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Premium Member
4,021 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
It's not complicated
The 'major five'.

There are many ways to weather model locomotives and rolling stock, but only five basic things to replicate...
1.) Dirt
2.) Corrosion
3.) Exposure to the elements
4.) Wear-and-tear
5.) Maintenance

1. Dirt is simple, and can be replicated basically with 2 colors... Browns and Grays, or a mix of both.
'Bottom-weathering' is the most effective, (feather it upwards, and fade it out). A little goes a long way!
Airbrushing or drybrushing is up to you and your preference.

2. Corrosion is also simple, and occurs basically in two forms and two colors... Old and Recent. Old rust is dark (usually dark brown or even black). New or recent rust is a lighter color (usually light brown or almost orange). However, orange rust will not look well on a model scale.
Earth colors will cover the entire spectrum of weathering, from dirt and mud, to rust and rot.

3. The elements cause sun-fade and wind erosion, which means faded paint and lettering. The effect needs an airbrush to replicate.
A mist (transparent) overspray of light colors that are close to the base color hue can create this effect... takes practice.
This can also simulate dust on roofs and upper surfaces.

4. Wear and tear is most logically (and easily) simulated on those cars which generally suffer the most abuse -- gondolas.
The top rails of gons are easily 'abused' by heating a screwdriver blade, and poking dings and dents.
It's hard to overdo it... a well-used gondola will be replete with dents. Everything from sharp gouges to bowed areas can be duplicated.
I've even put moss and weeds on gondola floors.
Depending on their utility, hoppers can also show top-rail abuse.

5. Maintenance:
Patch & re-stencil work is common.
A re-stencil job for instance, might have lettering or numbering over a patch of gray or oxide primer.
Or a crew may have gone through the yard with paint rollers to patch over rust areas. Make these patches in well-defined squares or rectangles, and then weather over them.

Railroad Tycoon
23,975 Posts
Thanks for taking the time to tell us.
I have seen tanker cars that must have been part of a train that derailed and caught fire.
The side that was closest to the heat had it's paint all bubbled up.
I am no longer driving the tanker or I would take a picture of one in the rail yard where I loaded.
And it does not look like they are in a hurry to repaint them as they get emptied and shipped back to get reloaded with the same product then return to the yard.
The one I have seen was hauling Toluene.

I don't know how you could replicate the bubbled burned paint look?

I have yet to try my air brushing. I have my new regulator with the filter, I carried my smaller compressor to the dungeon. That is about it.
I have been outside working for the last month on yard projects.
I want to get my yard in order before the jungle weather hits.

I even broke down and bought 20 lbs of grass seed now that I can care for it. Planted a 100 plants, I hope they grow. Got the veggie garden going from seed this year, I hope they grow. Did a ton of other things, and still have a few on my list to knock off.
Then all I have to do is ride around and cut the grass with my Snapper. :)

3,461 Posts
Don't forget asphalt like AC10 running down the sides of asphalt tank cars. This might be hard to see since all of the cars I used to load were painted black.

Raw asphalt though, dries shiny so something like that at the filler running down the sides will be very noticeable.

Premium Member
4,021 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
... I have seen tanker cars that must have been part of a train that derailed and caught fire...
I'm currently replicating the effects of minor refueling fires on a GE 70-ton bash (the early 70-tonners suffered from a faulty electrostatic ground issue).
Side sills were often scorched, and remained that way until sent to the paint shop.
I guess I should've included fires in my list.

GE-70-Ton-12-at-Springfield-Missouri-on-January-3-1965-Al-Chione-1024x679 (1)~2.jpg
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