Weathering project 06: B&O coal hopper

20 Feb 2016

Average: 4.9 (25 votes)
25:54 - Weathering 06: B&O open-top coal hopper (2016)

For project 6, Mike Confalone weathers a B&O coal hopper. For this car, Mike demonstrates some basic dirty working car weathering and how you can stop there in many cases. Then using a prototype photo, Mike goes on with this specific car to do a unique yellow-orange rust fade on the panels and ribs using oils, and then accents it with PanPastels to get this rusted hard-working coal hopper.

Other episodes in this series include:
- Introduction: Workspace, tools & materials
- Project 1: Chessie covered hopper
- Project 2: Engelhard covered hopper
- Project 3: Milwaukee Road boxcar
- Project 4: Seaboard Coast Line hopper
- Project 5: Grand Trunk covered hopper
- Project 7: CP Rail boxcar
- Project 8: CN pressure-diff hopper

Also see volume 2: Weathering diesel locomotives.

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Episode 8: Weathering a CP Rail boxcar ...

Go to seventh weathering project


coyoteww's picture

Looks exactly like the cars that go by here on the railroad. Not to much, but enough to show it has some hard use and no washing. Not that I don't like the extreme weathering also, but this is an everyday...looks like the majority type of weathering. Great job Mike !


Great job on the coal car.  I keep noticing the light blue building in the background of the videos and how nicely it is weathered. Might be fun to do a video on how you weather some of your buildings.

Mike, excellent job on all the weathering videos. I particularly like the variety of techniques you are demonstrating; they're all effective, but interesting you use so many different approaches. Bravo!

Thanks for the good word!

I wanted to approach this entire weathering series from a project standpoint. Each car in the series is a seperate project and that underscores your comment about the different approaches. Each project requires a different approach, a different plan of attack. Some techniques overlap from car to car, but the combination, order and degree to which each is employed is alway a variable. That's what makes it a challenge.

Mike Confalone

Yes, weathering buildings is a ton of fun too. Maybe someday!

Some of the techniques used on the freight cars carry over into buildings as well. For example, the rust streaks you see on the grain silos at New Sharon are done with oils and turpentine the same way it is done on the freight cars.

Mike Confalone

Great observation Michael.

That's the goal. Make your freight car fleet look...."common"..."every-day"...."typical." When you acomplish that, the whole shebang just looks more like the real thing!

Model the oridinary, not the extraordinary.

Mike Confalone

Tbgarland's picture

Would you use this same technique on a black tank car? It looks just like the rust fading that can be typical on many tank cars that have been in service for a good while. Also, I thought it was great seeing you video this type of weathering "real time" not knowing how the results would turn out. And then the car turned out looking great.

Tim Garland

coyoteww's picture

I agree with missykroll, it would be great to see your approach to weathering buildings. I have used your techniques towards weathering buildings, but it would be great to see how you tackle corrugated roofing, shingles and tarpaper roofs ( which are all viewable from our birds eye view of our railroads ) but also mechanical equipment that adorns our buildings. I have always weathered my buildings to show the effects of age and non maintenance, and enjoy it as much as weathering cars. Seems like a perfect transition into another series...hint - hint ! Thanks again for your great narrative and technique towards helping us make our railroads better. You make your approach comfortable so that we all can do better.


wafflebox306's picture


Totally agree with the comment you made about texture on this episode.  Our hobby isn't just about flat colors, but a great great deal of it is textures and playing one texture off another.  If you go back and look at Bob Ross' paintings and how the oils he used dried with a texture.  Great point to make even in the weathering of cars.  Great series.  Always learn something!  Thanks for doing these, Mike!

Another very educational video Mr. Confalone. Having watched most of these, some of your techniques have inspired me to try them out on my own rolling stock. Pan Pastels and a couple of tubes of oil paint were purchased, and I have been having great fun trying to emulate your results. The joy with oil is that because the paint stays 'open' for so long it gives you a chance to alter the effect a long time after the paint has actually been applied, which has been of great help. Still trying to perfect the use of Pan Pastels to achieve a fade as opposed to my usual airbrush fade, hopefully practice will make perfect.


Hi Mike,                                                                                  

Excellent work. I have learn a lot some weathering techniques, thanks for you. These days i´ll use only some oil colours and pastels. They work great also in O-scale. Please, can you weathering some bulkhead flat car some day?

Thanks again,


I would like to try the Pan Pastels to weather my cars, Locomotives, and Buildings. What would be a good set to start out with. My hobbie shops in my arrea do not have them and had no idea what they are. Is there a place I can find them.


There's a lot of great discussion about this video series over on the Model Railroad Hobbyist magazine forum. See:

PanPastels buying tip ...

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Further discussion on Mike's weathering series ...