2017-09.1: Notch 8: Weathering Steam 1

02 Sep 2017

Average: 4.5 (17 votes)
36:06 - September 2017 Act I - Notch 8: Weathering Steam 1 (2017)

Alan Houtz from Iwata-Medea airbrushes discusses how steam engines get grimy, and shows us methods for weathering passenger locomotives.  Part 1 of 3.

Want to see part 2? Watch part 2 >>
Want to see part 3? Watch part 3 >>

Also in this month's show:
- Start small, THINK BIG:  Details
- The Backshop Clinic:  Minimalist weathering
- Documentary:  Railway Life

Act II: Start Small, THINK BIG: Details ...

Go to Act II


Warflight's picture

Weathering steam era!

I need more of this sort of thing! I model steam, and wooden cars!

Hello, I noticed that the windows were not masked before the weathering process.

Can they be cleaned afterwards?

Super weathering job from Alan Houtz, can't wait to see the next episode.

Thank you.

tpmarshall's picture

Hi Serge:

Yes - if need be, you can clean the windows afterwards. Alan used water color paints to weather this model, so plain water would clean them off. I suggest a "microbrush" (google it if you don't know what those are) for exact placement. The brush should be damp - but not wet - because you don't want the water to run and spoil the weathering.

These would also work for number boards, headlights, and so on.


- Trevor

Hi Serge!

Trevor makes an excellent suggestion.  I also use Q-tips.  Ladies beauty supply stores have nice sharply pointed ones, and if you use something besides water colors, there are several good liquid masking films available.  I use one by Micro Scale.  Some of those windows (the forward facing cab windows come to mind) are difficult to cut masks for!


Alan Houtz

Hello, it is not better to run the wheels of the machine on a test bench to avoid unpainted areas behind the rods ?   Michel

Hello, it is not better to run the wheels of the machine on a test bench to avoid unpainted areas behind the rods ? 

Certainly, and Alan mentions that very thing several times during this video. You can only fit so many things into your luggage and he said this is one of the things that didn't make it.

CN6401's picture

Alan, you used Dulcoat as a dulling agent and to add tooth, it is not an easy coating to remove from clear surfaces. Even if you use some sort of masking liquid, wouldn't it be better to remove all the clear plastic to reduce overspray and bleed through around edges?

I like what you've done so far can't wait to see how you do the freight steamer!

Ralph Renzetti


Hi Ralph. 

I used Testors Acryl Flat. A little windex will take it right off!  I still use the original solvent based Dullcote sometimes but is odor is a bit of a turn off. (Stinks to high heaven!). If the windows are easily removed, by all means do, however this isn't always the case. 

I'm not sure what to do now. I'm itching to try weathering some of my steam, but my airbrush, compressor, etc. are all 650 miles away for the next several months! I may go out any buy new equipment so I can get started.

The amount of enthusiasm this video has generated for me is a big surprise. I haven't been itching to do much modeling since I lost my wife to cancer several years ago. Thanks for rekinding the fire!


I'm glad you enjoyed it. Artists all go through "dry spells". It's happened to me for various reasons, and a big one is a life change like you've had. I hope you'll enjoy getting back to work.  I have always found getting back to the work bench very rewarding!

Alan Houtz

You mentioned a favorite for N scalers but I didn't quite hear. Was it an Iawata Hi-Line HP-BH?

Bingo!  The HP-BH is a favorite of N Scalers because of the small bowl. The HP-C+ is also a favorite. It is essentially the same airbrush as the HB-BH except for the MAC valve.  Both are exceptional fine detail airbrushes. 

Warflight's picture

So, I'm on a budget, but, I'm making a shopping list of what I need to get started with airbrushing. "airbrush" should probably be at the top of that list. I keep finding inexpensive sets that use a spray can for air, and I'm quite sure I want nothing to do with that.

Good thought!  Canned air is expensive. Buy 7-8 cans and you've paid for a compressor!  It's also unreliable, an the pressure is always changing. Cheap tools are a false economy!  

"What we're fighting here is our own fear.......don't be afraid."  Excellent advice no matter what you are going to weather. Thank you for that !!