Airbrushing Part 1


My lovely wife got me a single action airbrush for Christmas, and with the cold weather I really hadn’t gotten a chance to use it yet (mostly because it was cold and my air compressor is in the garage). This weekend I had some time after I mowed the lawn so I got out the paints I had started collecting and took to learning using an airbrush. The last time I would have used one would have been high school art class which was quite a while ago so I was starting from “newbie”.

My first project was a Walthers 60-ft box car I’ve had a while, it wasn’t something I “needed”  and has been a donor project for previous weathering attempts. Last time I tried using a rust colored paint marker and got decent results, but not great. I picked up some Rust paint and went to town on it. I was basing it on a prototype I’d seen at a scrap yard a couple years ago shortly before it was scrapped.


The real one was pretty rust and so is this one, there are still some angles that need some work (crevices that still have bright silver paint visible). My main observation was the airbrush made a much more realistic rust, it’s not perfect but looks pretty cool in person.

The next project was my pulpwood car I had built a while back, I was trying to match the image (link). When I was at the hobby store the paint I picked out seemed right but looks a little too purple, I’ll have to go back and look for more colors (open to suggestions too)

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I also have some white paint that I was intending for the car shops flat project and weathering. Now that I’m a little more comfortable with the airbrush I can start on the DM&IR 11 project as soon as I can find the right paints.

Pulpwood Milestone


I reached a milestone this weekend with my pulpwood flat car conversion, construction is finished… at least for the first one. The only thing that wasn’t built is some extra grab irons up the bulkheads. I decided to forgo those for two reasons, first I didn’t have the brass wire to make them and since this is really the first of potentially more this assembly was more about getting the basics down.


All that’s really left at this point is paint and decals, my lovely wife got me a nice single action airbrush so all I need to do is find the right paint and get some practice in on it (which may have to wait for warmer weather, it’s cold out in the garage!).


The Missabe Railroad Historical Society sells a number of different DM&IR specific decals and provides some guidance as to numbering and details. I’ll be using the Class K5 K6 K7 50′ Flat decals for lettering.

Given how easy this was to build I’ll probably build more, on the next iteration I will probably try some finer materials and add the grab irons as well. Ideally if I had the time I’d learn how to do 3D CAD and make them 3D printable, but that might be a bigger project.

Missabe Flat Cars


One of the projects I’ve been wanting to get to for a while is some Missabe flat cars in part because they are pretty easy to model and will generate some fairly unique models. Since I had two flat cars for the task I’m starting with just two, they aren’t anything special… just two simple Bachmann 50′ flat cars.

First off is very simple, almost entirely a paint and decal job. A plain old flat car.


Photo Copyright Doug Buell from Missabe Railroad Historical Society website

Next up is a little more interesting, a flat car made into a pulpwood flat

Photo Copyright Doug Buell from Missabe Railroad Historical Society website

Photo Copyright Doug Buell from Missabe Railroad Historical Society website

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