Weathering Freight Cars - Techniques and Examples

corporaldan Oct 3, 2008

  1. jsoflo

    jsoflo TrainBoard Member

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    Here is the most recent work I have been doing that I am pleased with :)

    [​IMG]

    This is a TrueLine Trains CV newsprint Boxcar that I added an old MDC/Roundhouse floor to to lower the ride height and weathered with brushed on acrylics, mostly white with hints of yellow or orange mixed in (per the "Gary Hinshaw" technique) I scratched off some of the CV logo with a sharp knife and used rust colored powders on it. I also added Microscale grafitti decals and airbrushed a layer of dust on and also re-brushed the yellow/white mix on. I also used an acrylic paint to add the rust on the ridges and door.

    Here is an IMRC/PWRS 4750 hopper that came with the CSX paint out. I masked the CSX paintout and used powders and acrylics to weather the car:

    [​IMG]

    my best,
    Jan
     
  2. OC Engineer JD

    OC Engineer JD Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    That hopper looks fantastic Jan! :)
     
  3. OC Engineer JD

    OC Engineer JD Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    More great weathering! Especially like the Rock boxcars.....very cool!
     
  4. Flash Blackman

    Flash Blackman Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    How in the heck do you guys make those rust spots? What kind of paint? Thanks.
     
  5. jsoflo

    jsoflo TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks guys!

    Riog66's work is outstanding!

    As for rust spots, I use a very fine point paintbrush and "poke" small dots of raw umber and/or burnt umber (the raw is a bit better but the burnt is a tad darker-it is good to vary the 2 in a heavy rust area). I usually than use a small brush that has an uneven bristle (either by cutting the bristles uneven or pulling some out or from old use) to dab around it-rust spots usually occur in an area rather than as one isolated spot-although you get those also. I than use a nearly dry brush (or a bit of rust colored powder) drawing down from the spots to replicate the newer rust that typically surrounds these spots. For very deep rust pits I will also dab on a bit of black paint in the center of the poke. All these paints are acrylic. I admit its a lot easier on a dark colored car- which really shows how great Riog66's Rock boxcar is!
    my best,
    Jan
     
  6. riog66

    riog66 TrainBoard Member

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    Hi guys,
    Thanks for all your positive feedback on my weathering, in case you can't tell I really enjoy this part
    of the hobby and have had loads of fun trying out new techniques. Some work & some don't
    Anyway Flash, since you asked I have put together a bit of a "how I did" demo on my rust patches &
    streaks. I've never really done any tutorial stuff on Trainboard so hope you can understand the descriptions of my techniques
    The instructions here relate to the photos I've posted in my reply to this thread so hopefully it all makes sense
    Before I do any detailed weathering I always follow a few basic steps on all my rolling stock + I always try & work from a prototype photo:
    1. FADE COLOUR
    An overspray of either Floquil Dust or a lighter toned colour than the car I'm weathering.
    If I have a Boxcar Red car, I'll mix up Boxcar Red with some Reefer Yellow to "fade" the basic car colour.
    This is no new technique & I'm sure you guys have heard it used in many ways before.
    I have tried various tones of whites / pale greys etc with different results
    This flat finish overspray is essential for the next step to work properly
    2. WASH
    I now use a mix of Windsor & Newton "Water Mixable Oils" Ivory Black thinned with MicroScale Microsol and run this vertically thru all the visible surfaces of the rolling stock
    It dries reasonably quickly and also gives you enough time to change any effects you aren't happy with. This is an important feature of these paints when you come to do your rust effects
    About this time I airbrush all my trucks / couplers Floquil RR tie Brown mixed with some Reefer grey or similar.
    You guys all probably have your own favourite methods for this so I won't bore you with mine
    [​IMG]
    RUST EFFECTS
    I got onto the Windsor & Newton "Water Mixable Oil" paints after buying Tom Manns Weathering book.
    You can thin these paints with water (but I use Microsol) they dry slowly so you can change effects if you aren't happy - I've even wiped off stuff I did the night before
    I have included a couple of colours that I use for rust effects in the photo for your reference.
    I only really have these three colours plus a black for washes + a white for weathering streaks
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    My basic technique for creating the rust patches + streaks you can see on these examples of my rolling stock is:
    I touch a toothpick into a small amount of Raw Umber and vary the amount by wiping the toothpick across a tissue.
    Sometimes more paint works best / other times less is more.
    After I create the "patch" on the car, I tear a small chunk of foam sponge rubber and secure this in small self closing tweezers
    I daub the patch to soften the edges and sometimes soak up some of the paint to vary the effect.
    You can also use those Micro applicators to similar effect
    This is hard to describe and is more of a "feel your way" kind of technique, always referring to my proto pix
    Like I said the great thing about these paints is that nothing is permanent at least for a day or two
    I've had some pretty good FX by wiping a whole lot of rust patches off with some Micro Sol
    I then use another toothpick to pick up some Raw or Burnt Sienna and touch it just below the patch.
    I take one of my paint brushes with the "curved bristles" and drag the lighter rust colour down from the patch.
    This is the tricky part cos the streak has to be exactly vertical otherwise the illusion is ruined
    I have gotten away with painting wider streaks or some that aren't quite vertical and then "washing" the outside edges to create a thinner / tapered streak
    Again, just a matter of feeling your way & experimenting
    Once I am totally happy with how my efforts have turned out, I'll let the car dry for a few days & give it a final overspray of Floquil Flat Finish or Dust
    In N scale I've found that it's real easy to overdo my weathering and have eased back a little bit to try & create more subtle rust FX
    I think Jan mentioned the lighter rust around the edges of a rust patch and this looks awesome when it works but I've had better luck with this on my structures & bridges

