Saturday, June 18, 2022

Weathering NP 11661 - A Rapido Double-sheath Boxcar

NP 11661 after weathering and not requiring as much color adjustment photographed under softer cloudy lighting.

NP 11661, an NP Double Sheath Boxcar from Rapido after weathering, unfortunately in brighter sun light loosing the board details.

I'm continuing to expand my Jawbone Branch 1945-1954 fleet with this NP double-sheath boxcar from Rapido.  This model weathering is following within the week after my work on ATSF 129872 WWII War Emergency Boxcar.

Starting Point - Out of the Box

Rapido's Double-sheath Boxcar in the 1951-era lettering scheme out-of-the-box.

Reading through the comments in the history section of the instructions, the larger NP monon herald was introduced around 1951, but my steel Branchline Yardmaster boxcar shows the same herald with the "Main Street of the Northeast" by 1948.


While I'm not exactly sure when this car's repaint would be correct for, however the model has a tare-date for 1951, so it is well within my modeling era of 1949-1954.  Therefore, I don't want the car to be too crusty on the sides as in either case the larger monon is a 'recent' change to the scheme, the car shouldn't be more than 1-3 years old.

PrismaColor pencils used for weathering

Some of my AppleBarrel acrylic paint selection

Most parts of the car get at least two or three coats of weathering with some drying time in between.  Most of these photos are taken during these breaks in the application of the weathering.  However because I want to keep the weathering very "light" on the sides, the multiple layers will have to be kept very minimal, which in the realm of weathering models is often the hardest to do.

I could certainly do some very light weathering on the underframe and trucks, and a bit of dust-soot on the roof, then dullcote and call it good for my era.  However, I want to do some more work with weathering pencils, but keep it light.


Three examples of brushes I use.  These are cheap "glitter handle" craft brushes from Walmart.

Purple handle brush is getting worn out, with the bristles flaring outward, not really good for doing painting and fine work.  This happens on brushes that have been used to grind paint into various areas of cars.  I can still use this brush for generally weathering and applying color to the carside, roof, etc.

Blue handle brush is what I used to stipple the gray and rust onto the roof to simulate the failing roof paint and galvanizing.

Yellow handle brush is used for wetting large areas of carside before applying paint and starting to work big areas.  I also use it for blending dry-brushing dust on lower car sides with absolute minimal amounts of paint.

Galvanized Roof Failing & Rusting

The roof weathering starts with dabbling on Apple Barrel "Dark Gray" (20336E) with the tips of a brush to show the paint failing over the galvanized roof panels.  

"Nutmeg" brown is then applied to show rusting in the roof panels, followed by a slightly thinned "Pavement" wash/thick coat, which is then partially wiped off with a papertowel, which tends to blend the colors together on the roof and give some 'sooty' look.

Trucks have some coat of acrylic AppleBarrel "Pavement color, which is a dark gray.  More weathering layers will be applied to the trucks later.

Light Board Pencils

Slick factory paint doesn't accept weathering PrismaColor pencil very well, as the pencils just slip off the smooth surfaces.  Therefore, Dullcote is applied to give some 'tooth' to the car sides for the pencils to stick to.

The pencil colors I've chosen to use are: (PC 943) Burnt Ochra, (PC 944) Terra Cotta, (PC 945) Sienna Brown, & (PC 946) Dark Brown.  I avoid the grays because of how recently repainted the car is being modeled.  The brown pencil colors will just be able to show the slight differences of the paint on the wood boards and slightly changing the lettering color.

I kept the pencil strokes to very short 'pecks' of 1/16"-1/8" long movements aimed at roughly individual boards and kept to vertical movements.  The large white areas of the monon didn't accept pencil color very well.  If I was modeling an older car, which would have heavier paint failing on the herald, would require heavier dullcote and/or wash ahead of time to get the pencil to apply better.  As it is, I like the very minimal pencil just sticking on the edge of a board or two across the 'new' herald.

Acrylic Over-Wash

Right Side

I applied my regular application of brown-gray mix with the 'wetted' car side, which gives a very light wash on the upper sides.  Then I put a bit more of the color settle on the lower car side.

Right Side

I applied a little darker rich darker brown/gray along the bottom of the boards, below the lower side steel strap, about 4" above the lower end of the side-boards.  Exposed lower ends of the boards on cars in the Northwest can have water-dirt drawn into the end-grain.  So I put a bit more weathering on the bottoms of the boards, on the lower 8-18" or so.

Right Side

This slightly heavier weathering just at the bottom of the car in this case is done almost by single boards and brush strokes.  Where as on steel cars and on the ATSF 129872, I use a lighter drybrush style horizontally to blend the 'running grime' along the car.  In this case with the vertical boards, I want the weathering to be more selected to each board.

Left Side

In the end, the left side of the car has a bit more brown-gray 'spray', heavier on the lower side.  Again, I don't want the car to be very heavily weathered, so I'll probably be stopping here.  

In Closing

Retouched NP 11661 roof weathering, toned down a bit.

Right side of NP 11661 after weathering

These three photos were taken outside in 'soft light' cloudy near sunset, so the board detail and weathering should show a bit better than some of the full summer sunlight the ATSF 129782 had last post.

Left side of NP 11661 after weathering

Jason Hill

Related Articles:

ATSF 129872 WWII War Emergency Boxcar Weathering with Pencils and Acrylics

SP 65ft Mill Gondolas - Examples of Athearn 65ft Mill Gondolas including weathering tips.

Open Loads (Part 1) - Building Steel Loads - Also showing weathering on gondolas

SP Prewar Boxcars (Part 1) B-50-18,19,20,21,23 Classes - History and Modeling with Weathering

SP Jawbone Branch (Part 4) - Freight Car Roster - Various cars planned for my layout.

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