Wednesday, June 21, 2023

CN Woodchip Cars - The End

Almost a decade ago, I started working on CN woodchip cars 3D model to be printed. It was a very long walk through several hardships that made me learn a new trade, new skills and how designing model cars can be an excruciating exercise in compromise...

Now, after all that wait, 8 completed cars are ready to enter service. All of them built and weathered, using my design printed and sold by Kaslo Shops. In that regard, I wish to thank John Whitmore who was always very supportive of the project and made it possible. As I assembled the kits, I found a few things I would like to improve, including the decals. I hope to forward these improvements to John during this summer.

As for the model themselves, I went a like bit further with weathering. No new technique so to speak, but just cranking it up a few notches. Since 3D printed cars have always slight artefacts due to the process, I thought I would use an approach based on Tom Johnson grain hopper weathering techniques mixed with a few armour modeller tricks shared by Martin Kovac at Night Shift on YouTube.

Basically, I faded the paint with a substantial amount of white then added another fade layer to which I also added some light orange to make it even lighter while keeping a warm hue. The real trick was to apply that layer in an irregular and cloudy pattern on flat panels only to replicate the highlights created by distorted steel plate. When combined with regular weathering, it really gave an amazingly realistic look to the cars, replicating that beaten up appearance so characteristic of gondolas.

Once again, I can't help but urge modellers to keep their mind opened, look at what is done outside our hobby and take chances with their models. Modulating colors and hues before applying decals is truly a radical yet easy way to improve drastically your work! Try it!