Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Weathering the Abutments

I woke up pretty early this morning and couldn't get back to sleep, so I figured I'd see what I could accomplish down in the basement.

When I last left the Route 15 Overpass, I'd finished the building & painting and even added little concrete footpads under the piers. Then I put it in place on the layout . . .

Looks pretty awesome, if I don't say so myself. But it looks way too new.

So, what better thing to do in the basement during the pre-dawn hours on less than 4hrs sleep and hopped up on 3/4 of a pot of coffee? How about trying my hand at weathering and potentially screwing up months of work?

Why not

Since my brain wasn't totally foggy, I at least knew enough to start by practicing on the back side of the large abutment - a side which will never be seen. My first attempts were - predictably - pretty awful. But knowing that I had the freedom to experiment helped me get comfortable with a technique that ended up passable, I think:

I used a combination of gray & black chalks & pan pastels, with a bit of rusty colors mixed in, and India Ink wash. Kept applying, and wiping it off, and reapplying until I came up with what you see here. I haven't done the actual bridge, girders, and piers yet, so any feedback/suggestions/guidance on what I've done so far is MOST welcome, as always.

And that's where things stand currently. Knowing that our days and evenings are already packed with work/life stuff, it's nice to be able to steal a little time in the morning - even if I have to pay for it later with more pots of coffee.


  1. Chris
    First -thanks for sharing-i'm about to do the same on my friends newly completed Union Station...gulp!
    The abutment looks great! How did you apply the wash?

    1. Hi again Paul and apologies for the late reply. 'sbeen a crazy bunch of weeks.... Anyway, the wash was an India Ink/Alcohol mix applied with a brush - and then rubbed down with a rag since it came out a little intense(!) I'm new to weathering, so there's a LOT of experimentation - but I'm learning a lot about what NOT to do and how to work my way out of the inevitable mistakes. Sorry again for taking so long to reply - let me know if you even see this %^) Merry Christmas!