Apr 3, 2022
That's looking really good o far Stephane!
Thank you @BNSF FAN !
Ok, so the chevron stripes were a bust. I have what used to be a high end Epson photo printer (R2880) that uses pigment inks and does a great job of printing colour. But the yellow it printed was just not opaque enough on the clear decal film. I would be perfect on white decal film, but oh well.
So I'm dropping the chevrons off the pilots. I mean at this point I'd have to order some from either Microscale itself, or try to fine the yellow decals on some online store somewhere. Either way, I'm looking at the cost of the decal sheet + shipping, all for a few chevrons? bah! nevermind that.
So at this point, I added a few decals, nothing super complicated, a yellow stripe on the sills from an old decal set I already had, a number on the sides, end and the side of the headlight. I wanted only a two digit number, and settled on 23. Not entirely because consecutive are easy, but I do like the number (plus, the numebrs are consecutive and I don't have to try to align a bunch of numbers, ha! ). Also put a Fire Extinguisher Inside decal on a random door, and a yellow "F" on the front sill. I don't want a logo, this is just "generic industrial switcher". This one will be stationed at my zinc mine, but if I make a new layout someday, I can put it on any larger industry.
Right after taking these two photos I applied a coat of varnish to seal in the decals. I'm still missing the hand rails, but I'm waiting to get those installed because I need to reinstall the motor and decoder and stuff. So tomorrow I'm going to do just that, finally install the hand rails, and then rust the thing. I figure it should be safe to weather the locomotive with the electronics and motor safely inside the shell. But I will leave the trucks off until I'm done weathering.
Oh, one oops is that I sprayed the windows with a bit of satin varnish as I was doing the decals. That gives a slightly frosted look to the windows. I'm not entirely disappointed by this, but I'm wondering how I could get those clear again. I figure gloss varnish would clear them up, but I'm worried about leaving brush marks if I do that.
Anyway, weathering tomorrow when the varnish is well dried! For now, time to look at artist oil weathering videos on Youtube!
Looking great! I have the microscale 71156 decal set. It's mostly complete but I'd be happy to cut off a section and send it to you if interested. Just PM me if so letting me know which section you'd need.
Step 1, grime and fading
After a busy weekend with family and my daughters' birthday celebrations, I took a day off work today to recuperate
So this morning I went to the art store, bought some new paint brushes, and then viewed some oil paint weathering videos on Youtube. First things first, I used some Vallejo Liquid Mask to cover the windows - I didn't want to screw up the windows more than they're already glazed with the satin varnish. So far so good.
I then started with some Titanium White, thinned way down with Gambal (odorless mineral spirits), and just covered a lot of the locomotive shell. This did two things - mostly is faded the paint, making it look more sun bleached. However, it filled the seams with white, which I didn't care for at all. Anyway, I left it to dry for a bit, and then cleaned up some with a flat brush barely wet with mineral spirits. Almost like reverse dry brushing. Also used a makeup sponge to help tone down the effect.
Second, I mixed Ivory Black, Titanium White, and a bit of Yellow Ochre to produce a darker warm grey. Just general grime. Using a small round brush, I touched this thinned down mixture into the seams all over the shell. I left it like that for a good while to dry.
Honestly, I hated it at this point, the entire shell looked like it had been dragged in mud. So, I went back and with just pure mineral spirits, a small flat brush and a foam makeup sponge (wedge), I started cleaning up the excess, and strategically adding more in some spots. I even added pure black into some of the grills to remove the grime and darken the "inside" of the radiators.
In the end I think I may have backed off a tad too much, but the photos don't show the extent of the grime as well as seeing it in person. With all the manipulating of the oils on the surface, the fading effect on the yellow was reduced a lot as well, but I'm happy with how it looks so far. Right now I'd rather have less, because the next step will be to add rust streaks and spotting, and maybe some dirt (brown) into the lower seams. Going forward I'll try and use the picture I posted on the first page of the Xstrata switcher as a guide to the dirt and rust.
