THE CAR:

WHILE LOOKING AT PHOTOS OF FREIGHT CARS, I HAPPENED UPON IATR 13146. THE PICTURE WAS TAKEN BY ERIC ERHOLM AND IS ON RAILROADPICTUREARCHIVES.NET. IT WAS OF AN IOWA TRACTION(IATR), EX GRAND TRUNK WESTERN, EVANS-BUILT DOUBLE DOOR BOXCAR. THE CAR WAS FADED FROM THE ORIGINAL GRAND TRUNK BLUE. IT HAD KEPT ITS ORIGINAL ‘GT’ LOGO. IT ALSO HAD MOST OF THE INFO THAT GRAND TRUNK PUTS ON THE SIDES OF ITS CARS SPRAY-PAINTED OVER WITH WHAT APPEARED TO BE A POWDER BLUE COLOR AND BOY WAS IT RUSTY!

I SETTLED ON AN ATHEARN 50' DOUBLE PLUG DOOR BOXCAR. I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN AT THE TIME, OR AT LEAST BEEN TIPPED OFF BY THE LABEL ON THE BOX, THAT THIS CAR IS TOO SHORT TO BE AN EVANS CAR. THE LABEL ACTUALLY SAYS, ‘50' DOUBLE PLUG DOOR BOXCAR’, AND NOT SOMETHING LIKE, ‘EVANS DOUBLE DOOR BOXCAR’. THE EVANS CAR IS ACTUALLY 53' LONG. WHEN I FOUND OUT, I HAD ALREADY STARTED MY PROJECT. THE CORRECT CAR I SHOULD HAVE USED IS AN ATLAS CAR.

THE WEATHERING:

TO START, I HAD TO FIGURE OUT A WAY TO DO THAT DISTINCTIVE PATCH OF SPRAYED-ON POWDER BLUE PAINT. PART OF THE OUTLINE LOOKS STRAIGHT WHILE OTHER PARTS LOOKED AS THOUGH THEY WERE APPLIED HAPHAZARDLY. I COULD TELL THAT WHEN THE PATCH WAS PUT ON THE CAR, NO MASK WAS USED. I THOUGHT ABOUT HAND PAINTING IT BUT THAT WOULD PROBABLY END UP A BIT TOO THICK CONSIDERING I’D PROBABLY HAVE TO DO SEVERAL COATS. SO, I SETTLED ON USING MASKING TAPE AND MY TRUSTY AIRBRUSH. FOR THAT CRAZY OUTLINE I TORE THE MASKING TAPE LENGTHWISE TRYING TO CLOSELY MATCH THE PROTOTYPE AND GIVE THE APPEARANCE OF RANDOMNESS TO THE OUTLINE. I THEN MIXED UP A CONCOCTION OF LIGHT-BLUE CRAFT PAINT YOU CAN BUY AT WAL-MART FOR A BUCK, SOME REEFER WHITE AND A LITTLE WATER AND SPRAYED AWAY. FOR THE BLACK THAT THE REPORTING MARKS SIT ON, I DID HAND PAINT THOSE WITH LAMP BLACK ARTIST OIL PAINT. I ADDED THIS DETAIL AFTER FADING THE CAR DOWN WITH SEVERAL APPLICATIONS OF  TITANUM WHITE ARTIST OIL PAINT STRAIGHT FROM THE TUBE DRY BRUSHED WITH A LARGE SOFT BRUSH. WHEN USING THIS DRY BRUSHING TECHNIQUE, LIGHT QUICK STROKES HELP ENSURE THAT YOU WILL NOT LEAVE BEHIND VISIBLE BRUSH MARKS. YOU ALSO TEND TO ACCUMULATE A SMALL AMOUNT OF PAINT ALONG THE DETAILS OF THE CAR. SIMPLY GO BACK OVER THOSE AREAS WITH YOUR BRUSH AND PICK UP THE EXTRA PAINT. IF YOU’RE WORRIED ABOUT MARRING THE WORK YOU JUST DID ON THE SIDES OF THE CAR, YOU CAN ALWAYS USE A TOOTHPICK OR SMALLER BRUSH FOR THIS AS WELL. THE OIL PAINT IS VERY FORGIVING OF MISTAKES SINCE IT TAKES HOURS AND NOT MINUTES TO DRY COMPLETELY.

