Sunday, March 27, 2016

Bulkhead flats anyone? pt2

After getting the bulkheads assembled and painted the next thing I wanted to try, and something I've been wanting to try for sometime now, was to do something about those FAKE looking wooden decks that all flat cars seem to have. Ugh!

I knew it could be done using those peel and stick laser cut wooden decks.  I found some on eBay at $13.50 for a set of four.  That makes them around $3.40 per car, but the only drawback, I can only find ones to fit the MTL 50' flatcars?

I also read somewhere awhile back that it can be done using paint and weathering supplies, but couldn't quite put my finger on it where I seen this. So I turned to my old friend GOOGLE.

Weathering Bachmann On30 flat car decks.

I followed what he did with the exception of scraping the decks and moved right on to applying the white paint that was diluted just enough so that it flowed.  I applied the paint to decks without applying any dull coat for added tooth.  It seemed to grab just fine?

The author used a "Dye-na-flo" fabric paint for the coloring which I didn't have so I grabbed a bottle of brown and black acrylic as I wanted the decks to still have a brown color. 

After the white coat dried, I applied the brown/black wash coat.  I thinned it down but not quite as much as I did with the white undercoat.  This I brushed on and spread it out randomly and let it dry.  I went back a few times and added a stronger dose of un-thinned black and brown and spread it out a bit so as to give the look of oil spills and non bleached wood.  I think I could give them a bit more of this treatment because to my eyes they look a little light yet?

After only a few minutes, they were dry to the touch.  I might go back and add some black spots for grease marks as well as rust colored patches.  

Here is a comparison to what I started with and the semi finished models


Overall I'm very happy with how the decks turned out for a quick and dirty upgrade.  Next I need to get out the weathering supplies and attack the overall cars to make them look well used.   After that I need to look into making some different types of steel loads for them.

I wish I could find more of these old Red Caboose kits...  


  1. HI Allen. These have come up looking very nice. I did this sort of stuff on my On30 Lost Creek RR that I sold off mid way through last year. You might want to give the car decks a light wash of india ink. It seeks out all the low spots and makes the deck look really good. I also scraped along the boards on some of my older N Scale flat cars mine with a fine tooth razor saw before doing the paintwork and weathering.
    Have fun.

    1. Thanks Rod.
      You're just full of good, useful information Rod! LOL
      I was thinking about going back over them with a black wash, hoping for a similar look. Thanks for confirming that. I'll also try the razor saw trick on the next batch.

  2. Those look very convincing Allen. I've also pondered what to do with the generic decks of my flat cars so I'll check this out.

    1. Thanks Brad.
      I liked the looks of them, but as Rod mentioned, I think I'm gonna try a black wash to help tone things down a bit as I get them weathered.
      Be sure to post your efforts, would love to see someone else's efforts and results as well.

  3. They do look very natural. I think it might be time for me to get some India ink. I keep hearing great things about how well it works.

    1. Thanks.
      I've got a bottle somewhere, I need to try it as well as Rod mentioned.