Bachmann makes locomotives, rolling stock, and a number of nifty starter and not so starter sets.
I picked up a couple of sets that Sam’s Club used to have around Christmas time a number of years ago. One such set came with a passenger and a combo car that I liked very much but always wanted to weather just a bit as the shiny plastic roof I thought could look better.
One day on MyLargeScale.com I came across a great tutorial by Jack Thompson on how to make a tarpaper roof using masking tape, CA glue, and paint. I found Jack’s technique to be simple and my efforts with it turned out fairly well.
Jack’s technique uses common 2 inch wide masking tape. I started in the middle of the car and overlapped each piece by about a quarter inch. The tricky part is keeping each piece perpendicular to the length of the car and trimming the excess tape. A sharp Exacto knife is very helpful in this overall process.
The over lapped edges are carefully pressed down and then the masking tape is sealed with super glue. I just applied a thin coat of glue as if it were clear paint. There are many different types of super glue, I used the plain thin stuff. I’ve since found the colored super glue Jack describes in his tutorial which goes on in color and dries clear. This really helps you to see where you have painted glue and where you did not.
Once the glue dried I painted the roof with “grimy” black acrylic hobby paint (regular black mixed with a touch of gray). Then I painted the overlaps with regular black to give the appearance of tar strips. That really worked out well.
In this last picture you can see two of the same cars side by side. An untouched car on the left and the “tarpaper” roof car on the right, courtesy of Jack Thompson’s tutorial and some work on my part, really improves the look of this coach.
As a final touch I painted the decks, brake handle, and coupler on the cars. A coat of gray followed by nutmeg brown for wood, burnt umber for metal, some black washes, and finally some dirty white dry brushing made the black plastic look like metal and wood. Some black on the brake wheel and finished.
Here you can see a before and after side by side. I later remembered to paint the brake wheel vertical bar black.
Many thanks to Jack Thompson for taking the time to post his tutorial which you can see in detail here:
(Originally posted 05/06/2011, revised 06/29/2012)