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Weathering of buildings and rail cars

16 augustus 2013

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How to weather scale model parts:

With weathering you can age a scale model, by using paint or pigment powders. Not only useful for housings or other buildings but also for your trains. With a weathering all models looks more realistic. Weathering is a technique that everyone can learn by practice an you will discover that it goes better and better with each next object. When you start with weathering for the first time is advisable to buy  cheap scale model building. On the second hand market and online actions it is easy to purchase some cheap ready made buildings, which can excellent been used to practice.

Weathering doesn’t stand with a one paint layer application but most of the time it exist out of multiple paint layers in different colors. For example a brick wall needs most of the time 4 different treatments to reach the required result.

Weathering does also camouflage the plastic glossy look of standard scale model buildings. Below it is visible what the change is with only one layer wash with grey paint flushing the brick wall. Standard is each moulded part of a construction box the same color caused by its moulding technique. To reach a realistic outlook on the building something has to be done in the colors of this part.

The first layer must exist out of a diluted paint layer. Immediately we remove the excessive paint with a clean wipe or kitchen paper tissue. When this first layer is completely dry the next layer (brick color) can be applied. The joints between the bricks and the brick are now in contrasting colors and the effect is that there is more depth in the surface. When the second layer is cured completely a third layer can be added with the dry-brush method. Most of the time the dry-brush application is made with the color white, which gives more view of depth. How does dry-brush works? It’s simple, just add some white acrylic paint (with a high percentage of pigment) to the small paint brush (the brush must be stiff and short haired). Wipe the paint of with a clean wipe or tissue, you will see that only the white pigment will be left over on the brush. Now you can brush smoothly the surface of your building. Only at the high parts there will become some white pigment which takes care for a very nice depth view and that with one simple high-light application. On areas where a dirty look it needed for example caused by weather conditions like rain it is possible to use other paint colors like moss-green or black. Typical areas for this colors are chimneys, rain gutters and a window sill. When you want to imitate water drips you must dilute the paint with a lot of water and add this to the wall of roof of a building. Take care that you do this special application very carefully because it happens easy that to much diluted paint is added to the building and destroys your nice work. Another possibility for the final layer is to use pigment powders. Those powders are available in very nice natural colors which gives great possibilities to finish the weathering process with an excellent result. When the final layer is applied there is a possibility to add with an airbrush gun a spray of transparent mat protective paint. For a good result it is to recommend  to you high quality paint products. Those paints are not alway the cheapest but ensures a better result and the diversity of colors is much bigger.

The manufacturer Vallejo for example made a special range with locomotive colors. Those colors are specific developed for a great weathering effect on your expensive locomotive. With weathering your locomotives it is important to work very discreet with adding paint because it is a non reversible process. Less its better! Before you start on your expensive locomotive it is recommendable to buy first a cheap locomotive or only a housing on the second hand market or online on an auction and try to reach the result that you would like. When the result is acceptable you could start on your normal locomotive.

Weatheren wall element of a plastic moulded construction box

Weatheren wall element of a plastic moulded construction box

Locomotive hangar Märklin. The roofplates are pre-weathered by Märklin but weathering is only done around the chimneys.

Locomotive hangar Märklin. The roofplates are pre-weathered by Märklin but weathering is only done around the chimneys.

First a layer of light-grey paint is applied, next highlight the higher parts with a white dry-brush.

First a layer of light-grey paint is applied, next highlight the higher parts with a white dry-brush.

Now we apply a black dry brush to imitate soot. This is done with pigment powder.

Now we apply a black dry brush to imitate soot. This is done with pigment powder.

Many times the inside area of the building will be forgotten, but when this stays visible it is needed that we apply also there a weathering.

Many times the inside area of the building will be forgotten, but when this stays visible it is needed that we apply also there a weathering.

Just a construction box of a station. This kind of building s are very common and the plastic glossy look is visible when the building is finished.

Just a construction box of a station. This kind of building s are very common and the plastic glossy look is visible when the building is finished.

The same station but after a full weathering with three colors and a final protective layer of a transparent paint.

The same station but after a full weathering with three colors and a final protective layer of a transparent paint.

Example of a boxed car, just a cheap one found on the second hand market and weathered with multiple train colors.

Example of a boxed car, just a cheap one found on the second hand market and weathered with multiple train colors.

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