Friday, December 23, 2016

Its a Christmas Miracle!

Well, since its Christmas Eve Eve as I write this, and its unlikely that I'll be posting again before 1/1/17, I was inspired to post again today by my fellow PONY modeler (that's Port Of New York for the rest of you people) Mr. Riley Triggs (please check out his Port Of New York RR blog), who favorably commented on my weathering activities (thanks, Riley!). After I explained to him briefly about how I did what I did, I realized that MAYBE, just maybe, I should have explained things, in detail, in the original post to begin with! So instead of going back and annotating my last post, I figured, why NOT start a new one? Let's begin, shall we?

So as you can see in this photo -

(AHHH! My eyes!) the car comes right out of the box, this Accurail car, painted in what I call "PFE Orange"(even if its not officially called that), is too damn clean looking! Now, if you are a fan of Tony Thompson's Modeling The SP blog (and if you aren't, you should be!), PFE reefers could be seen in all variations of "clean" and "dirty", as shown here on Tony's blog -, and instead of simulating a car that is all worn out or never having ever seen a washing, I just wanted a car that has seen a maybe a little too much California sun -

(mmmm, Dusty.....)

So, in order to achieve what in the "weathering biz" we call a "fade", instead of using a VERY thin white or orangey-white acrylic paint wash (which is S.O.P., by the way), I decided to be a rebel and plunked down a few $$ to buy a tin of orange Pan Pastels -

As you can see, it's a "lesser shade of orange" than the 'PFE Orange", and I actually went back over the orange Pan Pastels (PP for short from here on in) with the "Raw Umber tint" later - as to tone down the orange-on-orange effect, and to fade it just a little more, as well as also add a slight "smoky/muddy/sooty" tint to things. Oh, before I go any further, let me say that before I began any of this, I coated the car with a shot of flat matte spray, and then again after my initial PP fade to "lock in the freshness" before I attacked the lettering and the door details.

Now, to do the streaking/fading of the ATSF herald and El Capitan lettering, I took a white (and black, respectfully) artist's watercolor pencil like this -

.....and simply drawed down (drewed down?) the lettering to create a fade or run of the lettering/paint, and then blended/burnished it in so it didn't just look like hard white (herald) and black (lettering) lines over things -

(would you ship your veggies in this?)

You'll also notice in the above shot that I also highlighted the door hardware and some of the grooves between the wood paneling, also using the "pencil technique", just with different shades of rust/brown. Now, I'm notorious for only ever doing the car sides, but never the ends or roofs, so I still have to go back and do those parts (I did a little work on the roof, but I'm not satisfied and want to do some more) -

(raise your roof in the air like you just don't care!)

I also still have the underframe, trucks and wheels to do, too. I'll cover those in subsequent posts if anybody is interested. I am also covering all my work - and in more detail, if you can believe it - on The Rustbucket Forums (see Wednesday's post for the URL).

Since I've gone on too long (again), I'll skip the DL&W boxcar, except to say that I did the same "PP procedure", just with different PP colors/tints -

....but it needs improvement in the lettering streaking effect, as per this prototype photo -

.......which I think I'll accomplish using oils....But that's another post for another time, I promise!

Once again, I hope everybody has a Merry Christmas (or whatever you chose to celebrate) and a joyous New Year!

~ Ralph


Riley said...

So does this make me Tiny Tim and you Scrooge...?

Thanks for the heads up on the PanPastels. I've used chalk pastels by shaving them and creating my own powder; this product looks much easier and better. It makes for a really wonderful overall fade. Like, like, like it.

I think some car weathering would make for an excellent holiday activity sitting be the fire place, or the air conditioner depending on our Texas weather. Thanks for the inspiration!

Ralph Heiss said...

LOL! I'm glad you like the fade effect with the PP. The "pros" don't agree but I don't care (as I said, it's acrylic or oil washes or NUTTIN' for them!), though I agree, it's probably not right, or going to work, for every fading situation. It worked here, and it may not work as well again. I think its really good for "wood" fades, but not so much for "steel" ones. I really squandered our NJ warm spell to go shoot some Dullcote this weekend, but as long as it isn't raining, I'll go out in 30 degree weather, since I don't have an "inside option". Thanks for checking in, and more to come soon!

E-Mann said...




Ralph Heiss said...

I hear you! Patience, I HAVE been working! Soon......

Anonymous said...


Your Pan Pastel PP method for fading really does work well. I'va adapted a variation that actually started with roofs, namely misting water on the PP and then wiping off the results with those wedge shaped sponges I stole from my wife. Stage one of this method used another brand but PP seems somehow better. Now my first step is a lightest possible coat of black or dark gray.

Roger Sekera

Ralph Heiss said...

Hello, Roger, and thank you for replying!

I'm busy working on another reefer than the one above, and hope to finally show some pictures either today or tomorrow. I find now that I have a place to work, many mediums at my disposal, and TIME to play with them all, allows me to really zero in on the "whole package" and catch all those little details that I never did before. In fact, I discovered some new tricks that work for me that I'll share in the next update. Anyway, back to you and your "discovery", you're right, it's ALL about layering and subtle additions. PP's are great at that, and they're "erasable" if you don't like it! Would love it if you'd like to share some of your work via e-mail, so I can share it on a future blog here, if you'd like!

Thanks again for writing,