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Playing Dirty - Weathering - Getting You Started. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Fri Oct 31st, 2014 05:46 am
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Gwiwer
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Some members will know, from earlier days here or following my work elsewhere, that I do pretty much all of my own weathering. At this stage it's mostly powder work with a little pen and ink and occasional paint.

As a couple of vans arrived in the mail today it seemed a suitable time to open this topic to show what I do. I'm happy to discuss and share techniques and thoughts and keen to master the airbrush which has been lurking almost unused inside the workbench for some time now.

But back to today's arrivals.

Our friends at Invicta Models commissioned Bachmann to produce the 4-wheel CCT (Covered Carriage Truck) in a number of liveries. Two maroon ones arrived today and rather good they look too.

After a couple of proving laps around the layout in a mixed rake (which satisfied me that they will run happily with other brands including bogie stock) one was treated to a fairly heavy weathering and posed alongside the other which has yet to be touched.



This van has had its door frames and vents inked in with a mapping pen and the same pen used to darken the destination blackboards at each end which as supplied are a mid grey. It has then has blends of brown, ochre and black weathering powder applied in varying degrees which has been finished with vertical and a little light horizontal brushing.



The loco was also on the workbench today as it has received replacement Howes wheels in exchange for its original Heljan brass ones of the type which picked up too much dirt too quickly. The new wheels are a big improvement though are yet to be weathered.



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 Posted: Fri Oct 31st, 2014 05:54 am
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And here I was thinking that Penhayle Bay had pristine rolling stock - the employees took pride in keeping all things "spotless"  but I must have been dreaming :mutley

Nice bit of "dirt" Rick



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 Posted: Fri Oct 31st, 2014 06:04 am
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Gwiwer
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Thank you Sol

The employees barely take a pride in anything. While I can and do run rolling stock over the entire 1960 - 2000 period I am leaning to a preference for mid 60s (i.e. the maroon to blue changeover years) when morale seemed to be at a low ebb, investment absent and the effect of the Beeching axe meant many feared for their jobs even on the main lines.

I remember those days as times when there was pride and there were clean trains but the opposite was far more prevalent.

What ever we might think of the privatised railways the UK now has they are at least filled with mostly clean trains and staff (where they still exist!) rather more motivated than their forebears were. Perhaps because they no longer have a job for life and are often only as good as their last shift.



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 Posted: Fri Oct 31st, 2014 07:31 am
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Hi Rick,

Nicely done, very convincing job of the CCT .whats next on the workbench.



Toto

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 Posted: Fri Oct 31st, 2014 08:23 am
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Gwiwer
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toto wrote:
Hi Rick,

Nicely done, very convincing job of the CCT .Toto


Thank you

toto wrote:
whats next on the workbench.

Toto


The other CCT :mutley

Three SR EMU units are awaiting their turn as well. I don't have an SR-themed nor third-rail powered layout as yet but two 2-Bil an one 2-Hal units have had the inking done and await full weathering before lining up (for now) on a display track in the office.



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 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2014 05:04 am
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Gwiwer
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I'm not sure if my"touch" has suffered from several months away or if the powders are damp but today's efforts are not my finest work. Hornby plastic hasn't always taken powders readily either so I'll put it down to a combination of circumstances!

The second Bachmann CCT was given a lighter weathering and coupled in a short train for comparison purposes.





The blue Hornby 2-Bil unit proved a little tricky as almost anything I did looked to be too much. Eventually I applied a light weathering of mixed browns wiped almost away so that it just took around the "lumps and bumps"





The camera is unforgiving; there's a little surplus powder and some dust visible here but I've tried to capture the streaking sometimes found on the roof of these units.



Then it was the turn of the green 2-Hal unit. This presented different problems inasmuch as the green is too close to the blue scale for reality and application of brown powders enhanced that. In the end the body sides have only had a dark green powder applied and rubbed back with just a little brown along the tumblehome. Again I've tried to capture detail of roof weathering rather than simply apply a plain colour.



A little more dirt for the leading end



And again for what will normally be the trailing end of the unit when it runs - once a tail lamp has been fitted!



All those coaches need buffers and wheels weathered. Those jobs are done with paints and will occur at a later date. Depending how the powders hold I may or may not need to come back and paint the footboards as well.



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 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2014 05:23 am
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Gary
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The streaking on the roofs is most impressive. You say you do this with powders. Can you explain your technique, please...

Cheers, Gary.



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 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2014 05:30 am
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Gwiwer
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I do the roof streaking one of two ways.

On the units shown above it is nothing more than powders.

These are brushed on fairly generously lengthways to cover the entire roof area and using a small soft brush. The excess I carefully blow off to the dedicated workbench area where it accumulates as "mixed dirt" handy for the next job. That can be done with a puffer brush or - if you trust yourself to not include any moisture - a gentle blow from the mouth will do.

I then take a coarse bristle brush and cross-brush the powders from centre to cant rail which gives the streaked effect.

On some jobs I have sprayed the roof panels first with a cheap hair spray which goes on as both adhesive and sealant. While that is wet enough to work I then apply the powders as above but have to be quick. I only get around 30 seconds working time though can apply a second squirt of hairspray if I have to.

