Weathered Steam Locomotives! (Paging Lester Perry& Dr. Wayne, and anyone else!)

Discussion in 'Weathering Forum' started by MilesWestern, Nov 6, 2007.

  1. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Thanks CNW man and Dr. Wayne! What does everybody else think of the NEW look to this 4-8-2 mountain? JrSwitch?
  2. jr switch

    jr switch Member

    The " Big Boy"

    As some of you remember, I mentioned the other day that I was fortunate enough to finally get the Big Boy by Rivarossi. It's awesome, runs very smoothly, it will crawl along easily and so on, but, it has a squeek, at times, coming from the engine. Sounds like possibly needs lube in the drive towers inside the engine. I have carefully lubed all the drive gear pivot points and the driver axles. Still have the squeek. Sometimes it will make the circuit several times with no squeeking at all, and then at a slightly slower or faster speed, it will start it again.
    I would be very grateful if you all suggest that this will probabely go away as it breaks in. I really don't want to attempt taking this engine apart to lube the universals and/or internal gears. Any words of wisdom or ideas at this point?
    I will appreciate any help I can get on this--Thanks all-----JR
  3. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    The weathering reminds me of that I've seen in photos from various Third World countries where steam lingered a lot longer. Since C&O was very quick to dieselize once the decision was made, I wonder if their steam ever got this aged. But it looks good.
  4. jr switch

    jr switch Member

    The 4-8-2 Mountain

    Miles, I hardly know what to say! You have done it! I can see in my mind how I want it to look, but I just do not have the skills and knowledge to weather it to match the mental image. Obviously you do.
    Miles---job well done. I will be totally satisfied with that engine. Please understand, I was laboring my way through the Big Boy thread before I saw the latest photo's, or my comments on your skill would have preceded the Big Boy questions. After all, anyone can go out and buy a new engine, but not everyone will have a Heavy Mountain that looks this good! Am I right Guys?
    Can't wait to hold it in my hands or watch it run past, or look at it just sitting there looking mean. Miles---Thank you-----JR
  5. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Thanks JR!! and you're VERY welcome, I had a blast weathering this locomotive, and I honestly believe that you're recieving the BEST of my work so far! :) I'll send it off soon.

    As fr as the big boy, I managed to break in two of them for another client, and the squeaking should stop once all the joints have been broken in after 2 hours of test running. I highly suggest running it for 15 minutes forward and 15 minutes backward for starters. if the squeak is still there, send it to me and I'll take a look at it, and make it look like this:
    Or this:
    Or maybe this:
  6. Ginns

    Ginns New Member

    WOW! :eek: I really like that locomotive and the weathering is very inspiring. Just out of curiosity, how did you weather it? Did you use chalks, airbrush, or a combination? I'm particularly interested because the texture and color of the rust is great.

    Sweet stuff :thumb:

  7. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Ginns, why don't you have one of your steam engines weathered by me to find out? ;) Some of the mixtures are indeed complex to say the least!

    Steam locomotive weathering starts at $40.00, give me a try!
  8. Ginns

    Ginns New Member

    Haha.. maybe when I get some locos over $40 I'll give you a try :rolleyes:

    I really do like your work though, just need to spend money on some more important things first (like track :mrgreen:)

  9. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Well, Ginns I have a good answer for you...

    I use a variety of techniques, but never an airbrush. 90% of my work is using various paints (the 99cent craft paints, professional artist oils, and even house paint samplers) and drybrushing them on VERY lightly to achieve my effects.

    I also use the chalks, but not directly on, I mix them in with the paint! :eek:
  10. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    Locomotives, especially steam, were generally kept clean, and in good repair. Dust, soot, lime scale, would show after a few days, and were not allowed to become too heavily encrusted. Paint might fade, depending on the environment, and scheduled cleaning might go from weekly to monthly. Rust, was rarely allowed to get out of hand, and almost never seen on class1 railroad locos, and then, only on nonpainted surfaces. The need to keep locomotives operating, insured that maintenance was done regularly, or the price of a down loco would have to be paid.
    Here, faded paint, and some dust, soot, and lime scale. This was done with drybrush, and wash techniques. While the loco kept her road number, in the move from the SM&CH to SHLC, you'll see that the new road name is freshly painted.The 2-6-6-2T, while older, still isn't any more effected by weather, and has the same basic characteristics as the 2-4-4-2. (both came out of maintenance at about the same time, the 2-6-6-2T, because she was scheduled, the 2-4-4-2 because she had just arrived on the property.
  11. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    And here's yet another alternative for weathering steam locos.
    Unless you're modelling a very heavily-weathered loco, don't Dullcoat it after applying the weathering, as all but the dirtiest locos had some places that had varying degrees of gloss to the finish.
    I generally start my weathering process when I begin painting the loco. Using Floquil paints, cabs and tender bodies are painted black with a bit of white or grey primer mixed in, while boilers, smokebox fronts, cylinders, pilots, airtanks, and appliances get the same but with more white or grey added to the mix. Frames and running gear, both loco and tender, along with tender decks get the same mix as the boilers, but with some brown and more grey added to the mix, and the smokebox and firebox the same but with even more brown, and perhaps a little red or orange added. I usually use dry transfers for lettering, and apply them directly on the flat paint. For decals, the appropriate areas should be glosscoated first. When the paint and lettering are done, it's time to clear coat. The cab and tender body get a spray of semi-gloss, tending more towards the "gloss" side of the equation, while the boiler, smokebox front, cylinders, etc. get a less shiny semi-gloss. Running gear and frames generally get a flat or very low sheen finish, and the smokebox and firebox get no clear finish at all. All of this painting and clear coating can be done without masking, although a small sheet of paper can be a useful tool for preventing overspray. To apply further weathering, I place the fully assembled loco and tender on a powered track in the spray booth, apply power, then spray the lower extremities of both loco and tender, all the while restraining the loco with my free hand and pulling it back as required. For any weathering colours, I again use Floquil, but thin it severely: as much as 90%. With both the loco and tender wheels turning, all wheel faces and all visible parts of the valve gear and siderods get equal exposure to the spray. All wheel treads will need to be cleaned after this step. Occasionally, I'll weather small details using a brush, when suitable. Finally, using highly thinned straight black, to simulate soot, I spray along the top of the boiler from the stack back, spraying from the front and slightly above. Several passes are usually needed, varying the angle of the spray as required, and carrying it back over the cab roof and tender top. That's usually sufficient to finish the job, as I'm modelling the late-'30s, and have plent of cheap LPB labourers to wipe-down the boilers and keep things looking tidy.






