The Weathering Thread

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RCH

Been Nothin' Since Frisco
I hear that, David! Man, the large scale stuff would be outta sight to work on. The best part about Rich's site is that most of the people there have only been doing the weathering thing for a short time. Their progress is inspiring. And humbling, since I've been doing this stuff for 15 years and I see stuff that blows my work away!

I mentioned above that I primarily use artists oils for weathering. I think people tend to be shy of trying them, maybe because they can be expensive, the selection of paints and oils and thinning and thickening mediums is vast, and many people seem to be intimidated by them just because they don’t consider themselves an “artist.” Well, they really aren’t that expensive once you realize that they don’t dry up before you’ve used half the tube and one tube will last you forever! Brushes are one thing I wouldn’t skimp on, but a good brush will outlast five cheap ones, so over time it’s not very expensive to acquire a few good brushes. I use odorless mineral spirits to thin oils and clean my brushes and a bottle of that stuff is cheap and will also last for quite some time, too.

If anyone wishes to give artists oils a try, I suggest using the following colors to start your palette off:

Titanium White 200ml tube $12.70
Yellow Ochre 37ml tube $5.20
Cadmium Red Hue 37ml tube $5.20
Cadmium Yellow Hue 37ml tube $5.20
Ivory Black 37ml tube $5.20
Burnt Sienna 37ml tube $5.20
Burnt Umber 37ml tube $5.20
Raw Sienna 37ml tube $5.20
Raw Umber 37ml tube $5.20

Virtually any rust, mud, grease or dust color can be created with these colors. I use Windsor and Newton “Winton” oils, which are relatively inexpensive. Even when I paint on canvas, I’m under no illusion that I’m painting a masterpiece that needs to stand the test of time, so any money spent on oils that will last 500 years is wasted. ;) The prices shown are the list prices, but you can get a substantial discount buying them through an online outlet like DickBlick.

One thing I really found useful about oils is the “undo” time you get. They don’t dry right away, so if you don’t like what you’ve done, you can just wipe it off. I make plenty of mistakes, so this is probably the one characteristic of oils that sold me. They also go on any surface pretty well, too, unlike some other mediums which just won’t stick to certain finishes. When I was in college, I usually painted on canvas or masonite, but I also painted on sheet steel and aluminum with great success.

Here’s something a friend of mine (and modeling guru) suggested the other night, which I have yet to try, but it makes perfect sense: if you paint with acrylics, seal the model then weather with oils, that way the weathering process will not adversely affect the finish underneath. If you paint with solvents, weather with acrylics. I usually paint with solvents, but this logic is what’s going to push me to the “dark side” and force me to start using acrylics. That, and the fact that nearly all my solvent paints are dried up. ;)

For brushes I have a selection of small brushes, medium brushes and large brushes. I like hogshair brushes for large brushes and I use dense sable hair watercolor brushes for my small and medium brushes. They hold their shape, keep the paint on the outside of the brush instead of loading it and they seem to last forever (and believe me, I am the destroyer of brushes).

I tend to use the large brushes for applying the paint to the models, usually by stippling the model’s roof to get really irregular patterns of rust. I use the medium brushes (flat, chisel style brushes) for blending, like when I’m trying to mute the overall color of the model and I use the small brushes for detail work.

Really, though, there are no hard and fast rules. I came up with my techniques by experimenting and just messing around. I’d just like to suggest to anyone who is curious about using oils that you jump in and give them a try. You can even start as minimally as buying four tubes – the umbers and the siennas – a brush and some mineral spirits. The freedom you’ll have to do rust with those four colors is really exciting and will likely get you back into the store to grab the other colors and maybe a few more brushes.

Anyway, I hope some of you find this informative at the very least.

Happy Weathering!
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
Rich,

I heard Daves reply about acrylics not thinning as well, but what is your opinion on using acrylics for weathering. I have been pretty much using acrylics exclusively and find I can acheive just about any color/consistancy I need.

I guess I am concerned about clean-up and drying time. I have far more projects than I have time to complete. I hesitate to add additional time for "non-prodcutive" parts of the process.
 
D

dthurman

Guest
I use both Chip, I think it depends on what effect you are after. I think I will try again with some acrylics and see if I can thin them better. Maybe someone can tell us what they use to thin with besides water?
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
dthurman said:
I use both Chip, I think it depends on what effect you are after. I think I will try again with some acrylics and see if I can thin them better. Maybe someone can tell us what they use to thin with besides water?
Blue window washing fluid
 
D

dthurman

Guest
I would be worried that people may start to lick my cars...
 
D

dthurman

Guest
I thought you meant it was a way to teach the car lickers a lesson.

As for track cleaning, you really should think about the MAAS or Mothers chrome polish. I swear by it now. Doing N scale and with all my track, I got tired of loading a Centerline cleaning car or the Brightboy eraser.

