Playin' with my caboose

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flyboy2610

Loveably weird
Of course, I'm talking about the non-revenue car on the back of a train! :rolleyes:
I've been doing a lot of research on fading rolling stock paint, and a popular method seems to be using a very light gray properly thinned for spraying. I recently acquired a new toy: https://www.harborfreight.com/34-and-3-oz-airbrush-kit-62294.html
I already have the HF Deluxe double action brush, and have been quite happy with it. I don't like using it for small jobs, though, because cleaning the airbrush can be a hassle for doing just a minor job. I decided to get a single action, external mix brush for small jobs. I got the above brush for $7.99 with a 20% off coupon, so there's not much to lose even if it conks outs soon! I have to say I've been happy with it so far. I think some of the low reviews can probably be traced to people trying to use it with insufficient air pressure. It's my understanding that a SA airbrush needs more airflow to properly atomize the paint. The first few times I tried using it were not a real success, and I think that's why. The DA airbrush I usually use at around 15 PSI, and I have good results. I had this one at 30 PSI for this project, and I think it did pretty well. The fade might be a little heavy, but that's due more to the operator than equipment!
I test faded a Bachmann Rock Island caboose, using the SA airbrush at 30 PSI, and Testors Model Master Light Ghost Gray acrylic paint. The paint was thinned 50% with my usual thinner of 50% isopropyl alcohol (91% concentration) and 50% distilled water. I did not use the siphon bottle that comes with the kit, but instead used a Badger 50-0483 1/4 oz. color cup. I bought two of these cups to use with the DA airbrush, because the color cup that come with the HF DA airbrush has a siphon tube that comes out of the cup about 1/4" above the bottom of the cup, rendering the last 1/4" of paint in the cup unusable!
The siphon tube on the Badger cups goes all the way to the bottom, so you can use all the paint in the cup. Happily, the Badger cups fit the SA airbrush perfectly!
Anyway, enough babbling! Here are a couple pics of the caboose. As I said, I think it got a bit over-faded, but that's due to the operator, not the equipment.
001.JPG

The top: (Yellow is one of those colors that doesn't fade very well.)
002.JPG


I'll keep working on my technique.
 

flyboy2610

Loveably weird
Eagerly awaiting more results?
Can't beat that price with a stick!
Thanks, Sherrel! I bought a jar of flat earth color yesterday, but it may be a few days before I get back to the caboose. If you don't practice, you don't learn! All that exertion, exhaustion, and pain on my way to a black belt in Tae Kwon Do taught me that much!
 

flyboy2610

Loveably weird
I was finally able to get back to this project yesterday, although I'm not sure that I would call it a project so much as a learning experiment.
I also paid a visit to my LHS, and Randy had a bottle of Testors grimy black acrylic. I did not know he sold these paints, but he does. He only has a few colors, such as what we would need for weathering. I bought a bottle of grimy black to do the trucks with.
I diluted the flat earth paint 50/50 with my standard mix of 50/50 isopropyl alcohol (91% concentration) and distilled water. I shot it at an upwards angle along the bottom of the caboose, all 4 sides. I also painted the bottom with it. The trucks got a coating of grimy black. I also sprayed just a bit of it along the bottom edges of the caboose. The springs and wheel centers were brush painted with some very old (I have absolutely no idea when I bought the bottle) Testors flat light brown enamel. I use enamels only when brush painting, I never spray them. My spray booth is not vented to the outside, and She Who Must Be Obeyed (SWMBO) does not like paint fumes in the house!
So here's the caboose:
001.JPG


The bottle in the background contains the 50/50 alcohol and water mix I use as my thinner.
It's not a perfect job, but it's not too bad.
I also installed an outlet on the side of my layout table so I can plug in my compressor without having to use an extension cord. When I use my airbrush, I keep the compressor in the layout room with the door closed, because it's kind of noisy. Other than that, I really like that compressor. I used an extension cord with an angled plug ( the wires come out the bottom of the plug rather than the back), an electrical box I had laying around, and an outlet and cover. I've done wiring before, so this was really an easy project. The cord has a cable staple holding it the back of the 2x2, about 4" below the box. The cord is zip tied to the 2x2's until it reaches the wall outlet. I used an angled plug because the extruded foam is stored on the bottom shelf, and it would have hit a straight back plug.
Now when I want to use the compressor, I just flip the switch on the compressor. I could have bought a switched outlet (https://www.menards.com/main/electr...481-c-6324.htm?tid=336635944673741753&ipos=76) but I had these components already.
002.JPG
 

Railrunner130

Well-Known Member
Two quick suggestions- Do what you want with them.
1. Add some window glass before you proceed too far. It'll look less cartoonish and the glass needs to be dirtied up.
2. Use some silver to nick up the wear-and-tear spots, like the hand rails and steps.
 

flyboy2610

Loveably weird
Two quick suggestions- Do what you want with them.
1. Add some window glass before you proceed too far. It'll look less cartoonish and the glass needs to be dirtied up.
2. Use some silver to nick up the wear-and-tear spots, like the hand rails and steps.
Those are some good ideas, Railrunner! As for #1, if I were doing this to a car that had any hope of getting on the layout, I would certainly add some window glass. But for this guinea pig, I'm not going to go that far.
As for #2, I like that idea! I used some flat steel enamel and dry brushed those areas, plus the platform in front of the doors. I also did the chains across the back of the caboose ends.
Driving home, I go past 4 tracks that are frequently used to stage cars. Right now there are a lot of grain hoppers there, waiting for harvest I imagine. Harvest wont really be in full swing for another couple of months here, though. Anyway, I took the time to really study the trucks, wheels, and track in that area. The rails looked like a grimy black with maybe just a touch of light brown. The trucks (including the springs) and wheels just looked grimy black. They didn't really have a rust color to them at all. So I got out my bottle of Poly Scale grimy black (I decided to use that bottle up first because it's probably at least 15 years old. The Hobby Town price sticker said $1.99! The Testors Model Master paints of the same size from Hobby Town are $3.99 now! So that gives you an idea of the age of this bottle. I just bought a bottle last week from Randy at Randy's Roundhouse, paid $3.25 and he's closer than the main Hobby Town store that sells it, so I'm buying it from Randy now!) and repainted the springs and wheels. Looks much more like what I drive past everyday!
Here's a quarter on pic of what it looks like now:
001.JPG
 

Y3a

Stuck in the 1930's
It needs filth on the roof too. For me I would have carved off the crude handrails and replaced them with aftermarket types or at least brass wire. I'd add marker lamps, and drilled out the horizontal pipe on the smoke stack.
 

Railrunner130

Well-Known Member
A few more thoughts-
1. Paint the interior a dark color to hide the yellow plastic.
2. You could apply small amounts of clear gloss to areas where the road dirt won't reach. I'm thinking the red area under the cupola. This will "show" that it was painted glossy when it was built.
3. Rust it. I tried Vallejo and it works well, but will require patience and several coats to look right.
 




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