This particular subject is truly nothing more than a
“weekend fun project” What makes this interesting (for me) is the personal touches that I was able to bring to the project. But first, let’s explain the project.
As some of you might know I have am fortunate to be able to work in the scale modeling industry. My beginnings as a magazine contributor brought me to the attention of Miguel Jimenez who (at the time) was the principal force behind MIG Productions. For 3 years (2009 – 2012) I worked with MIG Productions as the product distributor for the US and Canada. During those years, Mig left MIG Productions and moved onto new interest which later became a new company, AK Interactive. In the summer of 2012 I agreed to join the staff of AK Interactive. It wasn’t too long after joining AK that a box of sample products show up at my door – time to get acquainted with the new products.
So, what you are being treated to here are my first experiments with the “new” AK products – the test drive – if you will. Of course, at this point I wasn’t too much interested in building an entire model just to try out the paints. And then my moment of brilliance – I purchased a “mostly built” HO scale railroad car from my local hobby shop. Not being one to leave well-enough alone, I happened to stop by another local train shop which had a small box stuffed full of aftermarket logo’s and markings. Not being a railroad guy nothing really struck me one way or another until I flipped onto the logo of OP&E – What?!?! – The Blue Goose, as it was known, was the short line train that was based in my hometown. A small rail system serving the areas local lumber mills and then tying into the larger Southern Pacific.
The photographs document the experiments – learning curve. I began by painting the rail car the requisite blue color associated with the OP&E. And then – the fun began as I experimented and played with the new toys. Honestly, I was quite impressed by the ease of use and the versatility of the products. The key, as is the case with mos weathering products is to work in layers – slowly building to the desired effect.
However, the best part of this project – in my opinion – were the personal touches that I was able to add to the car itself. The graffiti shown on the sides of the car come from my own personal experiences growing up in the late 70’s – early 80’s small town. A few highlights include; Lions (High School Name), CG (reference to Cottage Grove – home town), Van Halen, Gonzo, AC/DC -the music I was listening to, ’80 (for the year I graduated from highschool – and finally a small heart with the letter “M” for my high school sweetheart and now wife, Margie. Maybe a little silly, but being able to make a personal statement and have some fun makes these fun, little projects so enjoyable.
One small “trick” that I think might be worth pointing out is near the end of the photo sequence were it shows a bottle of Tamiya Lacquer thinner being used. Once I had applied he various markings to the side of the car I felt that they looked too new, too un-faded – they just didn’t fit with the overall worn nature of the box car. My solution was to give the areas of graffiti a light brush wash with a soft brush lightly moistened with the thinner. Lacquer thinners are very aggressive so care must be taken, however, a light wash is a great way to “age” paint as it slightly streaks and blends the colors to give it that faded appearance.
As I said earlier, this was truly a weekend project – matter of fact it was a single day project – just what the doctor ordered to test the new products and put a smile on my face.