Monday, 31 December 2012
"Last blog of the year: Weathering Hornby's Thompson O1"
When my Thompson O1 arrived, a few days after receiving the one pictured above for review, I had an itching to try out my airbrush again. After a few tests on a Bachmann Peppercorn A2 tender I had spare, and two trial runs on a Bachmann A1 and V2 set of models, I felt I had improved enough to have a go at weathering the O1.
The first thing to do was remove the late crest on the tender. My model is intended to run on a 1948-52 layout and as such would need "British Railways" branding on the tender in cream.
This was duly dispensed with using some wet'n'dry foam pads of various grades - using anything but this on Hornby's crests (such as thinners or paint stripper) is liable to removing the plastic instead! This method ensures a smooth finish.
Where any discolouration had occurred, I added Gamesworkshops' acrylic Abaddon Black paint spread thinly. It's not as good as their previous acrylic black paint (Chaos Black) in my view but it serves its purpose for this locomotive.
I used a set of "British Railways" transfers, made by Fox Transfers, which were carefully applied and then dried and smoothed using a sheet of Kitchen paper.
This was then sealed using Johnson's Klear and the airbrush. This was the first time I'd used the airbrush in such a way, and it will be the way I apply all transfers from now on. It's dead easy, as long as you remember to clean your little glass pot out after each paint or varnish mixture you have airbrushed with!
Turning to the first stage of weathering, I used a variety of Tamiya weathering powders (from their box sets A, B, C and D).
On the valve gear and the centres of the driving wheels, copious amounts of Oil Stain (pack D) and Gunmetal (Pack C) were used. Burnt Red (pack D) and Orange Rust (pack C) were used to build up the rust on footsteps and the tender frames.
The inside of the tender was treated similarly using Burnt Red and Orange rust.
The same colours were applied to the cylinders, and the steam pipe to the smokebox. The smokebox received a few rounds of Gunmetal whilst the bufferbeam and buffers had a little amount of Burnt Blue (Pack D) applied as a base coat for the enamel paint to follow.
Using Humbrol Metal Cote as the main paint of choice, I carefully applied it using my airbrush across the locomotive and its tender. I used Metal Cote as both a paint, and a sealant for the powders. This helped to bring out the orange rust colours more against the bodyshell, by subtly blending the rest of the colours in with this extremely useful enamel paint.
This technique can be found elsewhere on the internet with some incredible results, but as a beginner to airbrushing in many ways, I didn't want to be without my powders entirely.
I had seen a photograph of an O1 from this angle in one of my many railway books, and wanted to create the line of dirt streaked across the left hand window, as it had been in that photograph.
This was where the cleaners had, perhaps, only given the side window a cursory clean instead of cleaning it entirely.
Essentially it is just a few swipes of Metal Cote with the airbrush, and a fine brush with Revell Colour Mix applied carefully.
One thing I have definitely omitted is any weathering on the cylinder pipework. That will be rectified tomorrow or Wednesday at the earliest, and I will post back with the results.
The bufferbeam was covered in Metal Cote but then run over with a fine brush and some Revell Colour Mix. This allowed the red to reappear, and the enamel paint to dry with a more natural finish of weathering than with just the airbrush application.
Overall it's a good start in my view, not perfect and doubtless requires some touching up and rethinking for models to come, but I am quite happy with this model and its finish.
Incidentally, for those wondering about cleaning the wheels: I use a Trix wheel cleaner on top of a Hornby rolling road.
Until next time - happy new year!