Yesterday, I took a stroll down to the shops, passing my local station on the way, where that particular stretch of the Great Western mainline was being relaid. The kit on display was pretty impressive - a shiny new class 70 diesel with a long train of bogie ballast wagons, tampers and other machinery, road/rail diggers etc - but I still felt sorry for the poor chaps in orange who worked all weekend in some horrible weather. They're clearly making better progress than the other big rail maintenance work happening locally, the relaying of the (WH)WHR at Penlan, just a quarter of a mile away, but we'll catch up - the purpose of my stroll was to purchase a tin of Poundland primer to progress my own on-track plant project, the rake of manky tippers...
I've started with just one tipper to see how I get on with a rusting technique involving vinegar and fine iron filings - I've used it before but never been entirely satisfied with the results, we'll see how it goes this time... Here's where I was at yesterday afternoon, with the skip and chassis painted, sprinkled in filings and sprayed with vinegar:
At that stage it just looked like someone had tipped sand over it, but this morning most of the grey filings had gone brown, with some orange appearing in places - promising... I sprayed with more vinegar and we'll see how it looks tonight... By the way, if it's successful this is how I plan to finish the roof of your station building Tom - a little dilapidated rather than completely derelict, but it wouldn't be right if a RWLR building didn't feature at least a little rust!
After reading the article in this month's Garden Rail I purchased some Binnie Tippers at Leamington on Saturday and was about to order some Iron Powder and Copper Sulphate from Amazon this morning. I'm going to leave the Copper Sulphate and try vinegar instead. I also assume you sprinkled the Iron into the wet paint rather than using an adhesive after it had dried.
I tried this technique on some scrap plastic a while ago. I got some lovely orange/brown rust, but I'd used "medium" filings and the texture was too coarse. If gone for "fine" this time - there's still some discernible texture, but I'm hoping that will look like pitted metal.
Yes, I'm applying direct to wet paint, doing the inside of the skip first, then turning it over to do the outside without covering the filings on the inside. I'm using a Lidl peppercorn refill pot as a shaker to apply the stuff, I think I might add some finer mesh for future applications, so I can get the stuff where I want it better. I'm diluting the vinegar, c50/50 with water - not quite sure why, I think I read it somewhere!
I'll keep you posted. I'm relatively optimistic but think I'll still want to apply some paint washes/weathering to finish the thing off - the bits that aren't rusty look too clean! Possibly I should have weathered with paint first, then sprinkled the filings over a coat of matt varnish...
The inside's beginning to look quite pleasing, and the outside's not bad...
I'd like a little more of the orangey stuff on the outside if possible - I've sprayed some more vinegar and will await further developments...
I seem to have reached "peak vinegar" with this, in that no matter how much I spray on the result doesn't really change. The tipper currently looks like this:
I'm fairly pleased with it, but would still like a bit more orange in the rust, so it's currently parked in the damp and dingy tunnel to see what that does... Another option is a light rubbing with fine wire wool - I've just read Rob Bennet's article on rusting skips in the Association Leighton Buzzard guide, and that's what he recommends...
Even if I can't get the colour to change any more, it'll do - this rake was only every supposed to be a quick job. I'll get the rest of 'em done over the coming weeks...
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Loving the overgrown track!
Thanks George! Yes, I think I'll add a wash to some of the bits that are still too clean - I'll probably roughly stencil some numbers on too. Glad you like the track - it's got a little too overgrown, I'll have to trim it before the main running season starts...
I got the first wagon out in the sunshine for a proper look today, and I reckon it's looking alright - the rust tones look really different depending on the light. I think the wire wool rub had some impact too, although I couldn't swear to it...
Is anyone getting fed up of looking at this little skip yet? I am, so I decided I'd done enough deliberating and got stuck into the rest of the rake. Here they are, painted (three more grey, one green for a little variety) and sprinkled and awaiting a spray of vinegar...
The tippers continue to progress... The first coat of vinegar dried very quickly due to a combination of sunshine and breeze, leaving slightly odd "tide mark" patterns in places. I remembered that Rob Bennet had suggested letting the vinegar dry in a damp environment, so yesterday evening I reapplied the vinegar, put the wagons on the top shelf in the bathroom, and had a hot shower with the windows closed. As you'd expect, I removed my clothes before undertaking this activity - I believe that's known as "glamour modelling"???
Any way. here's a photo - just of the wagons, you'll be pleased to hear, not the process!
They certainly look as grotty as I'd wanted - with a little more work I hope I can refine the finish a little...
Please don't think I'm being critical but all the way along I've thought the grey ones seem to have a sort of pale metallic green sheen to them. Is that just a photographic artefact?
I know what you mean about the sheen Philip, although I'm not entirely sure what the cause (or cure!) is... They have been tricky to photograph, particularly when the light's in the wrong place, which account for part of it, and the cheap Poundland primer might be partly responsible? I think it's possible that the vinegar residue might also be acting as a kind of strange edible varnish! I might try to rinse them to remove some of the vinegar - I'm a little concerned about what impact that might have on the finish, but I plan to paint them and don't know how well paint takes to vinegar! Another cure might be a spray of matt varnish - but ditto re the vinegar!
More trial and error is called for, I think...
I've made a small step forwards with the tippers by adding running numbers. I used the stencil given away by the 16mm Association some years ago and took very little trouble over making sure it was neat because I was going for a rough and ready look - applied by the apprentice rather than a sign-writer. I'm quite how pleased with they turned out OK:
Just a weathering wash or two to go now, mostly to blend in some of the areas that weren't rusted and still look a little too clean.
Hope you're all having a good weekend,
Life is so easy when I run my trains.
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