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 Weather or not: Discussion, Tips, Techniques
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Premium Member

Posted - 07/25/2004 :  3:58:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
An idea,
I know Karl O mentioned the possibility of having a forum about weathering but maybe we could have a sticky in the Craftsman's Corner to collect these great ideas.
I would also like to maybe have some of them in a tutorial form.
While I can follow when you describe how you weather a casting I think it would be great if you could show each step with a picture of how, what and why you are doing that particular step.
For some reason when I follow the written word sometimes my efforts do not produce the same results.
Any one else like to see this as a permanent thread?
I think we could then publish a book from this thread and all collect enough coins for our next kit.

John Bagley
Modeling the Alaska Railroad in HO in Wildwood Georgia.

Country: USA | Posts: 13311 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 07/25/2004 :  5:34:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey Bbags:
I couldn't agree with you more. I know that everybody posts little tidbits with the threads about a certain project but that's using the 'shotgun' approach. I think that having a 'permanent sticky' about weathering would be just the ticket. Remember Kalmbachs book "227 ways to improve your layout?" ...or something like that. It was a good book but there wasn't much order to it as I remember. This thing could turn into a highly used reference manual (and don't forget to leave room for additions; loose-leaf workbook would do nicely). I've got to get ready for night church in a minute but it's something to kick around and see what we come up with.


Edited by - Climax1880 on 07/25/2004 5:36:11 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 1696 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 07/25/2004 :  5:51:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I agree about making this a sticky.

I think weathering is important as unless something is straight out of the factory it will bear some evidence of wear and tear.

For weathering I prefer to use acrylic paints applied with an airbrush so it can be removed if overdone in some situations. For rust I like a chalk and alcohol wash.

Country: Australia | Posts: 3090 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 07/25/2004 :  6:16:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think it's a great idea John . It is sure to help me and I hope others improve their skills .I'm sure there are a number of different techniques out there to be discussed on weathering wood, styrene , metal , resin , hydrocal castings etc.


Country: Canada | Posts: 5853 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 07/25/2004 :  6:22:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yup, me toooo!


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Posted - 07/26/2004 :  09:09:30 AM  Show Profile  Visit hminky's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Just want to comment on something I noticed. Look at the pictures of even dilapitated structures in real life, everything looks solid, no matter how fallen down. Model structures have too many loose edges and objects. In the real world everything loose gets blown away.
Just an observation not a critique

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Premium Member

Posted - 07/26/2004 :  09:39:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey, guys, I have no problem with making this a "sticky" in the Craftsman's Corner. In fact, that was my first thought the other day. But I wanted to make sure the topic itself would draw additional tips/techniques/discussions before I moved it. I didn't want to move it and then have it die on the vine like any other "daily discussion" or "good morning" topic. So let's keep it going - and feel free to add photo illustrations of your techniques or suggestions - and I'll move it in a day or two.

Country: USA | Posts: 21584 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 08/01/2004 :  3:37:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

I submitted a post to this subject and then deleted it because it raised some dust in the past. However, I have re-considered and decided to re-post it.

Weathering in its purest form is the attempt by us as scale modelers to represent that which we model in a believeable form. Why? Because to simply build models and to run motive power right out of the box is unrealistic. Unless buildings have been recently built they are NOT bright and shiny. The pristine appearance of a locomotive lasts until about 5 minutes off of the erection floor. After that, weather, oil and grease, smoke and soot start taking their toll. I know that for me at least, nothing is more disappointing than to view a really supurb layout with motive power and rolling stock running around without a speck of dust, rust or soot on them. It not only looks ridiculous, it just doesn't happen!!

Look at our own cars, houses etc. See the weathering on them? Unless they are wrapped in plastic or kept in the garage permanently, they are subject to wind, rain, sun, air pollution etc. etc. and there isn't a thing that can be done about it. Oh, we can delay those effects but eventually things catch up to us and it happens anyway.

Weathering can be accomplished using small amounts of materials and some good old common sense augmented by our own observations. We can and do use everything from weathering chalks and liquids right down to common, plain old dirt right out of the garden. It doesn't take much to convey that the object has been used either lightly or heavily and whether it has been well-maintained or abused and neglected.

First of all, nothing in this world is bright and shiny unless we want it to be so. Locomotives and cars start gathering dust, dirt and grime from the day they are first used until we junk them and as time goes by it gets worse and worse. Buildings are certainly not bright and shiny, being exposed to all sorts of weather (no pun intended) from sun and rain to wind, snow, ice and just plain dirt in the air. It's life. People in the real world do not normally wear silk or satin to work especially in railroad and other industrial work scenarios where the work is hard and dirty. Usually, their clothes are sweat-stained and greasy or dirty from the job. In most mining situations there was a building called the 'change house'. This was where the miners who were absolutely filthy from their work, had a chance to change to 'street' clothes and in some of the better ones, a chance to shower and clean up. I guess that this was a sort of 'perk'. At least they didn't bring the dirt from the mine to their houses. On my people, I mostly use dark colors anyway and then top the painting off with Dullcote. It works.

The thing is that once you've built a structure and weathered it, you'll wonder why you never did it before. Try it, you'll like it.


Country: USA | Posts: 1696 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 08/01/2004 :  11:42:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I thought I would post this little how-to on weathering styrene for a rusted look .
I use alot of styrene in my industrial setting and ,of course,there is rust everywhere in real industries .I can't take credit for this but have forgotten where I learned it , perhaps on the Steel Modellers Forum or possibly Dean Freytag's book .

The required items are simple enough :
1 can of Krylon flat black primer

1 can of Krylon red oxide primer

1 spray bottle or mister filled with tap water .

The key here is speed . I tried to do a step by step but required too much time to paint , take a picture etc.

Spray the object with the flat black primer first .
BEFORE the flat black paint dries ( and it dries quickly ) spray water liberally on the wet black paint . It will bead up immediately and this is what you want .
Next spray the red oxide paint on top of the water beads . You can vary how much red oxide you want , a little goes a long way . Experiment with various pieces of scrap styrene .
THEN LET IT ALL DRY as is , paint /water/paint .

Here is what it will look like :

The photos don't show it very well but the black/rust will have almost a fine speckled look to it .


Country: Canada | Posts: 5853 Go to Top of Page

George D

Premium Member

Posted - 08/02/2004 :  09:41:00 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Terry, I've read about the water and paint technique, but this is the first I've seen the results. The bridge now looks like it's in need of a good rust removal and paint job. Thanks for sharing.

JR, I agree with you completely. Are you looking for dissent?


Country: USA | Posts: 15270 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 08/02/2004 :  10:55:05 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Terry, that's a neat technique. I don't believe I've ever read about it before. Thanks for the photos and how-to. The results look great!

Country: USA | Posts: 21584 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 08/02/2004 :  5:20:55 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Terry...learned something new today

I like the way it turned out.

In memory of Mike Chambers

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Premium Member

Posted - 08/02/2004 :  5:23:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the pictures and explanation. Another great technique for the notebook!

Country: USA | Posts: 31337 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 08/02/2004 :  5:56:11 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As long as we're rusting things up...

I originally posted the photos below in an different thread (http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4369) about 14 months ago under the heading Dullcote and Alcohol: Modeling Hard Water Deposits.
Since we now have a (more or less) permanent thread on weathering, I thought I'd repost them here.

In a nutshell, I dribble alcohol over Testor's Dullcote to create lime scale and hard water deposits on water tanks, tank cars, and plumbing. When combined with a rusty chalk slurry, the effects can be quite effective.

Country: USA | Posts: 21584 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 08/02/2004 :  6:23:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mike ,

I really love your little tank..the rust and lime build-up are great...have saved the photos, and will keep them for upcoming project reference. Thanks for posting the pics.


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