Model Railway Forum banner


5336 Views 23 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  dwb
OK.Blasphemous topic to some,but how do you all feel about weathering?
Be very interesting to get all shades of opinion that this forum seems capable of.

time to lay out my own view.
I see a locomotive,coach or wagon as a piece of machinery,biult at some expense to generate revenue for its owners,the harder it works the mode they make.So if it ain't broke don't fix it,or paint it ,or clean it ,or do anything which involves spending money on it.So each and every model I have is weathered(special edition or not) to a greater or lesser degree.Only items less than 1 week after general overhaul are lesser!The railways were in general fairly mucky places.

Any way thats my practice,now over to you.
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
I'm with you on that one,Chrisgus!

Being a modeller,as opposed to a collector, I think everything should be weathered to some degree or another......
See less See more
As a modern image modeller do you go as far as removing paint from the yellow ends to simulate the sand blasted look so many loco's have? So far I have only got one factory weathered, the hornby class 50 and a couple of lightly weathered locos which have been done prior to me acquiring them. I have seen some hideous attempts by people with matt brown paint and have just stripped a lima class 31 shell i bought as a job lot due to the damn thing looking like it had just been dug up by time team! However having just got my free gift from model rail in the form of a set of weathering paints and having recently pruchased an airbrush i might have a bash at it soon.
See less See more
I decided to model a 'preserved' railway line, and on these the locos and coach rolling stock are usually well-kept. But wagons tend to be weathered, except when they have been recently restored. So I shall probably do a gentle bit of weathering on the running gear of coaches, as this gets mucky very quickly. I shall keep a few pristine wagons and the rest will, in time, be gently weathered on the assumption that they may have been restored but not recently, but on the other hand have not run many miles since, so they are not heavily weathered.

I do think weathering is sometimes overdone - but for someone modelling the present or the recent past that's how things are, alas.

John Webb
Fully believe in weathered wagons, but I prefer my locos to be pristine. This is how I would like to see the real things, on the real railway. DRS used to regularly turn out immaculately cleaned engines. Don't know if this is still the case though.
DRS locos are still cleaner than most operator's, but not as ***** and span as they used to be when they first started.
I suppose if you model a preserved line it would give you the opportunity to go beyond what would be considered every day weathering especially if modelling something which hasn't been run for a while such as some of the recent acquisitions from Wigan CRDC all faded and rusting and somewhat lacking in the glazing department! You could do the "just started for the first time in 15 years" scenario! Even some of the rolling stock languishing on preserved lines could probably be best described as decomposing at best possibly even the word rolling would be a bit contentious.
See less See more
I've bought the right books, have all the equipment, but after 9 months I still haven't airbrushed a single loco yet, I cant think to spatter my model loco with paint as I feel my first attempt is going to put me off forever. I see the result of others who know what to do and marvel at their work, so who can convince to pull the trigger and have ago
A word of advice that is given in the 'Right Track' series of DVDs by Tony Wright, is to us an old body for practice. If you fluff it up, you can use thinners and wipe it all off and start again.

Look on eBay and fine an old loco going cheap - it doesn't even have to run.

BTW, the 'Right Track' DVD #3 goes into the subject of weathering, painting, adding decals and lining. I'll be putting up a review of the DVD soon.
I fully agree that weathering is essential but, & it is a big but, poorly done weathering looks much worse than no weathering at all.

The whole thing of weathering is in the detail. It is necessary to have lots of photos to see how something weathers, where the streaks are, where rub marks are, which bits get dirtiest etc etc.

Yes yes yes try this with scrap models first. Look for scrap trucks in those boxes under traders stands at model shows. You really can pick them up for virtually nothing & if you make a real mess it is easier to clean down a wagon than a loco.

If you want to o it properly buy some help. I purchased " The Art of Weathering" by Martyn Welch & have never regretted it.

I agree that preserved lines have some mint locos/ stock but not by any means all of them. Really look at your photos of preserved locos/ stock & you will see what I mean - they are all weathered to some extent .

