Friday, 13 February 2015

Back In The Saddle...


During the sorting out around here, I unearthed a couple of unopened Rails North BMF Milk Tank kits.  I am guessing I purchased these in the mid 80s and by the look of the staples holding the packs together and the rust stains on the instructions ( which incidentally are on foolscap paper ) would imagine they have not seen the light of day in 3 decades.  Anyway they took my fancy and I decided to commence construction this afternoon.

I decided to have a play with the tanks to get a feel of just how the wagon will look when complete and the condition of the tanks will give me a guide as to how the decking and underframe will be weathered.

Some time ago, I briefly described the salt weathering method on a structure and decided I wanted to capture the same basic feel with these tanks.  There is not a lot of research material on these particular wagons and apart from a vague recollection that the tanks were white...I am flying blind.  I also have no idea as to when these wagons were it is fair to assume that they would have been a real mess towards the end of their lives and it is this condition that I envisage recreating. 

The tanks are a solid cast resin and while this was the rudimentary method of kit manufacture back in the 70s and is fortuitous, as the weight of the solid tanks means that very little or no added wagon weight will be required once complete.

I commenced painting the tanks with the normal etch primer...followed by a mix of Tamiya browns to taste. Because the Tamiya paints tend to dry extremely quickly on the painted item, I tend to thin it fairly well so that I end up with plenty of time to apply the salt and still have it adhere to the drying paint. You can at this point continue to paint the wagon with a mix of colours and salt layers so that you end up with several shades of show through colour when the salt is eventually removed.  I finish coated the tanks with a "just off white" Lifecolour brand and then set it aside to dry.

When dry...the salt can be rubbed or picked off and the undercolours are revealed.  There is another method where the painted object is sprayed with water and the salt applied to the water to adhere it to the surface.  It all depends on what you are painting and what you desire the end result to be.  In the photos in this post...I have probably overdone the salt to ensure the method is visible...but in most cases less is more and in the case of these tanks I can add another coat to hide some of the simulated pitting marks to lessen the visual impact and can also add rust stain runs to suit...The end result is certainly in the eye of the beholder.

There are so many variations that can be adopted and indeed just the salt added to the rust base colour can create rust bleeds and a kind of rust bloom or "flowering" effect that does not require a top coat...just removal of the salt.

I will post some shots of the wagons construction progress as time goes by...

The photos illustrate the workflow... 


And the trial fit on the incomplete underframe...

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