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By Larry Lanctot
This web page was last updated on July 23rd, 2016.

F40PH VIA RAIL #6444
This is a HO scale model of a Walthers F40PH lettered for VIA Rail road #6444. The engine is DCC and houses a TCS decoder. a MBE horn, Details West winter hatch and air conditioner added to the roof of the unit. Ditch lights and plow added to the front pilot. Metal grabs and railings added to the sides of the unit along with Micro Scale decals. The underframe and trucks are painted and weathered a grimy black and the unit is lightly weathered. Kadee #5 couplers installed front and back.


      this is a method I developed over many years which is quick and easy... No special skills required and no air brush!  This technique is not the only way or the right way .... It is just one way which is easy and gives good results.

     this method is a combination of 1) adding details, 2) detailing and highlighting with chalks and paint, and finaly 3) weathering itself. It can be applied to motive power, rolling stock and structures, etc.

      this method is not a one time thing and should be done at intervals to demonstrate the effects of use and the environment as the unit ages.

      it is important to develop a standard so all equipment gets the same treatment and will have the same feel and  will not look out of place on your layout.

      a check list is a good way of keeping standards up to date and it is important to know the age of each  diesel in the  roster as the older units display more wear and tear than the new. However, a rebuild can look brand new.

      one of the best tools to get the effect you want is to use proto photographs. Print a large copy and circle all of the details and effects you want to capture.


This model is a HO scale Atlas / Kato RS11 lettered for Central Vermont, road #3603. The model has been lightly weathered to bring out radiator and grill detail. The underframe and trucks are painted and weathered a grimy black . The unit has Kadee #5 couplers front and back. This model is DC and is an excellent runner.
This is an HO scale Atlas Classic Series MLW C424 lettered for CN road #32O8. This diesel houses a TCS decoder and is programmed to run long hood forward and is the rear diesel in a consist of four C424's numbered 3215, 3210, 3212 and 3208. All of the C424's have the same decoder address. The bell, horn and antennae are MBE castings and the windshield wipers are by A Line. Additional wire grab irons were added to the front of the cab on the left hand side. Kadee No. 5 couplers mounted front and back. The underframe and trucks are painted and weathered a grimy black and the diesel is lightly weathered. This diesel runs well at any setting.


      chalks, pastels, stencil brushes, brushes, glue applicators, sharpie coloured pens, sponges, q-tips, toothpicks, etc.  Mostly available from Michael's craft stores.

      Polly scale paints and pens in rail tie brown, rust, grimy black and oily black, and brushes.  Available from your local hobby shop.


      how to weather a diesel locomotive,

     weathering rolling stock with powdered pastels, and

      model a weather beaten wood structure.


      weathering with chalks

ALCO C420 L&N  #1304
RS1 JCL #1203
This unit is an HO scale Atlas Classic series ALCO C420 lettered for L&N road #1304 and houses a Digitrax decoder. This unit is custom painted and weathered with the correct placement of the horn and has an additional jeweled headlight added to the low hood. The unit is non dynamic and has Kadee #5 couplers mounted front and back . The underframe and trucks are painted and weathered a grimy black and the diesel has medium to heavy weathering.  
This model is an HO scale Atlas / Kato drive RS1 lettered for Jersey Central Lines , road #7651. This diesel has MBE bell, horn and antenna castings added to the hood along with a steel air line. The underframe and trucks are painted and weathered a grimy black and the diesel has medium weathering to simulate a well used but maintained unit. Kadee #5 couplers installed front and back. This engine is DC. 



The task is to install the parts in the appropriate location for the following: horn, antenna, bell, grab irons, mu hoses, air hoses, all weather windows, wind deflectors, rerailers, brake chain, decals, etc.


The task is to paint, highlight or remove paint for:

Rad caps, fuel caps, air hoses, mu hoses, railings, grabs, grills, fans, trucks, underframe, patch, and renumber, etc.


Once the details and detailing are complete, do the weathering on the unit according to where it would have been affected by use and the environment..... Rust, worn off paint, dust, exhaust, neglect, fuel stains, heat, maintenance, replaced parts, etc.


       make sure the parts to be painted are clean and free of oils which could prevent the paint from adhering.  If parts have been touched with your hands, it is best to clean the parts with denatured alcohol.

       paints can be diluted with thinner to make a wash or applied full strength

       for the underframe and trucks, first paint the field colour of rail tie brown and add highlights with grimy black and rust while the paint is still wet.  Use the same brush and dip it in all three colours as the work progresses. Oily black can be used to simulate fuel stains later on in the process.

      paint before using chalks


       apply chalks with a stiff bristle brush

      scrape chalk with a hobby knife onto a clean surface and rub the brush onto the chalk. It is best to rub a stiff bristle brush on the chalk which gives a much finer grain and offers more control

      apply additional coats for depth

      use darker colours first and  highlight areas with a small glue applicator for fine detail

      brush entire area with a large dry soft brush to blend everything in

      remove as much chalk as possible with fingers, sponges, q-tips, etc. To reveal the colour not the chalk

      the dryer the chalk, the easier it is to work with.


Most models are viewed from a distance of 3 feet and do not need to be of museum quality...so the goal is to produce a detailed and weathered model that looks like an expensive Picasso with ease of effort and minimal expense of time.

A finished model with horn, sunshades and wind deflectors

LARRY LANCTOT       27 MAR 2010