October 29, 2015

Weathering Modern Cars for PoLA

Atlas ACF® 23,500 Gallon Tank Car 
One of the things I miss in modeling the ACW era is building and weathering freight cars and other painted steel objects. The PoLA layout gives me the opportunity to do some of that work, which I find very enjoyable.  Here are some photos of the first 5 cars I weathered for the PoLA layout.

Atlas ACF® 23,500 Gallon Tank Car

I use prototype photos to guide my efforts. In particular the Soo Line car had graffiti and I tried to copy it. Yes, graffiti is the bane of  railroads. As much as I hate to look at it when rail fanning or riding the Metro, it is a fact of life. You need some graffiti to make a realistic looking modern layout. I did find it ironic that the graffiti on the right side of the Soo Line car itself had weathered. It was a fun to try to capture that. I painted the graffiti with a small brush and acrylic paint using the photo as a guide. I have no idea what the graffiti is supposed to represent.

Atlas 53' Evans Gondola
 BTW graffiti has existed for a long time. Soldiers from American Civil War to as far back as Roman republic left graffiti.
Fox Valley 7 Post Box car

Fox Valley 7 Post Box car. I used this prototype
photo as a guide for this side of the car.


  1. Nicely done, Bernie. Will your weathering methods be part of the book, or can you share here?

    1. Will probably not be covered in the book, but the techniques were pretty standard. Airbrush acrylics, then washes, and detail painting with acrylics.