That work on the likes of Bachmann roofs which are usually very smooth and reluctant to take unsealed powders. The hairspray causes the powder to momentarily become liquid pigment but it dries flat, fixed and hopefully streaked in seconds.

Wash your brushes immediately after using hair spray!!!



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 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2014 05:42 am
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Gary
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Thanks Rick. I have only used hair spray with scenics, not weathering. Good tip. :thumbs

Cheers, Gary.



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 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2014 05:44 am
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Gwiwer
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More examples of my streaked dirt weathering:

First the "rust" stains (actually brake dust washed down by rain and carriage cleaning plants) many commuters will remember on a green 4-Cep unit. The green here should be compared with Hornby's rendition on the Bil and Hal units - Bachmann has it much closer to where it should be. They also include curtains which Hornby fail to do on their Brighton Belle units to the disappointment of many including myself.



On the roof of a DMU as exhaust staining



Rust from tank overfill on an A1X Terrier



Calcium deposits from tank overfill on an M7



And high-speed streaking of dirt on an HST power car



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 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2014 06:05 am
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Gary
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Excellent results Rick.

This is some of my attempts at weathering locos..






I have a Class 22 that needs attention and I know that you (Rick) have a few of these. Is there anything I need to look at and pick out on the loco whilst weathering ?

Cheers, Gary.



 



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 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2014 06:13 am
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Gwiwer
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Those are also very convincing jobs Gary.

Class 22 locos were often to be found very unkempt. They proved unreliable and were unloved by many so spent a fair bit of time sitting out of traffic in sheds and sidings.

As such they could typically be found with chipped, faded, streaked and flaking paintwork. Some seemed prone to radiator spills creating white staining from the grille to the lower panels.

Some were also regulars on china clay traffic and became stained with the "white gold" that industry turned out.

Take a look at the pictures available online - many are in colour - and if you have them browse the published books. There's plenty of variety to be found and even some remarkably clean and shiny locos at times!

Good luck with the venture.



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 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2014 07:25 am
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Plymouth Laira shed also gained quite a reputation for its harsh washing plant that tended to remove a lot of paint on both green and blue locomotives.

Some very nice weathering there, Rick. I too was admiring the steaks on the HAL roofs in particular.



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 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2014 07:37 am
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Gwiwer
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the steaks on the HAL roofs

I'm afraid they won't be served with chips as I run DC :mutley



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 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2014 09:35 am
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:mutley:mutley



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 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2014 08:13 pm
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Excellent weathering Rick.Tell me with powders do you have to spray a fixitive on after useing them ?.
The 60s was an interesting railway period.I guess stock was getting shabby as steam was being phased out and maintainence hit a low among staff?.
Cheers,
Derek.

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 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2014 09:28 pm
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Gwiwer wrote: the steaks on the HAL roofs

I'm afraid they won't be served with chips as I run DC :mutley

Streaks!!

Save the steaks for the next time I visit.  :tongue  :tongue



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 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2014 11:01 pm
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Gwiwer
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shunter1 wrote:
Excellent weathering Rick.Tell me with powders do you have to spray a fixitive on after useing them ?.


Thank you Derek

You don't have to use a fixative with powders though it often helps. The extent to which powders take and stay put varies. So does the degree of handling which is unavoidable in our hobby.

I try to handle weathered stock very carefully and using soft rags when I can. I still end up with "weathered" finger tips at times however.

Fixatives have their own potential drawbacks. I could use a cheap hairspray over the top of powder but the spray is nowhere near fine enough meaning it creates blobs and spots. I do sometimes use it before powdering to achieve a momentary liquefaction of the pigment and to brush in some effects. It dries in seconds and acts as a seal as well as an adhesive.

Airbrushed fixatives are fine though in my little experience of them they tend to lift the finish to a slight sheen over time. "Shiny dirt" is not what I'm looking for!



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 Posted: Mon Nov 3rd, 2014 06:32 am
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Gwiwer wrote: shunter1 wrote:
Excellent weathering Rick.Tell me with powders do you have to spray a fixitive on after useing them ?.


Airbrushed fixatives are fine though in my little experience of them they tend to lift the finish to a slight sheen over time. "Shiny dirt" is not what I'm looking for!

I learnt this method described below at a recent exhibition demo stand and it gives great results.

When I use powders, I either spray (airbrush) the model with some base colours, ie locos with grimey black/weathered black or spray them with a clear matt sealer/lacquer then apply powders. The powders go on one colour at a time, followed by a spray with Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) from the airbrush. The IPA binds the powders into the top layer of lacquer and dries very quickly (in seconds). This is then followed by another powder colour and the IPA. Repeat this process of powders/lacquer until the desired result is obtained.

Cheers, Gary.



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 Posted: Mon Nov 3rd, 2014 10:45 am
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Gwiwer
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I still have the all-green 2-Bil to weather; I'll try the IPA technique on that.

I'm trying to build enough confidence to paint on a yellow first class band and small warning panels before weathering. Wonder how straight a line I can paint?



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