WEATHERING: Ford 1932 Model B and Screens

The Studebaker Silver Hawk (alias Lee Turner) has shared some of his work again. The is time is a couple simple projects that you might find useful.

Lee built this old Renwal 1/48 scale kit for a Ford Model B. The Renwal kits are really pretty nice with a few enhancements. The headlights were reworked and a windshield wiper was added. Notice the sticker on the windshield. Nice touch!

The body was painted with a gloss acrylic. A pin wash of Vallejo European Dust wash in seams and gaps brought out the detail. To get that sheen the body was rubbed down with a q-tip just dampened with the Mean Green cleaner I use all the time. It imparts somewhat of a shine with swirl marks. Sheen is a very important component in modeling something that is fairly clean and shiny but still shows age and realism. That sheen contrasts nicely with the canvas roof insert and rubber running boards in a flat finish.

The second topic is how to make and install “screens” on a piece of rolling. Scaling down window screens to 1/48 is a challenge. Lee may have found the ideal approach.

Hallmark imported a classic steel drovers caboose based upon an ATSF design. Lee built frames out of styrene and used Archer 3/16″ scale simulated screen vent decal (AR35380)to create the screen.

The optical effect makes you think you are looking at a screen grid. The decal was fixed with diluted white glue. Lee added matresses inside. He made them from Durham wood putty. I think the overall effect is quite realistic to the eye.

Thanks for taking a look.


WEATHERING: Lee Turner Strikes Again!

Lee is a creative and resourceful modeler that has been generous to share his technique with  this blog.   I sure have learned a huge amount over the last several years.  Hopefully, you have taken away a few techniques that Lee has shared.

How many of you remember Frank Ellison?  He wrote a number of a profound article that shaped much of the hobby we enjoy today.  Model Railroader published much of the tales of Delta Lines and Frank’s creation of a functioning railroad.  One of the industries on the Delta Lines was a packing house called Richmond Packing in the town of Raymondale. Lee created a meat reefer lettered for Richmond Packing as a tribute to Frank Ellison.  The model is a modified Atlas import. The lettering style reflects the post-1938 ban on billboard advertising schemes. By the way, the model is a keeper.  Lee will add this model to his roster.

This pair of of Sacramento Northern F-3 units reflect the work of several modelers.   Mike Mangini built these locomotives from P&D Hobbies kits.   Mike painted the SN silver and orange colors matched to actual EMD paint chips (Dan Pantera loaned them to Mike).  The lettering was designed and printed by Gary Schrader.

It turns out that Mike used to watch these units going through Stockton while he attending the University of the Pacific.   John Ford suggested that Mike contact Lee to age the showroom new look.  Now the units have a “well used” look.

Love that Western Pacific/ Sacramento Northern paint scheme.  As a long-time resident of Cali, I have observed the orange and silver locomotives many time and sure miss them.  Now all we see are the darn yellow things.

Take care,


MODELING: Old Hopper from Lee Turner

: Lee Turner is a very busy guy working on client models. He has managed to find time to do something for himself.

As you may know, Lee is a real fan of the old Lehigh Valley.  His dad working in Sayre, PA at their major shop.  Lee built this USRA twin hopper and lettered for the Susquehanna & New York.  The S&NY disappeared in 1942 with small part of it acquired  by the Lehigh Valley.

The hopper is an updated Intermountain kit.  Lee replaced the grab irons and sill steps with brass parts.  The rusty and sooty interior is fantastic. Lee has captured the look of an old car that has seen a lot of use.

Thank you Lee for the contribution of this material.


WEATHERING: More Ideas on Steam Loco Weathering

Weathering techniques abound on the web and in the pages of modeling magazines. I wanted to add yet another approach. This technique will focus on weathering steam locomotives. The methods and photos are the work of Jimmy Booth. He is a master at the art of locomotive weathering. He has done over 5400 P-B-L imported steam locomotives. They say that practice makes perfect. His stuff is perfect.

Coal burning steam locos produce all sorts of debris that collected on surfaces like running boards and cab roofs. Jimmy used actual coal ground fine and sifted for size. It was bonded to the model with MIG Ammo Pigment Fixer.

