By Pelle K. Søeborg
After receiving my first, and so far only, bulkhead flatcar from ScaleTrains I gave it a weathering treatment to make it look like it had been in service for years. My basic weathering techniques are quite simple and straight forward and basically consist of 3 steps: The first step is fading the models original paint. The second step is applying spots of rust. The third step is applying grime to the lower areas. Before starting on the actual weathering I separated the trucks and wheels from the car. I also separated the bulkhead planking from the bulkheads. They are glued on but were relatively easy to separate from the bulkheads by gently pressing a small screwdriver in between the planking and the bulkhead where it is attached. To represent broken planks I cut a few notches in the bulkhead planking sheets.
I started with applying a light gray wash to the deck and bulkhead planking. I used Ammo MIG “Light Dust” but you can use any light gray enamel paint thinned to a wash. Don’t use water-based paint on the wooden parts. Water based paint will cause the wood to warp.
When the light gray wash was completely dry I applied a black-brown wash to the parts. I was a little worried that the effect would not be the same on the floor planks and the bulkhead planking because they are made of different materials. The floor is made of wood and the bulkhead planking is made of styrene but the effect turned out almost the same on both.
Every weathering job starts with cleaning the model first so before I did anything I wiped it clean with a piece of cloth dipped in window cleaning fluid. First step in the weathering process is dusting the car with a whitewash to fade the newly painted look.
The groves in the deck received a black wash.
Then I generously applied rust spots to the entire car. I mixed some dark rust and black weathering powder with clear varnish and brush-painted rust spots on the car.
To create streaks of rust I dabbed the rust spots with dry dark rust-colored powder and dragged the brush downward in a swift movement.
I airbrushed the lower areas, especially at the ends of the car, with a grimy brown color. In this case, I used ModelMaster “Earth Gray” but any grimy brown color will do. Don’t forget to give the trucks a couple of oversprays, too.
Wheels and trucks also received a coat or two with “Earth Gray.”
The Final step is gluing the wood deck parts in place and then randomly apply dark powdered chalks to it. I sealed the weathering with a layer of flat varnish so the car can be handled without ruining the weathering. My favorite varnish is Vallejo “Matt Varnish”. This milky looking varnish can be airbrushed on right from the bottle but I usually add a few drops of Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner” to make it flow even better. The finished car. Besides the weathering, I also applied yellow reflector stripes from Smokebox Graphics to it.