Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Weathering Red Caboose Auto Racks

A few months ago, I posted a "how to" on weathering Micro Trains Auto Racks, and promised a follow up on weathering Red Caboose  Auto Racks.  There is a big difference in construction and assembly of the two models, and the following should help you to "age" those auto racks properly. The Red Caboose Auto Rack does not want to be disassembled!  Please refer to that blog (July 9, 2012) for review of materials needed and weathering tips.
Spray the entire car with dull coat and let dry thoroughly.  Next, mask off the support pillars for weathering.  It is easy to do two cars at the same time.  Carefully align the two cars together per the above photo.  Use Tamiya 10 mm wide masking tape and mask off the outside pillars.  Then work your way into the middle.  Weather all the pillers with chalks and seal with dull coat before removing masking tape.

The next step in the process is to mask off the roof and the frame portion of the auto rack.  Weather the frame with oils and chalks, dull coat the frame portion, and set aside to dry. Use needle nose tweezers to remove the masking tape at the appropriate time.

At this point, your auto rack should look something like this.

The Red Caboose Auto Rack has terrific roof detail.  The cars shows the rivet detail much more so than the Micro Trains model.  This is no slight to the M/T model, as these are models of two different types of auto racks (two level for pickup trucks and triple level for automobiles). 

Now is the time to weather the roof.  This should be done with attention to the riveting on the roof.  I like to dab a little mixture of rust and dark sienna oils with a toothpick to the center of the rivet line and sweep back and forth along that line with a clean, dry paint brush, one used only for weathering.  A very tiny dab should be used on the downside of the roof if necessary. Let dry completely.  The above shows results so far.

Close up of completed weatering of roof.  Don't forget to seal with dull coat and set aside.

Next we want to mask off the panels.  Many of these auto racks in the late 70's and early 80's were heavily weathered per the above photo.  Mask off as suggested by the photo, again using Tamiya tape.

Weather each panel individually, trying to vary weathering in each panel.  Why some panels are heavily weathered and others not is a mystery to me, but makes for a very cool looking model on my Needles Division, and will on yours, too.  After the panels dry, remove masking and slightly weather remaining panels.  Seal with dull coat, and install trucks.
When finished, your model should look something like this.


This is not an easy project, but a very satisfying one.  The difference between an "out of the box" auto rack and the finished product as illustrated in this blog is enormous!  Good luck on your project.
I have a previously posted an N Scale video of a 1981 Auto Rack train on YouTube (the Red Caboose auto racks are primarily in the middle of the train) at: