Modifying Factory Weathering – Bachmann’s Baldwin

I love weathering, it’s probably one of my favourite bits of the hobby. Usually I’m so excited to do it I’ll actually rush forward and do it before I’ve finished the actual model. When a stroke of muck or a splash of powder goes on, it brings it all together in a way that gives a great feeling of completeness.

I’ve been dabbling in 009 for this teased future project, I’ve shown some of the wagons in a past blog post but for my lockdown birthday I ended up with my first ever 009 peice of traction, the Bachmann Baldwin. I’ve always liked the Baldwins, they still capture that look of Rio Grande Narrow Gauge but watered down for trench warfare and then badly laid British light railways. Some of them managed to soldier on until the very early 50s on places like the Ashover light railway and the Snailbeach.

Here on the Ashover one of their two Baldwins is in absolutely deplorable condition.

Bachmann’s model is ace, its finely detailed and looks an absolute peach. What unnerves me though is how tiny and delicate the chassis looks. Chris will attest to my ‘weather now, worry about the running quality later’ mantra and I’m trying to make sure everything I make dirty does actually have the ability to turn a wheel again. But as anyone knows with an airbursh one heavy pass on a chassis can have the pickups and treads completely coated. I did not want this for the Baldwin, it looked a pig to clean and although I don’t know much about 009 I know you need the chassis to be in tip top condition to have a stab at it working right. So I opted for a factory weathered example. This way I knew the chassis would have a bit of dusting and work like a charm.

Factory weathering has come a long way since the dark early days of a tan spray gun application. Heljan and Dapol have shown some nice examples. Dapols slurry tanks are probably the finest factory weathering available to buy ready to run.

Bachmann and Hornby though seem to lag somewhere behind though. Here is my Baldwin from the Bachmann Catalogue:

I mean there isn’t too much wrong with it, there is effort there but as a finished article I’m not convinced by the single application of colour. But as a starting point it’s fine.

For this I didn’t remove any of the finish, I just built on it. I used probably less products than I did for the private owner wagons, so really no reason not to personalise your factory weathered engines.

For this, I used some old brushes of various sizes, burnt umber, Games Workshop Typhus Corrosion, a white chalk pen, some powder and that big jar of dirty wash I use for everything. These chalk pens are a handy modelling tool anyway, something like this:

White Chalk Pens

And from Poundland, these super cheap brushes:

Cheap Brushes

These brushes will never apply any paint, but they are great for a bit of stippling and the odd bit of powder application.

So where to start, using some fuse wire and a bit of superglue I lashed up a pipe that sits between the two tanks, not only does this fill the gap quite nicely it seems to match prototype photos of the Baldwins at Ashover. Taking the dark wash I made sure with a fine applicator I got to the particularly grey bits of the smokebox.


This being the ‘face’ of the loco I really wanted to get the weathering right. Once this had dried I gave the running plate a lighter shade using a Tamiya tan colour. 


Then using the cheap brush and some burnt umber applied some rusting to the front of the loco. Following this, with a cotton bud in hand, I applied the chalk pen and then wiped it off with the bud before it could dry, giving the white effect at the bottom of the smokebox. To finish this off it all got a wiped off wash of Typhus Corrosion. 


You can see in the below photo how the dark wash has been used on the chimney, the tank fronts and smokebox to bring all the elements together, giving depth to the loco’s front. If you had not of used the fine applicator to get to the smokebox recesses areas of light grey would now be visible between the smokebox and tank sides.


I then applied the same dark wash to all bodyside panels drawing it downwards with a cotton bud again.

Using the chalk pen again you can add details like leaks etc, again applied with the pen directly and wiped off quickly. The matt black in background is ready to treat the roof.


Using three cheap powders from ebay (Kromlech is the brand) you can add some subtle effects, being careful not to get them caught up in the chassis. I use a rust, a tan and a soot colour, not a lot at a time is my advice. You can always wipe away if needed.


Then finally some AK wet effects for water spilled down the side. Job sorted. Here is mine finished with crew and shovel from ModelU…


And to prove I’m sticking to my ‘finish items before they go in the box’ here is the Radial complete with ModelU crew, couplings, coal, lamp, oil pot, and shunters pole and I cut out that NEM pocket on the front…


Happy modelling folks! Now off for my 685th lockdown pub quiz…


This week I’ve mainly been drinking – Mud City’s Chocolate and Vanilla Stout at 6%

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