Along with the beautiful little locomotive from Fleischmann I bought a number of freight cars as well. As with all other railroad models, they were made of ugly shiny plastic, and were just begging to be weathered. 🙂
I chose two of the cars to start weathering, both type Ow, one with a brake platform and one without.
It is difficult to find much information about the prototype for the models, but it appears to be more or less of the same general type of this little narrow gauge HO model from the Austrian company Roco.
They are both marked “Ow” which probably is a general category for open-topped freight cars.
All the cars from the Fleichmann Magic Train series have exactly the same undercarriage, which seem to be made for the passenger cars. Therefore some parts had to go.
After taking the two cars apart, which was very easy, I cut off the girders and tanks on the bottom to make the cars simpler and more similar to the Roco model.
I didn’t like the plastic colors of the interiors, and after studying a number of photos on the web of similar freight cars, I decided to paint the interior grey.
A coat of German Grey (very appropriate!) made the gondolas look much better.
A delicate drybrushing with light grey brought out the fine details of the nicely molded wooden sides of the cars.
Then I started working on the exteriors. The car on top is the unpainted one, while the lower car has been shaded with a dark brown wash and then highlighted with the same light grey as in the interior.
The dark wash was made from some cheap acrylic color, water and a drop of dishwater soap to break the surface tension.
To give the gondolas an appearance of heavy use and sloppy maintenance I made a mix of sawdust, finely sifted dirt, a bit of flock, some water and finally some drops of white glue. I then applied this mix in the corner of the first gondola, hoping to give the appearance of the bottom of the gondola not being throughoutly cleaned after use.
Then I added a drop of brown acrylic color to the mix and applied it to the other car, again making sure that most of it was left in the corners.
European model railroad wheels often have huge flanges, which looks rather ugly and “pizza-cutter”-like in my opinion. These plastic wheels were fortunately not too bad, so I just gave them two coats of dark brown spray paint to make them more realistic.
Then it was time for my favorite part, applying weathering powder. The difference it makes on the lower part of the cars should be obvious.
I used weathering powder from Bragdon Enterprises, which seems to stick pretty well to the paint. The company claims it has been mixed with a pressure sensitive dry glue, which sounds very space age-like to me. 🙂
Above you can see the effect on the sides of the gondolas after appying the dark brown weathering powder to the top car. I think it gives a great dry and dusty look, which I find very realistic for a dry summers day.
Here’s how it looks in total. I really need to build a diorama for displaying the cars , my old table doesn’t do the weathered model justice. 🙂
The insides of the cars were weathered with a light grey color that really made it look dusty.
It was a fun and easy project to weather the two gondolas. All in all, it took about three hours of work to make the toy-like Magic Train into something which look much more like the prototype.
The couplings still look rather horrible, so I hope to change them one day and use Kadees nice couplers instead, which can be found on the On30 stock from Bachmann.
The cars were my first attempt to weather O gauge models, so hopefully soon I’ll have assembled enough courage to try weathering the little Magic Train locomotive.
More about that later… 🙂