Jimmy Booth has been using oils for a while to weather models. He has started using MIG Ammo Oil Brushers. The colors he used are Flesh,Buff and Dust. The best example of this method is shown below on the tender. Oil paints can be applied like a wash and streaked like water stains. Mineral Spirits and a drop Japan Drier will create some interesting effects as Jimmy illustrates below.

I had previously shown the Oil Brushers used as a weather tool.

Thanks to Jimmy for sharing.


WEATHERING: Finishing Wood Decking


Finishing decking on flat cars and gondolas has been a challenge for me.  Each time I try one I am not satisfied with the results.  Ross Dando asked me how I finished wood decking.  I didn’t have a good answer to share so I reached out and asked Lee Turner.  Lee was kind enough to provide me a few words and photos of the work process.

Here is Lee’s approach:

I mix at least three different shades of gray weathered wood and then randomly paint each deck board. After that is completely dry I use a dark wash (Vallejo dark brown) which blends the colors together. Here are some images from my painting and weathering clinic. Don’t forget with a gondola mix up some debris and scrap dunnage and secure it with Mig pigment fixer.

Three variations in gray form the basic foundation of color for the decking. Lee alternated the colors and tried not to create a pattern.  He uses Model Masters acrylic paints mixed to create the shades of gray.

The base color has been applied to the this Red Caboose flatcar.

The last step is apply the Vallejo brown wash.  This will blend the colors together.

The finished effect is quite good.  Lee added dunnage in the gondola setting it with a MIG enamel fixer.

I want to thank Lee for his contribution on finishing wood decking.

Thanks for stopping by




WEATHERING: Oil Brushers

I have been using acrylic paints to weather my models for some time now.  Lee Turner has convinced me that this is the way to go for creating a wide variety of effects.

Ammo MIG is major force in producing products for painting and weathering. Most of the market is oriented towards armor, aircraft and dioramas.  They have both acrylic and enamel (oil) products in their line.   MIG introduced a new way to use oil paints for weathering models.  Each tube has its own fine brush that can add a spot or streak of color.  The oil can be drawn out with mineral spirits.  I tried out the MIG product on a piece of aluminum corrugated metal.  I dabbed a few spots and used the mineral spirits to create a thin color wash.   I finished by using a gray acrylic wash to blend the colors.

I was messing around with oil on wood.  Those of you who modeled in wood using Floquil paint to rub a finish on.  It appears that one can replicate the old school methods featured in Finelines decades ago.

I need to play around some more to get a better technique for application.

The real advantage of oil weathering is that you can apply it over acrylic paints without softening the base color.  This is also true with most lacquer finishes.   Jim Booth is a big fan of oil-based weathering.  He recently finished up weathering over 100 Sn3 K-class imports.  P-B-L has offered custom finishing by Jimmy for years.   The picture shown below was taken by Jimmy after finishing up the locomotive.  Much of his weathering is done with an airbrush.  Mineral Spirits is the preferred thinner for oil. Jimmy suggested adding a drop of Japan Drier to the mineral spirits.  It accelerates the drying process.


WEATHERING: Weathering Steam Power

Weathering has been a frequent topic of my blog.  It is part of the realism we are all trying to create in our models.

This time around we are going to show the work of Jimmy Booth.  As most of you know, Jimmy is part of P-B-L and owner of Glacier Park Models.   Over the years, he has painted thousands of models for customers and himself.   Jimmy just sent me a few shots of his most recent completion.  It is a P-B-L Sn3 K-36 import.

Jimmy used Tamiya acrylic XF- flat finish to do the weathering the paints are diluted using their Tamiya thinner.  The colors are earth tones with grays and a touch of yellow.  Jimmy uses a Paasche VL double action airbrush to create the effects.  The paint is applied in layers to build up density and effect.

I found the treatment of the tender deck interesting to show the road dust and the effects of water spilling.   All this was done with the air brush.

Using the airbrush and a few colors, the tender sides are streaked.

Here is a detail often overlooked when finishing a coal burning steam locomotive.  Cinders collect in all sorts of place on the locomotives.  Jimmy used N scale black ballast and clear lacquer to fix it to the loco surfaces. It is a very interesting touch.

The overall effect is very impressive.  Jimmy has managed to create the “look”.  He had lots of time living in Chama for years to soak in the atmosphere of these impressive narrow gauge locomotives.

Thank you Jimmy for sharing your work with the blog.

Thanks for stopping by,