There's nothing like an impending model train exhibition or the arrival of a new model, or both, to spur you towards finishing some small projects that had been placed on the to-do list for too-long. In this instance, it was finishing the weathering and detail on my steel train, something which I first began back in May 2017 by weathering the NCTY open wagons. As you can see above, the NCTY wagons have looked grubby for just on two years, but were joined this week by my long awaited 442 Class locomotive in the form of JL406. It was time to finish detailing the steel train.
|Getting to work with first Rustall, and then some water based acrylics.|
The biggest cause for concern were my RH/RV 'Butter-box' coil steel containers which had trundled around at the past two model train shows in their pristine straight-out-of-the-packet marigold and yellow. Out came the Rustall once more, as I added a light coat of their Number 1 'rust' followed by a heavier coat of their Number 2 'grime'. But this time I went a little further. After they had dried, I then made a grubby but streaky mix of some burnt sienna with just a hint of black artist acrylic paint and painted a not-too-watered-down coat of this on all sides top and bottom on the RH/RV containers, and waited until they had almost dried.
|Wipe on, wipe off. This method gave a much heavier weathering result.|
I then used some dry paper toweling to wipe as much of the drying paint away as I could. If the paint has almost set, you can slightly dampen the paper towel to remove the required amount. I next added some more black to my leftover paint mix until I had a sooty mix of brown-black and did the same with the plastic tarpaulins that I use with my NCNX coil steel wagons. I only have one NCNX wagon, but acquired a mix of all three National Rail and Pacific National tarpaulins by buying a packet of each, keeping one of each type and selling the rest on eBay. It is the same method I employed to build my now impressive fleet of mixed containers which I will cover in another post.
|Some era-appropriate late National Rail coil steel containers and weathered tarpaulins, ready for action.|
The results you can see above and below look pretty good. The tarpaulins look well used and still a little shiny in patches, just like the tarpaulins often do when they are folded in the same places. The butter-box containers now have a convincing level of grubbiness about them while still being able to tell the difference between the National Rail marigold colour and later Pacific National yellow.
|Four Butterboxes all in a row.|
Which led me back to the tarpaulins for the sole surviving NCNX wagon on my roster. This wagon had not run on the layout since taking a tumble onto the floor back at last year's Redlands Model Train Show. Thankfully I now have the clear perspex panel semi-permanently glued into position at the end of the harbour tracks to avoid this ever happening again, but first I had to glue the end panels and some coil steel support bars back into place and touch up any glue marks with another round of Rustall weathering.
|The NCNX coil steel wagon glued back together again just fine, hopeful its days of playing Humpty Dumpty are now over.|
|The sole surviving NCTY open wagon still looks great from its now 2 year old weathering job.|
I didn't need to touch the NCTY wagon I'd weathered two years earlier. Although with an air-brush now high on my shopping list as I venture further along on my N scale project, expect this wagon and my container flat wagons to maybe go another degree dirtier in time.
|JL406 arrives to work the steel train in Philden. The OneSteel siding is on the right and holds 3 wagons.|
So there you have it. The steel train becomes the first completely weathered train on my layout, and I have since moved on and completed my container fleet with the same effect. The steel train will provide the option of removing the butter-box containers or individual coil steel loads at one of two unloading points; the concrete apron beside the cement plant, or the OneSteel siding that ends hard against the goods shed. The empty wagons will then have to be stored in the OneSteel siding until they are called for back in Phills Harbour, where they can be reloaded in between cement and container trains and sent straight back. The 4 butter-box containers on my roster will call for 2 NQTY/NQYY container flat wagons, and along with my sole surviving NCNX and NCTY open wagons makes for a 4 wagon train. Its a straight forward train, but once my carded timetable is implemented, will have to share wagons and duties between the container train while not holding up the 5 wagon cement train or incoming Xplorer or XPT. There are now just 11 captive wagons on my layout, and each of them has an allocated place from which to leave and return to, and a common destination of Phills Harbour that each carded train will need to visit in sequence.
The only item I now need to take on or off the layout for my operating sessions are a), whatever passenger train I feel like running at the time, the XPT or Xplorer and b), whichever locomotive I assign as the Phills Harbour shunter. Speaking of which....
|My long awaited 442 Class loco in the attractive CFCLA experimental livery circa 2002-2004.|
The train I first ordered sometime around the end of 2015, then cancelled early 2017, only to re-order early 2018 has finally arrived. JL406 in the striking CFCLA livery may have taken a while to arrive, but in a word, 'wow'! This is definitely the one loco I've always wanted to see run on my layout and feel pretty lucky to now own. I'll post a review on it in the near future.
So with Easter now only 6 weeks away, I'll have my layout ready and looking better than it was last year by the time I return from a week-and-a-half holiday just in time for the 2019 Brisbane Model Train Show. For once I'm going to be spoiled as to what locos to run, instead of just resorting to my 42109 Interail loco that has been to each exhibition I've taken Philden to. And if my ears and eyes serve me well, I could have a record 4 locomotives to choose from if the 422 Class locos arrive in the coming month. The Northern Rivers Railroad's 42206 is going to be Philden's final addition, as I then start pestering Adam at Wuiske Models some more, over what QR locos ran with what rollingstock for my next little project. Other than that, watch for my book Last Train to Bunbury to finally be released in the coming weeks, and a big announcement regarding a book project after the Brisbane Model Train Show.
See also; That steel ain't light