I really like this stage – painting and weathering is what really brings things to life. The primer stage is where the model looks at its worst; flat, characterless and lifeless. We have to overcome this to bring it to life.
Colour and the accuracy of it is something which is often discussed within modelling circles and I’m afraid it’s all subjective and colour never scales. So the wagon isn’t in an exact match for Railfreight Red but is actually pink. Railfreight Red faded terribly and so pink is far more accurate in many ways. I used Humbrol no. 60 Scarlet and no. 28 Camouflage Grey to get the shade I wanted. It resembles strawberry milkshake when it’s being mixed but looks very good once applied to the model. And my little girl likes that I’m painting models pink, she loves pink!
Once dry I began to add transfers, those pictured are all from Fox but future ones will also use Railtec Transfers too. My intention was to apply individual numbers by hand but it was a struggle. I fell on my left arm a while back and am waiting to see a consultant so this particular day I decided to give up and remove the panels and use Modelmaster transfers from a sheet for steel wagons. Frustratingly the panel is a bit too tall but I hope the weathering will hide this anomaly.
With transfers in place, weathering could begin! The wagon was sealed with a coat of Humbrol matt acrylic varnish from an aerosol – a matt finish will help capture the faded, tired paintwork. The underframe was sprayed with a mix of Humbrol no. 33 Matt Black and no. 62 Matt Leather to dull it down, varying the mixes slight as I went along.
Rust would be a mix of Humbrol colours; no. 53, Metallic Gunmetal, no. 100 Red Brown and no. 27004 Metalcote Gunmetal and the odd bit of no. 82 Matt Orange. The main mix is Red Brown and Metallic Gunmetal which gives a nice rust shade and the Metalcote Gunmetal helps create an old rusty finish – the metallic particles also give a nice but of texture, though this works better in larger scales it does make a difference in 4mm scale. Changing the basic mix of colours creates subtle and natural variations of rust. It’s not a quite process but the results are very satisfying. This process has been described by Martyn Welch in Model Railway Journal No. 262 for strapping on wooden wagons.
I stippled the paint on, the floor was quite an expanse but stippling gives a much nicer appearance than just painting the mix on.
A mist of Matt Black and Matt Leather brings everything together and removes the slightly stark appearance of the newly applied rust.
The wheels were sprayed with the Black and Leather mix and as the paint dried the brake discs were cleaned with a pointed cotton bud moistened with white spirit. The clean discs contrast rather nicely with the filthy wagon.
The final hob was to paint the cleats, brake lever handles and lamp irons with an off white, Camouflage Grey works well though I used Model Colour Off White so I could wash it off the cleats if I made a mistake!
Coupling hooks from Ambis Engineering have been added and now the wagon just requires Sprat and Winkle couplings and I think it’ll be done!