Rusting a Flatcar Deck

As I mentioned in my introductory post to the model of the Dominion of Canada shipment, one of the things that needs a lot of attention to get the look of the shipment right, is the flatcar decks, which are heavily rusted.  Weathering isn’t something that I have a lot of experience with, and this is the first time I’ve tried to match the weathering of a real car from pictures.  The most obvious weathering other than regular rail grime and dirt, is that the steel decks of the cars are heavily rusted.

IMGP6661Starting Point – Kitbashed 60′ QTTX Flatcar, small applicator brushes from Tamiya, and rust weathering powders from Bragdon Enterprises

With the kitbash of the 60′ flatcar for the tender complete, I started a hunt for appropriate weathering supplies.  I came across the “Weather System” from Bragdon Enterprises at Credit Valley Model Railroad.  One of the things that caught my eye was that the pigment is mixed with an adhesive that activates as you brush and rub the powder into the surface.  This doesn’t eliminate the need to spray a fixative over the power to ensure it doesn’t smudge when being handled in the future, but it means that it’s reasonably well adhered before I get the chance to protect the powders.

The kit I bought has three shades of rust (light, medium and dark) and a soot.  The soot will be handy for a lot of things, but specifically for this project.  I may wind out using some of the soot mixed with the rust to create a muddy mix for the ends of the car as the prototype pictures i have seen show the ends around the couplers being very grimy.  They make 16 different shades of powder for different weathering effects.  Based on my experience with this first project, i can see me buying more colours in the future from them.  They were easy to apply, and seem to adhere well and create a good effect of rust.

IMGP6665The deck after working in a mix of light, medium and dark rust powders.

I applied the powders and worked them in with the micro brushes from Tamiya, they have a bristle brush at one end, and a foam pad at the other.  I found the bristles were good to get the material on and started, but that the foam pad did a better job of getting it to adhere to the deck.  To be perfectly honest, I finished the job in a very old-fashioned way with my finger to rub the material

IMGP6666The deck with the shipping container and tender back in place.  Before fixing these in location, and adding chains, I will seal the deck with dullcote.

For my first real attempt at weathering, I am really pleased with how it came out.  I had intended to move on with weathering the deck of the 85′ heavy load car that carried the locomotive, but I have run into an issue with the 3D printed deck of that car that I will detail in a post in the next couple of days (once i take some explanatory pictures) that will be a setback for this project for a bit.


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