Re: New question on an old technique

Scott H. Haycock

I've always thought that this technique was more about artistic interpretation than actually trying to duplicate reality. I'm reminded of the various techniques we use to represent brick structures, with the mortar lines. We tend to lighten our paint so it isn't too dark under indoor lighting. We exaggerate rivet size, and the scribed siding on wood cars to make them even visible on otherwise scale models. All of these are akin to artistic techniques. 

I look at the T&P boxcar photo that Greg linked to, and I see his point. If you look at the 1st and 2nd panels to the left of the door, you'll see that the second panel is darker on it's left side than it's right, and the first panel is darker down it's center. I believe this is what Greg is trying to mimic with this technique. Whether this is caused by weathering, paint oxidation or lighting, it appears to be a valid observation.

Another point may be: do the photos of Greg's models exaggerate the effect? Photos have been known to do that! My point here, is that, the technique on the actual models may appear far more subtle than in photos.

Like Tony though, I wouldn't use this technique on very many cars, but I would try it, in a barely perceptible fashion, on a few. 

Another point; I doubt if this shading/weathering/paint oxidation, whatever, would show up in most freight car photos in this list's time frame , which would be largely Black and White.

One Man's opinion...

Scott Haycock
Modeling Tarheel country in the Land of Enchantm


Greg Martin wrote:

Well I didn't want to jump in here as I don't regard this technique as a "weathering technique" but as I have always explained it as a shading technique.
If you note Tony never refers to this as a weathering technique, he just doesn't like it.
As for prototype photos, well I guess it just take a trained eye to see it, it exists on every surface. It is a technique that exhibits the way that light falls on a subject whether flat or uneven ( I think that this is the way I explained it in my article in Mainline Modeler and in more detail in Railroad Model Craftsman.

       No, I don't "just not like it." I think it is unprototypical. I do not say it can't exist, nor that it isn't subtle, only that I do NOT see it in prototype photo after photo. When I first saw the technique described, I thought it was something I had been missing, and started looking. But I still haven't found it, and the T&P box car photo does not convince me. Whatever small effect is there is far smaller than what the technique portrays.
        I have the greatest respect for Greg and his modeling, and for all his contributions to the Shake 'n' Take event at Cocoa Beach. But I part ways with him on this particular point.

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

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