Tuesday, January 12, 2021

RSD5: Weathering

The two Atlas RSD5 in Silicon Valley Lines livery are now ready and will move to the club for final testing when the county Stay-At-Home health orders have been lifted.

After applying the SVL decals last September the locomotives sat on my workbench and didn't get any attention until early December. I started with making the units a bit dirty and applied a wash of rail tie brown. It dried much lighter than I had expected. Urrgh.

I attempted to fix the ugliness with various applications of PanPastels. I really like the versatility of PanPastels. Once I was happy with the effect, I sprayed the locomotives with Dullcote and all the weathering turned into barely visible dark shades of green and yellow. Ah right I remembered: Dullcote needs to be at room temperature, applied from more than a foot away, and only in short bursts. The idea is to not get the PanPastels wet, and the Dullcote drops land on the pastels almost dry. For me the locomotive was dripping wet. The neighbors likely heard me swearing, but were nice enough not to say anything.

The second try of weathering was a bit more sloppy, and I messed that up with Dullcote as well. Third time was a charme, and I let the engines sit for a while while I tended to other projects.

Finally, as I was weathering a bunch of freight cars with the airbrush recently, the RSD5's received some more dirt around the trucks, too, as well as a several very thin coats of Vallejo Matte Varnish.

To finish off, I carefully applied Vallejo Dark Grey wash to the rear wall of the cooling grills, which adds to the illusion that you'd look into the dark air-cooling chamber at the locomotive front. Had I used light grey with the yellow sides, the effect would have been more subtle, but it's workable, so I left it as is.

In any case, I'm happy with the overall appearance. The weathering is subtle and not totally in your face. The Vallejo Matte Varnish works well, if only it would not be such a pain to clean the airbrush afterwards. The lead photo shows both completed engines staged on the Welztalbahn. I can't wait to run them at SVL.

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