THE RUST:

YEAH, I’M SURE A LOT OF YOU READING THIS MIGHT BE LOOKING AT THE PICTURES OF THIS MODEL AND MAY BE SAYING TO YOURSELVES “HOLY COW, I CAN’T DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT!”. YEAH, YOU CAN. IT’S QUITE SIMPLE ACTUALLY. ALL IT TAKES IS A LITTLE PRACTICE AND SOME PATIENCE. IT HELPS TO STUDY WHAT YOU’RE TRYING TO REPLICATE AND I SPENT HOURS IT SEEMED LOOKING AT PICTURES OF RUSTED OUT BOXCARS, HOPPERS OR REALLY ANYTHING THAT CARRIED DECENT RUST SPOTS, PITS AND STREAKS.

WE’LL BREAK DOWN THE RUSTY PORTION OF THE CAR INTO TWO BASIC PARTS, SPOTS AND STREAKS.

SPOTS:

WHEN DOING RUST YOU WANT TO KEEP IN MIND THAT IT IS AN ACCUMULATION OF MANY DIFFERENT COLORS THAT ADDS DEPTH TO A RUST SPOT. ADHERING TO THIS BASIC PRINCIPLE MEANS THAT YOU DO YOUR RUST IN LAYERS. LIGHT TO DARK, LIGHTER RUST FIRST FOLLOWED BY A SHADE DARKER FOLLOWED BY A SHADE DARKER FOLLOWED BY A SHADE DARKER IF NEED BE. THIS ACCUMULATION OF PAINT ALSO ADDS A TOUCH OF REALISM TO YOUR SPOTS. THE EXTRA COLOR ADDS DEPTH AND FOOLS THE EYE INTO THINKING SOMETHING IS THREE DIMENSIONAL WHEN IN REALITY IT’S NOT. IT IS IMPORTANT TO THINK IN TERMS OF SCALE THOUGH WHEN ADDING TEXTURE TO OUR PROJECT. SOMETHING THAT IS EASILY VISIBLE AND HAS A RAISED SURFACE MAY BE UNREALISTIC WHEN YOU THINK OF HOW IT WOULD BE IN TERMS OF SCALE.

HOW DO I DO THIS? I START WITH A LIGHT COLOR AND PICK A SPOT ON THE BOXCAR AND PLACE A DAB OF RAW SIENNA, A LIGHT YELLOWISH BROWN COLOR. I USUALLY USE THE SMALLEST BRUSH I CAN FIND WHICH ENDS UP BEING A 20/0 ROUND OR LINER FOUND AT THE LOCAL CRAFT STORE. I PLACE THE SPOT, CLEAN MY BRUSH OFF WITH MINERAL SPIRITS, MAKE SURE THE BRUSH IS CLEAN AND THEN FLOOD THE BRUSH WITH MORE FLUID AND TOUCH THE CAR AROUND THE SPOT AND MAYBE DEPENDING ON WHAT EFFECT I’M TRYING TO ACHIEVE TOUCH THE MIDDLE OF THE SPOT. THE FLUID WILL BASICALLY MAKE A LITTLE PUDDLE OUT OF THE SPOT AND LIQUIFY THE PAINT. NEXT I DRY MY BRUSH OFF AND TOUCH THE BRUSH TO THE PUDDLE OF PAINT AND FLUID. THE BRUSH WILL PICK UP THE FLUID AND FLATTEN OUT THAT PUDDLE OF PAINT I JUST MADE. I MAY HAVE TO REPEAT THIS A FEW TIMES AND I CAN MANIPULATE THE PAINT TO SIT IN THE AREA I WANT IT TO.

I’LL LEAVE THIS SPOT ALONE AND LET IT DRY FOR A FEW MINUTES.  I USUALLY DO ALL THE SPOTS ON ONE SIDE OF A CAR WITH MY FIRST COLOR THEN COME BACK WITH MY SECOND COLOR AND SO ON. ASSUMING YOU’RE DOING A CAR THAT HAS NUMEROUS SPOTS, THE FIRST SPOTS YOU DID SHOULD BE DRY WHEN YOU COME BACK TO YOUR ORIGINAL SPOT WITH YOUR SECOND COLOR.

