It took a while, but the NP Boxcar from Rails Unlimited is finished, and as a bonus, another 36′ boxcar of a different style, lettered for the P&LE is also done, just in time for RPM Chicagoland this week.
The last steps for both cars involved what is for me, a light weathering. Because the effects that add age to a freight car carry depending on where the car is, what the material is that the car is made of, and a number of other environmental factors, I use a variety of products and media to weather with. This year I decided to weather everything we either a pencil, which I covered previously in part 5, the airbrush, paint, or some kind of solution or weathering agent. I’ve done pastels and powders before, and while they produce some nice effects, I find that for me, they cause more issues than they solve. I have to wear lots of protective equipment when using them, so I decided to veer in a different direction for these cars, and I’m quite happy with eh results.
A couple of my new tools and tricks include these two fantastic products. A Lead Weathering Set from AK and a bottle of Quick Age Scenery Solution from Monroe Models. The leads were fantastic for adding wear on metal parts, with some of the chipping color applied to grabs and ladders, door hardware, and anywhere it looked like something might be routinely rubbed or scuffed by a hand or foot. The Quick Age solution gave me a few different effects depending on where I applied it. When applied on the underside of the cars and allowed to pool, it gave me a fantastic grit and grime effect. When applied to the roof panels…..
Ever had one of those “WOAH, WHAT HAPPENED THERE?” moments in your modeling? I applied the Quick Age before going to bed one night, and arrived downstairs the next morning to find that the roof panels of both cars looked like they were turning silver. Not exactly what I was aiming for, but I then read the bottle. Being a solution suspended in isopropyl alcohol, the chemical reaction between the Quick Age and the dull coat was what was silvering. I had read before that to fix this, you spray dull coat again, which I did to the P&LE car, and like magic, the silvering vanished. On the NP car, however, I decided to play with it a little and see if I could create an effect there by adding more Quick Age so the roof would look like the paint was starting to fail. I like the way it turned out in the end, and the contrast between the two roof appearances on the cars is appealing.
Final assembly included adding the Protocraft couplers that were weathered carefully with two other rust solutions from Monroe Models, the air hoses from Hi-Tech details, and the couplers (Protocraft for the NP car and Rich Yoder Models for the PL&LE).
I’m excited to tell you that the roster shots for these cars were taken on the layout module. That was one of my goals for the year, and to spite the fact that the track isn’t yet finished being weathered and the California Golden Grass is not in, the module made for a fantastic spot to take those. They’re taken at eye-height (at least the side views are) which means that is what someone operating the layout will see, and the cars are really up there, in your face, easy to read, and a nice height for using the uncoupling tool.
The last photo there is a test shot. The station is an O scale paper printout of the YV station at Merced, CA. The two cars are “parked” at the YV freight house, allowing me to display that another part of my design plan, getting two cars at the freight house, is possible as additional layout sections are prepared for construction in 2020.
I’m very pleased with how these cars turned out. They’ll be on display at RPM Chicagoland, October 24-26, 2019.
The next projects are starting to line up, so there will be more to see.