Painting a Flatcar

In the paint booth spraying boxcar red and light grey on the flatcar.

I wrote last week about the many freight car kits I am building. The first of these has made it to the paint booth, the 40′ Tichy Flat Car. This is a gorgeous little kit, it goes together well, and looks fantastic, and a coat of paint helps to bring out the details. Its nice and simple to paint too, Boxcar red overall, and then spray the deck light grey to be a base for a weathered wood deck surface.

Weathering the wooden deck. Thinned Vallejo greys and browns, with each board individually painted.

I’ve painted wood decks before, to varying degrees of success. I recalled seeing my friend Ryan’s comment’s on his build of this Tichy kit, and thinking that it sounded like a more successful technique than my past efforts. In short, a number of different shades of grey and brown are thinned, and each board on the deck is painted individually with a microbrush.

Finished deck, and on the layout on a test run. The car is super light and needs more weight.

Once the boards had dried, I did multiple washes. A couple with a Vallejo war gaming grey wash (which I added some more water to to thin further), and then a mix of Isopropyl Alcohol and India Ink that I made years ago and have around for general weathering. I am ecstatic with how the deck came out. I am going to use this car in a model of an Auxiliary Train with a rail crane, not really for the layout, just something I’ve always wanted to do, so I’m going to work up a wood gondola box as I’ve seen in some pictures of cars like this. That will hopefully let me add some weight, but I don’t want to put so much junk in it that you can’t see the deck! That will be a post for another day. I need to get some decals on the car, and give it a coat of flat finish, but that will be a weekend project.


2 thoughts on “Painting a Flatcar

  1. Nice work! Is there space underneath to hide some weight? Bird shot is a good choice – pour it in and then secure with CA. Yes it fills all the space between the sills with cannonballs but you can’t see those spaces when the car is on the track anyway…

  2. There is already a small metal weight that goes inside the sill. Best bet is to add some load on top. Kadee trucks might help too, if you’re willing to spring for that expense. Ditch the sintered Kadee wheels though and replace with some machined wheels from eg Intermountain or Tangent.

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