Model Rail (UK) - - Know Your Stuff -

What’s the best way of weath­er­ing the white roofs of LNER coach­ing stock? Some ad­vice that doesn’t in­volve an air­brush would be wel­come. Owen, by e-mail

Ge­orge says: I re­cently weath­ered a batch of LNER ‘teak’ car­riages, with their pale grey roofs. My aim was to give them a ‘lived-in’ ap­pear­ance rather than an overly grimy out­look. Af­ter all, steam-hauled coach­ing stock with light-coloured roofs would soon gather a coat­ing of soot and grime. Even with reg­u­lar wash­ing, the roofs would in­vari­ably re­tain de­posits of muck around raised vents, gut­ters and other fit­tings. Once rain and the nat­u­ral el­e­ments en­ter the fray, it’s likely that streaks would also be present, run­ning from side-to-side in line with grav­ity. Due to the bright un­der­ly­ing colour, it’s easy to overdo the weath­er­ing of the roofs, par­tic­u­larly if em­ploy­ing the usual dark grey and brown weath­er­ing paint shades that would be ideal for darker roofs and un­der­frames. In­stead, I’ve been em­ploy­ing a ‘Neu­tral’ enamel weath­er­ing wash from MIG Pro­duc­tions. For­mu­lated es­pe­cially for use on white or pale sur­faces, the di­lute wash pos­sesses a dirty, medium grey pigment and can be ap­plied by brush. As with all washes, it’s vi­tal to give the bot­tle a good shake be­fore (and dur­ing) use as the pigment tends to set­tle rapidly. En­sure that the model is clean be­fore brush­ing the thin liq­uid over the roof, work­ing with lat­eral strokes to mimic ver­ti­cal streak­ing. Any ex­cess can be wiped away with cot­ton swabs. Be­ing enamel-based, it takes a few hours to dry, although the long work­ing time gives us plenty of room for ma­noeu­vre. For very sub­tle ef­fects, one coat may be enough, with much of the wash wiped away as de­sired. For a more pro­nounced fin­ish, we can sim­ply ap­ply fur­ther wash coats, although it’s vi­tal that the pre­vi­ous layer has fully dried. With a tar­geted ap­proach to lay­er­ing the wash, we can con­cen­trate the pigment around raised de­tails, within any re­cesses or to ex­ag­ger­ate any sur­face re­lief, cre­at­ing a more re­al­is­tic ap­pear­ance with­out nec­es­sar­ily ren­der­ing the model filthy. We can also in­ter-mix enamel washes of dif­fer­ent shades, to add some tonal va­ri­ety, if de­sired.


MIG Pro­duc­tions’ Neu­tral enamel wash is an ideal medium for cre­at­ing sub­tle weath­er­ing ef­fects on pale sur­faces.

STEP BY STEP Mask the glaz­ing and shake the weath­er­ing wash thor­oughly be­fore brush­ing a light coat­ing over the car­riage roof. A flat brush is most ef­fec­tive, us­ing lat­eral strokes and en­sur­ing that the pigment col­lects around any raised or re­cessed de­tails. 1

With clean cot­ton swabs, wipe away ex­cess wash, work­ing only in lat­eral strokes. Re­move as much or as lit­tle as de­sired. Match­ing thin­ners are avail­able to help re­move stub­born de­posits. The wash stays work­able for a few hours, so don’t rush! 2

The wash re­mains pli­able for many hours af­ter each ap­pli­ca­tion. Dampen a clean, fine brush with the thin­ners and draw the pigment into sub­tle, lat­eral streaks. 4

3 Af­ter dry­ing overnight, we can de­posit more of the wash in key ar­eas, such as around vents and gut­ter strips, with a fine brush. Mul­ti­ple lay­ers will cre­ate a denser ef­fect.

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