Weathering Ideas

Photo X4939, Railfan.net ‘erielack’ E-Mail List Photo Archive

I recently came across this 1926 image featuring a couple of boxcars on the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western railroad in New Jersey. Let’s take a good look at the weathering on these cars. They have obviously seen some mileage as the lettering is faded. Some streaks are visible from water and a little dust is apparent. But there’s much more here that we can model. Click on any image here to review a larger size.

The images on this blog post were originally taken by William B Barry, Jr., in his service as a DL&W company photographer. Thousands of historic DL&W photographs have been scanned my NPS Steamtown and can be found through the Erie Lackawanna E-Mail List Photo Archive.

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Southern Pacific A-50-5 automobile box car

Late in 2015 I realized I had several HO scale resin freight car kits that were proper for my 1926 modeling era, but the kits lacked decals that reflected the lettering in use then. This realization downgraded quite a few freight cars on the kit build list. Sometime in the summer of 2016, I stumbled onto a company that produced decals for the Southern Pacific A-50-5 automobile box car that included the as-built lettering. The discovery prompted moving a Funaro & Camerlengo kit into the top of my to-build list.

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Masking Tape as a Weathering Tool

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Masking tape has been applied to portions of the lettering on these freight cars before the weathering processes begin.

Several freight cars recently went through the weathering factory and each of them had some masking tape applied to protect part of the original paint coat or lettering. Model railroaders typically use masking tape in the process of applying large stripes or fancy paint schemes to locomotives or rolling stock. For these recent freight cars, the tape was applied to hint at changes made to the car. The tape became another tool in the weathering arsenal.

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July 2016 Weathering Factory output

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Seven box cars were sent through the weathering factory recently. The effects of man and nature add to the appearance of the models and the Wheeling Freight Terminal layout. I enjoy working weathering into several different layers. Everyone seems to enjoy reading about the weathering processes, so let’s take a look at each of these models.

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