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RailRoad Modeling

Steam Locomotive Weathering

Steam Locomotive Weathering

For many modelers a kit in a factory-fresh finish is most satisfying, while other modelers find representing the wear-and-tear as integral as the correct parts and markings. Weathering done well can bring a model to life just as a bad weathering job can reduce a model to sub-toy status. Steam locomotives present a variety of weathering options oft overlooked by modelers, yet applicable to models of any metallic vehicle, whether an air, land or marine subject.

Steam locos wore many liveries. Europe boasted some of these ash and soot-breathing beast sheathed in jackets of chrome yellow, scarlet, apple green, and sky blue, as well as work-a-day black. In the United States, some early engines were equally flamboyant. Eventually, economy overtook pride and America's motive power succumbed to the "Dark Age" of livery. There were bright spots, such as the Southern Railroad's gorgeous "Sylvan Green," and Southern Pacific's "Daylight" livery, but most railroads made do with basic black. Despite this, the jackets were often wiped or polished to a mirror finish, and the black lacquer would sport a blue hue under a clear sky.

However, as the saying goes, "You don't want to see the kitchen of your favorite restaurant." Locomotives are still soot exhausting, rusting, oily, greasy, mud and grime splattering machines, as we shall see. Bear in mind that with the exception of IC 1518, all of the steam locos shown in this feature were photographed during recent active running in July and September.
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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)
FROM: TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...