Freight Car Tips

I have collected a number of model railroad freight car tips and techniques from various sources and am sharing them here. Do you have freight car tips or techniques you would like to share with Model Train Tips readers? You can send them in using the form on the Contact page.

Airbrushing Tips to Weather Your Model Railroad

Weathering with an air brush is easy to do and gives excellent results. Start with darker colors and add lighter colors on top. Line up all your cars, structures and loco’s and treat them assembly line style, then change colors and do it again and again. Remember, weathering is a matter of degree and most rolling stock is fairly clean. The disadvantage of weathering with paint is that it is pretty permanent when you are done. Mac McCalla shared this tip for airbrushing: I have been weathering with an airbrush for many years and have done many clinics for Badger Airbrush and at the … [Read more...]

Painting and Weathering Using Common Household Items

Always on the lookout for cost effective ways to enhance their model railroad layouts, modelers continue to come up with unique methods for weathering. Painting Here’s a tip where Palmer Schatell describes one way he paints some components of his layout: When airbrushing HO [cars & engines], with a little hand molding, the soft cardboard rolls that toilet paper comes on fits into the cars and locomotive bodies and provides a way of holding these objects. I used the cap from a spray can fastened to the center of an inexpensive Lazy Susan to allow me to turn the bodies without having … [Read more...]

Extreme Weathering for Your Model Railroad Cars

Pepper Kay shared this tip about extreme weathering for your model railroad rolling stock: Weather as you normally would your next box car, tank, hopper, etc. then, spray two coats of Dullcote on your finished car. When that has dried thoroughly, use your pump sprayer filled with 93% rubbing alcohol and give a good, wet coat to your finished car. The alcohol reacts with the Dullcote and makes the most faded, weathered finish you’ve ever seen. Careful, don’t do but just a few cars as the effect goes a long way. -Pepper Kay Note: I have not tried this tip yet but I would like … [Read more...]

Tips for Adding Graffiti to Your Model Railroad Scenery

We’ve all seen graffiti on trains. What would a realistic model railroad layout be without graffiti on some of the rolling stock? Here are some tips from other modelers for adding graffiti to your model railroad layout scenery and rolling stock: You know, I realized a great way to make graffiti without buying those expensive decals. I use White-out (a correction pen), the finer the tip the better. I even made up a cool scene with this- I painted an HO car, parked it in front of a university, and put an angry teacher beside it, like one of his students painted it! -asparuh frangov … [Read more...]

Developing a Paint Scheme for Your Model Railroad

By Mike Rountree If you're the creative type who just has to model a railroad that never existed, rather than adopt a specific prototype, then sooner or later you're going to need to invent a color scheme for your fictional pike. How do you come up with something that looks plausible yet unique? While it may seem that you have a blank slate to work with, and can do anything at all, you would do well to restrain yourself based on some research and understanding. Otherwise, you can end up with a fairly outlandish scheme that doesn't feel right, as much as you might like the … [Read more...]