  12. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    I want to make the point again, that I did work from photographs, and studied 1950's-era large steam for this project. One of my main infulences for all the detailed weathering, the RUST, and the other details were all found worse than portrayed on the New York Central in the bitter end of steam. I witnessed a niagra that was 2/3rds covered in rust on the boiler jacket, grimy to the nines on the underframe, soaked in oil, with a rusty leaky tender, and all this on a premiere passenger locomotive pulling a name train out of chicago!! I also say at least a dozen hudsons with equivalent weathering to mine portrayed here.

    I do agree with you about your comments Sumpter, as I keep my own steam locomotive fleet nice and well maintained, with some weathering in seldom-washed places.

    However, in the era when the diesels had vanquished all but a few of them, they just ran them until they'd run no more with minimal maintence.

    However, anytime before 1952, they were kept spic-n-span, gleaming, polished, wel loved, and well maintained. If this locomotive were designed for a 1930's layout, it would have much less weathering.
  13. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Dr. Wayne, you should apply brass paint to your builder's plates, it looks a bit funky with them painted black.

    How do you apply with driver tires to your locomotive, like in GV#34?
  14. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    All of the in-service locos that I've seen, other than excursion locos, had the builders' plates and appliance manufacturers' plates painted the same colour as the place where they were mounted and I believe most weren't brass. Granted, some shops highlighted this detail, at least when the loco was shopped, but not my road. Besides that, I'm too cheap to buy proper photo-etched three-dimensional plates to replace the painted-on ones that came with the model. ;):p
    To do whitewall tires, I apply power wires to the loco on the bench, then open the throttle just enough to get the drivers turning. Using a brush, with Floquil paint straight from the bottle, just place the tip against the tire and the rotating wheel does all the work. Lead and trailing truck wheels, along with those on the tender, need to be rotated manually. Incidently, all of the Grand Valley locos have white tires on all of the wheels, although it doesn't show that well on the 28. Here's sister loco 27, which shows it more clearly. I based this paint scheme on that of my favourite prototype, the TH&B, which used white tires even on their switchers. :thumb: :-D

  15. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Thanks Wayne! I think the thread is filling with plenty of useful information! WOW! Me, you, Sumpter250, I wonder who's next? :D

    That's pretty interesting, Whitewalls on all of their steamers! I've even seen a few diesels that had that done!
  16. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    On the NYC, this was certainly true. Different roads dieselized at different rates, though, and took varying amounts of care of their power.

    UP, for example, took a long time to get to the "vanquished all but a few" stage. Though they bought their last new steam in '44, it was only in '54 that diesels reached and passed 50% of the roster. In the first half of the 50s, the Big Boy, Challengers and Northerns still looked decent. In the 1957-59 time frame, when steam operated only in summer, these late steam engines did look pretty aged.

    CN and CP, though abandoning new steam at different times ('44 and '49 respectively) both ran it to 1960. In shots from as late as 1959 on both roads, it seems most steam was very well-kept.
  17. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Very good point, I suspect the fact that they were well-kept helped so many Canadian locomotives become operable today for excursions.

    Interesting tidbit about the UP, I'll note that. :)
  18. nachoman

    nachoman Guest


    Since you have an interest in how things weather, you may want to check out the photos of the D&RGW #315 that was recently restored. Because this loco was freshly painted, you can see how much dirt and dust accumulates over the course of a single run.

    DRHS 315: Photos-Restoration

  19. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Very nice site, and excellent photography! I wish the photos were larger, but photos of #315 probably aren't hard to find at all. You really do get a feeling of the weathering after one day's work. (Especially the soot buildup on the smokebox.) Is the 315 coal, oil, or wooden pellet fired?

    Any other cool sites out there?

    I've got a silly DRGW question...why did the DRGW keep its narrow gauge until 1966?
  20. Floyd

    Floyd Member

    Hello...Don't know if this is the place to post this but?? Does anyone recognize any of these?


Share This Page