Thoughts on Weathering?

BNSF FAN Sep 26, 2020


    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

    I was reading an article last night about weathering freight cars ……. okay, who am I kidding, I was looking at the pictures ….. and while the author did some excellent work, it made me wonder yet again, how much is too much?

    I have a few factory weathered cars, some custom weathered cars, and a couple I have done my self. Most are fairly light weathering and I like that. It's just seems like more often than not, I great looking weathering jobs that are way beyond anything I see rolling the rails. Is it just me? Or does it seem like a lot of weathering thoughts are more is better?

    Okay, I had to ask this but I feel more like I just threw an aerosol can on a camp fire and walked away. For now, I will crawl back under my rock and read the replies from there.
  2. goatfarmer

    goatfarmer TrainBoard Member

    I haven't really done any weathering myself yet, but from the research I have been doing it seems light weathering seems the most realistic for rolling stock. I can't wait to get started on doing some of my own and I'm sure I will find it easier to overdo than to get it perfect the first time. Just my thoughts.
    BNSF FAN, Mike VE2TRV and Hardcoaler like this.
  3. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

    I agree. The only time I recall seeing any that had such serious weathering was on those used only in the back yards. Just like the trucking companies I assume they want those out being displayed are wanted to look nicer to keep there names clean. The weather engines were the little ones used for switching.
    When I lived off the lake, to weather my cars and engines was to run them on the loope over the septic tank and leach field. :D
    BNSF FAN and Mike VE2TRV like this.
  4. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Member

    I think it also depends on the time period being modeled.
    In the late 60's up until the early 80's many railroads where bleeding money and did not have the financial resources to maintain equipment.
    I'm not really a railfan so to speak, what interests me is long gone, but as a casual observer I would say modern railroad equipment is better maintained.
    BNSF FAN and Sumner like this.
  5. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

    I completely agree with your thoughts. It's as if the weathering is applied through the "mind's eye" without any regard to the prototype, i.e. modeling models. To make a bad thing worse, sometimes weathering is done consistently across every piece of rolling stock, using the same colors, same thickness and same technique, until every car looks the same regardless of age or type of service. I'll now crawl back under my rock too. :unsure:
    BNSF FAN likes this.
  6. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

    I like seeing some of the heavily weathered cars and/or loco's. Wonder if some of the heavily weathered ones show up on the internet but that doesn't mean that they are that prominent on one's layout. I'd like to have a few myself but with a majority in the light to moderate weathering and a few that look new on the other end of the spectrum.

    If a person likes the challenge of coming up with heavily weather effects then I'd think they would continue doing something they derive satisfaction in doing. I spend way too much time with Fusion 360 and 3D printing when I should be laying track but hey I'm happy and at this point in life that's what it is about for me, What drew me to model railroading in the late 60's and again now is the diversity the hobby offers, keep it coming,

    BNSF FAN likes this.
  7. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I see too many who do every single car and in the same amount- looking like they were left in a mud bath, before hitting the layout. It needs to vary, significantly. Oldest cars possibly the most weathering, but that's not always true. New cars, none; recently shopped cars, none or little. (usually), and so on.
    And, as noted, era can make a difference.
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  8. Pastor John

    Pastor John TrainBoard Member

    Norfolk Southern runs constantly on the mainlines (both E-W, and N-S) through town. Almost all of them, at this point are intermodal. Most cars are dirty so they don't look new. Slightly rusty to varying degrees seems pretty normal as well. But almost every car sometimes seems to be the bearer of at least *some* graffiti.
    BNSF FAN likes this.
  9. minesweeper

    minesweeper TrainBoard Member

    I think there is no golder rule except .... look at the prototype. Maybe add one rust bucket or two to show off you can do it :LOL:
    My fleet is mostly as out of the box (i prefer to dedicate time to the layout now), except for the kits and my repaintings which are mostly light with some medium (all of these I have to paint anyway).
    Do not like too much weathering, but for example I added a stack fire on one diesel ... just to try it ... and show off, YES, I CAN DO IT!
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  10. Bookbear1

    Bookbear1 TrainBoard Supporter

    Subtle is often more effective. Just my 87 cents worth (prices have gone up, you know).
    Kurt Moose, BNSF FAN and Hardcoaler like this.
  11. Randy Stahl

    Randy Stahl TrainBoard Supporter

    Hard to over weather these. Dec 22 002.JPG
    White doesn't look right no matter what. jan 7 2013 tanks 001.JPG
    And black need the details to appear.
  12. Randy Stahl

    Randy Stahl TrainBoard Supporter

    If you are running GEs you can do stack fires on all of them.
  13. minesweeper

    minesweeper TrainBoard Member

    That model is actually an ALCO C628...., but as said it was just to demostrate the technique; it attracts attention to the model too.
    BNSF FAN likes this.
  14. rray

    rray Staff Member

    Maybe weather by prototype photos. Use full train photos from the era you model and see what the cars looked like, then attempt to reproduce that level.

    The era I like to model had very little graffiti. Usually it would be a chalk mark with a "Joe Was Here" or "Billy Heart Jenny" type of graffiti if any, and the car had some rust, faded paint lettering, and dirt and grime and a few scratches. Very few would look new and pristine.
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  15. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

    IMHO one should weather cars in small sets. This avoids the overspray of one size fits all kind of weathering. Some days you'll want a lot, other days you'll want less. In the end your fleet will be varied just like in real life.

    It's worth practicing on a couple of junk cars too.

    On expensive, or special, rolling stock I prefer to use chalk and not fix it with anything. If it rubs off I just add more chalk, if I want to change it I can wash the car in water.
    BNSF FAN, Sumner and minesweeper like this.

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