I have started building a non-railroad related diorama. As such it does not fit to describe it on this blog so I started another parallel blog: Lennart's Dioramas and other Modeling Projects. Please follow the link and have a look.
After yet another tip from a fellow modeler I went along to add some earth/mud spatter to the car ends and the bays near the wheels. The tip was to apply this by 'flicking' mud colored washes onto the car by running a finger over a toothbrush.
Since I had never used this technique before I first practiced on a piece of paper. First with water and then with a wash. When I thought I had the hang of it I turned to the car. That was a total disaster! The car looked like it had the measles or something. Way to much of the wash was released, although I thought I knew how to control it. But maneuvering the toothbrush as far in as possible into the end cage at the same time was not that easy.
Fortunately I had had sense enough to seal all the previous weathering with dull-core before attempting the splatter trick, so it was easy enough to wash the spatter away under the water tap.
The second try was more successful. Still a little too much spatter, but I got rid of the excess using a few cotton swabs. In the end I'm quite satisfied, and I learned a new technique along the way!
After having weathered the trucks of the BN hopper it was time to have a go at the car itself. Once again I started by following a tip of Jeremy St. Peter - his dry brush fading technique (http://www.theweatheringshop.com/dbrush.html). This is a way of fading the original color. You start by applying a generous coat of white oil color, and then successively remove it until just a tad remains, as shown below.
I used titanium white for the fading, since that was what I had at hand, although Jeremy says that zinc white is better since the titanium tends to give the car a blueish hue. And as you can see below he was perfectly correct (I have since bought some zinc white to use on the next car).
I then used some acrylics and weathering powders to add grime and rust effects. I am not all happy with the result, even if it looks better IRL than on the photos. Judge for yourself.
I added ACI labels, since that would be appropriate for my era (late 1970s). For that purpose I had bought myself a decal set (Microscales 48-650). I thought it would be cool if at least part of the identification number coded on the label would match the actual car number, so I did some digging into ACI labels.
The first part of the bar sequence is an owner identification. I managed to find a list of such identification codes (http://eaneubauer.ipower.com/aci.pdf), prepared by Eric A. Neubauer. The list showed that a BN owned car should be coded starting with 0076. The list also shows how numbers are translated into bars. Prepared with this information I managed to actually find some plates on the decal set that started with 0076 for BN. But what I also found at that point was that the ACI plates on the decal set are all wrong! An ACI plate shall have 13 bars, including start, stop and check bars, but the Microscales plates have only 12. No big deal really (who would notice or even care?), but when having managed to gather all this info I thought it would be even cooler to make my own labels, actually matching both the owner road and the car number in question. The result is what you see in the picture below. Believe it or not, but the bars really translate to BN 450661.
I wanted to paint and weather the wheels as well. The only way to get at the wheel sides is to disassemble the complete truck. So that is what I did. In the picture below you can see all the parts. Before proceeding I took the opportunity to wash the parts in alcohol. I also masked the wheel threads and stuck the bearing caps to the ends of some tooth picks for easier handling.
I spray painted the wheels with Tamiya red brown, followed by a dusting of AIM light rust weathering powder.
The truck parts were sprayed with Vallejo black surface primer. The truck was then reassembled. The painted and weathered wheels were also fitted again. I then hit some parts of the truck, such as the visible part of the bolster and the springs, with some acrylic raw umber. Last the trucks were dusted with AIM dark rust, medium earth and medium gray powder. The dark rust was applied around the same areas that got the sienna, the medium earth mainly along the lower part of the truck, and the medium gray all over the truck.
The picture below shows the finished truck to the right, and for comparison an original Atlas truck (with P48 profile) wheels to the left.