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Weather or not: Discussion, Tips, Techniques

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  • Weather or not: Discussion, Tips, Techniques

    Edit, 7/26: This topic was originally posted as a "daily Crew Lounge" discussion starter. At the suggestion of several members, I have moved it here to the Craftsman's Corner area of the forum. Please feel free to continue adding your weathering tips and techniques (and photos of same). :up: id="maroon">

    Edit, 7/24: This topic has drawn some excellent comments as well as suggestions for weathering and detailing. So I changed the original topic title (from "Late Evening: Weather or Not") and made the topic "sticky." Hopefully, other members will contribute to the discussion also in the days to come.

    Well, good evening, guys. I thought I'd open up the lounge this evening. Russ has brought a new postcard for all of us to admire, and it's a beauty, too.

    So pour yourself a cold one (or a hot one) of whatever you like and vist for a few minutes.

    Here's something I've been wondering about... Over the last year or two on various forums, I've followed discussions about weathering equipment and structures. Invariably, someone will say he/she doesn't weather anything because he/she's afraid of screwing up and making a mess of an otherwise good model. And then someone will post a statement to the effect that most model weathering is overdone and never looks right anyway, so why bother. And so forth.

    So here's the question: Weathering... yay or nay? Pros? Cons? How does the RR-L Crew feel about the subject? And do you have any "special" techniques or tips to pass on if you do weather your stuff?

    What do you think?

  • #2
    Good evening, Mike. I thought that there might be some activity around the crew lounge tonight.

    I started work on Martin's Garage (FOS Quick Kit) this evening. I need a few small structures for an area of the layout that I am working on, and this is one that will fit right in.

    Weathering. Yup, I am always afraid that I am going to ruin a good model, but I am gaining some confidence with A&I and with chalks. Both are rather forgiving and are great for the beginning modeler.

    Well, I think I will check out the rest of the forum, and then head off to bed.


    • #3
      I'm checking in late, the grandkids went to bed late. We take them home tomorrow. It's too late for anything with caffeine, but I see a Dutchman Ale in the back of the fridge that I'll try.

      Mike, I weather almost everything I build, but I admit I've over done it in a couple cases. I don't have any special methods or secrets just the normal application of chalks and a protective layer of Dull Coat. I attended a clinic on weathering with oil washes this spring, so I've played with them and like them but I still have a lot of learning to do. I'm not an air brusher, but plan to give that a try in the near future. I need to expand my techniques.

      The sky is not my limit, it's my playground.


      • #4
        Evening Mike and crew,

        I was wondering if someone would open...I'll take a cold one.

        I tend not to weather that much, but it depends on the structure/vehicle I'm working on. When I do it's usually a wash and some chalk.

        As far as "special" techniques, I've got a ton of them. You guys were kind enough to post them all over the place. :up:

        I think I finally have my workbench arranged to my liking. Man, I found things I forgot I had so maybe it was a good thing I put everything away.

        Have a great evening...
        In memory of Mike Chambers


        • #5
          [:-magnify] I weather everything. While I agree you can overweather I think that still looks better than no weathering.


          • #6
            Evening Everyone,

            A nice cold Dutchman would hit the spot. I had to help the wife with preparations for a wedding for tomorrow and just got home. I played "flower-mule" all afternoon. West Texas has been cloudy today with a few promises of rain. Keep your fingers crossed.

            I weather everything also. When I first began, I was "heavy-handed" and over did the rusty parts. I model a backwoods out-of-the-way area where very little maintenance was given to the structures. I mainly use A&I and chalks. Recently, I have tried water color washes and they turned out to give a more subtle appearance to the weathering.

            Have a good remainder,



            • #7
              Good evening all.

              Thanks for opening up the place and I think I will pour myself a Dutchman's.

              I also weather everything.

              I think I sometimes over weather but since most of my dioramas are about like along the waterfront I would assume that the weather would play havoc with the structures.

              The fact that I model backwoods Alaska also means that the weather would do a number on most structures exposed to the elements.

              I agree that chalks are great for they are easily removed if you are not happy with the result.

              Have a great night one and all.
              <img src="" alt="" /><br /><br>John Bagley<br /><br>Modeling the Alaska Railroad in HO in Wildwood Georgia.


              • #8
                Good Evening Guys ,

                I'm just laying roadbed and track in the yard tonight and trying to finish a couple of other details .

                I will eventually weather everything . I tend not to use the same techniques ...I like to try different things . So far I have shied away from the chalks due to a pretty dismal experience with them several years back . I'm sure it was my fault , so I should buy more and do a little Forum reading before I try it again .

