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So a few years ago I did some looking around trying to learn about weathering.  Internet searches, YouTube, etc.  After a few hours I thought "hey, not too tough.  No sweat." Give it a go on a cheap weaver box car.  Nope.  Looks terrible.  Pretty much like it went through a dust storm right after fresh paint, but worse.   

Those of you that weather, how did you learn?  Trial and error?  Mentor?  I'd like to hear recommendations on respected videos, guides, books etc.  In other words, what helped you the most? 

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There used to be a website called Model Trains Weathered.... but it was taken down. There's a couple other sites out there with tons of examples, but not a lot of "instructional" information. You can find a lot of "How To's" and "Instructional" videos on YouTube.


When it comes down to it, its a matter of applying what you've read, or seen and coming up with the method that works best for you, or what you like the best. There's no right or wrong way to do it. You can spend 20 minutes on a car, or 4-5 hours. Just depends on the look you want, and the materials used to do it.


I use different combinations of air brushing paint, dry brushing, weathering powders, artist acrylics, artist oils, washes (thinned down paint) for fades, and I even use a "air eraser" (mini sand blaster) for weathering.

Pick up a few cheap HO cars at train shows.  Around here there are lots of them for less than $5 each.  I bought 5 for $10: a black hopper, an oxide hopper, a reefer and a couple of boxcars in different colors.  I practiced on them (5 cars equals 10 different sides to try) before doing an O-scale car.


The current issue of Model Railroad Hobbyist (free online) has a good article on steam era weathering.

Last edited by Bob
Thanks for the suggestions guys.  I have tried the airbrush and some chalks.  They seem like the right colors, maybe poor application.  I have a bunch of photos that I have been working with trying to duplicate.  Back when I was doing HO, i weathered some stuff and it turned out ok looking.  I'm guessing that possibly the size difference makes my mediocre weathering skills look plain bad when using a larger format.  That and I'm sure there is a certain artistic flair that helps which I may not have.
Originally Posted by McQ:
.............there is a certain artistic flair that helps which I may not have.

Perhap now, but with practice, others have acquired that "flair".   You can too.

Most overdo it too much but good advice above - find prototype examples to follow the specific patterns that various types of cars exhibit in addition to generalities.


Last edited by mwb

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