I don't think it's terrible for a first attempt at weathering!
Looks cool, what does the tiny Red sign say? Excellent job! Looking great! Can't wait for more upates.
Could you paint the area where the chevrons go yellow. Then print black chevron decals and apply.
I'm planning to paint some grey and red SP locos and decided not to try to paint the grey pinstripes that go on the sides of the nose ,,,, I'll just spray the area red and add grey pinstripes.
Thanks in2tech! If you put on a really strong magnifier, you might be able to read something about a fire extinguisher I bought the GE and EMD builder plates and data decal sheet from microscale. There are a whole bunch of different little signs, but I used very few. Honestly, most are completely unreadable, even with a strong magnifier. Which reminds me, I forgot to add the actual builder plate for EMD
I thought about it, then thought about having to do all the masking to prevent yellow from spraying everywhere else and decided to forget it. I'm okay with how it looks now.
Another thought on the chevrons...art supply stores carry very fine point paint pens. This might work if the color is close and no worry about overspray. Even if color is not exact a little weathering would make it much less noticeable.
It looks like you've done well with the masking to date and masking those pilots isn't going to be that much of a challenge to keep neat.
I'd make the extra effort to follow through with your initial plans. I'm sure you'll be pleased that you did.
Part 2: Rust!!
Oh, I had fun this evening! haha! First time using oil paints to do rust effects, and yeah, I sooo overdid it, it's like a cartoon, but I'm liking it a lot despite being so much.
I used a combination of Burnt Sienna and Burnt Umber, and just dabbed and pushed and well, I'm not entirely sure. I've learned some things. Like put on some spots of rust, then leave it for a while, and then start streaking it using a comb brush (a brush that has different lengths of hairs). If I tried moving it too soon, the results were never good. Plus, even after an hour later, I would come back and with a brush with barely any mineral spirits, I could still manipulate the oils and try to reduce or add streaks.
Anyway, tomorrow I'll have a second look and make some adjustments, maybe. Probably add on the hand rails and make sure they get a bit of rust too. A local friend I showed the pictures to pointed out that the bell should probably have a bit of rust too. Though I'm thinking I might leave it shiny - the old one fell off from the rust and this is a new replacement
I think what you've done for rusting looks great!
It's not overdone, something that is very easy to do.
It looks very real and very plausible.
If you do decide to add more rust, I would make the suggestion to work on the cab roof and the top of the long hood.
I would also be inclined to rust the walkways a bit more as well as the top of the decking right below the doo.
Adding a thin layer of a black wash around the louvers would help to "pop".
As for the bell, most bells are made of brass, which yours has the brass color already and brass doesn't rust.
I'm not sure how to rust the black. I tried adding a bit, but it just disappears! I'll try to find a video on rusting black paint tomorrow. Must of the rust I added to the deck just looks like mud. Not bad, just not rusty.
The louvers did have some grime and rust, but I must have erased it with mineral spirits accidentally. Good catch on that and the cab step, good candidates for improvement tomorrow.
What I've done before was pretty easy.
Get some regular pastel chalks, using a sharp knife or razor blade, scrape some brown, orange and bit of black and mix them together until you
get a rust color you're happy with.
Then mix in a drop of Alcohol and mix more until you get a real thin slurry.
Dab that on with a brush. It'll look thick, but then start dripping small amounts of alcohol until it starts to look like puddle.
Using the brush, push it around a bit to level it out.
Then let it dry, the alcohol will evaporate and leave behind a rusty surface.
Practice on some scrap until you get the feeling.
It looks great , well done Just the right amount.
Although I have a lot of Micro Trains cars because they are the best freight cars available (well I think so) I have not bought any weathered ones. They just seem to jump from brand new to post apocalyptic !
I own only nine locomotives. Out of these nine locomotives, only four ran perfectly right out of the box. I'm getting quite sick and tired of the cost of this hobby and the quality assurance from these manufacturers.
