Re: Painting Model Steam Engines that Pull Steam Era Freight Cars.

Bruce Smith


I don't know of a specific group or reference on weathering the engines that hauled steam era freight cars. John Pryke published a basic guide in Model Railroad a number of years ago that might be a starting point, but I personally found his weathering a bit garish and lacking in depth. And that brings me to my point. No one single approach to weathering is adequate. There are great resources in the military modeling world that you can use. My favorite is Martin Kobic, known as "Uncle Night Shift". Warning, his YouTube video will suck you in!  Martin is an amazing artist and may spend 20-30 hours building a tank and another 80 hours weathering it! 

Getting started is hard. Worrying about ruining the paint job on a $400 model can be intimidating. Thus, I suggest starting with chalks, since most errors can be washed away, and most of the time, when covered with clear coat, the weathering is toned down. 

You attached a nice photo of a B&O 2-8-2. This engine appears to be in passenger service and that makes sense because the boiler is relatively clean. The tender is much dirtier. This one is pretty all over dirty, but many tenders show a "bow wave" pattern with dirt higher up on the back than the front.

Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL

From: <> on behalf of Bruce Griffin <bdg1210@...>
Sent: Wednesday, April 6, 2022 1:34 AM
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Subject: [EXT] [RealSTMFC] Painting Model Steam Engines that Pull Steam Era Freight Cars.
CAUTION: Email Originated Outside of Auburn.


Can anyone recommend an .io group that focuses on scale model Steam Locomotives that might offer insights into painting and weathering techniques? While they were almost almost all painted black with graphite steam and fire boxes, I am trying to determine techniques for modeling the various shades and “glosses” of a steam engine to recreate a better painted and detailed engine to pull my steam freight cars that I spend so much time detailing. The boilers were often affected by heat and steam while the cabs were still a little more shiny and the tenders look more like freight cars except for the condensation on the outside of the water tank portions. Thank you for indulging my questionable use of the steam freight car list. Not wanting to go to moderator jail. 


Bruce D. Griffin
Ashland, MD


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