    Thanks for your interest guys, I'm having fun so I hope you are too
    Steve
     
  7. Wolfgang Dudler

    Wolfgang Dudler Passed away August 25, 2012 TrainBoard Supporter In Memoriam

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    That's a thread with lots of ideas.

    Now I have only to take the time to work with the cars.
    But there're so many other projects... :angel:

    Wolfgang
     
  8. mikelhh

    mikelhh TrainBoard Member

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    Great info, Steve. Thankyou for that.

    Mike
     
  9. riog66

    riog66 TrainBoard Member

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    Sorry about the duplicate post guys (I also posted this to the "wots on my workbench") but this is more of a weathering thing anyway + follows on from the whole rust streak technique.
    Took a break tonite from scratching at extruded polystyrene with a wire brush to spend some time weathering this IMRC C&NW 2 bay hopper.
    Working from the proto pic of this heavily weathered car, I experimented with some Bragdon Rust powder on the roof that I "bled" with some Microsol. I'll know in the morning when it dries if it worked or not
    For the rust washes & streaks I used my trusty Windsor & Newton water mixable oils (Burnt Umber + Burnt Sienna) washed in with MicroSol

    Haven't really got started on the ends yet.
    I did give the entire car I light overspray of Floquil CN Grey earlier which has softened the logo / lettering a bit

    I guess the hardest part was taking to a brand new car to the extent that I did :perr: but any effects I wasn't happy with > I just washed them off with MicroSol which is why I like using these kind of paints for weathering


    [​IMG]
     
  10. subwayaz

    subwayaz TrainBoard Member

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    Some great work here; and excellent explanation of technique. Thanks for sharing.

    Here are a few cars that I've done recently. The first is a Athearn Covered Hopper, Second is an Atlas 50' Box, last but not least is a Athearn Tanker.
    Technique used was over spray with Sand color to dull the cars and help the powders stick better. Then dark Rust Oil paint applied with a pinch of foam. Accent the darker lines from the oil paint with Weathering powder. Last step was to over spray one more once with Dullcoat.
    I also picked up some Graffiti Decals from a vendor on Ebay T2 which you can see worked better on the light colored Hopper but not so well on the darker colored cars. That is due to the decals being translucent; but they work just fine on light colored cars.
     

