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.
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
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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 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,
Lee Turner continues to amaze with his work and the sheer number of models that come out of his shop. He has been working on a large number of Pennsylvania Railroad equipment. This posting covers three cabin cars that Lee just finished.
Everything about the Pennsy was unique and built to their own designs. Their cabin cars starting with the wooden N6b, N5c with porthole windows though the post-war N8
The N8 and N5c were classic in their style and details. One of the details unique to the road was their pioneering inductive telephone system that used the railing-like hardware on the roof.
One of weathering techniques used by Lee was to sand the decals to reflect the effect of age on railway equipment.
I would like to thank Lee for sharing his work with us.
Lee Turner’s large following of customers keeps him busy near all the time. This winter he has seen a lot of PRR and Eastern equipment in his shop. The PRR E-8 shown above is a Key model. At the request of his customer, Lee rebuilt the pilot assembly and matched the factory paint. Once complete with the modification, Lee weathered the model consistent with the road principal passenger power.
The two flats are imports from the Car Works. They are models of the PRR FM class. The loads are PVC piping painted and weathered to look it large steel pipes. Nice looking loads.
Pacific Limited imported a number of highly accurate brass models years ago. The cars are sought after by modelers and collectors. At a request of his customer, Lee painted the models in two different schemes for the Lehigh and New England.
Last but now least, Lee reworked an Overland Union Pacific gas turbine with a different number, details and weathering. The locomotive is a monster and must be something running on a large railroad. I do remember seeing these beasts at Cheyenne and hauling mile-long trains on the mainline. The black smoke and scream of the turbine was a sight to behold.
Thank you Lee.
Recently, Lee Turner sent me an email with attached photos showing an impressive technique for chipped paint. Rather than paraphrase his words, I copied the text of his email. I have seen similar techniques using hairspray a release coat. Lee used a product made by Acrylicos Vallejo for this purpose.
I finally tried the armor modelers trick, the chipping paint effect with chipping fluid. I started with a base coat of rust, first was a coat of Tamiya hull red. When that was dry acrylic tube paints were thinned and blended over the hull red using burnt umber, burnt sienna, raw sienna and yellow ochre. Always remember that rust is a variety of different tones from blue/black to bright yellow so one color for rust doesn’t work. After the plow was completely rusted it was sealed with Testors dull cote.
After drying a thin coat of “Chipping Medium”, Vallejo #76.550 was airbrushed over any area that I wanted faded and peeling paint. I used Testors acrylic thinner to thin the fluid. Next came very thin color coats, first was a purplish grey mix, then dark faded green mixed with yellow ochre, almost a faded olive color, finally a coat of dark green mixed with white for a faded look. Dampening a small area and then working a stiff brush over it wears away the color coats a layer at the time and the chipping fluid dissolves to reveal the rust underneath. Although this was an experiment on a cheap MTH model it came out with a truly rusty look. I think this proves the point again that paint is as much of a detail an anything else.
The snow plow is an old MTH three-rail piece that acted as Lee’s experimental subject. Pretty darn good for the first time around the block.
One of the masters of modeling weathering is Chuck Doan. I borrowed a picture of a 1/16″ scale Wayne gas pump Chuck has been working on for some time. This shows were you can go if you work at it.
Lee Turner has performed his magic on several classic freight cars models of rolling stock that were built for the once mighty Pennsylvania Railroad. The road billed itself as the “standard railroad of the world”. That is a tall order but a good deal of their legend was deserved. The railroad’s design team created the X23 boxcar design and derived it into an automobile car, reefer, stock car and even a caboose.
The railroad did create standards for nearly every piece and part of the road. PRR freight car designs lead the industry during the early part of the 20th century. Once such design was the X23 boxcar. The car had exterior steel posts, deep underframe and a solid steel roof. Wood sheathing completed the cars construction.
The X23 was developed in 1912 and started production in that year. The railroad acquired over 6900 cars of this design. They also developed the R7 reefer and built 3304 cars. If you would like to learn more about the cars, I would suggest you go to Rob Schoenberg’s website. He has a vast storehouse of information on the road’s many cars and locomotives.
The first of the PRR family modeled by Lee is the former R7 reefer. A key piece of information modelers must keep in mind when choosing the paint scheme for these cars in that the Pennsylvania sold all of these cars to Fruit Growers Express in 1930. The colorful scheme shown below changed at that point in history to a similar FGEX scheme. Cars were operated under different names as they were leased to clients.
