Saturday, June 6, 2015

Stamping out the Shine...

The FGE car on the left shows the out-of-the-box shiny wheels and Accu-mate couplers. The MEC car on the right is an Atlas car that's had its truck sideframes and wheels painted Weathered Black and a new Kadee coupler installed. 
 I'm getting the layout ready for an operating session for our local operating group later this month. As I was staging a few trains I realized several of the cars had Accumate couplers. These two-piece plastic couplers don't uncouple easily enough and I usually replace them with Kadees. 
The "ready-to-run" Atlas and Accurail cars also include unpainted - very shiny - silver wheels. 
I've found the Kadee couplers (right) are much more reliable than the Accumate couplers (left). 
Since replacing the couplers meant removing the trucks to get to the coupler box cover, I went ahead and painted the wheels and the truck side frames at the same time. 
Painting the trucks is the first step in weathering any car. I got extra motivated and did an initial coat of weathering on one or two cars - the yellow cars will be weathered at some point in the future. 
I even managed to weather a few of these cars - including this Atlas B&O hopper. 
In the end I spent some time last night and this morning and got the couplers replaced and wheel sets painted on about 15 cars. 
Even without the "full" weathering treatment they look a lot better!

3 comments:

  1. Great post Marty! Never dawned on me to weather the wheels, trucks, and couplers when the cars are going through their "home shop" or rip track repairs.

    What Colors / paints do you use for the weathering? Assume microbrush for the wheels?

    GM

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  2. Thanks Greg,
    The wheels are painted with Floquil Paint Pens - mixture of Rail Brown and Weathered Black.
    The truck side frames get a coat of Vallejo "Gray Black" with a small brush.
    I used the paint pens cause I have them - but when they run out I'll certainly use a micro-brush as you suggest - would suggest a dark brown like RR Tie Brown or Grimy Black.
    Marty

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  3. Confirmation - the trucks are painted Vallejo 862 "Black Grey" - not "Grey Black!"

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