I have seen some great pictures of weathering. For me weathering is very important. Guess I'm just a cranky old fart, but I always weather my locomotives and rolling stock before using them on my layout, even if it is just a light application of dust or mud along the lower parts of the car. Even a newly painted (prototype) locomotive or freight car will show some light weathering even after a few days out in the elements.
One interesting thing happened about 15 years ago when I was helping out the model railroad club in Great Falls, MT. The have a large layout in the Public School building at the Great Falls fairgrounds. Their rent for the space is having trains running during the state fair. Not a bad situation at all, except having people there constantly during the fair. I would go up when I could on the weekends and bring locomotive and rolling stock to help them out.
There is always a constant stream of people coming through all day long looking at the layout. All of the members brought in what they had, all totally unweathered just like they came out of the box, except mine. I can't count how many times the visitors commented about my scruffy looking equipment was "dirty, just like the real ones". When the club members hears this, they stopped what they were doing and just stared at each other. The following year, most of the equipment running was weathered to some degree.
It's nice to have nice shiny looking locomotives and rolling stock, but this is not the fact in the real world.
Year back I did a lot of custom painting for a big O scale brass collector who had a lot of Milwaukee Road equipment. I had painted a few Little Joes, Steeple cab switchers, box cabs and cabooses. All nice and shiny. He wanted me to duplicate a set of box cabs known as the Harlowtown switcher. I had ridden on it as a kid and had numerous pictures of it taken over the years. This was one hard working locomotive that always looked like it was ridden hard and put away wet. I told him that I wanted to finish it weathered. He did not like this at all. I finally convinced him to let me weather it, and told him that if he didn't like it, that I would repaint it for free. After doing some carving on this fantastic brass gem, I had to custom build some vent panels and make some other modifications to match the pictures I had, and painted and weathered it. When he saw it finished his jaw dropped. He looked at it and at the pictures and couldn't believe it. He was one very happy guy. The last I knew, it and some of his other Milwaukee equipment is on display at the museum at the old Northern Pacific depot in Livingston, MT.
Take a good hard look at what's on the rails and see how many really clean locomotives and cars are clean. Don't be afraid to try weathering, you just might suprise yourself. Look at the work the modelers have done in this forum. I'm sure that almost everyone has some old box car or other equipment laying around that they probably won't use. Give it a shot.
Surely you have some pictures to share, Chet!
Hope you are well,
I have some but was unable to post them because the pictures were too large for this format. Look at an album I have posted under my profile and some of those photos will give you an idea. I don't usually heavily weather my rollong stock, but some are. Most of the time a little chalk and a dusting with an air brush will accomplish what I need.
Originally Posted by PApat
I agree with you whole heartedly, my pet peeve is seeing new toy like cars and engines on any layout. Unfortunately I have no control who runs what on their layouts, so on my layout all my cars and engines are weathered, it's my layout after all.
Is this the type of weathering you're talking about?
That looks great. I usually don't heavily weather all of my equipment, but everything is qeathered to some extent, even if it is only a light dusting with an air brush along the lower part of a car or locomotive. Even a freshly washed locomotive will kick up dust going down the tracks getting at least the trucks and lower parts dusty.
Originally Posted by CN6401
You guys do awesome work...
Do any of you guys ever just use chalk or do u always need to use a airbrush?
I dont have a airbrush yet. Can any of this work be done by just using chalk and a brush?
Sure, this is just weathering powder and a brush. DJ.
The quick answer in no.
The expanded answer is no I don't use chalk ever, since chalk by itself does not have any adhesion properties other that static electricity. Any powder work on my vehicles is done with a paint pigment powder called AIM powders, which are now available thru Walthers.
When I apply the powders I apply a 50/50 mix of Dulcote and lacquer thinner shot thru an airbrush. If you don't have an airbrush it's a worthwhile investment for serious modeling. If you have a friend that has one ask him to bring it over and show you how to use it, you'll fall in love with it. A good starter is a Badger 350 or you can move up to an Iwata.
I give clinics and seminars on weathering and there are ways of applying road grime but if you plan to handle any of your work it should be sealed with Dulcote. Even a lite coat of Dulcote will take away that toy look. Everyone has their own way of weathering so you will have to decide which works best for you.
I hope that answers you question.
I do use some chalks. Modeling the steam to diesel era, there would usually be some black soot that would wash off of the roofs of the box cars streaking down the sides. I also use chalks as shown on these yellow locomotives on any air intakes or exhaust areas. Black is about the only color chalk I will use because lighter colored chalks will have a tendency to disappear when a final over spray of dullcoat is applied. Once weathered, the entire model should be given a final coat of dullcoat which will seal the weathering in and take the toy like shine away. There are other pigments that can also be brushed on for weathering that will remain visible when sealed. An air brush is not becessary, but it is such a great tool that ince you have used it, you'll wonder how you ever got along without it. An airbrish will atomize the paint into an extremely fine mist that after a little practice you'll easily be able to lightly spray on to give a dusty effect. I usually do this to the lower parts of the freight car or locomotive. This will also make any details jump out at you auch as the trucks on the locomotives. Looking at the reefer car in the first picture you can see the use of black calk to simulate the effects of the soot. In the second picture the light dusting on the lower part of the locomotives make the details show up better, and the intake and exhaust vents show up more detail. An air brush may sound like it could be difficult to use, but after a little experience, you may really suprise yourself with what you can do. All of these locomotives and the reefer car started out as undecorated models, and were painted and lettered the way I wanted them. Also note the black streaking on the sides of the crummies. Also, if you do apply any decals, make sure that you use a decal setting solution, such as solvaset to get the decals to soften and settle down on any details, such as rivets. A coat of dullcoat when applied will make any decal film totally disappear.
Wow, there is a bunch of Alcos in that picture!!!