Sorry for getting off topic, but I guess it fits, never know when that dust from weathering will hit the rails.
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
Okay, Back on target. I thought my first project would be to weather some ore cars used in a silver mine. It will be 1880's and I have no pictures. I figure it will be well beaten as the mine is marginal. They will be tipple fed so scratches and rust inside and dust and rust outside. Here's the three cars I am talking about (sorry they were not the intended subject of the photos). What would you do?

climax05.gif
 

RCH

Been Nothin' Since Frisco
SpaceMouse said:
Rich,

I heard Daves reply about acrylics not thinning as well, but what is your opinion on using acrylics for weathering. I have been pretty much using acrylics exclusively and find I can acheive just about any color/consistancy I need.

I guess I am concerned about clean-up and drying time. I have far more projects than I have time to complete. I hesitate to add additional time for "non-prodcutive" parts of the process.
Is this directed to me? I see the connection of my initials (RCH) to the name Rich and I don't think there's anyone here named Rich, but if this question isn't for me, forgive me for stepping out of line. :eek:

I don't know what to tell anyone about using acrylics, since the last time I used them was in high school. I used the defunct Polly S line of paints, hated them, threw them away, and started over with solvents. I understand most people are using acrylics these days, so that's what I meant by going to the dark side. Still haven't even tried them again in 15 years.

As to the clean-up and drying time, I have so many cars to do and so little time (I have two girls, 2 and 3 years old - enough said!) that there's no way I can get even one done in a single sitting unless I'm up until 2 am. The dry time is a factor in that, so I work on a few at a time. I'll usually start with the ends or the roof, since ends are a pain for me and the roof sets the tone of the model. I will get that portion of the group of cars I'm working on done at that sitting, which usually lasts an hour or so. The next day I can get started on the sides or the underframe, leave them to dry until the next day, and so on.

I do not thin my paint at all and I put the paint on very thin and dry. Because of this, the normal "wait a week" approach you'd have to take with oils doesn't occur. The paint is often dry, or has a "skin," within a couple hours. Still, you wouldn't want to handle the car by the painted area less than a day after you've done anything on it. I'm sure just about anyone could do an entire car with acrylics in a sitting, because you can handle it almost right away. The fact that I can't handle the car right away doesn't really affect me because I don't work fast enough that it's a consideration. So, any "down time" due to drying doesn't exist for me anyway, because once I have covered all the accessible parts of a model that I can without interfering with handling it, I just move on to the next model.

I think it's worth mentioning here that I am of the mindset that I get out everything that needs a particular shade of rust at the same time, mix up the paint, and apply it to each model. I do the same thing when I paint with the airbrush. If I'm loading the brush with reefer orange, you better believe I will track down everything that needs a shot of reefer orange! Of course, I make spreadsheets to keep track of this sort of thing, so I'm a total geek, I know... :eek:

As far as the clean-up is concerned, I had a serious problem with the clean-up involved in using acrylics, which is why I stopped using them (ruined a few brushes and clogged my airbrush), so based on my experience, the clean-up with oils is quick and easy compared to acrylics. With the acrylic formulations folks are using today, I'll bet the clean-up compares favorably with oils. In fact, I'll make a pledge to stop referencing acrylics as if it's 1989 right here, right now! I promise I will try them! Still, I'm not sure I can bring myself to use them for weathering, only base painting per my Guru's recommendation!

Sorry for the filibuster! I need sleep... I was up until 2 am working on my billboard project. I can't imagine doing something like that in N scale. You N scale guys get my respect!
 

Railphotog

Railroad Photographer
I posted this on another forum, thought I'd give it a try here too. When is weathering done too much????

Weathered.png
 
D

dthurman

Guest
Thanks Ryan! How do you get a dry brush effect with oils? I should clarify, I am wondering are you talking about artist oils? Or Floquil paints?

Chip, surely there has to be some sites out there, even if it is more modern in the timeline that has some pictures of ore jennies. The engine looks pretty good, well great and again I find if I can work from a picture, I sort of know how mother nature and the RR elements effect a car for weathering. Is the silver mine material more of a black or grey? I wouldn't imagine it to be silver?
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
RCH said:
Is this directed to me? I see the connection of my initials (RCH) to the name Rich and I don't think there's anyone here named Rich, but if this question isn't for me, forgive me for stepping out of line. :eek:

I don't know what to tell anyone about using acrylics, since the last time I used them was in high school. I used the defunct Polly S line of paints, hated them, threw them away, and started over with solvents. I understand most people are using acrylics these days, so that's what I meant by going to the dark side. Still haven't even tried them again in 15 years.

As to the clean-up and drying time, I have so many cars to do and so little time (I have two girls, 2 and 3 years old - enough said!) that there's no way I can get even one done in a single sitting unless I'm up until 2 am. The dry time is a factor in that, so I work on a few at a time. I'll usually start with the ends or the roof, since ends are a pain for me and the roof sets the tone of the model. I will get that portion of the group of cars I'm working on done at that sitting, which usually lasts an hour or so. The next day I can get started on the sides or the underframe, leave them to dry until the next day, and so on.

