Now that the west end staging yard is operational, it's clear that I'm going to need a lot more freight cars to expand operations. I established a roster of home road and foreign road cars in terms of types and numbers many years ago, and I've been following that loosely in terms of what cars to add to the layout. One of the most glaring omissions has been flat cars. So I recently set out to fix that by building a few home road cars and weathering a few foreign road cars.
First up are the two home road flat cars. These are Proto 2000 kits that I picked up at a local show last Fall. I added uncoupling levers and distressed the deck using an Xacto saw blade. I also distressed the ends of the boards on the deck using an Xacto knife. The cars were weathered using artist's acrylics thinned with Windex.
Next up is a Tangent Scale Models 50' GSC flat car decorated for the Pennsylvania Railroad. This is an absolutely beautiful model but it is a little fragile. I removed the deck pieces and weathered them separately using water soluble oil paints. I started by sanding the deck with an emory board in the same direction of the boards. At first it didn't appear to make much difference, but I believe some of the grain that appears in the final photos is a result of this process. This was my first foray into water soluble oils and I wasn't pleased with the end result. It looked too dark and more rust-like than I wanted, so I went back over the deck with tan acrylic craft paint. This got the base color closer to the washed out wood color I was trying to achieve. I then went back over the deck with a thin wash of artist's acrylic ivory black and Windex to highlight the gaps between the boards and to add a little more texture. The rest of the car was weathered with artist's acrylics.
The last car is an old MDC kit that I bought back in the late 1980's. I removed the cast on grab irons and plastic stirrup steps and replaced them with ones formed from wire. The deck was originally painted yellow and I had lightly weathered it. As this car was relatively new in my era, the deck wouldn't have been subjected to years of abuse out in the elements. The deck never really looked right to me, so I checked a number of sources of online photos and found several from which to work. After painting the deck with Floquil Primer, I came back and weathered it using artist's acrylics.
In the paint shop right now are some covered hoppers that have a special story associated with them- stay tuned.