Hi everyone, This thread will describe to you my system of weathering steel mill cars. I am trying to model a steel mill layout in my basement. I have some track layed and only right now is the Slag dump completed. As I progress I will post more.
Class 1 railroads didn't own Slag cars(cinder pots, thimble cars-they're all the same ). They were only owned by the mill companies and they would never be seen in interchange service. They're only use is in carrying slag from the furnaces to the dump. So there are no color schemes or road names associated with the cars. Any paint that was applied by the manufacturer would have been burned off by the heat of the slag. They also would be coated with a layer of rust over the bare metal. I will be using my MTH Slag cars for this demo. It's an easy 2 to 4 step process that can be done in as little as 1 day.
Here we go. This is one of my CNW cars in its factory finish. The product I use is Sophisticated Finshes from Triangle Coatings. I first found them at Hobby Lobby several years ago but they no longer carry it. Not to worry, if you live close to a big city, check out Blick's Artist Supply stores and see if they carry it or can be ordered. I first bought a kit that contained 2, 2 ounce bottles. They were enough to weather my 7 hot metal cars, so a little goes a long way. You can buy the kit or as I did purchase individual bottles.
I also found another product that gave similar results . It's a 3 step process with a reddish-brown colored primer, then a coating of iron paint, and an oxidizing solution of copper sulfate in an acid.
Step 1, optional - disassemble your car and give it a coat of flat black paint, any kind is good, I used K-Mart brand. You want to cover the factory finish especially if you are planning to only do spots of rust on a car. Step 2- paint the car with the iron paint, all of the car or just where you would want the rusty effect, including the trucks and couplers. Make some areas heavier than others for a mix of shades. You can be sloppy, the car actually looks better.
Step 3- , coat the cars with the rust activating solution. I first started with misting the whole car and then going over it with a brush to assure good coverage. You will find that you're using more activating solution than you thought. Once you're done, sit back with your favorite beverage for a couple of hours and watch the rust appear right before your eyes.
The cars really look great at this point and you can be done . However the finish will come off on your hands if it is not sealed.
Step 4- optional, wipe down the car with a terrycloth to blend in the colors and remove the excess finish. Then spray the car with Dullcoat to seal it.
I went one extra step. Before the cars are delivered to the blast furnace, a coating of lime is sprayed into the thimble to act as a release agent so the slag won't stick. It's very sloppily applied. I replicated this by using a wash of flat white paint. I had some Sherwin Williams interior ceiling paint around the house. I mixed about an ounce or so to a pint or so of water, no hard and fast mixing ratios, you want something the consistency of milk. Put a SMALL amount on a brush (I used a 2 inch trim brush) and remove almost all of the paint. Then dry brush the raised parts to highlight the car.
Above is one of my MTH hot metal cars I did several years ago. The layer of skull around the spout is actually colored sand from one of the craft stores.
So there you have it! I hope you enjoyed this post and may want to give this technique a try. It's fast and easy and in my opinion gives great results. Let me know what you think. Thanks for reading.