The annual BANTRAK Festival of Trains show at the B&O museum is coming up, which means I’m going to have an opportunity to show off a bunch of my rolling stock. However, I realized my stockpile of cars needing weathering has grown significantly, so it was time to do something about that.

My general freight car weathering approach isn’t to make each car a masterpiece, but to try and get all cars up to a general sense of acceptability and realism. To that end, I’ve developed a process where I an rapidly move through cars, and do them in batches.

I use a wash technique, with either model or craft paints thinned with 70% rubbing alcohol.

Here are the cars I did using this technique in the last “binge weathering session”.

Some cars turned out better than others. I may come back to the ones I’m not thrilled with and try cleaning them up. That’s one of the great advantages of this weathering approach.


One of my favorite cars from this weathering binge: a Eastern Seaboard Models X58.
At Atlas 60′ auto parts car. Not one of the better weathering jobs, but it has its charm.


A Micro-Trains 60′ excess height car.
My newest addition to my freight car fleet, a Wheels of Time PC&F car.
I’m pretty satisfied with how this WoT PC&F came out too.
And my oldest WoT car, I’m also happy with the subtlety of this car’s weathering as well.
A pair of Atlas Trainman 50′ CN boxcars.
I believe this is an Intermountain car.
One of two ExactRail Southern “Waffle Side” cars.
This ER Waffle Side features a door assist mechanism.