supply of gondolas to load with gravel. I
realized that I had stashed away eight
Accurail 40-foot steel gondola kits. As I
was retrieving those, I noticed a dozen
Accurail single-sheathed boxcar kits let-
tered for railroads that interchanged
with my Nickel Plate Road and figured I
might as well tackle the whole shebang.
A couple of evenings were sufficient
to assemble the entire fleet and prepare
waybills for them. I now had the needed
gons plus about half a train’s worth of
boxcars. But they were all in factory-
fresh paint, which is an extremely un-
likely scenario for hard-working gons
and old wood-sided boxcars.
My supply of PanPastels, acquired be-
fore their weathering kits debuted, in-
cluded white and black plus several
shades of gray from off-white to char-
coal. I also had several “rust” colors and
one light tan. Using the triangular-
shaped soft-foam applicator, I wiped
down the sides of the gons with the char-
coal color and on all interior surfaces. I
then dabbed hints of rust on the ribs and
trucks and applied a liberal coating of
rust to the interior. A few swipes here
and there with a lighter gray created a
dry-brushing effect to bring out details.
I then turned to the single-sheathed
boxcars and did the same thing to the
four sides and ends and truck side-
frames. I applied some gray to the run-
ning boards to suggest wood that has lost
its protective coating of paint.
Total elapsed time for all 20 freight
cars: 45 minutes!
I’m not claiming this method is a su-
perior way to weather cars. However, I
am saying that I can’t think of a much
quicker and less painful way to get a fleet
of formerly too-new-looking cars out on
Shown are the PanPastel colors Tony routinely uses for weathering along with a
prototype color photo. For this job, he used several shades of gray, white, and
oxide red for rust. The soft triangular sponge “brush” was the only tool he used.
Medium grays were used throughout the project to lighten the basic black and
bring out small details. Tony always applies the colors in a vertical direction to
simulate the pattern of rain washing down the sides of the engine and tender.
What worked for cars…
It then occurred to me I also had
some factory-fresh steam locomotives
roaming the rails. Perhaps PanPastels
would work equally well and just as
quickly on them.
I pulled one of my few unweathered
Walthers Proto 2000 Nickel Plate Berk-
shires off the railroad and carted it to my
workbench. I set up my assortment of
PanPastel colors, among them 100.5
Titanium White; 380.3 Red Iron Oxide
Shade; 740.8 Burnt Sienna Tint; 800.5
Black; 820.1 Neutral Gray Extra Dark;
and 820.3 Neutral Gray Shade. I also
found a couple of color printed images
on the Internet that showed some NKP
Berkshires photographed in service dur-
ing the 1950s.
Light gray and tan were ideal shades when Tony was “dry-brushing” tender
details to make them stand out and to add dirt and sand effects along the
tender’s lower surfaces. Tony has just started; the stopwatch reads 10 seconds.
NOVEMBER 2013 • Model Railroader