Aging of the Beast by Todd Arnett – ScaleTrains.com Inc.
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Aging of the Beast by Todd Arnett

Todd Arnett’s custom weathered Rivet Counter HO Scale DASH-9 known as “The Beast” by many railfans for being numbered 666.

Although I model Norfolk Southern and the Norfolk and Western railways, I have always admired the ATSF C44-9W in the warbonnet scheme. With two of the ScaleTrains.com ATSF C44-9Ws in my possession, I decided to severely age one of the units, 666, to represent the prototypes that I have seen when I travel to the western states. Although unit 666 was re-numbered to 599 approximately 17 years ago, I decided not to re-number this unit accordingly. Perhaps it could be chalked up to rebelling.

I’m not exceptionally artistic when it comes to weathering so I thought it best to reference Done in a Day by Pelle Soeborg (Kalmbach Publishing, ISBN:978-0-89024-762-4). There is a section within that details how to age a warbonnet Dash 8 series locomotive. I followed each step in order with the exception of removing the truck side frames as I felt I could properly weather those while intact.

The devil is in the details. Arnett followed Pelle Soeborg’s weathering techniques to give his DASH-9 a flare.

The handrails on each side were removed as having clear access to the carbody would be required.  I masked off the area around the air conditioning unit in order to paint it so as to indicate a replacement had been installed. I mixed red and yellow paint to a shade of orange that I was content with and painted the air conditioning unit. While the air conditioning unit was drying, I mixed red and white paint (1 part red, 4 parts white) to yield a slight pinkish tone. This combination was applied to simulate the fading patches of the red areas of the cab and the lettering on the carbody.

I applied the pinkish concoction as I saw fit in a random pattern. Once this dried, it was time to mask the newly painted air conditioning unit in preparation for the overall fading of the shell. After masking all windows and lights, I thinned Model Master Light Ghost Gray to a wash like consistency and applied to the entire unit with an airbrush, specifically, are areas red in color.  This produced the fading effect and assisted in blending in the faded patches.

Lastly, I mixed dark rust weather powder with matte medium to create a “paste” and applied heavy rust spots to the locomotive.  This paste produces a texture that stands out.  Once dry, I applied dry dark rust weather powder to the previous spots with a small brush, dragging downward for a streaking effect.  The truck side frames were weathered in a similar fashion along with the fuel tank and pilots.  A few coats of Dullcote with the airbrush concluded the project.

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