Several Shades of Grey, Some Say, as Many as Fifty …

In another ’15 minute hero’ heres how to get a better looking planked finish to a wooden floored wagon such as bogie bolsters or flat wagons. As you can see from the image below (Mainline Bogie Bolster), the ready to run wagons often come with a dark brown finish for plain wood. It’s like primary school art, trees are (Michael Caines acting is) wooden, so therefore, wood = brown.

Normally however, trees are shades of grey, some say, up to fifty, and also grey/brown mixes. Unfortunately this really shows up when you start to add color and weathering to your other models. It is also the wrong color for fresh wood, unless you’re considering a dark wood like mahogany. However, mahogany would be far too expensive to use for a vehicle that had the harsh life of freight stock, so it’s a good idea to change the color. The next few illustrations show how I do it quickly and easily.

Applying Regular Household Masking Tape

First thing is to remove the bogies and or any detail that can be easily damaged, like pipework or stantions. I’m using normal household masking tape here, if the shapes were more complex I’d use Tamiya masking tape for the edges and then back fill with paper or the masking tape above.

Ensure Sides Are Well Covered

Enclose Entire Wagon Chassis

Ensure that any area of the wagon you don’t want painted is covered. Using these car paint cans is a bit crude, the spray is wide enough to cover the whole model and then some! I’ve left enough tape at the ends to actually use as a handle to hold the wagon whilst spraying. Doing this speeds the job up and ensures complete coverage.

Halfords White PLASTIC Primer

This is the stuff, use white rather than grey as it will make varying the planking shades easier later on. Also make sure its the Plastic primer. There are still some agressive paints that are available that may damage the model, this Halfords stuff, has not damaged anything I’ve used it on.

So far …

Remove Masking Tape

Mist it on with several thin coats from about 30cm away. To accelerate the drying process I use an old hair dryer, this dries the paint and helps it shrink and grab hold of the surface. One aid to this is sanding the planking to start with, however I rarely find that’s neeeded. Don’t leave the masking tape on too long. On this sort of work I remove it pretty much immediately, the above was done within five minutes of spraying,

Painting Planks By Numbers

I use a variety of paint types, here I’m using Tamiya acrylics, but other planks were painted with Vallejo, and also Humbrol enamels, basically I use whats to hand and use black to add a tonal variation. I paint the planks individually even if using the same color. For the lightest color planks I use a strong wash over the white undercoat.

Pigment Wash Accentuates Planks & Textures

To accentuate the joins I’m using a MIG pigment wash, the density of the wash can be easily varied. The pigment is easily described as paint without the liquid, and I’ll put up a posting in the future on how I use them, they are a very valuable medium to use in the paint shop. This post details the colors and mediums that are my primary work palet.

Painting Completed, Bogies Re-attached

There may be some thinking this is never fifteen minutes work. Well its not far off, probably a bit longer as I was snapping as I went. The initial mask and spray takes about five minutes, particularly if you accelerate the drying time. Then its up to you how much time you put in the next stage of varying shades and painting. Even if you only do a single shade of grey, the improvement is far better than the original deep brown fresh from the box.

Final Weathering, MIG Pigments and Winsor & Newton Pastells

This is the completed wagon, its been toned down with a dusting of light greys and browns from artists pastels and then ‘fixed’ using Vallejo acrylic matt varnish. All I need to do now is add some knackered stantions and chains and shackles waiting their next load.

Not Everyone
Works For Peanuts …

This entry was posted in 3f, Airfix, Bachmann, Branch Line, brassmasters, British Rail, Canon G10, Chris Nevard, Eastern Region, Exhibition, GNR, Great Western, hobbies, Hornby, Kalmbach, Layout, life, LMS, LNER, Midland Region, Model Railroad, Model Railway, Model Railway Journal, Modelling, Narrow Gauge, OO Gauge, paint, Railex, Scottish Region, shades of grey, Southern Region, Uncategorized, Western Region and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Several Shades of Grey, Some Say, as Many as Fifty …

  1. Phil Ramsay says:

    No jokes about planks……. excellent weathering tips; thanks. P

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