Starting over on weathering

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by jr switch, Jan 2, 2007.

  1. jr switch

    jr switch Member

    Iv'e got two freight cars that were very brightly colored and I can't get the weathering to look right due to Iv'e been using Testers paint with a good bit of thinner [ has worked fine on all the other cars and engines ], but on these, to tone them down a bit, it requires too much paint. What could I use to remove the paint and decals to start over again? Will pine sol work?
    These are a 40' box car and a gondola with steel wheels, correct trucks and couplers and I'm just trying to eliminate that bright plastic look. Is it time for me to learn to use an airbrush? Please give me some ideas on this. Thanks for your help--John R
  2. John, I think you will gain on the results you want by first applying a coat of clear dull coat preferably with airbrush, which will not only tone down that bright plastic shine, but give the surface a little bit of texture for further treatments, weather it be chalk dust, paint, charcoal or some other medium . Hope that gets you started ! Joe NWIN
  3. jr switch

    jr switch Member

    Joe, thanks, I had not thought of that. Sounds like a good idea due to Iv'e noticed it's hard to get the paint to flow evenly on the bare plastic. How much ventilation is needed with an airbrush, if the only place to use it is inside due to the cold? Our downstairs storeroom is cold and so is the laundry room. How much overspray to control? And, do you have to also buy some sort of small air pump to provide the pressure? Sorry for all the questions, but Iv'e never used one-----------John R
  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    If you are going to paint inside with any sort of spray, you should have a paint booth with an exhaust fan to remove the fumes and overspray from the atmosphere in the room. The booth should be vented outside of your house. If you have single or double hung windows, you can probably get a small piece of duct work from your local home improvement store that will allow you to hook it to the exhaust side of your spary booth, and stick it out a window. If you can get something that is an inch high and twenty inches wide or so, you could open the window a crack, put the duct in and close the window down on it to minimize heat loss. You can buy a commercial spray booth from here You will also need a good respirator to protect you from paint fumes, just like a professional automotive painter would wear in a booth. You can get those from your home improvement store. You can get a compressor from Micro Mark or you can get some small commercial compressors from your home improvement storein the tool dept. The small commercial ones will give you a much smoother flow of air because they come with built in air storage tanks.

    Finally for weathering, I would not reccomend Testor's enamel. I would use a water based acryllic thinned with denatured alcohol. The acryllic paints can be thinned down to 10:1 ratio of paint to thinner and still carry pigment. The enamels and laquers will tend to have the color disappear as they are thinned, so that when you get them thinned down like you want, you are spraying slightly colored "water."
  5. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    Remember to put your decals on a glossy surface, then go over them with dull coat.

    In my opinion, testors enamels are bad for model trains. the paint seems way to thick.
  6. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    Remember to put your decals on a glossy surface, then go over them with dull coat.

    In my opinion, testors enamels are bad for model trains. the paint seems way to thick.
  7. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    Personally, I don't like using solvent-based paint to do weathering because the organic solvent makes it "permanent." You can't correct mistakes very easily with those, because the solvent based paint will bond very strongly to whatever paint is there already, and if you strip it off using stuff like Pine-Sol, it will strip off the paint job underneath too.

    Definitely use acrylics or other non-solvent-based stuff for weathering, like India Ink or chalks. Boo-boos are easier to fix with those.

    I do use Testors paint on some railroad models though... For instance, those of us who model the Chicago & North Western in the modern era have to use Testors #1112 Yellow enamel.. It is the only shade of paint available that closely matches the Zito/Safety/Optic Yellow they got on their engines. :D The key to painting thin coats that cover well with Testors enamels is to prime the model first with a neutral grey coat. I have never had a problem airbrushing with Testors enamels when done that way.

    Convenient too, because the enamel gives you a decal-ready glossy surface. No need to spray on Glosscote. :thumb:
  8. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

    I have very little issues with Testors Enamels and I use them all the time.

    P.S. straight-track I like that SD9-3 you got there...
  9. jr switch

    jr switch Member

    Thanks Guys, this is exactly the kind of info I'm looking for. Any suggestions on brand of airbrush and, ballpark figure on what airbrush and compressor might cost? If memory serves, the LHS stocks Floquill paints. Thanks all, for the help---John R
  10. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    For weathering, if you want acryllics, it is less expensive to go to a Wal Mart or Micheals and pick up the craft paints in suitable colors. The Floquil paints at the local hobby shop are great for matching up prototype railroad colors, but getting the right colors for weathering isn't as critical. Not even Southern Pacific had a paint chip to match rust!
  11. KCS

    KCS Member

    Jr., I found out one of the prefered methods is taking the car and completely cleaning it in warm water with dish detergent. Make sure you don't leave finger prints on the car so try and wear some gloves if you can. Let it air dry then spay a coat of dull coat on it. This will give the car some "tooth" for chalks to stick a little better. Go to your local art's and crafts store and get you a set of chalks. There's a lot of good things about chalks compaired to paints and wash's. Chalks are "goof proof". If you mess up and don't like what you did simply rense the car, dry and start over. Plenty of room for error. Wash's and paint's aren't so forgiving as they are hard to get off and could even damage the paint when trying to remove. I just started using chalks almost 2 weeks ago and I am very pleased with how much better than paint they are even though some paint techniques are required for effects that you can't get from chalks. The only down side I found to chalks is if your trying to replicate a prototype then the chalks are a bit hard to control. These are some thing's I've been picking up from some of the best weather's in the world. Go to and become a member and you'll see what I mean. Next best thing in line from chalks to me would be oil paints for rust streaking.:thumb:

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