Tag Archives: airbrushing

My Salt Weathering Technique Needs a Little More Refining

My first airbrushing experiment continues. After successfully applying a first coat of rust color, I tried to use the salt technique to achieve a weathered chipped paint look.

Hopper in covered in salt.

Hopper in covered in salt.

I let the salt fully dry  – it’s best to do that over night – and then sprayed the car with the final color. I chose a dull gray in this case.

Hopper with gray coat.

Hopper with gray coat.

Allowing ample time for drying, I then carefully washed off the salt. The salt didn’t come off as easily as I thought and I used a soft brush under warm water to get the salt chips mostly removed. After another round of drying the car looked like this.

Hopper after removing the salt.

Hopper after removing the salt.

As you can imagine, I am not happy with the outcome and here are a few things I think went wrong:

  • The underlying rust layer was too even  (this could still be remedied with weathering powder)
  • I wet the entire car instead of using small amounts of water in fewer spots
  • Using the salt mill gave me not enough control on where the chips fell
  • The salt mill produced tiny chips of salt which I wasn’t able to fully remove after the final coat of paint was dry

Luckily, I only spend three bucks on the kit so I don’t feel too bad about this mishap. If you have any suggestions to help me improve my technique, leave a comment below.

A box car will be my next victim… Stay tuned.

My First Airbrushing Results

At the Amherst Railroad Hobby Show, I bought a few cheap kits to practice airbrushing. This week, I washed the first kit in warm soapy water, let it dry overnight and gave it a first coat of rust color paint.

First coat of rust paint on an Athearn 34 foot 55 ton hopper.

First coat of rust paint on an Athearn 34 foot 55 ton hopper.

Operating a double action airbrush took some getting used to but I think the preliminary results are pretty good. In this particular case, I will try the salt technique to achieve a chipped paint look.