The sand blasted effect on the yellow ends of locos can be attempted by by
overpainting the factory applied yellow with a coat of gunmetal and rust mixed,allow to dry and recoat with yellow,before this dries completely wear away the yellow in those areas which become worn,work from photos of the loco wherever possible.Flaking yellow paint can be achieved by putting little patches of maskol onto the gunmetal rust mix before coating with yellow,in this case allow the yellow to dry before gently peeling off the maskol patches.You should be
left with patches of the base colour with raggedy edges and a flaking yellow edge.
Practise a lot on old bodies before you attempt a loco you value.
As to weathering ,even on a heavily weathered loco less is more! IE don,t smother it with thick coats of gunk and wipe off build up the effect with lots of delicate layers and stop when you are happy.I find that acrylic paints are good,also powders,and the occaisional dab of ladies make-up.( only when I go the pub that is!!!)
See less See more
Loco bodies are fairly cheap and a common enough one on ebay at the moment are the old airfix class 31 bodies, presumably as with everything else dapol made a boat load of bodyshells but forgot the chassis! Also good for practicing painting techniques on as well. If you want an example of weathering without having to go past the end of the drive take a look at your own car, at this time of year a lot are dirty within half an hour of being washed especially rear numberplates(lawbreakers!).
On a slightly different note I remember someone in one of the magazines "weathering" a GNER class 91 with the splattered remains of a crow or pigeon on the cab window as this is quite a common occurrence apparently.Spare a thought for the poor driver who is probably just as unaware of what is coming as the poor bird!
Loadhaul class 60 must be weathered as its far too shiny as is and the exhaust looks hideous.

City of Nottingham (factory light weathering by Hornby)
Fowler 4F heavy weathering (by Making Tracks inc.change to late crest)
35008 Orient Line (converted,super detailed and medium weathering by Making Tracks)

My awful photography shows them as lighter than they are in real life, I personally like everything weathered,my only non weathered loco at the moment is MN Bibby Line which looks like a toy next to Orient Line !.
See less See more
Has anybody ever heard of, or actually carried out non-permanent weathering

I mean instead of using paints, used things like dirty water, beige powder (like make-up)....things that can be easily removed to restore the loco to pristine.

I've never tried it, or heard of it, but I might experiment.

Your views
See less See more
QUOTE (paul_d @ 24 Feb 2006, 19:50)Has anybody ever heard of, or actually carried out non-permanent weathering

I mean instead of using paints, used things like dirty water, beige powder (like make-up)....things that can be easily removed to restore the loco to pristine.

I've never tried it, or heard of it, but I might experiment.

Your views


You could try using Carr's or similar weathering powders, unless varnished, these do mostly rub off in time.

For my tuppeny worth locos should be weathered - unless they had come out of the paintshop that day, and have not been steamed at all, ALL locos show signs of weathering! Besides - I am part of an exhibition layout team and supply stock and locos for the layout - Anyone with the money can buy a loco and run it on the layout, but wheres the skill in that? Its weathering and detail touches that make an item of ready to run rolling stock personal!
See less See more
If you are a collector then don't do it.

If you are an operator then you don't put any value on your models and so weather to your heart's content!

Home weathering instantly reduces ready to run model values by 50% as they are less desirable to future collectors.

Mint and boxed is where its at.

On the other hand if you are a scratch or kit builder then the impact of weathering is not significant on the value of a finished kit built model. As long as its a reasonable weathering job of course. If it gives the loco the appearance of having had a mud bath then forget it.

Happy modelling
Would agree.
I have seen some frankly appalling home weathering efforts on rolling stock and locomotives,obviously peoples opinions differ but unless its professionally weathered or carried out by a modeller who can weather to a high standard I would agree it ruins the model.
However,if a model is professionally weathered and changed to another unavailable in RTR form member of the class you can see the value increase above standard,in some cases on ebay substantially so.I will try and take some better pictures of Bibby Line and Orient Line together so you can see the differences more clearly,personally I like a model railway to represent the protoype,I cannot stand seeing brightly shining coal trucks,freight locomotives and the such like which in my opinion does not look like a model railway,more toy-like.
Saying that,if we were all the same the world would be a pretty boring place
See less See more
I think its fair to say that you don't see many photo's of loco's in pristine condition unless as has been said they are fresh out of the paintshop or have been prepared for some special occasion. Though having said that some engine sheds were well known for taking pride in the appearance of the loco's in their care even in the run down at the end of steam.
I recall reading a piece about the class 47's given union jacks for the silver jubilee one of whick was in such poor mechanical condition it could only be driven from one cab, but it was given a fresh coat of paint and made to look good as new!
Has anyone attempted to weather a loco in particular diesel by giving it a faded look? I remember lima produced one of the railfreight ditrtibution sector class 47's with faded logo's on it and some of their network southeast loco's looked pale to me as well.
Of course,like anything,weathering is only worth doing if it's done properly,and unless you're a collector I think it definately is worth doing....

These are some excellent examples on the rmweb site:

click on the 'banger blues'....
See less See more
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.