Extracurricular activities - some 1960 era equipment weathering

My friend Scott is modelling the CPR Boundary Subdivision circa 1960 in his ample basement.  I am one of the regular operators taking part in his regular operating sessions on the layout, occasionally even working as the dispatcher - so far successfully avoiding crashing trains into each other.  Scott is busy building the layout and getting everything running smoothly.  

I offered to weather some of his freight cars and he gladly took me up on the offer.  I grab a few cars (with permission!) and take them home to work on.  It is a bit of a change of pace to weather equipment for the early diesel era instead of the early 1980's.  

The last batch I did for Scott included a double sheathed SP boxcar, a CP steel boxcar and a CP slabside hopper.  These were done with a mixture of oil washes, pin washes, acrylic paint and Pan Pastels.  I tried to get the wood SP car to reflect a well weathered car that was not far from the end of its service life.  The steel boxcar was done to reflect a dirty but well maintained car that was coming due for a repaint.  I also used a sponge with silver and grey paint to get the flaking paint on the roof panels. I justified the weathering based on the shop dates (1944).  In reality the weathering is more subtle in person than in the photos.

I must say I am quite happy with the way the slabside hopper turned out.  The cover photo of Richard Yaremko's Canadian Railcar Pictorial book on CP covered hoppers (Volume 7) has two very weathered slab sides in 1963.  I took inspiration from this photo.  I didn't take it as far as the cars in the photo as no doubt people would say they were overdone! 

I used a series of oil washes and pin washes to get a well weathered appearance.  Once these were done to my satisfaction I used Vallejo Game Effects Dry Rust on the roof to get a nice textured rusty surface.  Next was getting the cement spilled on the roof and sides.  

I have come to really like using Vallejo pigment powders with matt varnish to represent spilled cement on these cars.  I mixed various grey and white pigments in matt varnish to get a paste.  I applied this to the areas around the hatches with a brush, and used a brush and my gloved fingers to streak the cement down the car sides.  I put some additional pigment on the cars while the paste was still wet to get more texture on the spills.  

Once everything was dry I applied some grey, white and brown PanPastels to blend everything together.  I also used PanPastels to represent the road grime on the trucks, hopper bays and ends of the car.  These cars are now in revenue service on the CPR Boundary Sub.  Scott seems to have a limitless supply of freight cars so I maybe busy for a while yet.   


  1. Hi All; I am truly thankful for Marc's efforts in converting at least a few of my cars from glossy kits to nicely weathered prototype looking freight cars! Only 200 more cars to go Marc!!


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