Discussion in 'FAQs' started by shamus, Mar 26, 2001.

  1. shamus

    shamus Registered Member


    The weathering of rolling stock - - By Shamus
    The weathering of any rolling stock is unfortunately a dirty and messy job, when using chalks. The end results however, justify the little clean up afterwards. So here's how I do it.
    You will need to obtain from your local Art shop the following coloured chalks. Black - Brown - Grey - Rust (light and dark) - White and yellow - Black Indian Ink.
    Also required from a car accessory shop some windscreen washer fluid. Plus a can of Satin/Matte varnish from a hobby shop. This gives the final appearance to the finished article.
    Once you have gathered all the items together, a start can be made on weathering that new looking rolling stock you have just bought. You will also need to find an old tin box or two (Old tobacco tins will do) so you can scrape the chalks into them.
    Before any weathering can be done however, a little cleaning with a soft brush is needed to get rid of any dust which might have settled on the rolling stock. Apart from anything else, the is only one rule to stick to. - Light coloured cars need dark chalks - Dark coloured cars need light chalks.
    The ink wash
    The first thing on the agenda is to spray the car with the Satin/Matte varnish, this will give the chalks something to grab hold of if you like. Take it outdoors to do it. Once the car has dried (approximately 2 hours) a start can be made to make you car look like it's been in service for years. With the Indian ink, grab an egg cup (Make sure the wife's not looking) and put about four drops into the bottom of the egg cup. Now, with the windscreen washer fluid, place about a soup spoon full into the egg cup and mix it all together. An old shaving brush is needed or some soft brush or other to flow the liquid onto the roof and sides of the car. It will run everywhere, but that is exactly what you want it to do. Just keep on stroking the brush down the sides of the car until the effect you require has been achieved. Flow more on the roof from the middle out. Now with a paper towel, dry the brush off and start to wipe off the wash in the same direction you put it on. Once all this has been accomplished, leave it to one side to dry. As it dries, the dark colour of the ink wash will highlight the raised details. (Rivets etc.)
    Right, lets assume that the car has dried, and proceed onto the next stage with the chalks. As I stated earlier, light chalks for dark cars and dark chalks for light cars. So, which ever car you have started needs the appropriate chalk colours. Let's assume your car is darkish yellow, now, it should with the after effects of the ink wash look a little older already so now subtle chalk weathering is needed.
    Scrape some chalks into those tin boxes I asked you to get. I would expect with a dark yellow car that red rust and a little grey and white will be all that is needed for this car. With the shaving brush (Now dry) dip it into the rust chalk and brush lightly over the car trucks and couplers. Use a very small amount of grey and white brushing from the top of the car down in a straight line. This will leave a streaky effect, and is what you are after. When all is done, turn your attention back to the trucks and couplers. Grind up a little rust into the bottom of the egg cup and with a small paint brush dipped into water ,then into the rust, brush over the trucks again. Brush on a little at a time, if you get too much on, use a paper towel to take it off.
    All that is left to be done to the car after all the chalks have been applied is to take it out doors and spray it again with the Satin/Matte varnish, this will seal the weathering for ever.
    Have fun
  2. George

    George Member

    Nice article, Shamus!

    Weathering can be tricky, especially when one spills the india ink!

    One step you might add before taking anything to the car......Try taking a car and sitting it on a window sill facing south. Rotate 180 degrees every other day. When the desired effect is achieved, remove from sill. Season to taste! [​IMG]

    Mother nature's fading can do a remarkable job of aging the appearance of a piece before you pick up the first brush! [​IMG]

  3. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Hi George,
    It's amazing the amount of weathering and time taken that takes place every time a new loco is added to the roster. When it's first bought, it looks out of place with the rest on the layout. Then comes the thought, it looks too good to weather, shall I, but in the end, it gets done to look like the rest. Worth all the trouble for the end result.

    [This message has been edited by shamus (edited 03-30-2001).]
  4. Dave Flinn

    Dave Flinn Member

    I like George's idea of putting equipment to be weathered in a window. I have several pieces so situated at present. I guess I'd better go rotate them 180 degrees.
  5. George

    George Member


    Given a few sunny days, your equipment will look as bad as the real thing did in 1976! All you'll need to do is rust down the seams.

    I find that fading has the same result as using white chalk powder -- Without the mess! [​IMG]

  6. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Putting the shells out in the garden would have a better effect, would really get rusty and weathered.

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