Anyway, here's what this $%^@! locomotive currently looks like... I didn't put on the railings yet, I've been doing enough damage to the paint as is without breaking the railings as well...
I did do some more weathering and stuff on the black parts, mostly with panpastels, but it's really subtle. I'm pretty happy as it is, and I actually don't want to do to more. At this point I did reassemble the entire guts of the locomotive back up. It wasn't too difficult, except for an "oh woo woo woo" moment when I hooked up the truckless locomotive back up to the DCC system just to check that the motor and decoder were connected properly. The sound was absolutely terrible! My fault, I reinstalled the speaker upside down. So I took it back apart and fixed it, and after, the sound was great, the motor ran whisper quiet.
Put the trucks back on, and put it on the track. This is where the problems started. I can't run this loco smoothly at all. It keeps micro-surging through all speeds, and sounds like a bloody coffee grinder. Something is wrong in the trucks. Even at slow speeds, it looks like for every rotation of the wheels, something happens, or rubs, or catches, and the loco slows down a bit, then gets back to normal speed. I've since taken off and put the trucks back on trying to figure out what's wrong about seven or eight times, and it's taking a *&%$ toll on the paint. The paint is chipping off the bottom frame, and even the rust on the side of the cabs seems to be rubbing away, despite the clear coat. In the second picture we can clearly see that the rust is faded on the number three. The fuel tank and corners of the pilots are chipping. Stupid disaster. I guess Tamiya Fine primer, despite claiming for plastic and metal on the can, is not really for metal. As for clearcoat, might be my fault. I used Vallejo Satin, which is acrylic, maybe it's a non-no to spray acrylic clear coat varnish on oils?
At this point I emailed support, because this thing is not usable as a switcher, it doesn't run smooth enough.
Sorry for the problems but it does look great. I'd let it 'really dry' and then try and fix the chips, which I'm not sure I see. I think the patches will add to it as it isn't suppose to be a new loco but one that has seen service.
I know doing car paint that you have to be really careful about mixing paint types and it is best to not even try. From this link maybe the oil didn't totally dry...
Also from doing car paint you usually end up with thicker paint thickness vs. what the factory did on the original paint and even with really good paint the thicker paint tends to chip easier than the original paint. You've built up some layers so probably also thicker. Get it running right and I bet you love it. I'd be very happy to end up with a loco weathered like than and I'm saving the thread for future use, thanks.
On the running problem how does it run with the shell off?
I think the loco looks fantastic. Sorry about the troubles. Check that the trucks move freely with them removed from the loco by running them on your finger back and forth. That should tell you if one is sticking at a certain position where if so you have to take apart and investigate. Sometimes a little bit of debris gets in the teeth of one of the gears and will cause the gear train to bind slightly at that point. If there is no issues there then next up is adjusting the CV's.
I'm not a fan of the recent BLI locos. My last two diesels that have the P3 system have been awful performers out of the box similar to what you are describing. I was able to clean most of it up by adjusting CVs but still not smooth like a kato or atlas.
Painting: like sumner said wait a bit to seal up oils with acrylic as the oil based paints and enamel can take several weeks to fully cure. For metal surface priming alclad is my go to but it is made for lacquer paints to get the best most durable results.
Most if not all of the Paragon3 locos I've either owned or tried are honestly garbage. All of my issues have been with QSI decoders acting up, not the mechanisms themselves. Switched my ATSF E6 A/B from the 2018 run over to ESU, and it's such an immediate improvement. Doesn't stop randomly anymore, and on mine before the swap sounds would stop working for no reason.
As other have said, Sorry about the issues your having.
Aside from that, you've done a great job with the paint and weathering.
Whatever you do, don't give up, one loco under your belt, now try another process and keep notes.
I feel really bad if ONLY 4 out of 9 New locomotives work correctly out of the box. That's not good at all. Hope you get them resolved and things get better.