I had failed to mention that I use 1/2″ long screws to hold the handle to the kingpins (see Category: TIPS MODELING/QUICK TIP: HANDY HANDLE). The tapped holes are also that deep. If using kingpins (see Category: HOW-TO ROLLING STOCK/TRUCK KINGPIN) they are made to accept the longer screws. When using just a plain tapped hole for truck mounting, I build up a suitable small block of styrene, on the inside of the floor, and then tap thru. The reason for the longer screws is to take the forces of swinging the weighted model via the handle when painting. Short screws may not have enough engagement with the result of stripping the threads. No2-56 threads are not very deep and styrene/resin is relatively soft.

The car body will be painted entirely with Tamiya XF paint as I have a mixture of that brand for AT&SF mineral brown.  For other roads (see Category: HOW-TO ROLLING STOCK/PERIOD FREIGHT CAR COLORS REVISTED), I may use AK Interactive Real Colors paint.  The procedure is the same except for using lacquer thinner.


GREX Xb airbrush with .30mm tip, ~15-20 psi*, 1-3” away from model surfaces.

*a .30mm[.012”] tip is smaller than typical for most double-action airbrushes.  Most have a .50mm[.020”] tip which is much larger (2.8x greater in cross-sectional area) and therefore could use less air pressure.

Tamiya XF is thinned using their X-20A (for Acrylic – confusingly, Tamiya also calls its thinner for enamels X-20).

Before I go to the base color “mineral brown”, I airbrushed normally thinned Tamiya XF-1 Flat Black into any recesses and around prominent details/edges.  With well-thinned paint, I can get right up close to the model details. This makes for shadows and I do not have to work very hard to get the base color into every nook and cranny.

In scale modelling of military miniatures and aircraft, this technique is quite common to produce a weathered effect.  The base color is applied lightly on top of the shading which allows the black recess paint to show through, darkening the base color in those areas.  This is a form of color modulation.

I gave the roof a good solid coat of XF-1 – the Bx-14’s in my era had black roofs.  Then I pre-weathered the roof by airbrushing XF-69 NATO Black – this is a warm dirty black.  I concentrated on getting the color onto the centers of each panel while applying much less on the mullions. I left this to dry at least a day.

The AT&SF Bx-14 box car in my era poses a bit of a painting problem since the roof was black while the running boards and car body were mineral brown.  The instructions suggest adding the running boards after painting the roof, but I prefer to have a stronger glue joint, so I fixed the running boards in place prior to painting. I masked the roof by cutting strips of plain paper to fit under the running board gaps and secured them with Tamiya Tape. Tamiya Tape was used to cover the rest of the roof areas.

I carefully airbrushed the entire body, underbody, & running boards mineral brown.  By carefully I mean that I did not want to entirely cover the black paint effect applied previously.  To do this, I get close (about 1-1/2” inches) and concentrate on shooting the color on the centers of panels and objects, covering the exposed grey primer.

Once there is good coverage of the base color, I feather it out into the blackened areas.  Depending on how much feathering is applied, this weathering effect can be heavy to mild. As a final step, I open up the tip and make light passes overall to blend everything in.

For variation I added a couple of drops of XF-88 Dark Yellow 2 (a yellow-sand) to the paint mix with a little bit more thinner and shot this lightly over the centers of panels. The yellow can be any kind – a “sun” yellow will yield a more orangey result.

Then, I lightly spritzed (not wet) the couplers a dark-ish brown which I mixed with XF-1 Flat Black and XF-52 Flat Earth to be something like the old Polly Scale Roof Brown. Lastly, I hand brushed the rubber portions of the air hoses with XF-69 NATO Black.

After removing the masking, I had to touch up the roof color in a couple of places and I let this dry at least a day.

Next post: Final Pre-Weathering Car Body