I always weather a model building as a matter of course, wouldn't give it a second thought, but weathering locos and rolling stock has never been a big thing for me. And the recent passion for a grimy loco has had me thinking it isn't generally done very well. Everything looks just dusty, like it's been hanging around a cement works or a China clay factory for too long. Practitioners of the weathered model just seemed to make something look overall dusty, with no real observation of where and how much the grime and neglect needed to be represented, so I went off it, especially as my chum's lovely SCRATCHBUILT O gauge stuff looks so nice in its North Eastern Green with teak Gresley coaches made from pear veneer real wood.
Then I started thinking that spraying, brushing, powdering a few plastic locos can't be rocket science and if model making was going to go all 3D print and generally disappear from my client lists, it might be an idea to have a look into this new fashion for grime. I also have breathed in more dust than most should have a right to do, making master patterns in Ureol and wood.
So, I had a gander round the Interweb and found a LOT of weathering outfits. Most were the aforementioned "dust" merchants, but some were really good and one or two were VERY good.
An averagely convincing outfit were around 50 quid for an O gauge loco or diesel, 35 for an OO model. But THE best, bar none, were a ridiculously cheap £25-30 for a big model and they look like this:-
Please do click on the picture to have a close look at these. They are remarkable for a thirty quid service.
Whilst the V1/3 loco was the first scratchbuilt model I ever built from nickel silver sheet and a Skinley drawing and is therefore one of my favourites, I hate to see it in this condition, but just look at the scaling of the footplate, the textured rust on the smokebox. How DOES he do that?
Bear in mind these are just plastic RTR Bachman or Hornby type things (you can see the mould lines here and there). Clearly the moulded detail is a bit better than when I was dirtying the model shop window with my 10 year old nose. I'm not sure I could scratchbuild a loco and then do this to it, but the truth is, all locos look a bit this way after a day's running at a Heritage line, never mind neglectful late BR days in the 50s and 60s and if you have a convincing layout and buildings, the stock is going to have to match. Speaking of stock, look at this:-
Not just rust but flaking, peeling rust, done, probably with the salt, hairspray, etc. method. But on a £10 weathering job?? I wouldn't do this for less than fifty notes of anybody's money. I know how long it takes! These are just OO gauge proprietary wagons. No idea which as I buy nothing and can't be bothered to trawl through the ad sections of magazines I've been bought/given. But don't they look good?
Now, I'm yer akshul Gresley teak cognoscenti, let me tell you. I have made Gresley teaks from BSL aluminium kits covered in real teak when I was 14 to Gauge 1 made from Perspex and veneered in steamed pear. French polished.
I've also made them in home cast resin section,s grained to look like teak. But look at the grimey BR liveried one above. It really looks like a cleaner has done his best to respect these most elegant of coaches and almost failed.
These above examples of the very best of weathering techniques and skills are the work of a company called The Art of Making Dirty.
Have a longer linger here:-http://www.the-art-of-making-dirty.co.uk/
Realising that my beloved Paasche Model H airbrushes might not atomise finely enough for this kind of work, I faced the fact that I might have to get one of those neo for Iwata things for around 50 notes, but whilst doing my research I found a company flogging a perfectly good looking instrument called a Finespray. Eventually I found a set they do of TWO airbrushes with hose, spare sizes of nozzles/needles and connectors to the air line plus other bits 'n' bobs for an amazing 30 quid! In exclaiming aloud, my dear bride got interested and jumped across the room and "Bought it now" as a Christmas present, bless her. So now I have a spotting gun (small spraygun for car dents and large coverage), a Paasche Model H for colours, another Paasche for clear only and this new set coming for weathering. I already have a large and a small compressor so I should be, as they say, sorted. Throw into the mix a Paasche Air Eraser (bought as part of the deal when I got my original Model H years ago) and I should be able to get some interesting effects.
I also found that The Weathering Works were very convincing for only a little more money and GCWeathering, a husband and wife team in Essex were excellent, but sorry guys, you don't get close to the above detail and one of them is twice the price. And of course the great Martyn Welch, who wrote the book on the topic (amongst many who have done just that) doesn't even mention what he charges, on the web. The almost lionised Ian Rathbone has a stuffy website more or less saying he's so good that he is too busy to answer queries about more work, blah, blah...
I say"Sod the Gods".
Go to The Art of Making Dirty, (no connection whatever)
or wait till I get my airbrushes out again and my chalk pastels ground up and I'll do it for you!
I fancy having a go
Pics from their website.