2014-04.6 Backshop Clinic - Extreme weathering 2

24 Apr 2014

Average: 4.9 (17 votes)
28:45 - Apr 2014 Bonus 2 - Extreme rolling stock weathering, part 2 (2014)

In a four-part Backshop Clinic, we follow Ralph Renzetti's techniques for weathering rolling stock.  Here in part 2, Ralph demonstrates his techniques for creating rust patches and streaks, and he paints the wheels and truck sideframes.

Parts 3 and 4 will deal with locomotive weathering techniques.

Go to Part 3



First off your work is amazing and I can't wait to get started trying my hand at weathering. One question that I have is what PSI are you spraying your 50/50 dullcoat mix at?

Thanks, Don


I spray at about 20 psi,  it's a thin mix so it's perfect for airbrushing at low pressures. If you can't control the pressure you can control the nozzle of the airbrush. Another way to control the pressure is to loosen the hose connection at the compressor if there is no regulator,  just enough to bleed off some air. 

Remember, the idea is a lite coat of Dulcoat sprayed from about six inches,  just enough Dulcoat to fix the work you've done and move on to the next step. The Dulcoat will darken you work ever so slightly so be careful how much weathering you apply initially,  you can always go back and repeat a step, but if you apply too much it is hard to remove to lighten it up. You will have more control over your work if you work in lite,  multiple stages, with a lite coat of Dulcoat between stages/applications of weathering. 



Thankyou for the info, I am ready to give it a try.



One other question I have is would WN Artisan Low Odour Thinner be ok to use as a solvent for your rust / pit streaking effect and what type Percent Isopropyl Alcohol (50%, 70% or 91%) do you use to spray on your first shading effect before you start weathering?



All good questions!

Yes the low odour WN Thinner will work fine. I use a product called Archival Odourless Solvent. The only problem with oils and the thinners is that they take longer to dry. In the video I mentioned a little battery operated fan or you can use a hair dryer set on low temp. When I do this step I usually use a hair dryer and then I let it set overnight and finish it off with a coat of Dullcoat mixed 50/50 with lacquer thinner shot thu an airbrush to seal it.

The alcohol I use is 99% Isopropal Alcohol purchased in a six pack from Costco, its the cheapest way to buy it if your doing a lot of weathering.

I mix it with Tamyia Acrylic paint at a rate of 10% paint and 90% Alcohol. Be careful mixing alcohol with just any Acrylic, I had the mixture turn to a Gel. So make sure you test it first if its not Tamyia Acrylic

I use Tamyia XF-2 flat white for my basic fade paint applied in multiple lite layers.

(Optional) You can experiment with adding a drop or two of XF-1 flat black on dark colours, Black, Blue, or Dark Grey. For colours like Red, I occasionally add a  few drops of green. On a Green car I add a drop or two of red to the fade paint. Using these odd clours helps to tone down the vibrance of the original colour, but is not absolutely required, generally the white with alcohol will work just fine.

I won't go into specifics but if you look on a colour wheel, the colours I add are usually directly opposite the base colour of the car, again these colours are are an option and not absolutely required.

A little winded but I hope this help to answer your questions.



Thankyou for the answers, I'm actually suprised there aren't more people jumping in on this topic. I can't wait to see the locomotive weathering video.



It seems you may be one of the only ones brave enough to consider  getting rid of that toy like finish. I was at the Ottawa Train Expo this past weekend and it is staggering the number of people that want their engines and rolling stock to remain pristine,  each to his own.

Weathering is a personal preference and extreme weathering is not for everyone,  but my system allows you to do as much or as little as you want.  As I mentioned in the video,  if you get nothing else out of this video,  get rid of the shiny plastic finish (the toy like look).

My favorite weathering projects are engines.



I have been in/out of the hobby since the mid 70's and I like you just could not bring myself to dare touch that piece of rolling stock or engine out of fear of ruining it. Your videos have given me hope and to just dive in, do it and give it a try on a cheap piece of rolling stock.


Hi Ralph,

I tried your technique on a grey Atlas cement hopper, it worked great!  What I especially liked is the step by step detailed instructions of how you achieve the desired result, I read a lot of books on weathering that leave certain details out...in the past, when I'd hear "I weathered this with oils" I never really knew that that meant.  Have you used this technique on brown or "red" boxcars? 

I model the 1950s and would love to see the techniques you use on the boxcar, tank cars or "older" cars that were displayed on the video, the realism of your work is incredible...are you planning on doing any more videos?

I'd like to mention to the guys at TMTV that your series puts their video product over the top.



Thanks for the kind words.

I try to make my presentations as user friendly as possible, so it makes me feel good that you were able to achieve the results that make you happy. Remember this, the more you do the better you get, the better you get the higher your confidence level. The higher the level of confidence the more you are willing to tackle.

Yes this technique works on brown and red boxcars, but as I said some colours will fade to funny colours. Case in point if you add too much white fade a red car will turn a shade of pink which is not necesarrily a bad thing, you stil have to add grime. The road grime technique works really well on wood reefers which fit right into your era.

You ask if I'm going to do any more vodeos, the answer is this, I am currently developing a method weathering steam engines. So stay tuned.



Your technique of applying the water mixable oils and then removing with a sponge is absolutely golden!  I have tried a variety of methods to get that weathered, grimy look but never acheived a good looking and reliable result.  I just finished using your methods on a red box car and am thrilled with the outcome.  It looks so natural. 

Your videos are such a great resource.  Thank you!

With appreciation,

Jim Scott

Jim,  I'm glad my system is working for you. Did you apply a fade to the red prior to the grime? Red, box car red and black are the most difficult to weather properly. 

Whemix the white wash that I describe in the video there are two things to remember. When working on red cars be sure to add a few drops of green in the wash and when working on green cars add a few drops of red to the wash.  These colours are opposite each other on a colour wheel and will tone down the brightness of the cars. 

Ralph (CN6401)

Hi Ralph:

Thanks so much for your follow-up and the additional tips.  I did not add any additional colors to the white wash and was a little concerned I might end up with pink.  Fortunately, I did not and then the grimy mixture really did it's job.  I will use your suggestions on my next red and/or green car.

Your videos are so helpful to me.  I haved watched each of  them several times and seem to pick up something more with each pass.  Any chance you will be doing more on weathering in the near future?

Kind regards,

Jim Scott