Author Topic: Weathering steam locos  (Read 1670 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

JoeW

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 124
  • Respect: +3
    • N Layout list
Weathering steam locos
« on: February 15, 2016, 05:19:19 PM »
0

Hi Gang
I would like to weather out a steam loco, have you found any information on Youtube, books, online blogs that you would recommend? 
Thanks

mmagliaro

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 4666
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +934
    • Maxcow Online
Re: Weathering steam locos
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2016, 06:06:29 PM »
+1
If you want something to read, (as opposed to studying lots of prototype photos and on-line model photos,

I did rather like this:

https://kalmbachhobbystore.com/garden-railroading/mrpdf027__Steam-locomotive-details-and-weathering

The Kalmbach "Steam locomotive details and weathering" book is a collection of Model Railroader articles, mostly from
the 1950s, that covers detailing and weathering of steam locomotives.   Even though folks may poo poo
Kalmbach or the fact that they make money by recycling collections of their old articles, I found this book useful
nonetheless.    It was well worth the 12 bucks.

Specter3

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 686
  • Respect: +60
Re: Weathering steam locos
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2016, 06:30:37 PM »
+1
If Max says its worth it, then I would say it is.

peteski

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 21533
  • Gender: Male
  • Honorary Resident Curmudgeon
  • Respect: +2008
    • Coming (not so) soon...
Re: Weathering steam locos
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2016, 07:03:17 PM »
+1
Then there was the controversial article on how to weather a steam loco in 7 minutes published in the November 2013 issue of Model Railroader Magazine. Worth reading just to see the pan-pastels weathering technique..
--- Peteski de Snarkski

-"Look at me, I'm satirical!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm anal retentive!!!"
-"Look at me, I have the most posts evahhhh!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm snarky!!!!"
-"Look at me, I have OCD!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm a curmudgeon!!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm not negative, just blunt and honest!!!"

chicken45

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 4159
  • Gender: Male
  • The guy who made DKS pee that one time.
  • Respect: +699
    • Facebook Profile
Re: Weathering steam locos
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2016, 07:25:55 PM »
+1
Link to the 7 minute article:
http://www.modelingcolors.com/download/model-railroader_weathering(nov-13).pdf

@tom mann recommended this link to me
http://www.okng.org/clinics/weather_loco.pdf
 and I used it as a basis for weathering my K4:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/110698915/Josh-K4-1361-Approaching.jpg

I think I may download that steam book.
Josh "John" Surkosky
Darth Vader of Penn State
PRRT&HS Member
Bass Trombone Enthusiast
Bearded Dynamo
Kentucky Colonel

              The Pig 
The pig, if I am not mistaken;
Supplies us sausage, ham, and bacon.
Let others say his heart is big—
I call it stupid of the pig.

chicken45

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 4159
  • Gender: Male
  • The guy who made DKS pee that one time.
  • Respect: +699
    • Facebook Profile
Re: Weathering steam locos
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2016, 07:31:30 PM »
0
This looks pretty good, too!

http://www.bronx-terminal.com/?p=1357
Josh "John" Surkosky
Darth Vader of Penn State
PRRT&HS Member
Bass Trombone Enthusiast
Bearded Dynamo
Kentucky Colonel

              The Pig 
The pig, if I am not mistaken;
Supplies us sausage, ham, and bacon.
Let others say his heart is big—
I call it stupid of the pig.

JoeW

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 124
  • Respect: +3
    • N Layout list
Re: Weathering steam locos
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2016, 07:44:38 PM »
+1
and I used it as a basis for weathering my K4:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/110698915/Josh-K4-1361-Approaching.jpg

I think I may download that steam book.

That K4 is a real beauty.  Nice job and thanks for the links.

mmagliaro

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 4666
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +934
    • Maxcow Online
Re: Weathering steam locos
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2016, 08:40:24 PM »
+1
Hey, that link Tom Mann recommended looks really good.  I grabbed that to study tonight.

In the other one, I like how the guy ran the engine up on blocks so he could airbrush the drivers
and get them evenly painted without taking the whole engine apart.  I used that same trick on my PRR I1.