FOR THE SECOND COLOR, I USE BURNT SIENNA, A REDDISH BROWN COLOR. I BASICALLY REPEAT WHAT I DID WITH MY FIRST COLOR EXCEPT I TRY TO MAKE THIS SECOND SPOT SIT INSIDE THE FIRST SPOT. YOU CAN BLEND THE COLORS A BIT AND I TRY TO USE LESS FLUID THIS TIME IN ORDER TO KEEP THE SPOT RELATIVELY CLEAN.

THE THIRD COLOR I USE IS RAW UMBER. IT IS A DARK BROWN COLOR WITH HINTS OF GREEN THAT ALMOST LOOKS BLACK. WITH THIS I AM BASICALLY ADDING DETAIL. THIS COLOR GOES IN THE CENTER OF THE SPOT AND DENOTES THE POINT WHERE THE RUST SPOT BEGAN LIFE MANY MONTHS OR YEARS AGO. I TRY TO USE A SMALL AMOUNT OF FLUID AFTER I’VE PLACED THIS COLOR IN ORDER TO GET THE PAINT TO MIX ITSELF TOGETHER A BIT.

AFTER THE SPOTS ARE DONE, YOU CAN GO BACK AND ADD THE LITTLE STREAKS THAT TEND TO WEEP OUT OF THESE SPOTS BY TAKING A LITTLE DAB OF THE BURNT SIENNA AND PULLING STRAIGHT DOWN FROM THE SPOT. IF IT DOESN’T LOOK RIGHT, SIMPLY CLEAN THE BRUSH AND WET IT A BIT WITH THE MINERAL SPIRITS AND USE THE CLEAN DAMP BRUSH AS AN ERASER TO FORM THE STREAK THE WAY YOU WANT IT TO LOOK.

SO, NOW THAT I HAVE AN ENTIRE SIDE OF SPOTS AND BABY STREAKS I’LL MOVE ONTO THE NEXT STEP.

STREAKS:

WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR STREAKS, IT’S BEST TO STUDY YOUR PROTOTYPE. FOR THIS CAR I WAS DEFINITELY NOT LEFT WONDERING WHAT KIND OF STREAKS I SHOULD MAKE AND SURPRISINGLY THE LARGEST STREAKS YOU CAN FIND ARE USUALLY THE HARDEST TO DO. I WAS LEFT TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW I WAS GOING TO BASICALLY DRAW A VERTICAL LINE ALL THE WAY DOWN THE SIDE OF THE CAR WITHOUT IT GOING TERRIBLY AWRY. THIS IS WHERE I LEARNED THAT RIBS AND PANEL EDGES ARE MY FRIENDS. THEY ARE STRAIGHT AND MORE OFTEN THAN NOT HOLD SOME SORT OF RUST OR GRIME. FOR THESE STREAKS I USUALLY START AT THE TOP OF THE CAR WITH MY BURNT SIENNA AND GRADUALLY WORK MY WAY DOWN THE CAR. THE MINERAL SPIRITS ACTED AS AN ERASER AGAIN IF I GOT OUT OF LINE AND HAD TO REMOVE SOME PAINT THAT WENT ERRANT FROM MY PLANNED STREAK. WEATHERING IS SOMETIMES JUST AS MUCH ABOUT TAKING PAINT OFF THE CAR AS MUCH AS IT IS ABOUT PUTTING PAINT ON THE CAR.

SO, ONCE I WOULD HAVE MY BURNT SIENNA STREAKS DONE, I WOULD LET THEM DRY, USUALLY OVERNIGHT AND COME BACK THE NEXT DAY AND ADD SOME RAW UMBER TO THE UPPER PORTIONS OF THE CAR. YOU WANT THIS DARKER COLOR TO GRADUALLY FLOW INTO THE LIGHTER COLOR. THIS DENOTES THE DAMAGE OF WATER RUNNING OFF THE TOP OF THE CAR OVER THE COURSE OF MANY YEARS.

ONCE I HAD MY SPOTS AND STREAKS DONE, I SEALED THE CAR WITH A COATING OF FLAT LAQUER. I USE DULLCOTE MIXED 50/50 WITH AIRBRUSH THINNER AND SPRAY IT THROUGH MY AIRBRUSH.

