This model was completed some time ago, but I was deliberating the various approaches I could take with the weathering. I had to consider how the car was utilized while I thought about the various media that I’ve used for different effects.
I built TH&B hopper #1234 for a small pool of cars used on the WRMRC in slime service for Inco. TH&B didn’t serve any mines on line, so they used these cars like many roads used boxcars, meaning that, stead of hauling minerals for a specific customer, they shopped around for ways to put them into service earning revenue. Aside from hauling slime for Inco, some of the cars contributed to a pool of cars assembled by CN, TH&B, and PC. Others were used in a variety of ways, like hauling limestone from the quarry in Dundas, or scrap steel between industries in Hamilton. Even cars used ore service were rotated in and out of the pool. As a result, they didn’t weather quite the same as hoppers from a road like the Pittsburgh and Shawmut or Lehigh Valley, where the such cars were used to haul coal for the duration of their useful lifespan.
In the end, I decided to try a combination of acrylic model paint, artist oils, and chalks. The first step in the weathering was actually in the base colour of the car. I used Polly Scale paints, and instead of using straight black, I mixed in some Reefer White to fade the black a bit without making it look grey. This also helps to give more depth to the details.
After the decals and flat finish were applied and cured, I brushed a rough coat of white artist oil paint on the outside and bottom of the car. I don’t use Titanium White because I find it has a hint of blue that works nice on canvas, but isn’t so good for weathering model trains. Once the car is covered in a thin layer of white, I use a series of four progressively softer brushes to remove the paint. The first brush is a 1″ flat and the last brush is large and very soft fan. This step fades the car.
After I was satisfied with the fade, I used three different mixes of light grey on different parts of the car. In this step, I didn’t whisk quite as much of the paint away because I wanted some streaks left behind. After the grey streaks, I put a few very subtle rust patches onto the sides with Burnt Umber and Raw Umber. For these I put tiny blobs in place with a small brush and then dissolved the blobs with mineral spirits until the edges softened up enough to look natural.
When I was satisfied with the oils, I went at the car with some Bragdon weathering chalks, mixing and blending their Dark Rail Brown, Old Tuscan, Antique Iron for the inside, and a bit of those plus their Ash colour on the outside.
I think this one is ready for the layout.