If anyone does that, I would advise you to cut thin strips of masking tape and put them around the driver treads, and remove the tender wheelsets and the contact plates entirely (in the tender trucks).
It can be a tough job cleaning paint off all those surfaces when you are done.  Better to avoid getting
it on there in the first place.


chicken45

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 4159
  • Gender: Male
  • The guy who made DKS pee that one time.
  • Respect: +699
    • Facebook Profile
Re: Weathering steam locos
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2016, 07:32:15 AM »
0
Also, can we get a mod to move this to the weathering forum?
Josh "John" Surkosky
Darth Vader of Penn State
PRRT&HS Member
Bass Trombone Enthusiast
Bearded Dynamo
Kentucky Colonel

              The Pig 
The pig, if I am not mistaken;
Supplies us sausage, ham, and bacon.
Let others say his heart is big—
I call it stupid of the pig.

robert3985

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 2228
  • Respect: +474
Re: Weathering steam locos
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2016, 04:44:24 AM »
+3
There are "weathered" steam locomotives, then there are "properly weathered" steam locomotives.  It's pretty easy to slap some chalks or pastels on your steamer and call it "weathered", but steam locomotives are complex machines, with several different and opposing factors contributing to changing the visual quality of the paint and graphite used on them when fresh out of a shopping...after only a few hours of being back at work on the rails.

As I always contend, to make your model look the most real, then you need to modify it according to prototype references...in this case (weathering) by using photos of the prototype you're modifying, and color photos preferably.

Since steam locos had fires burning inside them, they were very hot in several places, particularly the firebox and the smokebox...which changed the way the paint or graphite which was applied to those areas looked.  Silver paint applied to these areas quickly became a flat, light gray after only a day or two back in service, except on the face of the smokebox, which was cooler than the sides. Other roads applied a blacker graphite (ie. SP) to the smokebox sides, which also muddied up and baked due to the heat.  Mud, water and dust from running, as well as water steaming off the surface made the firebox paint, although initially usually the same as the smokebox's, look very different after being in service for a while.  Mineral deposits from hard water hotly running down the sides of the locomotives, or steam (also with mineral deposits in it) turned certain parts of steam locomotives nearly white...streaky, dirty white...as well as the drippings from those areas also turned the drivers underneath nearly the same color.  If the engine was coal fired, certain areas on it looked really different that if it was oil-fired, particularly on the top and sides of the tender near the filler hatch.  Where the water hatches were, they got mineral deposits very quickly from overflow at the water column.

Some engines weathered themselves in particular ways, such as UP Big Boys with a half-moon of dirt & road grime on the lower face of the firebox front, or SP cab-forwards tenders being so dirty that the lettering disappeared.  Roads who had less mineralized water to feed their steamers had much less calcification visible on the boilers and tender surfaces.

Since I model the UP almost exclusively (except for an occasional SP train which terminated in Ogden), my steam engines (Big Boys, FEF's, Challengers, USRA light Mikes, and Baldwin Consolidations are weathered according to prototype reference photos as they would appear in the decade starting in 1947 and ending Dec. 31, 1956 between Ogden and Green River.  This means that the smaller, less prestigious engines (2-8-0's and Light Mikes) weren't kept as clean as the three "big" engines (Big Boys, Challengers & FEF's), but all were well-maintained, so all of them in various stages between clean and dirty would have been visible in any given day on the Wahsatch Grade.

Here's a photo of a brass USRA UP-ized Light Mikado, showing cinders, dust, heat, coal and water scaling "weathering" in this side view on the Park City Branch:


On the UP, all steam engines' black paint was shiny when applied. IMO this is important as far as our models are concerned too, because this glossy "new" paint is what I apply my dull weathering to...and provides a glossy base to which ultra-flat black (cinders & smoke) is visible mainly by the big difference in surface texture, and not color as with the other weathering effects.  Although on this model, there isn't much of the original shiny black that's visible, there is enough there to perceive that this engine's original paint was glossy.  Two places that almost immediately went flat on the prototypes were the smokebox and the firebox.  Having a shiny boiler contrasting with a flat smokebox and firebox is the first step IMO to a successful steam engine weathering job.

I used Pollyscale paints to this engine after degreasing it with Bestine.  I also taped the drivers and other wheels tire surfaces so as not to get paint on those shiny surfaces as well as the traction tires.  I then hooked the engine up to a cheap toy 12 volt throttle and let the drivers spin as I carefully airbrushed the bright sides of the NS tires and spoked details...as well as the rods, which, on this engine would prototypically lose their shine after a few months of not being shopped, but kept busy on its daily Park City Branchline Local or Evanston Local duties.  I also airbrushed the inside of the coal bunker flat black, and then after precisely applying a light gray for water scaling, I roughened the scaling portions up with a small, stiff brush dipped in alcohol so some streaky black shows through.

Being brass, I cured the acrylic paint with a hair dryer, then removed the tape from the tire surfaces.  I do this with plastic too, but with the hairdryer on "medium" rather than high, and it takes a bit longer to cure acrylic this way.

