How To How to weather with powdered pastels

How to weather with powdered pastels

By Cody Grivno | January 4, 2023

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How to weather with powdered pastels: Powdered pastels have long been a popular choice for weathering locomotives, freight cars, and buildings. There are several firms that offer ready-to- use weathering powders, or you can make your own by scraping pastel sticks with a hobby knife.

I started work on this N scale Micro-Trains boxcar by spraying the entire car with Model Master Luster- less Flat. The flat finish gives the pastels a bit of tooth to bind into.

After the flat finished dried, I began applying MIG Productions Cargo Dust to the weld seams. My hands aren’t steady enough to apply the pigment in a straight line, so I used Post-it notes to mask the seams.

weather with powdered pastels: A brush is used on a green freight car alongside two post-it notes
To accentuate the weld seams, Cody masked them with Post-it notes and applied MIG Productions Cargo Dust pigment with a brush.

When I removed the masks, I found the pastels made the weld seams look too thick. I corrected this by wiping off some of the pastels with a damp cotton swab. I pulled the cotton swab straight down from top to bottom until the streak was more subtle.

A q tip is used on the side of a green freight car
Cody thought the pigments made the weld seams look too thick. He removed most of the pigment with a damp cotton swab.

After I finished all of the weld seams, I sprayed the car with another coat of Lusterless Flat. To simulated faded lettering, I used a Microbrush to apply PanPastel Titanium White artists’ pastels to the bottom of the Burlington lettering. Then, using a Sofft flat sponge bar applicator, I pulled the pastels straight down so the lettering looks chalked and streaked.

weather with powdered pastels: A foam spongs is used on the lettering on the side of a freight car
Pastels and a foam sponge make it easy to fade lettering.

I weathered the truck springs with PanPastel Burnt Sienna. I used the same firm’s Raw Umber and a Sofft applicator to weather the car roof and ends.

The springs of the freight car are painted brown
Cody highlighted the springs with Burnt Sienna pastels.
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