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  11. riog66

    riog66 TrainBoard Member

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    Another 2 bay Hopper I just finished using the techniques I described above

    [​IMG]
     
  12. riog66

    riog66 TrainBoard Member

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    Weathered Athearn Railbox I just got done - "touched up" a few grabs / stirrups as if they'd been repainted after a repair job

    [​IMG]

    Rooftop view + proto pic I tried to work from

    [​IMG]
     
  13. pastoolio

    pastoolio TrainBoard Member

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    Steve, your work is awesome!

    I've venturing out from just using chalks, and tried to add some rust colored paint to the wheels and trucks of this Rio Grande hopper. Used a small brush to hit the wheels full strength, and what was left on the brush was put on the springs and other places on the trucks. Then a black chalk misting with a fluffy brush. Just chalk on the body of the hopper.
    The wheels are just a little too bright to me still, need to tone it down some. Maybe a mix of tarnished black in with the rust. Most pics I look at show the wheels and trucks are almost the same.

    [​IMG]

    Close up.
    Atlas 100 ton trucks and Fox Valley 36" wheels on the left.
    BLMA 100 ton trucks and BLMA 36" wheels on the right.

    [​IMG]

    looks like I need to work on these some more.

    Mike
     
  14. jhn_plsn

    jhn_plsn TrainBoard Supporter

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    Mike, I think the wheels look great. You could do some with slightly different shades for variety sake, and it would be realistic .
     
  15. jhn_plsn

    jhn_plsn TrainBoard Supporter

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    Nice work Steve. I wonder what makes some wheels and trucks turn a gray color of rust where others turn a brown color? Salt? I live inland from the coast but am sure the cars frequenting this area run along the coast and maybe the salt effect them differently. I see mostly the brown rust colors here.
     
  16. riog66

    riog66 TrainBoard Member

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    Hi John,

    Yeah Mike & I have been talking about wheel / truck colours.
    I've always thought that the trucks will retain track grime / dirt / dust / rust etc and that's why I airbrush mine Floquil RR Tie Brown / Reefer Grey / Rail Brown with sometimes an overspray of Light Earth

    I think Mikes contrasting wheel colour looks great & told him I'm always too lazy to paint my wheelfaces a different colour :membarrassed:

    No matter what colour I use close to the ones I described above, it's always 110% better than shiny factory black delrin!!

    Steve
     
  17. riog66

    riog66 TrainBoard Member

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    Weathered ATSF MT boxcars

    [​IMG]

    I just got done giving these three cars a dose of "generic" weathering
    Only mods were - removed the roofwalk from #6153 + painted the tack boards
    I don't normally weather more than one car at a time, but with a huge fleet of unweathered Santa Fe cars I decided to do a bit of a "production line" on these three and it saved me plenty of time > using similar colour oversprays from the airbrush & mixing up washes etc without them all looking identical :pwink:
     
  18. subwayaz

    subwayaz TrainBoard Member

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    My latest weathering job was on a Accurail ACF 3 Bay Centerflow Hopper.
    It is Brown in color and I always seem to have problems weathering those so this was a good test for me.
    1st step was to dull it down with a diluted wash of light tan
    2nd step was to use a emery board to wear down the Road designation
    3rd step I used modeling oil color "Dark Rust" on the welds on the cars body and the roof walk with a small piece of sponge. Allowing it to setup for a few minutes then spreading it up the sides with a dry brush.
    4th step; use dry powders to help blend all that I had done with the dry brush.
    5th and final step was to shoot the entire car with a light coat of Dullcoat which I sprayed from quite a distance so not to wash away all that I had done.

    The same steps were executed on the trucks and wheels as well.
    Below you can see how it came out.
     

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  19. subwayaz

    subwayaz TrainBoard Member

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    Sorry for the blurry picture; I picked the wrong one. I hope this one is much better
     

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  20. nscalerone

    nscalerone TrainBoard Member

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    I have a question.............

    Is there anyone on the board who might do custom work??
    ( I ask because I have asbestosis of the lungs, and cannot tolerate paint fumes).
    I would dearly love to weather my "fleet", as I model pre/post merger "Conrail", and there is a lot of room there for grungy cars & locos, plus a lot of patches, etc. Please PM me if interested.
     

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