How to Weather Wagons...
I thought some of you might find it useful in seeing how I weather my wagons, I hope it is of some assistance!
1. Prepare yourself a glass of your favourite tipple, you may need it!
2. This is the wagon as bought. A wagon would only ever be this clean when built, or perhaps after it had visited the shops.
3. The next step may seem a bit drastic, but never fear! Get some black paint (I used Humbrol Matt 33), and paint one side of the wagon, particularly in all the nooks and crannies. The black paint is representing engine soot, which builds up on the sticking-out bits and depressions, as well as near the top of the wagon.
4. Now get a flat-headed brush such as this, and dip it in some white spirit, wipe off any excess - you want it to be moist, not damp. Then brush in vertical strokes along the wagon side, taking some of the paint off. Don't clean the brush just yet, it will be of some use shortly...
5. Now, take a piece of tissue, kitchen roll et al, and wipe off some more of the paint, concentrating particularly on the flat surfaces.
6. Time to use your now now dirty white spirit brush. The black residue on the brush is perfect for dulling down the roof of your wagon, cover the top of the wagon with the black residue, and gently dab it off again.
7. Repeat this a few times until you achieve the desired effect.
8. Time to look at the chassis and frames now. You need to pick a dusty and rusty sort of colour and dab it on.
9. You can either leave it as it is, lightly weathered, or take it to a medium weathered stage as I shall do. What I've done here is to add a bit more 'soot' to the top of the wagon and some 'dust' to the bottom. The 'dust' is a beige colour (Humbrol Matt 119; although I also use Humbrol Matt 186, which is what I use for the frames), and is applied in vertical streaks.
10. All paint should be either dabbed on, or applied in vertical strokes. I will use the white spirit brush dry to soften the edges. Using the brush in vertical strokes helps to produce the vertical effect that rain leaves behind. Now it is time to make the axle boxs look a bit greasy, using some black paint. To add a bit of variety, you can leave one undone, as if it has run dry.
I hope this has been of some use. I find for weathering it is best to apply then take off paint, slowly building up the layers. It helps to look at photos and videos to see how it works in real life. A general rule of soot going from top to midway, and dust from bottom to midway makes a good combination. It also helps to think carefully about where the dirt is likely to collect.
Another tip is to weather wagons differently to one another, as a train of identically weathered wagons is going to look ridiculous!