To weather things like engines and rolling stock I used to use a lot of chalk among other things. But I’m always experimenting and to get a really worn, rusty look I’ve come upon what I think is another realistic solution.
First, you need to know I have a policy I don’t want to see any plastic or shiny metal on anything I do. So I still use flat black and gray primer spray paints first. If it’s an old steam engine, for instance, I still spray it first. The flat black goes on first then highlights (or lowlights) of the gray primer here and there. When it looks pretty old and dull, I’ve done it right – at least in my eyes.
After it dries I simply lay it on a table and here’s where the real fun starts. At this point I use Woodland Scenics Burnt Umber liquid pigment. Sometimes I also use a combination of Woodland Scenics Slate Gray and Yellow Ocher liquid pigments. Normally I use these things in Sculptamold to give it that already colored rocky look. But this time I’m not going to mix or dilute them at all.
And then I also need a spray bottle full of plain tap water.
I shake the bottles and then I simply dribble some of the liquid pigment right onto the areas I want to weather. Then I spray it with water. It always takes several times to spray, let it dry and repeat before I feel I get the look I’m after.
I also keep paper towels nearby to dab the extra water as needed.
When it dries it looks incredibly rusty, weathered and just plain beat up. Just like I like it.
You might want to check out the videos I did about this while making the Honor Flight scene, either on www.modelRRscenery.com or on the modelRRscenery YouTube channel.
Got any good weathering tips? Love to hear them.