Weathering with chalks is quite simple and easy for any modeler to do.
You can achieve one of the most realistic looks without having to develop master
skills or years of practice. These techniques can be used on virtually any piece of rolling stock,
structure, or locomotive you have.
Lets begin by giving you a basic understanding about chalks.
Chalks are available in powder and stick form. My personal preference is powder form.
If you use sticks, you will need to grind them to a fine powder.
To do this you simply rub the chalk over very fine sandpaper.
The two most important facts you must remember when purchasing chalks are to buy a
chalk that contains no wax, and is non-magnetic.
Wax chalks will not have the tendency to stick to most surfaces.
Chalks that contain any magnetic properties to them can be disastrous around locomotives.
Chalks work best when applied to dull or non-glossy finishes.
If you have a glossy finish on an item you wish to weather,
apply a light coating of Testors Dullcoat.
This will give the chalk something to adhere to better.
The base color of the item you wish to weather will greatly influence
the way the chalk will be applied. For example, a yellow reefer will use less chalk to
achieve a weathered look than a red-oxide primer boxcar would have.
Now you have a basic understanding about chalks.
With that in mind grab, some old clothes, a boxcar, and lets have some fun weathering!
Apply the powder with an old toothbrush or small, stiff paintbrush to a clean,
dry surface. Dip the brush in the powder and rub the chalk into the surface.
You will want to rub in the direction that the weathering would naturally form.
You can use a toothpick or fine tip brush for applying chalk to fine detail parts.
Any excess powder can be recycled if you do your weathering over some paper.
You can mix colors or apply different colors to achieve different results.
For example, if you want to weather both rust and mud on some freight trucks,
you can use those colors over each other. I would recommend that you apply
lighter colors over the darker colors, so that they both will show up on the model.
Blow or tap off any excess chalk you have on the model.
At this point you can leave the model alone or you can seal the chalk on permanently.
If you leave it alone you can wash off the chalk whenever you like.
Some modelers prefer this to cars or locos that the have in their collection.
Since everything I own looks like it belongs in the "scrapper's yard",
I prefer to seal the chalk on with a light dusting with Testors Dullcoat.
Now, wasn't that easy! Give it a try.
You will amaze yourself at the artist that is in you.
I'll be sharing more modeling techniques with you in future issues.