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

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Dirt, rust, and all other kinds of dust inbetween....

So, after my "weathering appearance" at the November garden State RPM meet, I slithered back into relative model railroad obscurity, except for the odd op session on somebody's layout, and the itch to keep weathering some cars. I mean, since I had to put them all away anyway, I might as well do SOMETHING with them!

So, lacking any "artist direction", I went and visited the finest of the fine's website for all things weathered, The Weathering Shop. These guys are the undisputed masters of the craft. Now, if you take the time to click and visit (and I hope you do), most of what you'll see there is all modern stuff, so you might be wondering why the heck am I gushing over it? Well, just because its modern stuff, DOESN'T mean you cant use the techniques they use to your advantage. I mean not only techniques and effects, but tools and supplies, too. But the BEST part of the site is
The Rustbucket Fourms, and while you have to register to look and participate, and the camaraderie and help that I've personally experienced and gotten in the month that I've joined is second to none. The ONLY thing you have to be concerned with is that these guys take things SUPER seriously. If you don't have an open mind and don't have a thick skin, then don't bother! These guys will go out of their way to help you, answer your (stupid) questions, and explain in detail to you, what is to them a basic procedure to do something that usually seems like "weathering sorcery"! But as I said, be prepared to have your work scrutinized and picked apart to the last brush stroke. They aren't afraid to say your work sucks, but its meant as "tough love", not to be mean for the sake of it. But I will also say, please do NOT let that scare you! There are many (much like myself) that are noobs and are learning (crawling?) along with others and our "weathering masters" to scale the "sacred weathering mountain" to achieve "artistic enlightenment".  Like any segment of the hobby, there are levels of participation, like recreating EXACTING models from a photo, not only the model but the weathering patterns as well. And then, you've got guys who just want to weather a model realistically, even if it's a AHM Burger King reefer! Well, OK, maybe not quite that unprototypical, but you get the idea.

So, since I've waxed poetic far to long about he Weathering Shop and The Rustbucket Forums, let me leave you with a few shots of my (unfinished) projects thus far.....(and, like the guys on the forum, feel free to shoot me down and pick my work apart!)

**Updated with "BEFORE" and "AFTER" photos

"After #1"

"After #2"

 "After #3"


"After #1"

"After #2"
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and thanks for sticking with me during all the "lean times"!
~ Ralph