Apologies for another non-dwarf related update. I hope that this does not earn me a place in the Book of Grudges.
Since most of the people who read this know me, it's only going to be news to a few people that what pays my bills, and provides me with enough to keep buying bits of plastic with beards, is my job at a model railway shop I have no interest in trains, but its a cool place to work, there are some great lads there, it's right by home and it means I don't have to work as a debt collector for a bank anymore, and that's reason enough for me. Plus we stock loads of cool hobby bits and bobs that I can pick up from time to time.
What is also great about working in the shop, is that I am exposed to product ranges and items I would never have usually come across. I now use Deluxe Materials adhesives almost exclusively, as well as a lot of Woodland Scenics pieces.
A while ago we started stocking a weathering range name Model Mates At the time, I picked a couple up, used them a little on a Rhino, thought they were absolutely rubbish, and never touched them again. However, after reading a weathering article on the blog of Model Rail Magazines model maker. I thought I would give them another go, since a.) that guy really knows his stuff and b.) I don't.
Another thing that working in a model train shop has opened my eyes to, is that this mob LOVE weathering. Which is just fine by me. I think I have mentioned before that the only thing I like about painting vehicles is once the main paint job is finished, and I get to ruin it by weathering them up! I've wanted to try my hand at weathering some rolling stock for some time now, and one of the lads in the shop was kind enough to give me a test piece with the brief "go nuts". And go nuts I did. I spent an evening a few days ago going nuttier than I have gone in a while. You know that line in Fight Club, where Edward Norton has just demolished that guy in a band who girls likes face and he says "I just wanted to destroy something beautiful"? Thats how I felt. 10 months of train rage and not understanding how to use the DCC controller and not knowing what all the abreviations at the beginning of coaches were and rewiring the polarity on Class 28's (I actually love doing this, I don't know why I keep pretending not to) and not having a clue what all the different parts on steam engines are all came flooding out in one manic night with my airbrush. But rather than punch this wagon to bits, I thought I would instead weather it within an inch of its clean, bright, smug life.
My first intention was to find a colour that matched the main cream colour. These are what I picked out:
It turned out that the closest two were the Menoth White Base from P3 and Bonewhite from the Vellejo Game Colour range. I went with Bonewhite as it was the same kind of tone to the wagon. My initial intention was to take some of the shine off the company logos and other decals by making it look as though they had been worn away over time. So out came my bit of sponge, and I started dabbing away. I then dipped a cotton bud in a bit of isopropyl alcohol and removed any overspill from around the decals:
After this it was time to fill the airtank and start airbrushing. I was a little at a loss as to how to select my palette, so while I was thinking, I decided to mask off the wagon and work a little on the top grill area, with the intention of making it look rusted and worn and battered. I used some Vallejo Model Air Rust on it at first, applying it in small patches with the intention of evening it out with some more muddy brown colours, and some sponged on silver at the end.
However, I forgot to photograph the next two steps, because I got really carried away. You'll see the end result in the last photographs though.
After the initial laying down of a rust colour, I spread it a little by using a medium brown, pulling it in to the metallics. I went a little overboard on this however, and decided to tie it back together by sponging on some chips with Vallejo Model Air silver paint. I didn't manage to photograph the process, but there will be some images at the end showing it.
It was then on to the main body. After chipping out the liveries and numbers and the likes, I was ready to start airbrushing. Now, in most of these train weathering things, the streaks always, reasonably flow downwards. This isn't like a thunderhawk or jetbike. These move at a steady pace then stay static for ages (probably). As such, I didn't want to weather it like a sci-fi or flying vehicle, where the streaks represent constant movement. I treated this as though it had been in some yard for years, so the beatings from rain had caused the metal to rust, and the rust water over the years to streak down and stain. This seems to be the standard apart from when people are doing soot or weathering that only occurs during movement. And it works really well from the examples I've seen. So starting with a line of grime and rust along the top and bottom where things might build, I started streaking in downward strokes (after practising in my painting technique/colour log) in line with the ridges of the tank. I built this up over several layers so that there was a an overall feel of muck and gunk on the tank, with some more prolific streaks coming downwards representing aged and set in weathering.
After doing this in Medium Camo Brown by VMA, I used Burnt Umber, and Rust from the same range. I wanted to stick with a warm, rust feel, so all of the browns, instead of being neutral, were red-browns.
Once this step was complete, I repeated on the other side, then busted out the Model Mates. I mainly used Sand Brown since it was quite light, I wanted to use it to tie the deeper colours in to eachother and make it look nasty and dirty across the board as oppose to just in certain areas.
After repeating on both sides, I took Model Mates Oil Brown (my current favourite from the range) and used this to hit the underside. Anything that looked mechanical received a blast. This is a very difficult colour to pin down. It definitely has a yellow feel, and is perfect for industrial looking metallic grime. So on it went! I added it to the couplings, and these coil looking things at the bottom (pictures at the end.)
At this stage, I thought it looked cool, but I wanted to add some more recent looking weathering, so out came the oil paints. I used Windsor & Newton numbers 076 and 331. Burnt Umber and Ivory Black respectively. I wanted the umber so it would tie in with the rust, and the black to add to the oily bits to make it look oily with the oiled up oil paints. This was added to the couplings and coil things. Then the umber was added in streaks flowing downwards, with the intention of receiving a gloss varnish at the end to make it look fresh and shiny.
After that I hit the wheels with some Oil Brown and Rust to make them look like they haven't seen much action lately, and I was pretty much done. I airbrushed some Vallejo Matt Varnish on, then once that was dry I slapped some Gloss Varnish on the oil areas and hey presto, my first fully finished piece of model train weathering. Here are some images of the finished article:
Here is how my poor workstation looked when I was done!
All in all I found this a very satisfying experience. And one I am keen to repeat. I'll be dropping this off on Sunday and have asked the lads in work to be brutally honest with their assessment. So I'm hoping I can improve somewhat.
This is far too much reality for me at the moment however, so I think a weekend with my beloved Dwarves is now in order.