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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Niles Project ~ Doing the Dirty Work

Weathering #105 to give it the appearance of a hard working interurban.

San Diego cars were a grimy lot. Look at this photo of #101. Its a dirty dirty trolley! The Wells Fargo panel looks to be recently painted (new express contract?), so its clean. but the sides and window posts are down right grungy. I suppose it would be difficult to keep a wooden car that makes its home working the hot, dusty dirt streets and in the moist salt air of a desert by the sea city clean. And judging by the automobiles, we're well into the teens if not the 20's by this time, so this car has many years of service under its belt rail.

Since my model of #105 has taken some modelers license to it, I intend to"go wild" with the weathering. This car will be the dirtiest of all my revenue cars, it will represent the dirty end of the weathering spectrum. The rest of the fleet will be a bit more classy in appearance. But for now, I'm going to have some fun with this.


There are some weathering techniques I want to try out. I'm a big fan of the Bragdon weathering powders, they are fantastic for, rusting, dusting, dirtying and "scale effect". I'll elaborate how to use the Bragdon Weathering System in a future post, but real quick, the powders contain a friction activated adhesive that affixes the powders when they are scrubbed on. But I want the powders to settle into the groves to accentuate the wood slats. So I'm trying the powders as a wash by mixing the powders with alcohol. The photo above is the result of this. I took a "0" brush load of the dark brown powder and mixed it with 4 drops of alcohol. The effect is stunning. Not only did the pigment settle into the groves, but it also stained the paint really nicely. It really desaturated to colors.

I thought I had overdone it. But comparing this photo with the prototype photo at the top of this post, it  actually looks about right. This car looks like a work-a-day interurban that has been making its rounds, keeping its schedule, and moving the merchandise. It has been a useful trolley, yes sir, a very useful trolley.

Dandy