Weathering a Evans Boxcar by Jonathon Hill


By Jonathon Hill, Morris, IL

Looking to upgrade the appearance of your freight cars? It can be done within a few hours with some inexpensive supplies and a little work. Your cars will go from factory fresh, to used and abused if you follow these steps.



Supplies for Weathering and detailing the ScaleTrains Evans 5100cf Boxcar:
  • Work pad / cutting board
  • Small Phillips head screw driver
  • Xuron Cutter
  • Glue or Loctite
  • Hairdryer
  • Gloves
  • Rotating Painting platform
  • Paint brushes: Micro, small, medium, and fan brush
  • Craft Acrylics: Georgia Clay, Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna, Black
  • Palette or plastic plate
  • Plastic cup with water
  • AIM Products Weathering Powder: Earth or Dirt color
  • Testors Dullcote spray
  • Trainline air hose details (if desired)
  • Replacement Couplers (if desired)



After basic assembly of the boxcar, you may choose to add a few basic details to further improve the look of the car. I chose to add trainline air hoses on each end of the car, as well as Kadee-brand couplers.
  • Swap out factory couplers for metal versions, if desired (I used Kadee #158 semi-scale “whisker” couplers)
  • Apply trainline air hoses to the side of the coupler pockets



Next I took the assembled boxcar, rotating paint platform, and my trusty spray can of Dullcote to the paint booth. I'm going to recommend a light to medium coating of spray. You don't want it to “glob up” on the car upon drying.



Once the Dullcote has dried, bring the car back to the workstation, and pour out a dab of the Georgia Clay color acrylic to the palette. You will be wetting your paintbrush with water, and tapping the paint until it is diluted to a translucent state.



Now begins the fairly long task of putting on light layers of the translucent acrylic paint to fade down the car. After applying each layer, you will want to use a hair dryer to dry and seal the paint.



This car required 3 layers of acrylic on each side to properly fade it down.



With the acrylic layers on the car completely dry, it's time to start adding layers of dirt and grime to the car. For this, I use both translucent acrylics and powders to complete this task.



Using a water-diluted mix of black and burnt umber acrylics, I start to work on the lower end of the car, and where any build-ups of grime normally occur.



Normally, grime will build up over time, with wheel spray on the ends, and along the tracks of the sliding doors. That will be where the paint will go, as it's the darkest and most visible layer of grime needed.



For the next layer of dirt and grime, I used AIM Products Delta Dirt. This is the most used powder in my weathering arsenal, as it is one of the better representations of dirt for US modelers.


STEP 10:

Next step is to weather the seams of the car. First, I use the micro brush to get on the seams with a small direct stroke. Next, I will fan the first layer on the seams, and add larger layers for more effect.


STEP 11:

After adding the heavier layers of powders around the seams and details of the car, it's time to bust out the fan brush. This brush will start to take some of the excess powder off and meld it all together.


STEP 12:

With rooftop weathering, it can be fairly difficult to decide how much and what type of weathering to apply. On this piece of rolling stock, I rusted out a few roof panels with a mix of burnt umber and sienna acrylics, along with black acrylic. I then went over the center divider with the dirt powder and plate designs to add depth and color. This created a used, but not overly abused, look to the roof.


STEP 13:

With the roof finished and the car body overall done. I took it back to the paint booth for a layer of Dullcote, which acts as a sealant. This way the paint and powders won't rub off the car when you handle it.


STEP 14:

Next step is painting the wheels, trucks, coupler pocket, and some of the under-frame to give a detailed look. I used a similar acrylic mix as the roof panels to create the same color for this step.


STEP 15:

When painting the trucks, you will want to apply an even coating of paint. Try to get each small detail and part; otherwise, you'll end up with a truck that has beat up spots and brand new spots. Uniformity is key.



The finished product on the workbench.

The finished project on the outdoor photo module.


With about 4 hours of work, you can transform a your Evans 5100cf boxcar from a new looking car, to a car that looks even closer to the real thing.

Editor's Notes: Jonathon is an accomplished model railroader.  Growing-up within five minutes of the Illinois Railway Museum fueled his passion for trains.  He enjoys modeling the Chicago & NorthWestern and Santa Fe during the 1990s.  We truly appreciate Jonathon taking  time to share his talent on our blog.  Shane

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