Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Accurail #5129 50' plug-door BN/RBWX box car

RBWX 79248 painted and weathered, but I skipped all further detailing
I've never built an Accurail car before. Why would I want to build a car if there are many finely detailed ready-to-run cars available? And why build one that won't even run on my railroad?

I picked up this kit on a business trip last year -- in the olden days before the pandemic -- along with the Bowser cars I wrote about before. The club requires metal wheel sets, so I ordered Intermountain wheel sets to replace the plastic wheel sets that came with the kit, and I should replace the plastic couplers with the respective Kadee couplers (looks like #148 is the right one). 

The car body is preformed, and the plug door needs to be installed. I wanted to the body to be closed, because otherwise I'd need to find a solution for hiding the weight that runs the length of the car. I popped off the roof walk when I toyed around with the kit in February and haven't touched the kit since. It bothered me that the roof walk is the same color as the car body, so I decided to paint it aluminum and tone down the sheen with a dirt wash afterwards.

I painted the trucks, wheels, and axles in rail tie brown, which is a nice undecipherable dark dirt color, and  applied a wash to the trucks to accentuate the details a bit more. The floor underside got a brown wash over the black molded plastic. I don't usually look under my cars, so I did this mostly to break the black plastic sheen.

I found a color photo of a ... reused ... RBWX box car and noticed that the ends are painted a brown-red commonly found on cars in reefer service. The Accurail car has the same yellow everywhere. I like the brown ends better, so I fixed that. The car numbers would need to be restenciled in white, but I'm not going to worry about that.

While I was applying a wash to the roofwalk, I also started dirtying up the roof. That didn't quite come out the way I imagined, but that's ok, the final weathering with Pan Pastels took care of that.

I used Neutral Grey extra dark to darken the roof, Burnt Sienna extra dark and Burnt Sienna Shade to set some rust highlights, and streaked these as mixture along the rivet lines on the sides. I used a make-up sponge and a fine brush to apply the Pan Pastels. Finally, I used deer foot brushes (medium and small) to tipple and brush the pigments around the car to create some variety of color shading.

I was after a slightly dirty look on the sides and a dirty, but well maintained roof. The sides got dirtier than I had planned, and the roof detail worked out differently than I imagined. However, I was happy with the look, so I sealed the paint job with Dullcote. The Pan Pastels thankfully don't react and disappear with Dullcote like the Bragdon powders do. Phew.

Weathering sealed with Dullcote.
So, why do all this? I eventually want an all weathered locomotive and freight car fleet on my own layout, so this is good practice and learning. I'm happy with the roof, not so happy with the sides, but that's ok. On to the next victim.

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