Topics

Weathering Couplers

Bob Chaparro
 

Weathering Couplers

I'm seeking suggestions on weathering couplers to get that textured, rusted look without hindering the operation of the coupler.

Thanks.

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA

Aaron Heaney
 

Bob 

I used the Floquil Rail Brown paint pen. I think Testors makes it now. I just rub it on the coupler not fully coating it that way the black underneath is still partially visible. 

Aaron Heaney 



Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone


-------- Original message --------
From: "Bob Chaparro via Groups.Io" <chiefbobbb@...>
Date: 1/30/20 11:42 AM (GMT-05:00)
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Weathering Couplers

Weathering Couplers

I'm seeking suggestions on weathering couplers to get that textured, rusted look without hindering the operation of the coupler.

Thanks.

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA

Todd Sullivan
 

Bob,

For years I have been painting Kadee standard and semi-scale couplers with Polly-Scale paint, and they work fine as long as you exercise the knuckle 5-8 times after painting and before the paint has dried hard - usually about 5-10 minutes in most cases.  Since Polly-Scale isn't available now, I'll have to experiment with other brands to find a replacement, once my supply runs out.  Painting the couplers did not seem to affect the amount of force needed to couple them up.  I can still gently nose a loco up to a car and have the couplers connect ... unless the car is VERY free-rolling.

Todd Sullivan
Rowlett, TX

Jim Betz
 

Bob,
  I've used both Floquil and acrylics (usually "craft paints") in a variety
of colors (but always some shade of brown/tuscan/mineral red) and
apply them with a brush.  I do the 'details' such as door hardware,
brake wheels, etc. at the same time and I don't pay much attention
to 'coverage' ... just to whether or not I am getting any paint on the
body of the car.  I use a shade that is 'slightly different' from the
body color of the car to make the details so highlighted "pop" out
from the body/field color of the car ... when I say "pop" I am talking
about "just enough difference (subtle) that the detail part/coupler/
whatever separates itself from the body".  This adds a sort of
"depth" to the overall look of the car.
  I also add a fairly heavy coat of grime to the underside of the
car and lesser amount to the roof.  Dust/grime along the lower
part of the sides is something I do "sometimes but not always".
  Typically, I do the details before my final application of some
sort of VERY light "blending color" ... this can be grime, dust,
dull coat, weathered black, etc. and is very lightly applied so
that unless you look for it you don't notice it.
  I pay attention to each car "one at a time" in order to get them
to "look all the same when a yard is looked at from a distance -
but if you focus on the individual cars in a cut they aren't all the
same.  One of the keys to that is to mix up a unique batch of
weathering colors for each weathering session and even vary
them during the session (especially in how much is applied to
which cars/details).
  
  The end result is a car that looks right (to -my- eye).  Your
methods may be different - these are mine.
                                                                             - Jim

Pete Steinmetz
 

Bob:

I use a "Rust" color paint pen from a military hobby shop. There are quite a few manufacturers.  Close enough for Rust/Dark Brown color looks fine.

Pete Steinmetz

mopacfirst
 

I just paint them.

I keep an inventory of Kadee 158 couplers in three colors - black, boxcar red and rust.  The painting is done by placing x number of couplers on one edge of a strip of masking tape, bottom of the shank firmly pressed against the tape.  Then I fold the tape lengthwise over the whisker side, pressing lightly.  I have not done a destructive test as to whether that whisker could be pulled out of its mount, so I don't take chances and only lightly press the tape against that side.  Then I take them out to the paint stand.

Sometimes I'll drop a pair of couplers of the appropriate color into a kit box when I'm first figuring out what paint and lettering the car should get.  Even with B&W photos of the prototype, if you have a good end view you can often tell what color the couplers should be.  But as a default, older cars (from my perspective of 1960-62) often have the couplers painted the same color as the car body.  Cars that have their original builder paint scheme, by that era, often were unpainted (rust color).  The mandate to leave couplers unpainted so as to allow examination for defects came later.

In recent years, I have painted most underframes black if that's the appropriate color.  I'll mount an assembled Kadee 262 coupler box before painting, then usually install the couplers after the paint has cured.  The car body may or may not have been finished by that time, but I've often painted the body separately if it's a house car.  Gons and flats where there is a concealed weight obviously get a different technique.  Bottom line is I don't treat the couplers delicately with regard to painting, and no harm seems to come.

I might also paint the couplers along with the car, if the underframe and body are all the same color.