The above picture illustrates the effect that Lee imparts on a model. The stock factory painted Precision import came in a bright yellow with black lettering for the old PRR scheme. The model was treated with weathering filters like the one’s sold by Vallejo. The brown filter works to tone down the yellow along with various dust and grime washes. Check out this previous post on Lee Turner’s technique .
Mathieson was a company that used the former PRR R7 cars. The majority of the cars kept their Fruit Growers scheme through the later part of their life.
The above scheme is correct for most of the steam and early diesel era. The PRR lettered cars would be incorrect if you model after 1930. Then again, it is your railroad so do what you want.
The PRR used the X23 as a basis to fill a shortage of cabooses during WWII. A total of 75 boxcars were converted into NX23 during 1943. Lee has depicted the car as you would expect a war era car to look.
I found several prototype photos of X23 boxcar. They appear to taken in the late 1930s.
I hope that this posting provides some useful information on these classic freight cars.
My most recent posting on Lee Turner’s use of filters for weathering has set a record for views. The techniques and modeling has sparked a great deal of interest by viewers.
In fact, there have been over 3,000 clicks on my blog for this one posting. It is record for my P48 Blog. I would like to thank Lee again for his superb skills and his wiliness to share with my readers.
The RI reefer was done with the brown wash which was wiped down when dry to leave the brown mostly in the seams between boards. A little darker wash, the new Model Master Acrylic black wash was used to highlight individual seams randomly. The nail heads are done using a brown fine tip Sharpie with a strip of masking tape for a guide. A little airbrush weathering with burnt umber finished it up.
The ATSF car was given an overall light coat of burnt umber which was streaked and manipulated after it was dry. Then some highlighting was done with the burnt umber on panel seams.
Lastly the CBQ car, the seams were highlighted by rubbing a dark brown pastel stick over the rivets and hitting it with dull coat. Then drybrushed with a med warm grey and streaked with Vallejo white wash mixed alternated with white acrylic craft paint. A little Mig productions concrete dust blended things together.
By the way, all of the freight cars shown in the last two postings are Protocraft 1/4″ scale brass imports. All of the cars are equipped with P48 Protocraft trucks and Protocraft AAR working couplers (the C&NW car had a pair of temporary trucks).
Lee Turner uses many different techniques to weather customer’s equipment. One method that he uses often to age the paint and lettering involves the use of filters. A filter is a highly thinned paint that is sprayed on a model. The paints are water-based acrylic. Don’t try this with solvent-based paints. Modelers who have worked on plastic aircraft and armor may already be familiar with the concept. Some of the model paint companies sell premixed filters. As you will see, Lee made his own tailored to typical railroad colors.
To illustrate the technique, Lee has provided an example of this technique via a couple of Western Maryland boxcar photos. The filter is composed of 50% oxide red paint and 50% clear flat. The filter mix is highly thinned and sprayed on the model. Once the filter was sprayed on over the decals then a wide flat brush damp with mean green was
pulled vertically down the side to streak. A little extra attention was given to the lettering by removing some more of the filter until it gave a faded appearance.
The Frisco car shown at the top of this post was done with washes and the WM car was done with a oxide red filter, 50% paint,50% clear flat and highly thinned. Once the filter was sprayed on over the decals then a wid
e flat brush damp with mean green was pulled vertically down the side to streak. A little extra attention was given to the lettering by removing some more of the filter until it gave a faded appearance.
To further illustrate the filter technique combined with traditional airbrushed highlights, Lee sent a series of photos covering each step of the weathering process.
Here is the Protocraft car airbrushed with acrylics and covered with a flat finish after decaling.
The model was airbrushed with a filter composed of Tamiya Hull red mixed with MM Black with clear flat.
The filter was scrubbed with Mean Green to loosen the spray. This was streaked down the sides.
Once the filter has dried, spray on Burnt Umber as highlights on panel seams and corners.
Styrene mask used to highlight the panel seams. The Burnt Umber is airbrushed on.
Here is what the car looks like at this point in the process
The next step is to apply paint patches to the side. These are often done during shopping or during a reweigh. You may not see these on all cars but it is an important detail.
Lee added a paint panel for a reweigh where it changed the weight.
This what the finished car looks like. The resulting weathering reflects a car that has been in service for a while without the benefit of fresh paint. The seams have been accented with colored pencils to create rust patches.
I would like to thank Lee for his generosity in sharing these photos and techniques. Each of his methods can be done by most with practice. He didn’t just started doing it. Find some old car bodies and practice until you master each step.
Remember: JUST DO IT.