AFTER THIS HAD A CHANCE TO DRY, I APPLIED THE DECALS FOR THE CAR. THE REPORTING MARKS AND THE LABELS ON THE DOOR WERE DECALS MADE BY MY FRIEND, JAY AT COAL BELT DECALS. I’M SURE MOST OF YOU KNOW HOW TO APPLY DECALS, SO I WON’T DELVE INTO THIS IN MUCH DETAIL. I WILL SAY THAT I USE FUTURE FLOOR FINISH INSTEAD OF SOLVASET TO SET MY DECAL WITH. FUTURE IS MORE OR LESS A CLEAR PAINT THAT HELPS THE DECAL EDGES ‘DISAPPEAR’. ONCE THE DECALS WERE FINISHED, I APPLIED ANOTHER COAT OF FLAT FINISH.

ONCE THIS WAS DONE, I FINISHED UP MY WEATHERING. THE ROOF WAS DONE PANEL BY PANEL AND IS MORE OR LESS ONE LARGE SERIES OF THOSE LITTLE PUDDLES I SPOKE OF PREVIOUSLY. I WOULD ADD LAMP BLACK AND RAW UMBER TO HELP DEFINE SOME OF THE DETAIL OF THE PANELS AND TO BREAK UP THE MONOTONE BURNT SIENNA COLORATION. I DIDN’T REALLY HAVE A PROTO SHOT OF THE ROOF OF THIS CAR, SO I MORE OR LESS CREATED AN AMALGAMATION OF WHATEVER I COULD FIND PICTURES OF. I MADE SURE THAT THE DARKER AREAS OF RUST WERE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROOF AND GRADUALLY WORKED THEIR WAY OUT TO THE EDGES.

I ALSO MADE SURE THAT I WENT OVER THE CAR WITH MY RAW UMBER AND DEFINED EVERY MOLDED ON DETAIL OF THE CAR. THIS HELPS MAKE THE DETAILS STAND OUT AND ADDS MORE DEPTH TO THE CAR. SOME LIKE TO USE WASHES FOR THIS BUT I HAVE PRETTY MUCH ABANDONED THE ‘BULK’ WASH METHOD FOR THIS METHOD OF ‘SMALL SCALE’ WASHES. THE RAW UMBER IS APPLIED AND THEN FLOODED WITH MINERAL SPIRITS. TO ME IT IS MUCH EASIER TO CONTROL WHERE YOUR COLOR IS GOING AND YOU DON’T END UP WITH WATER MARKS ON YOUR MODEL AFTER THE LIQUID HAS EVAPORATED.

THE UNDERFRAME AND TRUCKS WERE WEATHERED WITH MUCH THE SAME APPROACH AS THE REST OF THE CAR WITH SPECIAL ATTENTION PAID TO THE RANDOM PATTERN I WANTED TO ACHIEVE. THEY WERE ALSO DUSTED WITH SHAVED CHALK AND FOR THE WHEEL STREAKS ON THE UNDERFRAME I USED A MIX OF WHITE, ORANGE, BLACK AND BROWN CHALK STIPPLED ONTO THE UNDERFRAME WHILE THE PAINT WAS STILL RELATIVELY WET.

THIS CHALK TECHNIQUE WAS ALSO USED ON THE TRUCKS AND WHEELS. FOR THE TRUCKS I USED P2K 100 TON TRUCKS WITH INTERMOUNTAIN 36" SCALE WHEELS. I LAYERED A MIX OF GRAYISH TAN OIL PAINT FOLLOWED BY BURNT SIENNA FOLLOWED BY A LAYER OF RAW UMBER PUDDLED AND LEFT TO DRY OVERNIGHT. I THEN CAME BACK THE NEXT DAY AND ADDED THE MIX OF CHALK. THE OUTCOME IS A RATHER DUSTY LOOK.


THE MODELING:

I WISH I COULD SAY THAT THE ADJUSTMENTS I MADE TO THIS CAR WERE DONE BEFORE I WEATHERED IT BUT THEY WEREN’T. I DID MOST OF THEM IN CONCERT WITH THE WEATHERING. BEING THAT THIS IS THE FOURTH CAR I’VE EVER WEATHERED AND DETAILED, I CAN CHALK THAT UP TO A LEARNING PROCESS. IN THE FUTURE I WILL DEFINITELY ADD DETAILS AFTER I WEATHER AND MAKE MODIFICATIONS BEFORE I WEATHER.

