Custom Painting, Weathering Of locomotives

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by NSSD80MAC, Feb 3, 2008.

  1. NSSD80MAC

    NSSD80MAC Member

    I am starting to do a lot of research about Custom Painting, Weathering but cannot seem to find a single thing about painting the wheels of the locomotives.

    I recently had a Kato F40PH Custom Painted and Weathered by a friend of mine. When looking at the model everything looks awesome, but then I SAW the shining wheels! I want to paint them so it gives a more realistic appearance.

    I know at least this much, Don't paint the Wheels where it makes contact with tracks. But other than this, it's beyond me. Currently I have 'Rust' from floquil, would this do the trick? I am planing to just paint by using a brush.

    Any Suggestion, pictures or comments is greatly appreciated!

    Dan T.
  2. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    A brush will work just fine for painting wheels and the rust should work okay for any loco with roller bearings. For older locos with solid bearings, an oily colour would look better - grimy black or something similar. Paint the exposed faces of the wheels, but not the tread or, if there are current wipers bearing against the rear face of the wheels, not the backs either.
    By the way, your friend's paint job was incomplete. ;) :-D:-D

  3. NSSD80MAC

    NSSD80MAC Member

    Here are a few pictures of my F40ph wearing NJ Transit Scheme. I know they practically converted most if not all of there f40ph's to F40ph-2cat.

    Enjoy the pictures! :mrgreen:

    Attached Files:

  4. ed acosta

    ed acosta Member

    Dan T,

    Let me suggest that you study photos of the locomotives you want to detail in order to get the right type of weathering for the wheels and trucks. In the photo below, I became very familiar with the eventual weathering of the trucks and wheels of a car that had been on the road a few years. It is hard to believe that the trucks were painted pullman green when new.
  5. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Ed makes a good point: even though the wheels on a new unit would likely have rusted faces, the dirt and grime that they pick-up in service can quickly change that. If you don't plan on adding any further weathering, I'd suggest a grimy black for the wheels, as it's less likely to attract attention than unweathered rusted wheels. If you plan on adding airbrushed weathering on the running gear, start with the rust - by the time you're done, the colours will blend together nicely.

  6. NSSD80MAC

    NSSD80MAC Member

    Yea, I will go with grimy black, after looking on the internet for more pictures of the NJT F40ph's. The pictures does not show the weathering as well as I wanted them to, if you look at the first one you will see weathering. (very light) I think my friend used desert sand, or earth color, not sure. My second unit will have a little more weathering, probably with a darker color tho. Thanks for your input.

    Dan T.
  7. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    I hope you know SD80MACs are all Conrail at heart....:thumb:

    Anyways, Depending on the locomotive, you'll want to use either Polly scale's oily black or engine black for trucks with journal boxes (as Wayne explained). This is because journal boxes were filled with cotton waste covered in oil, and it would tend to flow out onto the axels and then be spun across the wheel.

    However, journal boxes were removed by the late 70s, since they were not as safe as roller bearings (have you ever heard of a hot box? thats because journal boxes would catch fire if there wasn't enough oil or excessive heat).

    Roller bears lack much of the oil from joural boxes, so moden wheels tend to take on a grimy, or even rusty appearance. I've found the best way to simulate wheels with roller bears is to us a mixture of Polly scale Tarnished black, Rust, and grimy black, in that order. I'll either put tarnished black over everything, and while the tarnished black is slightly wet (as in, not dry, but with no puddles or shiny spots) then i'll brush on some Rust, until it looks light enough. Then i'll brush on some grimy black to dull down the rust color, and it gets you a pretty good look by semi mixing the paints on the wheels. This is also great for the trucks, although with more grimy black.
  8. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    Yeah, i'm a huge NJ transit modeler (then again, that should be obvious by the U34CH in my avatar.) What you can do is remove the dynamic breaks, and you'll be set for an earlier F40PH. it would also make the unit match with Walther's Comet IIs.
  9. rhtastro

    rhtastro Member

    Painted wheels look a lot better, but be careful how you do it. Maybe someone with that experience should do it for you. A friend of mine tried it himself and the loco wouldn't run at all afterwards. He had covered over the contact points on the wheels. Then the fun began with trying to clean it all up. What a mess. Luckily it wasn't an expensive piece to begin with. Better to get an expert for that. I can't imagine someone trying to color the wheels on my Marllin Big Boy or Mikado or even weathering the bodies. There's already too much money in them for that. However, if the job is done well, the value can increase substantially. Good luck but be careful. :mrgreen::mrgreen:
  10. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

    I used Model Master Rust on the wheels on some current projects, its a little darker then most RR colors' rust. Leaves a little to be desired, but much better then shiny wheels.
  11. NSSD80MAC

    NSSD80MAC Member


    not to worry, when I paint the wheels, I'll have my friend who helped get me this far with this model by my side. Painting the wheel is a delicate matter and will be handled extra carefully. :-D

    jbaakko, Master Rust, I'll have to consider that. I currently have "rust" from floquil, I was considering adding a few drops of grimey black to make rust appear darker. Who offers "master Rust"? Floquil?

    Dan T.
  12. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    It's Model Master, from the Testors Corporation.


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