New and shiny or weathered?

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New and shiny or weathered?

Post by rkcarguy » Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:19 pm

I'm sure this post will develop into quite a controversy, but what's your take on large scale modeling and weathering?
Real trains are rusty, dirty, greasy, etc. I always weathered my HO scale equipment.

I have my popcorn at the ready:)

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Re: New and shiny or weathered?

Post by cbrew » Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:05 pm

haha,,, I have been laughing and joking about this topic for years. those in electric trains (O and HO etc) go to great lengths to weather the equipment. while many in the large scale hobby go to great lengths to keep the equipment all shining and toy looking.
my equipment is naturally weathered.
yes i will clean the running gear on the steamer from time to time but the old girl is far from a shiny toy :)
and yes the passenger cars will be a whip down after unloading, but they are passenger cars :)
If it is not live steam. its not worth it.

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Re: New and shiny or weathered?

Post by STRR » Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:17 pm

This hobby is supposed to be fun! rkcarguy, do what makes YOU happy! If you like new and shiny, so be it. If you like the weather beat up look, so be it. They are your trains and you are wasting time worrying about how others see YOUR trains. I say WASTING because you will NEVER make them all happy. There will always be someone who will tell you, "You did it wrong."

Good Luck,

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Re: New and shiny or weathered?

Post by Glenn Brooks » Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:50 pm

Railroads maintained highly decorated, painted, showcases in their hay day. Locos were highly detailed and painted colorful hues. Passenger cars were often nicked with the term “Varnish” for good reason. No doubt about it. depression era railroading slid into dirt, grim, faded black paint as deferred maintenance piled up and up. So it’ s really your choice what era you want to represent, and maybe more importantly, how you want your equipment to look. Mostly, for me the hobby is about preserving and representing a prior age. So,I like a little bit of spit and polish here and there.

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Re: New and shiny or weathered?

Post by Atkinson_Railroad » Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:14 pm

New and Shiny or Weathered?

Indeed… it’s whatever brings the enjoyment factor. (No controversy required ; )

Outdoor miniature railroading has the attributable luxury of having it both ways.

A railcar can run down the track painted fresh and “New” as delivered from the fabrication bench top.
Then, as its service racks up ridership and exposure to [real] weather, the piece takes on a character and authentic appearance without any additional help. It becomes weathered on its own.

In example, DT&I boxcar 13870 in new and hand lettered condition on the bench top in February, 1963.

The car was given a new paint job a short 4-years-later in 1967 using vinyl lettering to augment its hand
painted herald. By 1992, the car was captured in service with the same ’67 paint scheme still holding up well.

Last year, (October, 2017) the car showed off its aged weathered look running on a public sidewalk and no one seemed to care or notice.

With SO MANY projects underway right now, I’d like to completely repaint the car to give it that new appearance once again. Maybe for its 60th birthday it will look New and Shiny.

In the meantime, we’ll continue to run it lookin’ rough around the rivets.

1963-3 26.jpg
February, 1963 NEW
1966-6 8 (2).jpg
June, 1966 before Re-Painting
Summer, 1992 beginning to show weathering of 1967 re-paint job
October, 2017

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Re: New and shiny or weathered?

Post by DianneB » Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:29 am

Red Cab.jpg
Like the prototype, I try to keep it clean and shiny but it runs a lot so it could always use some additional polish!

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Re: New and shiny or weathered?

Post by rkcarguy » Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:41 am

I've kind of decided what I'm going to do, or let the weather do for me, as one of you put it. I was on "down time" for the finger to heal after surgery and thought it a good question to ask of you guys. I'm thinking about painting the trucks (again) after assembly and then hit them with a little rust colored primer "overspray" and some flat black around the bearings to simulate some rust and grime. I'll blacken the diesels stack with some flat BBQ paint, and otherwise start out shiny and let the rest age "naturally". Southern Pacific never kept their stuff very clean, and I'm wanting to model the very end of the S12's use by SP in the Eugene, OR area in the early 70's.

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Re: New and shiny or weathered?

Post by NP317 » Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:26 am

I build 'm new and shiny, and let normal operations produce that natural used patina.

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Re: New and shiny or weathered?

Post by RONALD » Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:09 pm

Here is weathered - At the Illinois Railroad Museum:

Below it is new; as built (1/8th scale) from my supplied photos by Dave Sartor in the spring of 2017:

The model he made for me stays uncovered into the fall, it's covered between November and April.

How long before it looks like the real thing, or IRM repaints?

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Re: New and shiny or weathered?

Post by Mr Ron » Tue Sep 25, 2018 1:06 pm

It depends on who you want to impress; yourself or the public. A clean shiny loco or car will attract the public more than a grimy looking loco. I personally prefer shiny and clean. Even as a former HO modeler, I always left them shiny and new looking.
Mr.Ron from South Mississippi

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Re: New and shiny or weathered?

Post by Brian Hilgert » Fri Sep 28, 2018 10:09 am

An old timer who just passed away in his 90's built a beautiful PRR E6. When he was finished, he painted it a flat black. I asked why he painted it flat black... he responded, "that's how I remembered them."

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Re: New and shiny or weathered?

Post by JBodenmann » Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:36 am

Hello My Friends
One thing to consider is that all rolling stock was not the same age. The average string of cars had some new, some not so new, and some really old. Have fun, weather some. Leave some new looking. I think weathering cars is fun and it's not rocket science. VHT makes primer in several colors, light gray, dark gray, and red oxide. This is about all I use for weathering. For weathering couplers which are stainless or bronze NAPA stores sell a rattle can paint called cast iron block. Auto restorers use this to make engine blocks look new. Spray the coupler with this and then a mist of dark gray and then some red oxide for rust. This NAPA paint also looks a lot like graphite and is good for smoke boxes.
Just have fun!

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