In all cases, I use the Kadee coupler pliers and bend the pin upward slightly, and check to be sure the spring is in place, before painting.  I do apply just a light coat of paint.  I rarely if ever find couplers frozen by the paint.  I did occasionally find that when I did brush painting of couplers.  On rare occasions I might need to apply a brush coat of paint, say on cars I picked up completely built by someone else, and in that case I'll gingerly do a little highlighting on the coupler body and knuckle top and sides.

Ron Merrick

Mont Switzer
 

And if a coupler should become sticky there is always MEK or lacquer thinner.

 

Montford L. Switzer

President

Switzer Tank Lines, Inc.

Fall Creek Leasing, LLC.

mswitzer@...

(765) 836-2914

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of mopacfirst
Sent: Friday, January 31, 2020 9:25 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Weathering Couplers

 

I just paint them.

I keep an inventory of Kadee 158 couplers in three colors - black, boxcar red and rust.  The painting is done by placing x number of couplers on one edge of a strip of masking tape, bottom of the shank firmly pressed against the tape.  Then I fold the tape lengthwise over the whisker side, pressing lightly.  I have not done a destructive test as to whether that whisker could be pulled out of its mount, so I don't take chances and only lightly press the tape against that side.  Then I take them out to the paint stand.

Sometimes I'll drop a pair of couplers of the appropriate color into a kit box when I'm first figuring out what paint and lettering the car should get.  Even with B&W photos of the prototype, if you have a good end view you can often tell what color the couplers should be.  But as a default, older cars (from my perspective of 1960-62) often have the couplers painted the same color as the car body.  Cars that have their original builder paint scheme, by that era, often were unpainted (rust color).  The mandate to leave couplers unpainted so as to allow examination for defects came later.

In recent years, I have painted most underframes black if that's the appropriate color.  I'll mount an assembled Kadee 262 coupler box before painting, then usually install the couplers after the paint has cured.  The car body may or may not have been finished by that time, but I've often painted the body separately if it's a house car.  Gons and flats where there is a concealed weight obviously get a different technique.  Bottom line is I don't treat the couplers delicately with regard to painting, and no harm seems to come.

I might also paint the couplers along with the car, if the underframe and body are all the same color.

In all cases, I use the Kadee coupler pliers and bend the pin upward slightly, and check to be sure the spring is in place, before painting.  I do apply just a light coat of paint.  I rarely if ever find couplers frozen by the paint.  I did occasionally find that when I did brush painting of couplers.  On rare occasions I might need to apply a brush coat of paint, say on cars I picked up completely built by someone else, and in that case I'll gingerly do a little highlighting on the coupler body and knuckle top and sides.

Ron Merrick

John Sykes III
 

I use the same technique as Ron.  A few things.  First, get the low-tack painters' tape.  It is green or purple (I forget which) and comes off very easily.  Second, I use either Floquil Rust, Rust #2 or Scalecoat II "Orange Peel" none of these three paints are currently available.  Mix it 50:50 with a hot lacquer thinner and spay on the couplers.

They dry extremely quickly, so you can "untape" them (if that is a word) in less than 5 minutes.  I brush paint the uncoupling pin with engine black and add about 1/32" - 1"16" of Platinum mist at the tip to represent the "monkey fist".  I put them on the car THEN do my weathering of the car using mainly grimy black or roof brown (I am modeling the PRR, so the more the merrier) diluted about 10:1 with the hot lacquer thinner (that is 10 parts thinner to 1 part paint).  That's typical PRR weathering for you!  I use to use only grimy black, rust and RR Grime but Steve Hoxie got me to use the roof brown.

-- John

P.S.  You can't buy "hot" lacquer thinner in CA so I guess you have to drive out to Las Vegas to get some (>88% VOCs).  Here in FL, anything goes.  Xylenes (xylol) works good too for a thinner.  I thnk DioSol was mainly xylenes and toluene.

Andy Carlson
 

"Hot"Lacquer Thinner, by another name is available in California. It is called Acetone, and auto body shops have used it for decades for thinning lacquer base primer as it dries real quickly. It is too hot for color service work.
-Andy Carlson
Ojai CA

On Friday, January 31, 2020, 5:04:05 PM PST, John Sykes III via Groups.Io <johnsykesiii@...> wrote:



P.S.  You can't buy "hot" lacquer thinner in CA so I guess you have to drive out to Las Vegas to get some (>88% VOCs).  Here in FL, anything goes.  Xylenes (xylol) works good too for a thinner.  I thnk DioSol was mainly xylenes and toluene.