MODELING: Worn Out by Lee Turner

I would imagine a lot of modelers in 1/4″ scale have come across an early Chooch urethane freight car kit.  Mike O’Connell sold a bunch of them over the years and they still show up at train shows and online in auctions.  The basic patterns were pretty nice but the urethane material used in the old days had few unpleasant habits like warping.  I have tried to build one once and gave up in frustration.  For me it was easier to scratchbuild the model than taming the urethane parts.

Enter our modeling favorite, Lee Turner, and his great skills.  Lee managed to build up the basic body, add lots of details and finish it with his spectacular paint and weathering.  The subject of his work is a USRA single sheathed 40-ton boxcar.   His unique style has managed to capture the long-term effect of weather on an old freight car.   Metal ages differently than wood.  As the paint flakes off the steel, it exposes surfacce to rust.  Rust that has slowly built up a very dark and gritty surface.  The wood around shows the bleaching effect of sun, wind and water.

Here are two pictures of an Ann Arbor single sheathed that had been exposed to years of weather. Not sure if it was Rob Adams or Ron Sebastin took these pictures.

It appears that Lee’s car still has all of the required safety equipment for interchange and even a route card nailed the siding.  In the post-war era, railroads had cars with K-Brake systems still in interchange service that probably saw any reconditioning prior the war.

Even the lettering on a car is subject to the ravages of time and weather.   Lee carefully distressed the New York Central herald to show paint failure of the stencil.  Even closeup this old Chooch car holds up well.

Thanks Lee for sharing your inspirational work.




11 thoughts on “MODELING: Worn Out by Lee Turner

  1. gene: hope this goes thru, wordpress doesn’t like my choice of password selection, anyhow, was this a kit?, if not, how did he create the “hats”? thanks mel perry

  2. Thanks for this information. I feel a lot better now. I had acquired one of these kits via auction and was excited to get it. Unfortunately, my attempts to straighten the sides were futile. I did end up using the cast metal ends as masters for making some additional ends. Everything else was pretty much a write-off. The straightening process did not work out so as you mentioned it looks like a scratch building process for sure.

    Thanks again….


  3. Interesting subject. Years ago I tried to prove a peeling paint process on older HO cars. I discovered, by accident, that when water vapor gets pushed through the airbrush, when painting it spit and the result were bubbles that if you blew on would open and expose the primer. It was realistic but not controlled. Worked best on the metal ends of a caboose.

  4. A wonderful looking model, The weathering is sublime. The only thing which visually jars are the mega-wide wheels, they appear to be at least twice as wide as the rails!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.