To "weathered" or not to?

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MLW

Active Member
That's the question...

I’m just curious, but:

Do you find weathering rolling stocks addictive?
Do you weathered all your rolling stocks?
Do you run your train with weathered cars only?

I guess I’m getting “hook” a little… :D but I will not "weather" any
of my loco at this point.

Well....there’s that “one” that I might used as a guinea pig:p
 

RCH

Been Nothin' Since Frisco
I wouldn't say it's "addictive" per se, but anything you immerse yourself in can occupy a great deal of your thoughts. I think, to a certain extent, it depends on the purpose you have for weathering your models.

I weather my models for one of two reasons: either I'm duplicating a prototype for my own collection or I'm adding value to a model I don't want anymore so I can sell it and get more models I do want. The ones I sell are what I use for experimenting, and some are failed experiments and some are successes (and there isn't necessarily a correlation between sale price and success or failure of a given experiment). When I have enough experience with certain techniques, I'll try them out on the stuff I'm keeping.

As to the next two questions, yes and yes. Even clean cars have some kind of weathering to them, even if it's only the bright orange wheels and couplers of a factory fresh hopper or tank car. The areas and era I'm interested in never saw much in the way of factory fresh cars, so weathering everything is mandatory.

Weathering locomotives is a lot like weathering boxcars. The main difference is there are usually lots of small protruding items on locomotives that complicate the painting process. Sometimes it's best for these things to be removed and weathered after what's under them is done (handrails are a good example), while other times it's just as easy to work around them in place (like horns or bells).

Just as the lading of a particular freight car will define a certain amount of the weathering, especially if the car is used constantly in a single service, so do the various "loads" locomotives carry. Think about it: the main load locomotive carries is the weight of the train. This load can affect the appearance of a locomotive dramatically, as seen on many dynamic brake sections of SP and SSW locomotives where the paint is literally burned off the hood. Locomotives also carry fuel, oil, sand and several batteries. Each leaves its mark: rust from the batteries, dusty powder from the sand, slick stained fuel fillers and caked on grime where oil and grease accumulate. And don't forget the people carried by the locomotive. Their hands and feet rub dirt and grime off the locomotive in certain spots, and even rub the paint off handrail and step edges over time.

Generally speaking, locomotives tend to be handled by people more, and the fact that they are creating some of the particulate matter that weathers them, means there is the potential for a lot of variation in the patterns you'll find on them. Once you break down what the patterns are, it's really no more complex than a boxcar. But even boxcars aren't always easy.

If you want to weather a locomotive but don't really want to risk sacrificing it, buy a replacement shell for it just in case or use a reversible weathering medium. But don't be afraid of screwing up. If you ever meet someone who never screwed up weathering a locomotive, you've met someone with few skills or extremely boring taste in weathering or both. Nobody is an expert their first time. ;)
 

MLW

Active Member
Hi Ryan

Thanks for the great reply.

If you don’t mind me asking, how much do you make per [weather] models. I did not realize there was a market for weather rolling stocks:confused:

I found that I want to weather the majority of my model now. Not the "rust bucket" look for all of them, but somekind of light weathering. I’m not very good at it, so I’m kind of hesitant to do more at this point (except 2 more covered hoppers:D )

Thanks for the locomotives weathering “how-to”. Once I’m more comfortable I might do the one with a very bad paint job on it. Cannot get worse then it is now.

How long did it take you to reach your level of skills, and which technic do you prefer?


Thanks again
 

IronBeltKen

Lazy Daydreamer
I've only weathered the locos for my private pike, haven't done any of the CSX ones yet - but I definitely will when I find time to do so! I don't know if I have the patience to be 'scientific' about it as Ryan outlined in his excellent post, but I at least want to base it on a photograph of the type of loco [and paint scheme] I'm weathering to make it generally believable. I figure that's a major improvement from the shiny N-I-B look.
 

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
I don't know if it's addictive or not, but all of our locos and rolling stock are weathered to some degree. To me, the plastic shine on many factory locos is very unrealistic. As a minimum, just a coat of Dull Cote and "dust" on the running gear makes all the difference in the world to a model's appearance, IMHO. For me, weathering is a fun, inexpensive way to add realism to a model railroad.

