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Model Train Weathering Powder

Using Model Train Weathering Powder

Looking for just the right touch for your model train? Try model train weathering powder.

Many people enjoy setting up model railroads as a hobby that is both challenging and relaxing. There is the process of visualizing and planning, and the actual building. Once you have been through all of these steps and you are ready to add a bit of character and realism to your town and your trains, there are many different things you can do. One of the best tools for creating a vintage look is model train weathering powder. Because trains are exposed to the elements 24 hours a day, most likely every day of the year, naturally they will be dirty, rusty and faded. The same can be said of many buildings or structures that have metal components.

Weathering powder is a chemical powder that comes in a wide variety of colors from rust to black, gray and everything in between. Each manufacturer will give specific directions for use of the powder, but for the most part the easiest method of application is to combine the desired amount of powder with a small amount of non-aerosol hairspray. The hairspray will serve to secure the powder in place. You can mix different colors to create a custom palette. Another trick for making more realistic ‘rust’ is to mix the powder with thick white school paste. This ‘paste’ can be dabbed or put on with a brush to make a flakier type of rust that works particularly well in wheels. In order to create a more realistic look, you may wish to consider the patterns in which rusting or weather damage naturally occurs. For example, since dust and dirt work their way up from the ground as they are kicked up, the ‘earthy’ colors of dirt should be applied more heavily at the bottom of the wagon and then become lighter and more streaked towards the top. Also the ends of the wagon, which are most exposed to the weather will probably be dirtier. Because rust changes colors as it is exposed to weather over time, you may want to use several different ‘rust’ shades on the same wagon. You can apply these powders using an artist’s brush with stiff bristles or even a wedge sponge (generally used for cosmetics). Keep in mind that rust often washes down the side of the wagon as a result of rain or other precipitation, so having rust on the top and then streaking it downwards will create the most realistic effects.

Model train weathering powder can be used to age or color anything in your model railroad town; old buildings, water towers, you name it. You can find model train weathering powder anywhere that sells model train supplies, such as your local or chain hobby stores or online retailers that specialize in model trains. If you do choose to shop online, keep in mind that you will not be able to see the merchandise in person before buying it- so have in mind a clear idea of what you are looking for before you start shopping.


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