Blackened driver rods

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by jr switch, Dec 10, 2006.

  1. jr switch

    jr switch Member

    There has been a couple threads lately on how to darken the driving rods, but I'm not finding them and I want to ask for a step by step explanation. Seems that there is possibly two or three different products that work? How is it done so that none of the chemical gets into the pivot points? How is it applied?
    Also, when a steam engine is weathered, with an airbrush, how is this done without getting paint into the joints of all the driving gear and still get that uniform look when finished? Does the engine have to be taken apart? Please don't tell me the engine has to be torn down. Thanks for any and all suggestions-----John R
  2. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    In general, I find that chemical blackeners don't work that well on most locos driving rods, especially without disassembly and very thorough cleaning. I usually paint with a brush first, particularily the backs and other hard-to-spray areas, then go over everything with the airbrush, in order to get a smooth finished appearance. Before any paint is applied, the running gear, usually still in the frame, gets a wash with hot water and detergent, then is allowed to air dry. This removes the grease and oil from the exposed parts, but leaves at least some residue on the contact points, so sprayed paint doesn't adhere in the places it's not wanted. I lightly re-oil the mechanism after painting, then run it to ensure that everything is still free.
    When weathering a steam loco with an airbrush, especially the running gear, it's important to roll the locomotive back and forth as you spray: this exposes all normally visible parts, specifically the drivers, wheels, siderods and valve gear, and the frame, to the spray, so that nothing is left unweathered. I find the easiest way to do this is by removing the motor and worm, or otherwise disengaging the gears.

  3. Dick Elmore

    Dick Elmore Member

    "NEOLUBE", It darkens and lubricate's also.

    Texas Chief
  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I would second the NeoLube recommendation. It is not as durable as chemical blackening, but you can simply reapply witha paint brush. Just be sure not to get it on the wheel treads or track. My IHC/Mehano pacific-type went from being able to pull every piece of rolling stock I own up a 2% grade on a 22" radius to barely making it on its own... :rolleyes: hamr Luckily, it cleans up with alocohol on a q-tip.

  5. jr switch

    jr switch Member

    First of all, thanks all, for the information. I only have the one engine that needs the drivers darkened and they are big so that should make it easier. What is "neolube"? Never heard of it. Where would you get it?
    Got my second GP30 last night and spent the evening weathering it to match the first. I now have a "lash-up". The new engine is faster than the other and so should be the one in the front. Is it ok to run them together as a unit when one is slightly pulling the other? Any ideas on if this can be problematic over time? John R
  6. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Neolube is made by PBL. I bought mine (pretty much a lifetime supply in a little jar) from my local hobby shop.

    Apparently, you can use it in a nuclear plant, but one hobby store that has it is Micro-Mark.


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