Weathering you’re trains, a subject I’ll cover today. Most modelers I know want to, or have built beautiful layouts that run well. I have seen and operated on layouts that have beautiful hand-laid track, or flex track that’s beautifully weathered including the ties, I’ve seen beautiful scenery on layouts, some with beautiful photo or hand painted backdrops. I’ve seen weathered rolling stock and motive power. And then again, there are layouts with rolling stock and locomotives run right out of the box without a hint of weathering.
That’s the focus of today’s post. In my opinion, we all want a highly detailed, well operating layout with nice scenery. To achieve a complete prototypical and realistic look and feel to your layout, weathering of rolling stock and locomotives is just as important. Everything out in the elements winds up weathered to some degree.
The weathering as well must look good, and must look realistic. There is a modeler I have known that weathers everything exactly the same. This is not only not realistic, but in my opinion is not eye appealing. In my opinion models should look different, should look unique. They should look realistic. Finally, they should be eye appealing, and if you have these models at a train show, they should be show stoppers.
Real life weathering affects rolling stock and locomotives differently. This should be reflected in every model you weather. To achieve this, most experienced modelers who weather their equipment will use prototype photos of the car or locomotive they’re working on. If not the exact car, then one close to the car number, or at least the same class and type of car or locomotive. This is what I do before diving in on a project.
Of course, you have to have the proper paints and colors plus other mediums before starting. As I use an airbrush for 98% of my work, a reliable airbrush is a necessity. Other mediums might be powders, oils, washes, rust textures, or a combination of all of these. I often use a combination of these. Some of my models might have three or four layers of different mediums on them.
There are many great modelers that have produced fantastic, realistic looking models. I feel I do adequate work on my models. Below you’ll see examples of my models, all weathered to some degree. That’s another point. Vary your weathering, as you’ll see below. The one important point I haven’t mentioned is practice! I practiced my technique and different mediums on an old Athearn ready to run car which now is pretty much unrecognizable. But, practice makes perfect as the saying goes!