Weathering your Model Railroad freight cars can add that extra bit of realism to make your models stand out. There are many techniques for accomplishing this, from specialty weathering chalks and powders, artist acrylic or oil paints, and airbrushing techniques.
All of them have their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as different learning curves. For the novice just getting interested in this aspect of the hobby, chalks or oil paints are a good starting point. Weathering chalks and powders are easy to apply and can be removed if you don’t like the results. Oil paints, because of their slow drying time, also give you more control over your finished product.
Whichever method you ultimately decide to experiment with, one key factor is to use reference photos as visual aids to recreate the effects of age, sun bleaching, and rust. We have assembled a gallery of the most heavily weathered pieces of railway equipment we’ve taken photos of to date to provide you with some inspiration. Also be sure to subscribe or check back often, as we will be presenting a how-to article on weathering your freight car fleet in the very near future.
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