Thursday, April 19, 2012

Weathering Inspiration from "Caddyshack"

I have been using a fading technique in my weathering that I learned from Gary Hinshaw that involves a mixture of acrylic white transparent paint, flat clear, and washer fluid.  This has been a fool proof means of taking off the unrealistic sheen of plastic models, either lightly for newer rollingstock, or a heavy fade for rustbucket jobs. He took this approach even further and began adding in other colors to "tint" the brew for specific color applications.

Well, staying on the 86' boxcar path, I started to tackle my Southern Pacific version.  When I researched prototype photos, the chalky faded brown color just seemed to be a big ole doody on wheels rolling down the tracks.  Since many boxcars are mineral brown, I needed a good method to turn the factory paint into a faded, chalky brown.  I took a quick trip to the local craft store and bought a tube of raw sienna acrylic "transparent" paint.  For my mixture, I added equal parts of the white and raw sienna, added some microflat, and topped it off with washer fluid.  It has the consistency of 2% milk, or fat free if you prefer chocolate.

I had already given the SP version a heavy fade with just a white mix, and decided to try a top coating of the new mixture including the raw sienna.  I am quite pleased in how it fades the car, yet the raw sienna provides a nice brown tint, without covering the car.

I thought I would share some photos of my progress.  The first shot is the car with just the white fade that I did the other night.  The second shot is after the raw sienna mix.  It gives the car a much more realistic faded brown color than fading with straight white.  The third photo includes a CNA car as comparison which is close to the original SP car color.  I have a lot of work to do on this car still, but it is looking promising.  I am really appreciative of Gary sharing his techniques, which have offered me a great starting point to test.


  1. Does this mixture for the wash give you a good base in which to use acrylic paints to replicate rust without the acrylic paints beading up? I have used Polly S and am not encouraged with the results.

    Thank you

    Charlie Hopkins

    1. if you spray with very thin coats it will work well directly on a factory finished car. Once the factory paint has a coat of weathering on it, the additional coats have a flat finish to adhere to. I use a double action airbrush which allows me to spray air and no paint, which helps me dry the wash quickly.