Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Adding Rust to Rolling Stock

Inspiration, and modelling materials, can come from the strangest places. Like a fire hydrant.

That was my experience this past week after crews from the city flushed the water mains on my street.

After letting water stream out of the hydrants, a rusty-coloured gravel-like mixture was left on the street.

I picked up a piece and got an orange residue on my fingers. "Aha!" I immediately thought. "I bet I could use this on my layout."

I collected an old pie plate full of rust peices and brought them home. Sure enough, they left rust streaks on rolling stock, just as I hoped, and as can be seen in the accompanying photos.

I take the bigger pieces and rub them on the cars, usually along seams and weld lines, then use a stiff brush to even things out. I also put the stiff brush into the mix of rust pieces, then dab it on the cars.

It's not as good as what some modellers can do with rust, that's for sure. And I think a bit of brown might event the colour out a bit. But it helps give the impression I am looking for of an older, well-used piece of rolling stock.

Especially when you use the three-foot rule!

Comparing the rusted and non-rusted cars.


  1. Nice work! Where did you get those McCain hoppers?!

  2. Bought them used. They help set the place, what with so many of them coming from Portage la Prairie on a regular basis.