                I just used a rather heavily rusted look on my curved girder bridge combining an oil based spray paint and sprayed water technique . I can't remember where I picked it up , maybe the Steel Forum or possibly Dean Freytag .Anyhow it drys to give a satisfactory result .

                Well time to get back to modelling before turning in .



                • #9
                  Did someone say weathering??? Bring it on Mike - weathering, a big yes - dirt, grime, soot, rust, I love it all. I must admit I like the run down, rusty look. I use much the same methods as everyone else, but here is a quick rundown on how I do detail parts...

                  1) Sick parts to upsidedown masking tape on a scrap piece of cardboard and lightly layer on Tremclad colours - flat black, flat grey primer, flat red primer (aged rust looking), so that none dominates - you can see all of these shades to some degree. Allow to dry.

                  2) With a method of somewhere between dry brushing and painting, apply base colours, with some allowance to show the initial Tremclad colours to show through.

                  3) Drench with a mixture of oil paints (water mixable type) with either Tamiya thinner or 99% alcohol. Use a mixture of colours - but stick with blacks and greys as you want the mixture fairly dark. The thinner/alcohol evaporates and the oil paint sits in the cracks, giving the item you are painting depth and a weathered apprearance. Allow to dry.

                  4) Carefully drybrush raised areas to further enhanse the detail. I use a lot of Natural Steel or Oily Steel for the Vallejo line of paint.

                  5) Use bragdon, Stoney Mountain or other ground chalks and apply in realistic areas of the castings in small blobs. Immediately apply 99% alcohol to the chalk to help spread it out and conform to raised or depressed ares of the part. This will create a nice rusty effect with rust chalks. Also works well with grime and dirt. Be careful not to obscure the fine drybrushing detail. If you apply too much use more alcohol to lessen the effects of the chalk.

                  6) Simply repeat any methods to add more dirt, detail or rust.

                  PS. One of the best "tools" I have ever found was the 1000 box quantity of popcicle sticks and the rolls of 3M double sided foam tape. I use these to paint all details as it is an easy and inexpensive method for holding small detail parts and castings while you paint them. See following pics for an idea of what I am talking about. 1000 sticks will last you a life time, because they can be re-used over and over. Dollar stores are also a good source for double sided foam tape, along with department and craft stores.

                  Image one shows you your basic "tools". Image two shows you some castings with the Tremclad base coat applied and a few base colours paintet on. Image three shows some metal colours applied and how you can paint your details in a snap!

                  Hope someone can make use of this. Nothing too new here, but give the stick and tape thing a try - I swear by it.

                  Oh ya, and Mike, I would love a cold one!!!

                  or maybe two if you are buying!!![}]

                  Karl F.


                  • #10
                    Good evening folks

                    Where is the flooding rains that the doomsayers were going on a bout. We had a little rain. The WW say tomorrow will be more rain.

                    The IHC LNE 0-8-0 switcher I won on Ebay was home waiting for me when I got in. I've been playing around wit it this evening.

                    Weathering? I do it. The only weathering job I have not tried is a locomotive. And yes on a few cars I have overdone it or done it wrong. Those become canidates for the stripper cup or are sold on Ebay, Some where on this forum I had posted a couple of how to's on the method of my maddness.

                    I hope everybody has a good night.


                    • #11
                      Good Early Morning from the West,

                      It's been a long day and much has been accomplished. We moved a vehicle that has been a sittin' in our driveway for the last eight years, and it's new, palletized engine. The proceeds from this transaction are gonna fund my DCC system.[:-bouncy] Even 'You know Who'[:-love] put her stamp of approval on it![:-jumprefect] Not only that, but we are now able to used the other half of our driveway. :up:

                      Our temperature reached 102 today, and like a glutton for punishment, I continued with my pruning marathon tryin' to stay in the shade. Even with that, I couldn't keep the sweat from pooling in my specs.[:-blindfold] Lastly, I'm puttin' on my other hat[:-chef] , and fixin' lunch today for our club track crew who will be excavating and installing a drywell for our new landing between the clubhouse and the layout room. You are all invited to come and partake of a great lunch including meat, fish, and cheese sandwiches, a taco salad, and a fresh fruit salad. Cold drinks and chips should round it off. Of course, there is a hitch, . .you will need to pick up a shovel and pitch in!

                      Lessee, relevant to Mike's question, if one of our goals as modellers is to stive for prototypicalness, ere there be such a thing, :erm: then there is a wide gammet between spankin' new sterileness and equipment that has run full course through the mill with physical damage, unreadable markings, and graffiti. It seems to me that we need a little of each on our layouts. Yes, I am one of the ones who would rather leave 'em in sterileness, but in time, I will master weathering as well. All degrees of no-weathering through extreme weathering provide realism to our layout scenes.


