I have switched over to using "craft acrylics" for weathering. I have a
fairly large supply of the Delta Ceramcoat paints. They come in 4 oz.
bottles that cost less than an ounce bottle of any "RR paint".
I am not sure where to get them any more. I used to buy them at
Michael's or JoAnn's and the last time I was in either of those they
did not have them.
The thing to look for in a "craft acrylic" is the density of the pigment.
The cheaper brands don't put as much color in the paint.
I have a full complement of craft acrylic "earth tones". And often add
some colors that are well outside of that label (in -small- quantities).
I should add - I very rarely use an airbrush for my primary weathering
any more. It's been almost a decade not since I stopped doing that (more?).
Almost all of my -weathering- is done with detail touches (brush) and
'washes'. And runs of grime where roofs and doors drain. And "dry
brush" streaks. And ... well, you get the idea.
After I have the weathering where I like it I will hit the car with
a very light application of "dull coat" ... to lock it all in place ... and
then - some times - after it is fully dry (2 days or more later) I will apply
some very light "blending coats" of weathering colors (airbrush) ... usually
a lacquer such as Floquil and colors such as "grimy black" and "dust" and
I also use artists chalks - in earth tones and blending several different
shades to get the color(s) that I want. I especially prefer chalks for
doing stuff like grain spills, cement spills, and iron ore spills.
** Trucks and Wheels **
I use all hand painting for weathering trucks and wheels.
For the trucks I -start- by doing the wheels! I do them by using a
fairly dense mix of color = usually either a dull rust (fully oxidized)
or grey (mud). All the wheels on each car get the same color - but
I try to have different wheel colors/shades on different cars. And
to have the wheels at least a couple of shades different from the
trucks. Just load the brush and insert it in against the axle and the
wheel face and turn the wheel with your finger. Don't paint the
Then I use an oxidized rust color and brush paint the truck side
frames with a paint thin enough to run and not show any 'ridges'.
I don't try to "cover" perfectly ... if some of the black plastic shows
thru behind the brown it's actually better ...
Finally - I add some dark 'charcoal' shade around the bearings
I don't have a "formula" for mixing weathering colors. I use a
few drops of each of black, white, burnt sienna, burnt umber,
dusty yellow, dark green ... etc., etc. etc. ... and mix them to my
whim for the day. The resulting shades are actually highly
-similar- ... but enough different that they "feel right".
One color I never apply/use is that orangey color that Floquil
sold as "rust". There actually is a way that steel/iron will look
that color ... but it doesn't last more than a few hours and is
rarely seen on any RR equipment (never?).
- Jim B.