Weathering SP Locos

JoeW Apr 16, 2010

  1. JoeW

    JoeW TrainBoard Supporter

    I saw a recent post that showed a nicely weathered steam locomotive and it got me thinking about the times I have weathered models. I have a Southern Pacific SD-9 that I weathered about 10 years ago. I am very pleased with the way it came out but I can't remember what I used to weather it with. Since then I have collected more SP locos and would like to give them that old SP look of the 70's and 80's. Some of them were just darn right disgusting, the grime, dust, oil, smoke, faded paint. You know what I mean they were just plain beautiful. Anyway thats the look I am after.

    I recently asked a custom painter what he suggested and he told me that it was a trade secret. Maybe painting model locomotives is as good as it gets for him I don't know. As much as I appreciate his need to protect his methods. Never the less for me the process is part of the hobby. In other words I am not interested in purchasing a custom weatherd model, I enjoy doing this myself. Please join in if your of a simular mindset

    Anyway I hoping there are others who are interested in sharing there methods, colors material choices, tools, and so on. Please post pictures I would love to see some of your work. Also if you know of some websites that have good info on weathering please mention them.

    I am leaving on a trip for the weekend so please excuse me if I don't provide a thank you for your postings until after Sunday. I always enjoy this group and look forward to your posts.
  2. mcjaco

    mcjaco TrainBoard Member


    You're right on. It's a hobby. Nothing is a trade secret.
  3. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

    Wow, must have been a pretty stubborn guy not to share his techniques. Oh well, if someone makes you go out of your way to get information in this hobby, their info probably isn't worth it in the first place. :)

    As for weathering techniques, we have several threads right here on TrainBoard demonstrating a variety of methods.

    My favorite is the recent weathering with chalk by user Pastoolio...

    I just finished up this Mike using Mike's technique. :D


    More of my recent weathering examples can be found in my Weathering! album on RailImages.
  4. Carl Sowell

    Carl Sowell TrainBoard Supporter

    In the case of SP, you could allmost get away with globs of grime !
  5. Powersteamguy1790

    Powersteamguy1790 Permanently dispatched


    They managed to keep the "Daylight" GS-4 #4449 in nice shape.
  6. OC Engineer JD

    OC Engineer JD Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

  7. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

    If I may insert a question on sealing a weathering job, has anyone else used a Workable Fixative product instead of Dullcoat? Are they basically the same thing or is there some differences I should know about?

    I've sealed most of my first attempts with this product and so far the results seem similar to pictures I've seen of stuff sealed with Dullcoat. Not to mention the price is way more forgiving. Is using this product too good to be true?
  8. OC Engineer JD

    OC Engineer JD Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Hummmm.....interesting looking stuff Mark. :)
  9. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

    I purchased the workable fixative to spray my charcoal drawings so that as I work on them the charcoal does not get smeared or wiped away while opening/closing the pad or during transport. The fixative holds the charcoal in place, yet when making adjustments, I'm still able to break through the fix and erase something from a past session. I'm guessing that is the key difference, and to some like me its an advantage.

    So far, rubbing the side of one of my weathered cars lightly with my thumb caused no effect on the weathering job. If I apply enough pressure though I believe it would probably release that seal.
  10. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

    I too use the same method as weathering with chalk by user Pastoolio. I use cheap rattlecan matte spray from K-mart over the chalk...less then 3.00 for the big can.

    Here are some before and after shots :tb-cool:


    Attached Files:

  11. mcjaco

    mcjaco TrainBoard Member

    I used to use chalks exclusively, when I was younger. It was cheap, and easy to clean for my ADD brain.

    Then I bought an airbrush. I weathered everything with that, and the chalks went into the closet.

    Now I'm into washes. Partially because I have no where to set up my airbrush. It's a vicious circle!

    I used one of hte three methods depending on the look I'm going for. Often, I combine all three methods. Just remember, lots of light layers are better than one heavy one. ;)
  12. greatdrivermiles

    greatdrivermiles TrainBoard Member

    Can't go wrong with DIRTY. Ok so I snuck a BNSF unit in

    Attached Files:

  13. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member

    Well, since it was a passenger engine and not really meant for freight, it would be kept looking good. And I can guarantee that Doyle McCormack, the present operator, keeps it looking very nice.
  14. TheDallesHostler

    TheDallesHostler New Member

    The Espee has nothing to do with the preservation of the 4449, after it was donated to the City of Portland, and left to languish next to the SP&S 700 and the OR&N 197. The 4449's beauty is solely due to the efforts of the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation.

    ORHF Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation

    They have restored both the 4449 and the 700, and are now in the process of restoring the OR&N's Pacific #197. What's more, they are getting a new shop, which will have a visitors area! The Uncle Pete is giving the ORHF the boot from Espee's old Brooklyn Yard, in order to make way for more intermodal. But they aren't leaving empty-handed. The UP is giving up the old Brooklyn roundhouse turntable to the group :thumbs_up:. It will now proudly reside adjacent to the new ORHF shop, which will eventually share a light-rail and trolley stop with the nearby Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

    Check out the link to see what they have planned!!!
  15. subwayaz

    subwayaz TrainBoard Member

    I've been using a small Rattle can of Dullcoat, but that fixative looks like twice the size for a good price. Might have to give that a try Mark. Thanks for the suggestion

  16. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter

    Dirty SP units are one of the few that I think look right with dullcoat on them. 90% of models are in my opinion obvious models because They aren't shiney enough. Even a typically dirty locomotive still has a shine to it in real life unless it is remarkably your typical SP unit.

    The weathering I've done has always been with Chalk, but I think if I were to do an SP unit I'd probably at least strongly consider Airbrush methods.
    Also, make sure to scrape off lettering and put in the dents and dings as appropriate.
  17. bnsf971

    bnsf971 TrainBoard Member

    For SP units, I just dump the contents of my brush cleaning bottle into the jar for the airbrush, and spray. If I want the unit to have a "lived in" look, I cover one or two of the access doors on the long hood before spraying, and those doors remain "like brand new", suggesting they've been replaced very recently.
  18. JoeW

    JoeW TrainBoard Supporter

    Thanks for responding to the SP weathering post

    There are some really great contributions posted here. What I have got so far is that chalk is the preferred method of weathering. When first posting this I was kind of wondering if it would be limiting the amounts of responses because of the specific reference to the Southern Pacific. Beside the good weathering advice I was anticipating I wrote it specifically in hopes that some might provide application ideas that would illustrate the fading of the gray and red paint of the SP. Even as limiting as the way I wrote this post it would appear that there is interest in the subject of weathering SP. I hope that the discussion will continue but incase it doesn’t I wanted to thank you all for responding. I will post some pictures of my results when I get them.
  19. thomas

    thomas TrainBoard Member

    To me the most fun part of model RR is the weathering, and especially the locos. I haven't done any modeling in quite some time now so I haven't bought any new locos or cars recently, but when i used to, the first thing would be to get out the weathering kit which was a small collection of chalks used especially for this purpose that I purchased at a model RR show some years ago.

    These two photos of my Cotton Belt loco was done with these chalks as are most of my other locos. If I ever get back into modeling again, I would really like to try air brushing next. I've seen some really good weathering detail done that way and would really like to give it a shot.

    Attached Files:

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