Mistakes and Turd Polishing

There is a lot about weathering in model railways and Chris and I are firm believers in it. You cannot have a ‘prototypical’ layout without any weathering. Lately Hornby magazine have published the excellent ‘Weathering Skills’ annual come handy guide on the subject (read Eastmoor’s review here http://eastmoor.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/hornby-magazine-weathering-skills-guide.html), its well worth the price and a great starting or mid point helper.

Weathering is of course a personal preference and there are a variety of products and skills out there to use. Every month someone somewhere will tell you about this product or style that’ll make your models out of this world or your life easier, don’t believe all of it.

What they don’t always allude to is the weathering jobs achieved in the learning curve toward something you are happy with as a modeller, or others are happy to look at.

I’m not coming on here to moan about weathering services or weathering in general, just this is how bad I did it, what I learnt and why I now do it differently.

So lets take an example of our modelling. My Bachmann D829.

Chris had an airbrush and we’d just been struck by the airbrushing bug (this happens to us all, honestly, EVERYTHING will be airbrushed in sight, you’ll start believing even the wife and dog would look better with a liberally applied coating of track dirt on their lower half).

So we got the Warship out the box and decided that a Warship just after 1970 would be dirty, and that’s what we did. We went apeshit. First a heavy black wash and then some epic airbrushing.

This is the result.


So this is a liberally applied wash, no prototype comparison, and an epic airbrush party.

We were WELL chuffed, and if you buy weathered models from TMC you’d probably also think so (Ed – I thought you said we weren’t slagging off weathering services?)

But modelling and skills move on, and as we weathered more and more, and experiences learnt I decided to revisit D829. Especially considering she didn’t sell during our recent traction cull.

Now I learnt better washing techniques, acrylic paints, actually looking at a prototype shot, rusting, dry brushing etc. Things I can’t change, weathering with the glazing in. Don’t do it.

Here she is as she sat on my fireplace during some early morning sunshine. 



So you ask – what’s all this waffle on about. Well, its a helping hand to say that you WILL get it wrong, probably quite a bit and don’t be scared to try and to learn from other’s advice. A turd is always polishable, well nearly always.

And most importantly maybe is that we are all still learning. Over here we’re always willing to give advice or be guided by a brighter light so just give us a shout.

Next week we’ll look at literally polishing a turd with my Dapol 22, it’s got an appalling weathering job and it’s covered in actual bird turd, how you ask? You’ll just have to keep coming back to find out won’t you…


And now in Electric nose style:

I’ve been listening to:

The wife nagging

I’ve been drinking:


One Reply to “Mistakes and Turd Polishing”

  1. I certainly made many a mistake learning the ropes. I agree that acrylics and the weathering liquids now available make life much easier and well worth trying. A second hand scrapper is always good for a first, second and third attempt before tackling the prize model.

    Not had Bass bitter for quite a while. Chiltern Brewery foxtrot has been my recent tipple 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s