Whether Or Not To Weather

thomas Oct 18, 2016

  1. thomas

    thomas TrainBoard Member

    For me the answer is a resounding YES. I posted this pic of one of my locos on the FB N scale page so unless you're a member there you probably haven't seen it yet so I'm posting it here. I recently got a new airbrush and went to town with it on this guy. I may have to try a few more like this. :)
  2. tehachapifan

    tehachapifan TrainBoard Member

    Looks great! How did you achieve the peeled lettering look?
  3. Eagle2

    Eagle2 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    That is a very nice job, and quite an effective representation of SP upkeep.
    thomas likes this.
  4. thomas

    thomas TrainBoard Member

    Easy, with Micro Sol and a little rubbing action. :)
  5. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

    Somebody send that to the wash rack and then to the paint shop. That's embarrassing!

    With that my compliments for an excellent weathering job.
    thomas likes this.
  6. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

    Whether or not to weather, is simply a question of "whether or not one is artistic." If you have skills like the OP than go for it! Buy that airbrush and create those works of art! Myself, I would create ridiculous messes, wiping out $$$ worth of otherwise fine N scale equipment and going to bed feeling like dog sh*t (which would likely still be more attractive then what I now have sitting down in the train room).

    All that said, very nice work by the OP!
    thomas likes this.
  7. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Wow. A very used engine. :eek:
  8. hoyden

    hoyden TrainBoard Supporter

    I can relate. My plan is to start with small weathering projects that are reversible, such as using chalk or light spray painting removable items such as trucks and couplers. I have a large enough collection of rolling stock to be able to risk sacrificing some for the opportunity to learn. I will also practice on buildings and other inexpensive and replacable infrastructure.

    Thomas shows us what is possible.
    thomas likes this.
  9. thomas

    thomas TrainBoard Member

    Glad you all like my work and really it's like anything else and that is the more you do it the better you get at it as you'll see where you need improvement after each try. My inspiration for weathering comes from wanting the most realistic looking loco or car that I can have, something that I've yearned for since day one over 40yrs ago. Doing rust is probably one of the hardest parts of weathering to make it look convincing enough to be really something that looks like rust. There has to be at least two shades of rust to look real in my book, and then of course you have the small N scale size that in itself is a challenge for realism. We're just fortunate that all though the size is really small, the locos and cars are really detailed fine by the manufactures of N scale. zwet51.jpg
    hoyden, acptulsa and SP-Wolf like this.
  10. rray

    rray Staff Member

    Happy Happy, Joy Joy! That is what weathering is all about, looking real!

    If you see it, get it, for tomorrow it will be gone!
    thomas likes this.
  11. glennac

    glennac TrainBoard Member

    While weathering is definitely an art form, and represents prototypical realism, I don't care for the emphasis it placed on neglect.

    I like to image that my maintenance crews are on top of things and my railroads not as penny-pinching bast***s.

    Besides, I would always feel I was ruining the value of my items by weathering. Such items have never appealed to me when done by the manufacturers or personalized items have appeared on eBay.
  12. wcfn100

    wcfn100 TrainBoard Member

    Neglect is a very small percentage of weathering. Most is normal day-to-day operation. Even a car standing still will build up some sort of dust or dirt.

  13. txronharris

    txronharris TrainBoard Member

    I'm all for weathering, but most of the stuff I do is with chalks and brushes. A cheap set of earth tone pastels from your favorite craft store and a brush, along with a hobby knife for scraping them and you're done. No, the results aren't as perfect as the OP, but they take the "shine" off some of the cars and give them a layer of grime. The best part is you can get most of it off if you don't like the look and start over way easier than paint. Also, for me and my usual preferences, just a light coat of grime does wonders. And if you want to seal it more permanently, a quick shot of dulcoat does the trick

    I still prefer an airbrush and lots of other techniques for heavy weathering.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    acptulsa likes this.
  14. Eagle2

    Eagle2 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    It is worth reminding that there are two kinds of pastels sold in the arts and crafts department, chalk and oil. The chalk pastels are what is referenced and are similar (albeit much cheaper) to many of the specially produced weathering powders.
    txronharris and acptulsa like this.
  15. Rich_S

    Rich_S TrainBoard Member

    Glenn, I feel the same way. The weathered models from the OP look very realistic, I can appreciate the hard work that went into creating those models. When I was younger and modeled in HO, I tried to super detail and lightly weather all of my models. As I've grown older, I'm not in that place anymore. So even though some of my rolling stock has some slight weathering on the trucks and some of my structures have light weathering, the majority of my models represent equipment that is well maintained. As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but the OP does need to get rid of those pizza cutters on the covered hopper :)
    thomas likes this.
  16. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

    I think weathering is very important. If you don't like it, it pays to avoid modeling a railroad like the PRR and modeling one like the ATSF, which actually washed trains. Likewise, if you don't like graffiti (and I don't) model an earlier era (and I do).

    Weathering makes much of the difference between toy trains and model trains, in my book. One thing you must admit about Thomas' work above--they do not look like they're made of plastic.

    I also like getting a little rust on the wheels. And one reason why (besides the realism) is that way you can actually see them roll.
    thomas and mtntrainman like this.
  17. CraigN

    CraigN TrainBoard Supporter

    Awesome job Thomas !!!

    You made them look very realistic !
    thomas likes this.
  18. Rich_S

    Rich_S TrainBoard Member

    It's funny that we have reached a point in the hobby that if you don't weather, somehow you're just playing with toy trains. In essence they are all toy trains. One of the biggest names in Model Railroading, Jim Hediger, has very few weathered models on his layout, in fact his track is not even ballasted.


    Jim is into prototype operations, which in my book is enjoyable but again is not a requirement. I've seen plenty of very nicely detailed layouts where the owner never has an operating session, nothing wrong with that either. That is the nice thing about this hobby, it's all encompassing. I've found as I grow older, my modeling interest have changed. The things that use to peak my interest 40 years ago, are not high on my list today. What would you say about people still running Rapido couplers on their N scale trains? A few years ago, I saw a very large N scale layout, where the guy was still running Rapido couplers and having a blast. His scenery looked very nice and none of his equipment was weathered, but the most important part, he was having fun. Again I can appreciate the hard work that went into creating those well weathered models, but I no longer see that as a requirement in the Model Railroading hobby. When it comes down to it, they are both models and toys for big people, Food for though :)
  19. bstitches

    bstitches New Member

    Great Job! Keep it up and show us more! I have been dabbling with some small weathering projects myself
  20. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

    Rich_S, I'm sorry if I gave the impression that I hold toy trains in disdain. My sister runs my dad's old Lionels, and seeing those toy trains run make me very happy!

    I suppose all of us draw that line differently. Some consider anything but a point-to-point layout toy trains. Some would consider a layout toy trains if the curvature was the least bit sharp. To me, a model railroad is like a time machine. If it looks realistic enough that you can transport yourself, in your mind's eye, to the middle of the scene, and feel like you've been transported to the era and locale, that is the magic I like.

    But that does not mean I can't appreciate a layout which does not do that for me! That's just how I draw that subjective, imaginary line.
    hoyden likes this.

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