Saturday, 28 July 2018

Pre-exhibition weathering

Whenever I go overseas with work I have great aspirations for all the writing/model railway planning I'm going to do while I'm away. And each time, at the end of those days my residual mental capacity is enough to watch TV or sleep. Hence, it's taken a little longer than I'd hoped to put up a post about the wagons I'd specifically weathered for the Rosehill exhibition.

As promised, here is that post.


These were introduced to the NSWR from 1977-1981, and I wanted to represent a wagon that has been in service for no more than 3-6 months in keeping with my era. After spraying the model with dullcote, I used a wash of Model Master Roof Brown Flat (3 parts water, 1 part 100% isopropyl, 0.5 parts paint), applied in 3 layers. The wash shows up best inside the wagon, but you can see the brown in places on the ribbing of the body panels. I could probably increase the paint ratio a bit more, but when applying this wash to some 20' RACE containers I had found that too much paint caused the wash to pool into droplets. This consistency seems to have mitigated that. It will just need more layers in future.

The main attention was in dirtying the wheels and bogies. Using a wheel mask, I sprayed the wheels with Krylon ultra flat brown, and then applied powders as per the crushed pastel method, giving the bogies a stronger covering of light greys and light browns, as they tend to pick up more than the body. After enough layers of powder had been applied and sealed with iso, these were then sealed with dullcote, diluted with thinners and sprayed through the airbrush at around 15 psi, as I've found the rattle can is a bit too strong for this step, and can blow the powders away.

I like the look on the prototype wheels of the grime and dirt on the face of the wheel, contrasting against the shine of the tread where it contacts with the rail head. To achieve this on mine I removed the overspray and weathering from the tread using a cotton bud dipped in 100% iso, and rubbed gently on the tread on each wheel to clean it up again. I changed the cotton buds fairly regularly too in order to keep the tread completely clean and prevent smearing brown back onto a part that had just been cleaned.

It doesn’t look like anything’s been done to it until you put it next to one straight out the box! That said, the next one I do I think I'll go a little heavier on. The next one will also have a tarp and ropes. That should be a good little weekend project between now and the end of the year.


The JHG was weathered just using crushed pastels, and although it looks too strong in the first photo, the dullcote has toned it down to a more prototypical level. I used maskol for the windows as well, after success using it on the 421.

As the bogies for this wagon include copper pickups for the marker lights, I masked the area where this contacts the bogie so that it would still provide a good electrical connection after re-assembly. Despite this, and cleaning the wheel treads as with the BDY, the markers aren't illuminating still. I may have to play around this but I'm sure it's just a case of removing paint/dullcote from where it shouldn't be. A next weekend job.

Still, I'm happy with how the body has turned out. Next time, I would add a little more orange/brown to the roof for rust, but only subtly. 


I also took the opportunity to refresh the weathering on this WHX by touching up the pastels. This is one of the first WHXs I'd done and I had removed a fair bit of the grey powder with my fingers after picking up when I was still getting used to the process and hadn't sealed it properly. It had been irking me ever since, so I felt I couldn't run it at Rosehill without fixing it. One of those lessons you need to go through as part of the process of a learning a new skill.

Other news

As expected, my Auscision 48 turned up while I was away. I still haven't even taken the plastic wrapper off it yet, but I'm looking forward to giving it a run on Rozelle Street this week, particularly to hear the DCC sound file. It'll be nice to plonk it straight out of the box with all of the features I want, rather than having to send another loco away to get it to operational stage or to have sound added. More on that next time.

For now though, it's nice to be home.


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