Ore Cars Step 7 – A quick coat of primer

Two light coats of primer got me to the point where the insides of the hoppers are now finished. I used a mix of Polly Scale Rust and Reefer White under a fine coat of straight Rust.  I was satisfied that the interiors looked fine.  I was most concerned about the texture of the floor, but everything looks good and it’s time to move on.

Has anyone else ever noticed that its tough to get paint into the corner where three planes meet at right angles?  I might have to make a mask in order to get paint down into the bottom corners without soaking the sides with too much paint.  I just need enough paint to cover the rough materials underneath.

The cars look like they’ve been hauling cinnamon, but that will change when the final weathering is applied.  I have no intention of applying any Action Red to the interior of the cars, but to weather them to look like rough-polished and slightly grimy/rusty steel.  This brings up an interesting question.  Does anyone know whether the freight car builders painted the interiors of ore cars?  It seems wasteful because the first few of loads of ore would have completely removed the paint.

8 thoughts on “Ore Cars Step 7 – A quick coat of primer

  1. The cars are looking nice! I hadn’t thought of rusting the interior of my DM&IR ore cars but that seems like a fairly easy way to add detail to empties!

    • Here’s a shot of the interior of one of these cars.


      My plan is to use a blend of dust, grime, and rust for the final weathering. I figured rust would serve as a good primer. I’ll probably not even mask off the interior when I shoot the CP Action Red onto the outside of this car. And likewise, I plan to spray the undersides of the cars with a darker grime concoction, again, without masking. It’s been done that way before and the cars turn out nice. The cinnamon colour of the primer will be drastically subdued by weathering later on. Stay tuned for that!

  2. As far as I know, ore cars and hoppers have the interior built with high alloy steel, most recently Cor-Ten. It oxidizes to a hard surface layer, and is very slow to rust.


  3. That would partially explain why there is very little rust on that interior shot. I imagine the constant polishing by coarse ore would also keep the rust at bay. I recall seeing a variety of metal colours used by people who built military and automobile models. I might seek out something like that to put on the car interiors in conjunction with rust and grime. I have much more work to do on the cars before I’m ready for that.

  4. The L&N even had hopper cars built by Pullman-Standard that were completely unpainted, inside and out. Just car markings on bare steel which then oxidized to an even finish.

    Most steel hoppers and gondolas have unpainted insides. This is a bit more modern, but you get the idea. The only paint on the inside is overspray from the sides.

    Even this old thing doesn’t appear to have been painted on the inside:

    • For sure, that makes perfect sense. I’ve been doing more thinking about how to come up with a finish that resembles the hard bare metal Chris B mentioned. A quick search of the internet wasn’t very fruitful, despite the fact that I’m certain I’ve seen military models with bare metal modelled very convincingly. The hobby shop around the corner caters to military and automobile modellers now. I should stop in there tomorrow and have a chat with them.

      • Keep in mind, this is from a guy with very poor colour recognition, but the Cor-Ten steel I worked with was typical of high alloy steels, with kind of a matte dull steel – nickle colour. Duller than unpainted low carbon (stamping steel).


        • I went shopping and found some pretty cool things to try out. It will be part of a future post; for now I’m doing some experiments (wrings his hands in a sinister fashion).

          From a cursory look at the stuff at the local hobby store, it seems to me that the military modelling scene is has pulled way ahead of us in some ways. The vast majority of model builders in that ‘genre’ are actually building, kit bashing, and painting more than we are (I’m speaking of the our hobby as a whole when I say “we”).

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