ï¿½ Actually,ï¿½ I prefer to use stains and paints - applied in a variety of techniques
and mixing each batch to suit my eye at the time.ï¿½ The key techniques are the
"dry brush" streaks applied in the direction of the grain and acrylic washes as
a "weathering coat".ï¿½ See steps below.
ï¿½ When doing the dry brush streaks I change the color on the brush almost
every time I go back to the paint and 'build up' the colors/grain as I go.ï¿½ It's
harder to explain that it is to do!
ï¿½ It is important to start with the 'right' color/base coat.ï¿½ If it is an unpainted
surface (such as the deck of a flat car) then I start with a shade of "grey that
has some overtones of brown in it" ... because unpainted wood turns grey
after only a few months in service.ï¿½ The amount of grey depends upon how
long it has been since the car was re-decked.ï¿½ But most of the brown overtones
are done in the dry brush stage.ï¿½
ï¿½ It really doesn't take very long to do your own 'weathering' of unpainted
wood - the dry brush and washes go very quickly and can be applied in one
sitting with almost no time between coats/colors.
ï¿½ 1) Base color coat (different color for every car).ï¿½ This can be done with
ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ an airbrush but I have also had great results doing this by using a
ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ variety of colors/shades just using a brush and thinner paint than
ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ normal brush painting (it doesn't have to cover!) - and applying it
ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ 'board by board' so each board has a different base color.ï¿½ If I'm
ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ going to use a 'stain' I will do it in this step.
ï¿½ 2) Dry brush streaks (lots of different colors but mostly a variety of greys.
ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ This step provides the primary "final look" of the wood - for both the
ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ color and the 'grain' and pretty much 'covers' the base coat.ï¿½ This step
ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ is easy and quick - once you've gotten the basic technique down
ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ (which is not hard to learn how to do).ï¿½ Start with too little paint on the
ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ brush and experiment with more/less paint and different colors - each
ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ time you go back to get more paint.ï¿½ If you happen to dip too deeply
ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ just 'paint a piece of paper towel' to remove paint from the brush.
ï¿½ 3) Acrylic washes for weathering - a variety of colors/shades.ï¿½ I do the
ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ details (grabs, couplers, etc.), frame, trucks and wheels in this same
ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ step.ï¿½ I often use my finger(s) to create different streaking/effects.
ï¿½ ï¿½ ï¿½ ï¿½ ï¿½ I've tried to learn the technique (that works for me) - for weathering
ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ freight cars with the Dr. Ben's pigments - and just haven't been happy
ï¿½ ï¿½ ï¿½ï¿½ with the results.ï¿½ The first problem I have is that I always seem to get
ï¿½ ï¿½ ï¿½ï¿½ too much color.ï¿½ The 2nd problem with them is that they are
ï¿½ ï¿½ ï¿½ï¿½ permanent so any "rework" means starting over at step #1.ï¿½ Many
ï¿½ ï¿½ ï¿½ï¿½ guys use pigments and are good at it - I just don't happen to be one
ï¿½ ï¿½ ï¿½ï¿½ of them.
ï¿½ 4) Chalks for 'collected areas of dirt'.ï¿½ (Often rubbed in/out with my
ï¿½ ï¿½ ï¿½ fingers.)ï¿½ Can be done before step #3 for variety/different effect.
ï¿½5) Over spray of a -very- light "blending coats" of general weathering.
ï¿½ ï¿½ï¿½ Please note that this and the first step are the only ones that use
ï¿½ ï¿½ï¿½ an airbrush.ï¿½ I don't 'hate' my airbrush - I just find that I use it a lot
ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ less for weathering and use acrylic washes a lot more.ï¿½ And that
ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ you can't get the same end results 'just using an airbrush' for
ï¿½ There used to be (still is?) someone out there (one of the very small one
man companies) that makes great real wood decks for flat cars that you
can apply directly over the styrene deck.ï¿½ The name started with a "B"?
Maybe "Randy Bachmann."?ï¿½ If memory serves me correctly he also
made wood inserts for many of the popular box cars.ï¿½ They are/were
super thin.ï¿½ I hope he's still out there.ï¿½ I think I bought them on eBay.
These -may- be the same ones now being sold under the American
Model Builders name (same guy just more "official"?).
ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½ ï¿½ ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½ ï¿½ ï¿½ ï¿½ ï¿½ ï¿½ ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ - Jim B.