Minimally, the three main areas that need weathering on any steam engine that is active (not sitting in a park) are the smokebox, the firebox and blackening the silver tires and outside wheel surfaces on non-driver wheels.  This minimal weathering would represent an engine just fresh out of the shop, or one in either prestige passenger service or excursion service.  On the UP, many of the engines which were used daily on several runs would be inspected, lubed and washed almost daily...particularly Big Boys, non-helper service Challengers and passenger steam engines, so during their long tenure on the road, they never got rusty while in service...nor was their paint allowed to fade...even filthy, prototype photos show they were still glossy under their accumulated dirt, soot and dust.

Other roads were notorious for letting their motive power look like Hell, so a little research is in order to "properly" depict the steam engine you want to weather.

As always, weathering tells a story...and when approached this way will make your models much more realistic than mere generic weathering.

Here's a photo of a well-maintained Big Boy heading eastward at Echo Curve on its way to Green River to be inspected, lubed and washed before being turned and returning to Ogden:


Here's a photo of another Big Boy heading west to Ogden and an FEF-2 shoving on the back of an east-bound extra on the reverse-running section of the Wahsatch Grade between Curvo and Ogden:


Have fun!

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore
« Last Edit: February 19, 2016, 05:02:54 AM by robert3985 »

Ed Kapuscinski

  • Global Moderator
  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 18189
  • Has a degree in American History & Culture.
  • Respect: +2345
    • Conrail 1285
Re: Weathering steam locos
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2016, 08:33:28 AM »
0
Damn Bob. Damn.

That's all such great modeling.

I love that mike too. That's the type of steam I love... and she looks great with a weather on her.

JoeW

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 124
  • Respect: +3
    • N Layout list
Re: Weathering steam locos
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2016, 02:13:15 PM »
0

Other roads were notorious for letting their motive power look like Hell, so a little research is in order to "properly" depict the steam engine you want to weather.

As always, weathering tells a story...and when approached this way will make your models much more realistic than mere generic weathering.
Wow Bob I especially like your perspective on the thought process.  I will definitely be taking your advice.  I also appreciate your comment "(not sitting in the park)" this is important because I do have one near by in a park that I can go look at and although it has all of the distinctive details of its road heritage it is lacking in the dynamics of daily use.  Of course it has the weathering of many decades but no indications of recent mechanical use.  I am preparing a SP mogul during the end of it's service life so your comments are very punctual and you can be sure that they will be going through my mind as I proceed with the project.  Your photos show you can walk the walk, nice work.  Cheerio and thanks again Pal.

Dave V

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 8925
  • Gender: Male
  • The Route of the Galloping Goose
  • Respect: +3975
    • Dave Vollmer's N Scale Pennsy
Re: Weathering steam locos
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2016, 02:24:07 PM »
+1
I'm thinking about doing an article on weathering one of my K4s.  It'll include the Shapeways smoke-box swap out.

Usually I like to use an airbrush on the wheels and running gear but I'm thinking about seeing if I can just get away with acrylic washes and various brushes to make it more broadly appealing to those who may not own a decent dual-action internal-mix airbrush.
Silver San Juan Scenic Line

Member SlimRail Modular Colorado Narrow Gauge
http://www.slimrail.net/

chicken45

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 4159
  • Gender: Male
  • The guy who made DKS pee that one time.
  • Respect: +699
    • Facebook Profile
Re: Weathering steam locos
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2016, 02:55:06 PM »
0
I'm thinking about doing an article on weathering one of my K4s.  It'll include the Shapeways smoke-box swap out.

Usually I like to use an airbrush on the wheels and running gear but I'm thinking about seeing if I can just get away with acrylic washes and various brushes to make it more broadly appealing to those who may not own a decent dual-action internal-mix airbrush.


Smokebox swap out?
Josh "John" Surkosky
Darth Vader of Penn State
PRRT&HS Member
Bass Trombone Enthusiast
Bearded Dynamo
Kentucky Colonel

              The Pig 
The pig, if I am not mistaken;
Supplies us sausage, ham, and bacon.
Let others say his heart is big—
I call it stupid of the pig.

Dave V

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 8925
  • Gender: Male
  • The Route of the Galloping Goose
  • Respect: +3975
    • Dave Vollmer's N Scale Pennsy
Re: Weathering steam locos
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2016, 03:14:14 PM »
+1

Smokebox swap out?

Sorry, that's the head cold talking...  Meant "sand box" or "sand dome."
Silver San Juan Scenic Line

Member SlimRail Modular Colorado Narrow Gauge
http://www.slimrail.net/