When I asked my wife if we could walk through the cosmetic department at the local drugstore, she gave me a somewhat puzzled look. This part of the store is home to some fantastic weathering tools, including foam-tipped cosmetic applicators. I used these applicators to simulate rust and paint wear on this Athearn HO scale BNSF Railway SW1000 diesel locomotive.
I started by spraying the entire model with the thinned Polly Scale Reefer White (one part paint to nine parts 70-percent isopropyl alcohol). Since I needed to decal the model, I applied the same firm’s Clear Gloss. Once the locomotive was re-lettered, I sprayed the model with Clear Satin.
With the prep work out of the way, I brought out the cosmetic applicators. First, I dipped an applicator in Polly Scale Rust and blotted off most of the color on a paper towel, similar to drybrushing, 1. Then I gently pressed the applicator to model, slowly building up the color. Once the Rust dried, I used the same method to apply Railroad Tie Brown. I left a thin halo of the first color to suggest fresh rust. [Polly Scale colors are no longer available from Testor Corp. Similar acrylic colors are available from Acrylicos Vallejo, AK Interactive, and Mission Models, among other firms. – Ed.]
When studying prototype photos of BNSF 3612, I noticed the locomotive had splotchy patches of grime on the sills, 2. Polly Scale Railroad Tie Brown and a cosmetic applicator was the perfect recipe for re-creating this look on the model.
You could also use this technique to add grime to the front and rear pilots of a locomotive or soot stains on the exhaust stack.
Cody Grivno used foam-tipped cosmetic applicators to simulate rust and paint wear on this Athearn HO scale BNSF Ry. SW1000 diesel locomotive.
1. Blot off most of the Polly Scale Rust on a paper towel before gently pressing the applicator to the roof of the switcher. Use the same technique, but with Railroad Tie Brown, to simulate darker rust.
2.The full-size switcher had grime on its sills, and you can re-create that look with Railroad Tie Brown and a cosmetic applicator. Set the applicator on the edge of the sill and slowly rock it forward.