Monday, July 9, 2012

Weathering Micro Trains Auto Racks Pt.1

Chessie System Auto Rack

Stock MT Auto Rack between two weathered MT Auto Racks. In this week's blog I will show you how to take apart the MT Auto Rack and weather individual pieces.  It is not a quick job, but very satisfying as different parts of the prototype weather differently.

Materials

Materials include a working space, lots of prototype photos (mostly shot by yours truly in Cajon Pass, CA), chalks, dull coat, oils, Tamiya masking tape, clay stands, more chalk and plenty of dry brushes

Intial Disasembly

Pop out the end caps and remove the roof.
Support Pillars
Very carefully (VERY CAREFULLY!) remove the support pillars from the plastic centerpiece. Gently press each pillar to some soft clay, basically so they won't break and you won't lose one.  When they are all removed, you will be able to move the photoetch portion of the model aside for  weathering. 

Disassembled Auto Rack

Removal of the support pillars allows the photoetch panels to slide off.

Oils and Chalks

Prior to applying chalks it is necessary to dull coat the entire model first.  I prefer Tamiya dull coat, but I believe the TS-80 dull coat has been discontinued. 
Weathering the Pillars
It is better to weather the pillars separate from the photoetch panels as they weather differently, mainly because on the prototype they are made from very different materials.  Spreading the chalk over the pillars allows you to vary the weathering on each pillar, but on most of the prototypes, the weathering seems to be reasonably consistent.

Dry Brushing with Chalks

Create streaks of rust, dirt, etc., by brushing straight down on the frame.I myself prefer this method rather than airbrushing the entire model.  It ends up looking much more realistic.

Creating Rust Streaks

You can create rust streaks by utilizing a toothpick or a pin to dab a spot of oil paint at a point on the model and brushing downward.  You can either brush down just after you dab on the oils or wait till the dabs dry, and use a little paint thinner on the brush and again brush downward.  If you haven't tried this method yet, experiment on some of your scrap boxcars.


Refer to Prototype Photos
Mask Off Accordingly

Use Oils to weather panels
You could also use any type of rust colored paints, but don't forget to vary the amount of rust on each panel, as it seems no two are the same.  Blend different rust colored oils together to create different shades of rust.  Do not spread the oils or paint on too thick, as you can clog up the the holes in the photoetch panels.  When the oils have dried, spray on dullcote.

Next week I will show you assembly and the results of a few weathered MT Auto Racks.

I have posted an N Scale video of a 1981 Auto Rack train on YouTube at:

http://youtu.be/XxzUouLStgo