Like many model railroaders, I entered the hobby at an early age. Perhaps I was doomed from the start as many of my family members were employed by companies in the railroad and trucking industry. When I was in elementary school my father built two 4’ x 8’ plywood HO scale train sets, one for my brother and one for myself. Eventually we pushed the two sets together, which very loosely could have been called a train layout. It wasn’t much, but it kept us entertained for quite some time. Over the years, a family friend who had a very nice layout would give us older equipment that he no longer wanted. For its time, they were very nice cars. Many custom painted and some weathered with airbrushed “grime.” I was impressed at how much better the “weathered” cars looked. They seemed to look more like the real thing. This was probably what got me started in weathering and trying to make my cars look more realistic. As kids with limited funds and resources, we started weathering cars with anything we could find. Markers, pencils, shoe polish, rubbing alcohol, matches. We tried just about anything. I eventually tried airbrushing, but never really got the hang of it.
I always had an interest in the hobby, but during high school and college I was more occupied with sports, and other things that people do in high school and college. About 2004 I started getting back into the hobby and discovered some articles about people using oil paints to weather model trains. To me, the results looked much better than what most people called “weathering.” I wanted to learn more, and soon found a wealth of information on the internet. Reading as much as I could and being inspired by a lot of modelers, most of them now members of The Weathering Shop.
Currently my main focus in modeling is working on freight cars in HO Scale from the mid-1980s. Every car I do will probably not be a total rust bucket or have end to end graffiti, but I will dabble in different scales and eras from time to time. It’s a fun challenge to be forced outside of your comfort zone. Instead of amassing a large collection, I have become more focused on making the equipment I have as realistic and accurate as my abilities allow.
I'm honored to be associated with a group of some of the most talented modelers around. It's also exciting to think about what the future may hold for this group of guys. The Weathering Shop never ceases to amaze as they push the limits in this niche of model railroading.