The online magazine on the history and operation of vintage scale model trains in American OO gauge

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Weathered ATSF F-units in OO

I finally have finished a pair of Schorr F units that have been almost finished since 2014!

To the photo itself, I took that on my phone rather than my normal camera with flash, as the blue paint I use comes off as much too "electric" with the flash. The 2014 article (here) has describes these specific models and has photos taken with the flash , but these models really look more like this current photo in normal light on the layout.

As I noted back in 2014, the ATSF had a lot of F3s, but they were passenger engines. But also they had a class of freight F7s that had chicken wire like on an F3, so, those are the inspiration for these models.

In painting the models originally the issue was that the base color is yellow, and then you mask off the yellow and paint the blue over that. The bottom stripe masking tape lifted a bit here and there, so blue paint got in and left it not a sharp stripe. What I thought would work was to weather the models, some extra grime in that area would blend with that overspray and make a nice effect.

I've only weathered intentionally only one (!!) OO model, and that was built in high school. Partially it was not my thing, but also in the bigger picture I felt that weathering might only highlight clearly the lack of some details on these vintage models. So I procrastinated finishing up these Diesels for years and years. Pondered methods, etc. I finally settled on A.I.M. weathering powders, darker grime down near the frame and dust mostly up on the sides and top. Looked at photos, adjusted things a couple times, with the understanding that when I sprayed on the dullcote the weathering effect is reduced a bit.

I'm pretty happy how they turned out, and now I'm wondering why I have not weathered more stuff intended for layout operation previously? I will cautiously be working on weathering more models, especially when there is an issue that weathering might help. The locomotive in this article (just seen in the photo, running with the F3s) is a prime candidate too, for the set of engines to match a bit better as they run together well on the layout.

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