Weathering model railroad rolling stock tutorial

Jim’s been in touch again, he’s been busy weathering model railroad rolling stock.

(His last post is here)

“Greetings, Al.

It’s getting a little cooler here in the desert. So I’ve been working on weathering rolling stock.

I tried paints, acrylic and enamel but I personally prefer chalks. They allow for better control in applying layers for more or less weathering effects.

I remove trucks and couplers, then spray Dull Coat in flat finish, dust with chalks in different shades of rust, brush them in and lightly re-coat with Dull Coat.

Then I weather the wheels, trucks and couplers with thinned coats of enamel paints in flat black, rust or both depending on the effect I want.

Here in the U.S. rolling stock can be quite pricey, $25 to $40. They look so great out of the box with so much fine detailing and then to “dirty em up” to look prototypical is a bit daunting. In any event, I made a video with a new Scale Trains ET44C4 which by the way is a fantastic highly detailed model and the weathered well cars and some containers.

Hope you enjoy

Jim AZ”

weathering model railroad rolling stock

weathering model railroad rolling stock

weathering model railroad rolling stock

Latest ebay cheat sheet is here

A huge thanks to Jim for his weathering model railroad rolling stock tutorial. I always recognise his layout from his stunning rock face.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you get started on your layout, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

PPS More HO scale train layouts here if that’s your thing.

18 Responses to Weathering model railroad rolling stock tutorial

  1. David Howarth says:

    Looks good , bit of weathering makes a big difference …Dangerous Dave

  2. Alan McTavish says:

    Great show … good to see model trains moving at a realistic scale speed – especially freight trains. Well done with the weathering but what about the pristine loco’s ;o)

  3. Peter Waring says:

    Jim, Love the desert theme to your layout, the weathering on the Wagons looks great. The backdrop of the mountains gives the scene so much depth. Thanks for sharing. Peter…

  4. Cary B says:

    Just subscribed to Jims You tube. What an awesome layout. Thank for sharing all the inspirational layouts Al.

    Cary B

  5. Kern Piser says:

    I am not a modeler, but I do have an accumulation of trains in various scales I plan to display and run at some point. I enjoy this site very much, but I do have a question prompted by this post concerning weathering rolling stock. Here on the east coast of the U.S. freight cars are often “tagged” by graffiti artists, and I was wondering if any readers have incorporated this reality into their contemporary layouts?

  6. Larry Johnson says:

    Nice weathering It’s always a toss-up. Looks so nice and clean right out of the box, or I just custom painted and lettered it, vs. weathering. There is a rail shop near Buffalo and sometimes the newly painted real rolling stock looks like it just came from the “box”! I notice that Jim has about 6 of the same buildings as I have on my A&C RR.

  7. Kevin McArdle says:

    It’s the small details that brings a layout from a toy train to a realistic craftsman layout. Beautiful work.

  8. Marklin Ed says:

    On the east coast of America, I see lots of rolling stock it bad shape lack of paint and lots of rust. Plus lots of graffiti. Oil tanker cars are usually a bit cleaner. Europe trains (TGV, ICE TRAINS) are in much better shape.

  9. Warren Ferguson says:

    Lovely layout, Jim! I’m really impressed, not just with the beautiful weathering you have done, but your entire layout is a show stopper. The rock formations and the backdrop are spectacular. How the heck did you do the rock striations? Did you create the backdrop, or is it purchased? Either way, it’s super fine work. Warren in Alabama

  10. Dr. Bob says:

    Great job of weathering and layout too!

  11. wowww
    some of the best detailing Ive ever seen
    great paint jobs
    keep em rollin fellas

  12. Thomas Murphy says:

    It’s always well to see freight cars looking realistic in the way the units look on the major haulers of goods on our rail system do.

  13. Rick Mallon (Houston Texas) says:

    Great layout, where did you get backdrop of the mountains.

  14. Jim says:

    Thank you all for your kind and inspirational comments. Unfortunately my layout space is small due to the fact I’m limited to the garage. Homes here in AZ don’t have attics or basements. But I tried to do the best that space would allow. The background was provided by Backdrop Junction after several attempts at drawing and painting failed. The rock formations are a combination of snapped ceiling tile and sculptamold and 1” blue foam board and hydrocal. All were stained and dusted with various Woodland Scenics and Scenic Express products. Again, greatly appreciate all your comments. Jim AZ

  15. dave says:

    I think Lionel had graffiti cars on sale at one time its not hard to do it your self a air brush with a fine tip should work with O or G scale I think I will take a car or two to my tattoo artist buddy see what he could do with fine point paint pens or a pin stripe brush ?? its worth a try . I take a lot of photos of decorated ? rail cars that have came into the local dismantling yard some of it is really nice looking ! wish I could post a pic here on the comments section

  16. Gary Stewart says:

    Good lighting and excellent camera work. You are one of the few that knows what the 1/4-20 socket on the bottom of the camera is for.

  17. Timothy Turner says:

    Hi Al et Al

    I really enjoy this part of being a reluctant member of the IT world, many thanks and a very Happy Christmas to all.

  18. James Sulkosky says:

    Looks Great Jim nice layout and nice layout.

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