I do not thin my paint at all and I put the paint on very thin and dry. Because of this, the normal "wait a week" approach you'd have to take with oils doesn't occur. The paint is often dry, or has a "skin," within a couple hours. Still, you wouldn't want to handle the car by the painted area less than a day after you've done anything on it. I'm sure just about anyone could do an entire car with acrylics in a sitting, because you can handle it almost right away. The fact that I can't handle the car right away doesn't really affect me because I don't work fast enough that it's a consideration. So, any "down time" due to drying doesn't exist for me anyway, because once I have covered all the accessible parts of a model that I can without interfering with handling it, I just move on to the next model.

I think it's worth mentioning here that I am of the mindset that I get out everything that needs a particular shade of rust at the same time, mix up the paint, and apply it to each model. I do the same thing when I paint with the airbrush. If I'm loading the brush with reefer orange, you better believe I will track down everything that needs a shot of reefer orange! Of course, I make spreadsheets to keep track of this sort of thing, so I'm a total geek, I know... :eek:

As far as the clean-up is concerned, I had a serious problem with the clean-up involved in using acrylics, which is why I stopped using them (ruined a few brushes and clogged my airbrush), so based on my experience, the clean-up with oils is quick and easy compared to acrylics. With the acrylic formulations folks are using today, I'll bet the clean-up compares favorably with oils. In fact, I'll make a pledge to stop referencing acrylics as if it's 1989 right here, right now! I promise I will try them! Still, I'm not sure I can bring myself to use them for weathering, only base painting per my Guru's recommendation!

Sorry for the filibuster! I need sleep... I was up until 2 am working on my billboard project. I can't imagine doing something like that in N scale. You N scale guys get my respect!
Sorry RYAN (I'll get it right now),

I mentioned my wife is a pro artist. She has gone to acrylics lately because she feels that they are now good enough to rival oils and are easier to work with. As for the issues you mentioned, I can't compare with 1989 acryllics. I know that cleaning my brush is a matter of rinsing in water--even if they have sat awhile because of something bonehead i did. I have clogged my airbrush with them, but I'm so green with airbrushes that I blamed operator error at the time. They certainly thin easily with window waher fluid.
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
dthurman said:
Thanks Ryan! How do you get a dry brush effect with oils? I should clarify, I am wondering are you talking about artist oils? Or Floquil paints?

Chip, surely there has to be some sites out there, even if it is more modern in the timeline that has some pictures of ore jennies. The engine looks pretty good, well great and again I find if I can work from a picture, I sort of know how mother nature and the RR elements effect a car for weathering. Is the silver mine material more of a black or grey? I wouldn't imagine it to be silver?
You know, the silver mine was an after thought on my 4 x 8, and I don't know what silver ore looks like.

FYI: That engine was done entirely with artist acrylics. Here a shot of the other side.

climax02.gif
 
D

dthurman

Guest
Chip, you got my interest up on what an ore jenny would look like, and I can see why you don't have any pictures of a silver mine, I googled and came up pretty emtpy on pictures, but lots of text.

I did find this web site that has pictures of the little mine cars, you may be able to use them as a reference of what to do to the ore cars

http://www.goldrush.com/~kreissb/phil/photos.html
 

RCH

Been Nothin' Since Frisco
dthurman said:
Thanks Ryan! How do you get a dry brush effect with oils? I should clarify, I am wondering are you talking about artist oils? Or Floquil paints?
Artists oils. I can't imagine trying to drybrush with Floquil. Even when your brush is "wet" it feels dry with Floquil.

I think using the oils directly from the tube (not thinning or conditioning them in any way) helps, along with using dense sable brushes. Since the brushes don't load paint, you don't get much on there. Once you put the paint on the model, you can work it around until it gets thin enough to give just a haze effect.
 

RCH

Been Nothin' Since Frisco
SpaceMouse said:
Sorry RYAN (I'll get it right now),
No sweat, I just wanted to make sure it was me you were asking! With all the new members here I can't really say I know everybody anymore. At least not yet.

I mentioned my wife is a pro artist. She has gone to acrylics lately because she feels that they are now good enough to rival oils and are easier to work with.
That's what I keep hearing. I'm finally coming around to the idea of using them. It's just one of those cases of "once bitten, twice shy." Pretty cool you have a pro close by. I'll bet you've got the color wheel down pat!

As for the issues you mentioned, I can't compare with 1989 acryllics. I know that cleaning my brush is a matter of rinsing in water--even if they have sat awhile because of something bonehead i did.
Okay, now you have my attention! This is what I've been most concerned about. I'd hate to have to replace another airbrush due to having to rush off to change a diaper or catch the girls at the end of the slide or something like that (I'm always getting interrupted - and happily so - in all my extracurricular activities with Dad duty).

I have clogged my airbrush with them, but I'm so green with airbrushes that I blamed operator error at the time. They certainly thin easily with window waher fluid.
Well, I've clogged my airbrush at least a hundred times with solvent paints. I can't blame it on anything except being in a hurry or being too lazy to do the job right. I've even clogged a paint cup, too. That's something no amount of lacquer thinner can fix!
 




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