Weathering Techniques To Add
Realism To Your Model Railroad Layout
Throughout the Model Train Help
Ebook I give you several tips on weathering, which is basically the art of taking something
new and making it look like something old. It could be locomotive, caboose, a building, a bridge, a
tunnel, a road, a fence, or any element of scenery for that matter. Almost anything ages and
changes over time.
For example; when you buy a some rolling stock it comes packaged all shiny, plastic
and new. It probably looks too perfect, unreal and out of place alongside the other cars on the
track. It may need "roughing up" to make it look used, or at least show some signs of wear and
It really comes down to deciding if want to "rough-up" the factory paint job on the
very expensive rolling stock you've just purchased. But, like it or not, shiny new cars usually
look out of place on an otherwise "used looking" layout.
In reality; most cars on a railroad show varying degrees of rust, grime (lube and oil), mud,
soot, denting, scratches and some are even covered in graffiti. However, cars do vary in age and
usage, so they shouldn't necessarily all look the same. And, not everything is dirty, because the
contact on bare metal can keep some areas clean.
So, it is a case of thinking carefully about the age and likely wear and tear that you want to
mimic... and whether you are prepared to "rough-up" your rolling stock for the sake of adding
Also, think about the region or era you are recreating. Is it likely to be muddy at times or
would it be more dusty and arid like in a desert? For example, the rolling stock might need a
sun-bleached look, which can be achieved with dullcoat brushed over with some rubbing alcohol. This
will give the model a kind of a white milky haze. If you don't like it, respray with dullcoat.
However, always test techniques on something else before you try them out on your prized models,
because you may not like the effect.
The above photo shows a derelict old house in a dry exposed region that has obviously at some
time been hit by a hurricane or gale force winds. Notice the old farm equipment, rusty car and
stuck tractor lying around that add to the realism of the scene.