Recently, B. Smith took this fine Kadee product…
And quickly turned it into this beautifully weathered specimen for his Limpia Canyon Northern RR layout…
I told him that some Rails West readers would like to know how he did it.
Step 1. I replaced the door with a Kadee 8 ft 6 panel Superior door that I prefer. The color of the door was slightly different from the car now, just like what occurs when the railroad replaces the door on the real car.
Step 2. Blotch full strength roof brown paint on random places on the car sides with the tip of a paint brush to represent rust patches. This shows up best on the above photo by the large DF logo. Let dry.
Step 3. Paint the roof and roof walk with Tamiya flat aluminum paint. This is just a thin coat with the underlying original roof color showing through in streaks.
Step 4. Cover the roof, sides, ends, underbody, and wheels and trucks with a wash of alcohol and roof brown. You will need to dip your paint brush into the paint bottle occasionally to get enough roof brown color. If you get too much paint, dilute it on the car with more alcohol. I usually dip into the paint bottle, then into the alcohol wash to dilute before brushing onto the car. You can remove excess wash with a dry paint brush. Let dry.
Step 5. Go over everything with an alcohol wash of Polly Scale water base rust paint, dipping into the paint bottle occasionally. Let dry.
Step 6. Dust the entire car with a mixture of rust and dark earth weathering powder.
Step 7. Add decals of re-weigh weights, date, and ACI label.
Step 8. Another light dusting of weathering powder to hide the decal shine.
Step 9. On one side I went over the side of the car with a light coat of black weathering powder to darken the car as prototype photos show these cars weathered pretty dark.
Opening and closing the door on the darker side scratched the side of the car removing the wash and powder layers, leaving horizontal streaks, much like on a real car.
I also paint the inside of the car by the doors a thin coat of light gray paint. You don’t find shiny black floors and box car red interiors on real cars. Most I’ve looked in seem dull gray.
Click here to see a prototype example from Railroad Picture Archives.
There really is not perfectly weathered cars. All of us use different techniques. I would say though, this one is pretty dang close to perfect though!
Editor’s Note: I recently extolled the incredible work of Moloco and Tangent Scale Models. I’d be remiss if I didn’t add Kadee to that list as well! (And American made!)