Some folks prefer squeaky clean models. That's fine too.:)
 

Cjcrescent

Master Mechanic
grande man said:
Some folks prefer squeaky clean models. That's fine too.:)
Yeah I prefer my models to be clean too, also they have to be 18, blonde and have very rich parents with a foot in the grave!:p:p

Sorry, had to do it, it was too hard not to.:D
 

RCH

Been Nothin' Since Frisco
MLW said:
Hi Ryan

Thanks for the great reply.

If you don’t mind me asking, how much do you make per [weather] models. I did not realize there was a market for weather rolling stocks:confused:
Oh, there's definitely a market for it, but I'm not much of a factor in it.;) There are many folks selling their models on ebay, some good, some not so good. A few of them chat it up on Rich Divizio's forum at modeltrainsweathered.com and others I suppose only show themselves on ebay. The great one, Mellow Mike, has posted here in the past, but hasn't in some time (I'm sure he's working on his next masterpiece).

As far as the prices I fetch are concerned, well, compared to the other guys selling on ebay, I'm not making any waves. And I'm not consistent with what I get either. On freight cars I have sold them as low as $13 and as high as $91. Locomotives are where I make money every time, but maybe that's because I've been concentrating on them far longer than freight cars and most of the weathering guys focus on freight cars. I don't know.

Still that's chump change compared to the true masters of the craft. I'm sure some other forumites remember, but didn't Mellow Mike sell a freight car for like $800? And, if you aren't familiar with his work that might sound ridiculous, but the buyer got a bargain on that car, in my opinion.
I found that I want to weather the majority of my model now. Not the "rust bucket" look for all of them, but somekind of light weathering. I’m not very good at it, so I’m kind of hesitant to do more at this point (except 2 more covered hoppers:D )
Well, regardless of how many you want to do, it's important to work as well as you are able, and avoid rushing anything. If you are unsatisfied, wait awhile and try to find a new approach or a better solution for whatever is leaving you dissatisfied. I think it's important to avoid the rust buckets until you're very comfortable with your skill set, and possibly more important to avoid to the really subtle ones until you're really settled in. You'll find that everything is hit or miss right now, but just pay attention to which colors and which media work on various finishes and colors of freight cars, and you'll be able to get consistent results after a few dozen models.

Thanks for the locomotives weathering “how-to”. Once I’m more comfortable I might do the one with a very bad paint job on it. Cannot get worse then it is now.

How long did it take you to reach your level of skills, and which technic do you prefer?


Thanks again
You're welcome. I have always been most comfortable using artists oils for any kind of painting, so that's what I use since I don't paint canvases anymore. I like pastel chalks quite a bit, too, and often use the two together. I have been involved in art as long as I've been alive and I've been trying to weather models on some level since I was 14, so I may not be the typical modeler or whatever. Whether involved in art or not, I think anyone with a good eye, an open mind and a determination to improve their skills can achieve his or her goals.
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
Mellow Mike is an oddball in this hobby of ours. Some weather to sell, some weather cause they want the trains, he weathers, to weather...
 

MLW

Active Member
Hi Ryan

Thanks again for the great reply.

I did not realize weathered locomotives and rolling stocks are that popular! I wonder why some manufacturer do not offer rolling stock already weather:confused: maybe its just a question of time....

Yes I’m also on modeltrainswweathered.com and I have learn a great deal since I’ve been there. Lots of great artist and skill people! WOW:eek:

$91.00 for a weathered boxcar? That sound reasonable (taking into account the time you spent on it) but $800.00 ? Geeeez! Must have been the ‘real” thing in miniature…and more! :D

I found that I've passed the point when I was mediocre and now I’m at the “beginner” level. For some reason I can’t do a boxcar to save my life, but I’m a little bit better with covered hoppers for some reasons. I can’t do subtle weathering either. I’m just too heavy handed. More practice I suppose. But I think I do a passable boxcar roof. If only I could do the sides well:(

For some reasons I feel more comfortable with water-based paint. Maybe because they are easier to dilute or because that’s what I started with. I used chalk powder too, but I haven’t master that one either.

Feel free to share more of your skills and know-how anytime.

You do great work

Cheers
 

sushob

Entrepreneurial Teen




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