WEATHERING: Lee Turner Tutorial on Diesels

I have made an adminstrative change to some of the previous posts on weathering.  I have created a new catagory called “Weathering”.  This will allow you to view the numerous posts on weathering and techniques used.  To see this grouping you need to click on the “Menu” button on the front page.  Then click on weathering on the drop down list.

You can sort through the many years of postings by catagory if you choose.  You can also search using a key word or title.


In response to a question by one of the list members, Lee created the following material to show how he finished the Sata Fe GP-20 shown in a previous post.

The first step was to dry brush a light blue lightly over the hood sides mostly in the center of doors and panels. This replicates the fading and chalking of the paint from heat, sunshine and harsh chemicals used in cleaning the locomotive. The cab and nose should be treated much lighter as it doesn’t have the heat from the prime mover. If there are any areas that are too stark or cross into the yellow blend with a brush dampened with Mean Green.
B2 Next the same dry brushing was done with the billboard lettering using Vallejo dark sand. Also lightly drybrush the hood louvers just highlighting the edges of the louvers.
Vallejo dark rust is dry brushed over hood latches, hinges and door edges to make them contrast against the yellow and to darken the blue areas.
 Model Master Acryl raw sienna is then dry brushed across the roof highlighting and creating contrast with the roof color. The pilots and walkways should get a good scrubbing with this color but go lighter on the hoods and frame sides.
After the raw sienna go back with the dark rust and blend the two. It still may be a little too stark at this point but a very thin Model Master Acryl burnt umber lightly misted on with an airbrush will bring it together.
Vallejo dark brown wash is lightly applied over the vertical surfaces of the hood and frame and allowed to dry.
The excess wash is cleaned off with a q tip dampened in Mean Green leaving a little in the cracks and crevices. Note also that the rubber gaskets around the number boards have been painted flat black
These Mig Products are used for a slightly textured rust effect. The streaks on the frame sides were done with tracks wash for darker rust and streaking rust for lighter streaks. The streaks were blended with a brush dampened in mineral spirits as these mig products are a petroleum based product. To get the rust texture around the hinges a spot of either of the two washes is placed around the hinge and powdered pigments are deposited in the wet wash. Once it has dried light brush off the excess pigment and it will leave a slightly textured rust spot. This weathering shows the effects of battery acid spillage in the battery boxes which is very corrosive. The white stains are Vallejo white wash to simulate the baking soda and water used to flush the acid out of the enclosure.
B7.2 This gives a better idea of what the battery box door looked like after the previous step.
Mud splashes on the pilot were done with Mig Products dry earth splashes. It is a very thing paint with thicker, coarser pigment. It can be flicked off the bristles of a stiff brush at where the wheels would spray mud from an adjacent car or locomotive
Here are a few touches you can add to any diesel model to improve its appearance.
A piece of clear plastic sprue is heated with a lighter or candle and stretched.
The tapered sprue is forced into the marker light opening making a mark how deep it fits.
Trim the excess srue past the depth mark and heat with a lighter while rotating the sprue. This will give you a nice dome shaped lens
Here is the finished marker lens, nicely domed and clean and shiny from the heat
Trim the excess length of the sprue and darken all the edges except the face.
Using a white glue, canopy glue or Testors clear parts adhesive glue the lens in place.
For the number boards cut them to size from a clear material, my favorite is .020 Lexan from Clover House. Using the .020 material and placing the numbers in reverse on the inside of the sheet makes the numbers look deeper and no decal film on the face. Add the decal numbers face down and backward on the inside of the glass, check for straightness and correct orientation by looking through the front of the glass
After the decals are set with decal setting solution and have dried, darken the back side and edges with a black Sharpie pen.
Add the precut and dried number boards into the opening with clear adhesive.
  While I cannot cover every brush stroke I think this covers the major techniques used. Keep in mind that each step of the way includes blending and fading to bring the weathering together.
With the exception of the Mig Products all else was done with water based acrylic paints using Mean Green cleaner as a solvent for removing or blending mistakes.
Lee Turner
Thank You Lee for this excellent guide to weathering diesel locomotives.

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