Author Topic: Athearn Big Boy - Leap of Faith 101  (Read 2854 times)

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lashedup

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Athearn Big Boy - Leap of Faith 101
« on: November 15, 2010, 04:15:42 PM »
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So weathering steam locos is just nerve racking. Doing it to a 4-8-8-4 Big Boy with all those moving parts makes it even worse - and that's without discussing the price tag for the thing to start with.

I always wanted to dirty one of these up as I think they look downright cool and menacing when they are all salted-up from their daily use. I got some inspiration here from Tom and Darthaggro. I airbrushed on a 50/50 thinned mix of Tarnished Black to start with and then did the rest with weathering powders. I haven't found time to dabble in oil paints yet, but I did order some supplies that have been sitting here for a while. Anyway, I've got a little over an hour into this so far and I'm not finished. Overall I'm happy, but I think I got a little too heavy. These didn't usually look this beat till the end of their life. If I was doing it over I'd tone it back a little bit more and work on some specific areas that should have some unique weathering characteristics. I'm still going to tweak this one a bit more.

One thing about steam though is that when they were shopped they usually got painted with a very glossy thick black paint. THat gloss finish usually pitted and peeled a bit, but largely stayed intact on places that didn't get soot, dirt or water/steam deposits. To try and weather a loco that way would be tough. Slathering the whole thing in gloss paint makes it tough to add weathering, so I'd have to do it selectively and then figure out how to work around it.

Anyway, I snapped one photo of it while I was at Trainfest yesterday on our modutrak layout. I need to shoot some helicon stuff after I work on it a bit.



Some prototype photos:





This one really shows the variations I need to work on...


Hyperion

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Re: Athearn Big Boy - Leap of Faith 101
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2010, 07:05:26 PM »
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I'd have to disagree on it being too heavy, unless you really wanted a fairly new unit.  I think you just about nailed it when compared to the photographs.

My only suggestiona would be to make the lower half of the unit, the moving bits (sorry, not a steam guy) and everything around it, just more grimey with that caked on oil look as opposed to sooty or dirty, and perhaps just a tiniest bit of brown for some tonal variation and to give it a slight hint of being dirty not just sooty.

But, all-in-all, I'd pull a string of Tom Mann's cars behind it in a second without worrying about it looking out of place.
-Mark

tom mann

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Re: Athearn Big Boy - Leap of Faith 101
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2010, 09:14:41 PM »
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Looks like a great base layer, maybe some more detail effort to replicate earth and sand tones?  Note the lighter gray firebox.  Tender looks finished, but there is a grey streak towards the rear that angles at an odd angle.

Nice work!

amato1969

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Re: Athearn Big Boy - Leap of Faith 101
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2010, 10:01:27 PM »
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Looking good!  Maybe add some layers to the firebox (burnt umber?) and it will look more like the proto pic.

  Frank

lashedup

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Re: Athearn Big Boy - Leap of Faith 101
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2010, 10:35:43 PM »
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Thanks for the critique guys...

The firebox and front of the boiler are two places I want to lighten up a bit and add some streaking. The firebox has a ton of large rivets that usually got around to rusting a bit and would do well with some light rust streaking.

The grimey front drivers and cylinder/piston are something I need to go back to and work on. Likewise the parts that have all that chalky white buildup from steam/water leaking. If you look at some of the main drivers in that bottom color photo they are very white. I originally had the appropriate wheels a lighter stage and that's when I discovered just how much lube is on this thing from the factory. The oil/lube they used on the mechanism is oozing out all over the place and turned some of the lighter weathering a dark color. I'm not sure I have the patience to disassemble this thing and scrub everything down, so I'll work around it for now.

Anyhoo, the smoke stack area needs some black soot and I'll work on the other details. Keep the suggestions coming!

-jamie

GaryHinshaw

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Re: Athearn Big Boy - Leap of Faith 101
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2010, 01:31:21 AM »
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I think it looks great!  You're a brave man to take this on.  :)

It's interesting in the proto shots how the front cylinders are very oily and the rear ones are very scaly.  Your model is picking up the latter and could use more of the former, as you indicated.  The tender looks spot on.

-gfh


ednadolski

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Re: Athearn Big Boy - Leap of Faith 101
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2010, 02:34:04 PM »
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Looks really good!   If you get the chance, I'd also suggest taking some pix outdoors in good sunlight.

Ed

DKS

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Re: Athearn Big Boy - Leap of Faith 101
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2010, 03:20:34 PM »
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If you have access to the ProtoWeathering forum, there are some great steam weathering tips here:

http://protoweathering.com/SMF/index.php?topic=694.0
"Life's a piece of sh!t when you look at it."
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bigford

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Re: Athearn Big Boy - Leap of Faith 101
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2010, 06:01:03 PM »
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jamie

 is that HO or N??  i did my n challenger and that was no fun
i would hate to do a big boy!!! 

lashedup

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Re: Athearn Big Boy - Leap of Faith 101
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2010, 08:45:03 PM »
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jamie

 is that HO or N??  i did my n challenger and that was no fun
i would hate to do a big boy!!!  

It's n-scale. I'm going to do at least one of my challengers as well.

David, you can't view that website without registering and registration is closed for some reason.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2010, 08:48:18 PM by lashedup »