My Love for Trains started like a majority of people. By receiving Lionel Trains for Christmas at the tender age of 4. I was hooked for life. It wasn't long before the Lionel Trains where set aside for HO Scale trains.

The weathering bug didn't hit until I was a teenager. I did everything I knew to try and weather my trains. Growing up in the 80's a stones throw from the KCS mainline in Southwest Missouri there were plenty of weathered freights to see. The Katy, Missouri Pacific and the Frisco where also close companions in my limited railfanning excursions. The one thing that always struck with me was beaten and used appearance of the trains going by. My model trains had to look real so there where many failed attempts using dirt, Floquil Weathering paints, Mom's makeup and pastel powders. I was making some decent progress until fast cars, girls and raising hell took the place of trains.

After high school I went to work got married and started a family like everyone else. I didn't have a bunch of time for trains but still managed to continue purchasing what train stuff I liked. Someday, the big layout would be built. That never happened because life was happening a lot faster. After still more failed attempts at weathering we fast forward to the day I discovered MTW. I was a lurker for weeks reading and trying every technique. I was amazed at the level of talent and the plethora of different techniques and methods.

I may never master the art of weathering, but will never stop trying to get better. I have had the honor of meeting some of the best fellows in the sub-hobby of weathering model trains. Guys that I call my friends and brothers today. It hasn't all been about trains but the friendships I hope will last a lifetime. The passion for realistic looking model trains will always continue for me.

Sandy McDonald