I was in the mood to weather some hopper cars today, so I discussed the approach I should take with my friend Pierre Oliver. Pierre builds and paints rolling stock for others for a living under the name Elgin Car Shops, so he knows these things and it’s always good to pick his brain.
My first project was a set of three hopper cars for use in hauling gravel. I used a three-pack of raised side panel hoppers from S Helper Service for these. They came factory-painted for the CNR, although the consensus is that Canadian National didn’t have any raised panel cars. (I’m not bothered by this – not for now. I have other, more pressing things to do like lay rails, wire track, and so on.)
Any paint on the insides of these all steel cars has long been scoured away, so these three cars have a good layer of rust on them, topped by a bit of stone dust:
I weathered the interiors with a selection of weathering powders from Bragdon Enterprises and airbrushing. I found I had to spray a fresh layer of paint on the insides of the cars in order to get the weathering powders to grip – something about the factory paint was impervious to weathering (It’s probably an American Flyer thing). I weathered the exteriors with an airbrush.
These cars will deliver gravel to various customers via the team track at St. Williams and the elevated coal track at Port Rowan.
I also did a pair of cars for coal service:
These two cars are also factory painted offerings from S Helper Service. I used similar techniques as on the CN stone cars, with the black CNJ all-steel car getting a thorough rust treatment inside. The brown PRR car is of composite wood/steel construction, so I treated it slightly differently. I rusted up the steel parts inside the car, while the wooden sides were finished with a grey-black paint and “soot” weathering powder from Bragdon to represent ground-in coal dust.
These cars will haul coal for a variety of customers – again, coal track at Port Rowan can be used for deliveries. But the feed mill in Port Rowan also had a coal bin, and I may add a bin to the spur in St. Williams.
I’m pleased with how these five cars turned out. Now, I need to find some removable loads for them.