably different from that of the former Ann Arbor Railroad's DT&I-inspired GP35 paint scheme.

This set will letter one GP38, as #7771, #7791 or #7802 and, with his permission, is based upon the artwork originally designed by Craig Wilson


HO Scale:
Set AA-7: $7.00 each
N Scale:
Set AA-7(N): $4.00 each

Please see Ordering Information for postage cost before placing your order.


Freight Cars

Manistee & Northeastern Boxcars

Accurail Double-Sheathed USRA Boxcar painted as M&NE boxcar #4011
An Accurail HO boxcar painted as M&NE #4011

During the 1930s and 1940s, the Manistee & Northeastern received a dozen hand-me-down wooden boxcars from the PM. Numbered 4000-4011, these double-sheathed cars were taken from the PM's 85000-86000 series. While no perfectly accurate models exist, many people find that available models of the USRA double-sheath 40-foot boxcars make acceptable stand-ins. The key discrepancies are in the type of roof (the USRA car's Murphy roof, vs. the M&NE car's Hutchins roof), and the lack of either a Murphy vertical-rib end, or a four-bar Hutchins end for this car.

Each set provides enough white lettering for one boxcar.

HO Scale:
Set MNE-1: $5.00 each
N Scale:
Set MNE-1(O): $7.00 each
N Scale:
Set MNE-1(N): $3.00 each

Please see Ordering Information for postage cost before placing your order.

Pere Marquette Cabooses

Atlas Trainman caboose painted as PM #A950
An Atlas Trainman HO caboose lettered using PM-5

A901- and A950-Series Steel Cabooses, and A800-Series Wood Cabooses

In 1937, the Pere Marquette purchased its first steel cabooses, a group of 25 cars from Magor. In 1941, it purchased its final group of cabooses, 40 similar cars from ACF. These groups of cabooses were very similar to each other, as well as to contemporary cabooses purchased by the C&O and the Missouri Pacific.

Over the past 30 years, a number of models have been released in brass, and most recently in plastic, that are either accurate models or reasonably close stand-ins for the PM's A901- and A950-series steel cabooses.

Each set contains roadname lettering, dimensional data and servicing marks to accurately letter two of the PM's A901- and A950-series steel cabooses, or one of the A900-/A950-cabooses and one of the A800-series wood cabooses built for the PM in 1930.

The HO version of this set, along with Tahoe Models Works #104 or #204 Bettendorf swing motion trucks can be used to make a PM A800-series wood caboose from JJL Models' Erie C4900-series resin caboose kit.

HO Scale:
Set PM-5: $5.00 each
O Scale:
Set PM-5(O): $7.00 each
N Scale:
Set PM-5-N: $3.00 each




PM A200- through A600-Series Wood Cabooses

The caboose most uniquely associated with the PM is the wooden "three-window" caboose with its cupola offset toward one end. This type of caboose, based on a Flint and Pere Marquette design, was built from the 1880s through the mid-1920s, with many lasting until the C&O's mass-retirement of wood cabooses circa 1971. These cabooses were numbered seemingly at random between A275 and the low-A600s.

Each set contains roadname lettering, dimensional data and servicing marks to accurately letter two of the PM's "three-window" cabooses as they appeared from the late 1920s to the late 1940s.

This decal set is designed to fit the venerable Nickel Plate Product PM wood cabooses.

HO Scale:
Set PM-7: $5.00 each
O Scale:
Set PM-7(O): $7.00 each
N Scale:
Set PM-7(O): $3.00 each

Please see Ordering Information for postage cost before placing your order.

Pere Marquette Wooden Refrigerator Cars

Accurail wood reefer painted as PM #25010
An Accurail HO wood reefer as PM #25010

In 1924, the Pere Marquette's Wyoming Shops built 300 wooden refrigerator cars to help handle its seasonal produce traffic. Now, for the first time ever, we are pleased to offer a decal set specifically designed to accurately model these cars, featuring prototypically-accurate lettering and dimensional data for the first scheme they wore.

While no completely accurate models of the PM's 25000-series wooden reefers are currently available in HO scale, the Intermountain Fruit Growers Express wood reefer is probably the closest model to the PM car.

Each set letters one refrigerator car.

HO Scale:
Set PM-4: $5.00 each
O Scale:
Set PM-4(O): $7.00 each
N Scale:
Set PM-4(N): $3.00 each

Please see Ordering Information for postage cost before placing your order.


Maintenance of Way Equipment

Pere Marquette Steel Snowplows

The PM purchased its last two snowplows in April and September, 1944. Plows SP-21 and SP-22 were fairly typical steel plows from Russell which the PM painted boxcar red with black roofs.

Both Overland Models and Walthers have produced HO models of this style of plow, and this set will letter one for either SP-21 or SP-22. Each set provides enough white lettering for one plow.

HO Scale:
Set PM-3: $2.50 each
O Scale:
Set PM-3(O): $4.00 each
N Scale:
Set PM-3(N): $2.50 each

Please see Ordering Information for postage cost before placing your order.


Ordering Information

I am no longer accepting orders for my previous line of decals. For individual one-off projects, I will communicate ordering and payment details with the participants individually.



Decaling Tips

I've put together a sheet describing the techniques that have worked the best for me when applying decals. It is available for download as an Adobe PDF file here.


Other Small Decal Manufacturers

I recommend without reservation Smokebox Graphics' PM freight car decals. Their set DF0187 is a professionally-printed sheet of white decals that includes lettering for PM boxcars, hoppers, covered hoppers, gondolas, flat cars and cabooses. This decal set is a work of art.

There are many other people in North America who produce small lines of decals to model specific prototypes. Many of these are enthusiasts, like myself, who created sets to allow them to letter specific models they wanted for their own use. A very good list of these small manufacturers can be found at Bill Mosteller's Great Decals! site, at http://www.greatdecals.com/. Bill produces a fine line of decals, himself.


The Pere Marquette Historical Society

The single best source of information on the locomotives and rolling stock of the Pere Marquette and the Manistee & Northeastern is the Pere Marquette Historical Society. Members receive six issues of PM Tracks, the bi-monthly PMHS newsletter each year. Members also receive notices of special projects, such as special-run HO PM models.

For more information on the PMHS, and on the Pere Marquette and the Manistee & Northeastern, visit the PMHS Web site at http://www.pmhistsoc.org/



These decal sets are independent projects of Fritz Milhaupt, and are neither products of nor are specifically endorsed by the Pere Marquette Historical Society, Inc.,. the Chesapeake & Ohio Historical Society, Inc., CSX Corporation, nor Pioneer Railcorp.

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