A sacrifice to the weather gods

No amount of YouTube videos or re-reading of Martyn Welch’s excellent book, The Art of Weathering, could convince me I was ready to dust off my rusty weathering skills. Moreover, the world has changed and I want to try my hand at some of the techniques that have taken the other model disciplines by storm.

So, I cast my eye about for something to beat up, and as I was groping in my cupboard of forgotten kits, my hand fell on an old Roundhouse kit. The handwritten price tag indicated I had paid a half dollar to bring it home, and that more or less sealed its fate. Whatever it was, I could afford to beat it up.

Opening the box, I was reminded of finding this little passenger car in, of all places, a thrift store on Bowen Island. I recall speculating that the Morrissey Fernie and Michel Ry, which I’d never heard of, was someone’s freelanced line (it really existed). I even remember vacillating as to whether I should buy it or not. I mean, fifty cents is fifty cents!

But buy it I did, and it has been ready for this day, waiting to bare its breast on the altar to the weathering god, for eighteen months. Ignoring that demon encouraging me to replace the horn-hook couplers and find Proto:87 wheels, I sprayed the roof and chassis with the same acrylic paint I’ve used on 622, and after it dried, I had a go.

On the roof, I tried a dot filter – my first. Perhaps I should have sealed it with a lacquer before starting because I believe some roughness was introduced along the way. I actually repeated the process because I decided it was too faint the first time around. Now it looks more like I’ve just done a poor paint job and left brush marks everywhere, which is, I suppose exactly what a dot filter is. If I employ this technique in the future, I will stop at a single layer, but increase the dot density.

I sealed the underframe with Dullcoat, and attempted Martyn Welch’s method with talcum powder stippled on. Only, we didn’t have talcum powder so my wife convinced me to try corn starch. This had the undesirable property of clumping – okay for thickening a sauce, not so good for weathering. The whole thing looks very bad.

On the trucks, I tried stippling without any powder on one, and then stippling with a “finishing powder” from my wife’s cosmetic hoard on the other. This powder is very fine silica, and might be close to Martyn’s results. In moderation, it might be useful.

I’m not finished with Morrissey, Fernie and Michel Railway #61. But, the little car is now earning its keep even if it never turns a wheel on Pembroke.

4 thoughts on “A sacrifice to the weather gods

  1. Because oils take so long to dry, you might be mixing your two layers of filters, which is fine. I would suggest keep going with round 3, and blend, blend, and blend some more. More thinner than paint would get rid of the brush strokes.

    What’s the worse that can happen? The car takes a bath in some 91% isopropyl alcohol (if you can find it these days)!


  2. I love those little “Overton” cars. I had the combine and coach. The combine in the yellow Virginia & Truckee colours and decorated with so much ornate lettering. My coach wore the more simple brown colours of my Pigeons Inlet Railway & Navigation Company.

    Sorry for the tangent. These are such cool cars I couldn’t resist.

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