Re: : Weathering freight cars

Tony Thompson

Armand Premo wrote:
For what it's worth,I believe the most grievous error a modeler can make is to over do weathering.My taste lean more to subtle weathering.An overly weathered car will stand out as much as a brightly colored car.Visitors will remember it.A technique that I favor is to star with the basic color and go from there.Others might favor mixing a diluted tone.I do not profess to be an expert on weathering ,but feel strongly that it is a matter of individual taste.After all it is Your model and as long as you are satisfied with it that's really all that matters.

Richard Hendrickson may chime in here, as he believes, on considerable photographic evidence, that it is difficult to over-weather steam era freight cars. But I would disagree with the idea that as long as YOU like it, it's okay. Um, no. On this topic I like to quote Tony Koester's comment, that if you are really interested in model RAILROADING, you try to duplicate aspects of real world railroads. (Otherwise you are just having fun with train models.) Certainly an entire steam-era freight car fleet which is uniformly and lightly weathered cannot be said to duplicate reality.
As Armand says, it's true that ONE severely weathered car will stand out among lightly weathered or unweathered ones. I believe that instead, there should be a gradation, from almost new cars to ones on which it is hard to read the lettering, with a range of cars weathered everywhere in between.
Of course I agree with Armand that weathering, like so much else, is a matter of individual taste, and that we all satisfy primarily ourselves, at the end of the day. But to me, that does NOT mean that whatever you choose to do is equally realistic.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail,
Publishers of books on railroad history

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