BEING THAT THIS CAR WAS ORIGINALLY AN ATHEARN READY TO ROLL CAR IT HAD THESE CHUNKY LADDERS ON THE SIDE OF THE CAR. THEY WERE THE FIRST TO GO. I POPPED THEM OFF AND REPLACED THEM WITH KADEE #2103 LADDERS CUT OFF ABOVE THE FOURTH RUNG WITH THE MOUNTING POSTS SHAVED OFF THE BACKS. I PAINTED THESE WITH A LIGHT BLUE COLOR AND APPLIED THEM WITH GLUE AFTER I WAS HAPPY WITH THE WEATHERING ON THE SIDES OF THE CAR AND THEN I WEATHERED THEM WITH RAW UMBER OIL PAINT, MAKING SURE TO GET A DECENT ACCUMULATION AROUND THE BOLTS. THIS HELPS MAKE THE HARDWARE STAND OUT AND GIVES THE APPEARANCE OF BUILT UP GRIME AND GRUNGE.

I ALSO ADDED KADEE #58 SCALE COUPLERS, PLANO APEX COUPLER PLATFORMS, A KADEE #2045 MODERN BRAKE WHEEL, PLANO TROMBONE STYLE COUPLER RELEASE BARS, A DETAILS WEST # BS-1020 MODERN ERA BRAKE SET AND TICHY STIRRUP STEPS. ALL THESE PARTS WERE APPLIED TO THE CAR AND WEATHERED TO MATCH THE LOOK OF THE CAR. I GAVE THE BRAKE WHEEL AND CHAIN A RECENTLY REPLACED LOOK BECAUSE I WANTED TO BREAK UP THE LOOK OF THE BEAT UP RUSTY CAR AS A WHOLE.

FOR THE UNDERFRAME OF THE CAR I DECIDED TO MAKE IT MATCH THE PROTOTYPICAL SPECS AS I COULD. THE ONLY TROUBLE WAS, I COULDN’T FIND ANYTHING ONLINE WHERE ANYONE HAD BUILT OR BEEN LUCKY ENOUGH TO TAKE PICTURES OF AN EVANS UNDERFRAME. SO I HUNTED DOWN A MAINLINE MODELER ARTICLE FROM SEPTEMBER OF 1996 THAT HAD DRAWINGS OF AN EVANS BOXCAR, INCLUDING THE UNDERFRAME BY JAMES KINKAID. I USED A DETAILS WEST #FF-183 EVANS UNDERFRAME FOR THIS ASPECT OF THE MODEL. SINCE THE MOUNTING POINTS FOR THE UNDERFRAME HARDWARE ARE IN THE WRONG PLACE ON THIS PART, SOME AREAS HAD TO BE SHAVED AND FILLED AND NEW AREAS MOUNTED ON THE UNDERFRAME. I DIDN’T REALLY TRY TO MAKE MY MODIFICATIONS AS NEAT AND CLEAN AS POSSIBLE BECAUSE I WANTED THE UNDERFRAME TO LOOK WELL USED AND MODIFIED SOMETIME IN IT’S HISTORY. I RAN ALL THE LINES AS PER THE DRAWING AND I USED .010 AND .015 DIAMETER BRASS WIRE FOR THIS. I CONNECTED THE AIR LINES TO A SET OF DETAIL ASSOCIATES #229-6206 AIR HOSES WITH LITTLE BRASS COUPLINGS I FASHIONED OUT OF SOME FLAT WIRE.

SO, THERE YOU HAVE IT. OVER ALL THIS CAR TOOK ME ALMOST 3 YEARS TO COMPLETE. NOT THREE YEARS OF CONTINUOUS WORK MIND YOU BECAUSE LIFE HAS A FUNNY WAY OF INTERRUPTING EVEN YOUR FAVORITE, MOST TIME CONSUMING AND EXCITING PROJECTS. ALL IN ALL I’D SAY THAT I HAVE AT LEAST 50-60 HOURS IN THIS CAR AND I THINK A LOT OF THAT HAS TO DO WITH MOST OF IT BEING A LEARNING EXPERIENCE. I HAD NEVER ATTEMPTED ANYTHING ON THIS SCALE AS FAR AS DETAILING OR WEATHERING AND IT JUST SHOWS WHAT CAN BE DONE WHEN YOU TAKE YOUR TIME AND ENJOY THE RIDE. I SHOULD ALSO SAY THANK YOU TO ALL MY FRIENDS AT MODELTRAINSWEATHERED.COM WHO PATIENTLY PRODDED ME TO COMPLETE THIS PROJECT.



JEREMY ST. PETER