I came across a few pictures that a worth sharing.  You may find them of interest.

Here is a view of a Northern Pacific tender deck.  It appears that the deck is knee deep in coal dust.   There are even a few weeds that have taken root in the debris.  It would be a striking addition to your coal burner.  The locomotive and tender are in the scrap line awaiting the torch.  The head end brakeman must not been too interested in doing housekeeping.

Most modelers including me tend to not put much effort into a tender.   One modeler who has not forgotten this area is Jimmy Booth.  He has applied coal to a number of the Foreground Models offered by P-B-L.  The model shown below is a Sn3 K-36 that features custom weathering by Jimmy as part of the Foreground package.  The coal is from Chama, NM and is fixed with a clear lacquer.

Coal and clinkers shower the locomotive and train.  Some stick to surfaces like the tender deck and to surfaces like the roof of brakeman’s shed.

If you operate oil burners, you have possibilities for weathering with the combination of dust, grime and spilled oil on the deck.  The oil is called Bunker C and is tar-like unless heated.  Spilled on a oil tank, the stuff hardening in the cooler weather and sticks to your shoes in the summer.

Jimmy sent me these two photos of his weathering applied to P-B-L 37-ton two-truck Shays.  The oil spill was done with Tamiya X-1 Gloss Black,  The Dixiana Shay has added debris like actual leaves ground up with a coffee grinder.  It seems that Jimmy doesn’t drink coffee. That wouldn’t work in my home.

I would be interested in learning how you might create the hardened puddles of Bunker C.

I would like to thank Jimmy Booth for his model photos and the NPRHA for the Wade Stevenson photo of the coal tender.



6 thoughts on “PROTOTYPE INFORMATION: Tenders

  1. Gene you ask about forming Bunker C puddles. I recently poured some water with Woodland Scenics Realist Water. Some leaked onto the floor, forming a puddle. Your question prompted me to remember that error. A drop of WS Realistic Water would make a realistic puddle. The material can be tinted according to

    Just mix in a black color before it sets.

    Doug Harding

  2. For oil stains I use a product called “fuel stains” by Mig. It is basically an enamel varnish which has been tinted brown. (They also do “oil stains”) If left undiluted it dries to a glossy finish which is ideal for fresh spill marks. With dilution it dries semi-gloss which is good for replicating older spills. I would be happy to post a photo to show the results, will this blog allow me to do that?

      • Gene, I am familiar with the stuff. We used to burn it on the steam ships I worked on. Although it appears black when seen in a thick layer, it is actually a very dark brown. (Spread a drop out on your fingers and this will be apparent.)When you look at any pictures of the top of oil tenders though, the appearance tends to take on a brown hue and it doesn’t stay in a thick layer but rather it thins out. Even on the tenders of UP’s gas turbines you can see the brown tinge in many photographs.
        So I am guessing I cannot post photos here?

  3. I spent a few weeks on steam loco driving courses in England. I became acquainted with every nook and cranny from the top to the inside of the underframe. What JimmyB did with coal on the tender deck is juuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuust right. Most often overlooked are cinders.

    You find plenty on the tender deck, but also on the locomotive. Especially the running boards and pilot deck. Any flat surface looking up accumulates them.

    Bill Jolitz

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