                      Cooking for the Crew in the West!


                      Originally posted by MikeC

                      . . .So here's the question: Weathering... yay or nay? Pros? Cons? How does the RR-L Crew feel about the subject? . .

                      <font size="4"><font face="Comic Sans MS"><font color="blue">Allen</font id="blue"></font id="Comic Sans MS"></font id="size4"> []<br /><br><b><font face="Comic Sans MS"><font size="3"><i>Modeling the East in the West on the <font color="green">Northeastern</font id="green"> <font color="blue">Pacific RIM</font id="blue">, <font color="green">Oregon</font id="green">, that is!</i></font id="size3"></font id="Comic Sans MS"></b>


                      • #12
                        Ahh ! weathering as far as "to be or not to be", how often . over weather Nah! perhaps that is a well used equipment. I use Chaulks, weather systems products (KUDO'S ) you should try them they are A-1 ! air brushing & washes. india ink and alcohol works great on wood. I haven't one technique I dont prefer over the other its what works the best at the time I do it . One thing I've noticed on Dull coating to seal over chaulks is dull coat will subdue any over weathering. And Mike from what I have seen of your work is very nice weathering.


                        • #13
                          Karl, that's some great info. And thanks for the photos and tip on using popsicle sticks and foam tape. That's one I'm definitely going to add to my little bag of tricks.

                          Here's one that's similar that I posted a long time ago (and now I can't find the original posting ). I drill the flat side of resin castings, insert a toothpick, paint the casting, and then place the end of the toothpick into a "log" of Playdoh or a piece of blue foam.


                          I've been asked a few times about how I get the rusty look to barrels, tanks, and other detail parts. Actually, it's pretty simple.

                          First, I start with a good "rusty" base color. I know a lot of modelers like Floquil/Polly "Rust," but I think it's too orange. I prefer to use colors like Apple Barrel's "Cinnamon Apple" or any brand of acrylic burnt sienna. Sometimes I also use Americana's "Asphaltum" or "Red Iron Oxide." After the base coat has dried, I decide if I want a light or heavy rust look to the part.

                          If it's to appear lightly rusted, I simply brush rust colored chalk dust on with a #2 round red sable brush, and that's it.

                          For a heavier rust, I "paint" on a chalk slurry that I make from alcohol and powdered chalk. To about 1/8" of alcohol in a small paint bottle, I add dark orange, dark brown, and black chalk powder until I have a medium-thick mix. I then paint it on the castings. If it's too thick, I wipe it off or thin it out with plain alcohol.

                          I also use the method Karl described above: dusting the casting with rust colored chalks and then flowing alcohol over it.

                          For very lightly rusted metal parts, I make a simple thin stain from mineral spirits ("brush cleaner") and a small dab of burnt sienna oil paint. I then flow the stain over the parts and let it dry thoroughly.


                          • #14
                            Although they are becoming scarcer in this day of digital photography, empty plastic film containers make excellent places to keep made-up weathering solutions. Heavy rust can be made by placing steel wool in bleach; when completely dissolved, add some white glue. This will provide a heavy rusted look oil drums, which can be made from ball-point pen plastic tubes. If drilled out to very thin wall thickness, they can be "crushed" and scattered in the weeds.

                            Box car red is a good color for general rust.

                            I saw a locomotive in a 1957 contest that was so heavily weathered that a prototype loco in that condition would have been scrapped. It had been done by...John Allen. No, it didn't even place in the contest. Steam Locomotive weathering will show white calcium deposits around pipe connections to the boiler. Injectors on the S.P. were often painted red.

                            Valves atop the steam chests often had rust streaks runing down the flanks, while wheels collected dust and dirt. Remember that a building or car in use did not have weathering as heavy as an abandoned item.


                            • #15
                              Hi All

                              Just a few quick ideas to throw in the mix.[^]

                              I paint my castings by sticking them to a tab of duct tape with both ends folded over on them selfs. I have never had any fall off due to the adhesive on duct tape. (not sure if this would work with say masking tape or painters tape)

                              Now stick your hand in one of those plastic bags from the grocery or home depot or the hobby shop.Pick up the tape by the tab, go out side and spray with gray primer, red oxide primer, flat black, cheap spray cans from "Wally World." "which ever one floats your boat", switch and hold by the other end tab and spray for total coverage.This base now will hold any amount of chalk, acrylic, or oil paint coloring.

                              One of my favorite rust colors is Polly Scale,Panzer Red Brown,from the military rack.

                              For what it`s worth

                              Terry H 8D