Thursday 30 November 2023

Ashover coaches Part 5 - Painting

 Having decided on the colour - the Tamyia deep green with white window surround - it was time to start painting the coaches. I'd primed them in white, but the areas to be white were painted an off-white (white with a few drops of beige mixed in) so as to be not too stark. 

The upper part of the body around the windows was masked. There's a handy recess between the waist beading and the top board, 9mm tall. The tape I had was 10mm wide.. so I cut to length and trimmed 1mm off the edge while stuck to glass, then transferred the tape to the coach body. I have the glass from a broken picture frame taped to it's backing board with graph paper in between, handy for assembling things square and flat but also for cutting tape.

The green acrylic paint was airbrushed. I'm still learning here, and find the frequent cleaning of the airbrush tedious, but I think getting getter. Mind you, I'm still getting used to acrylic paint too. I added some Tamyia acrylic thinners to the Tamyia acrylic paint and it seemed to start coagulating, and the airbrush clogged. Using water to thin the paint worked better, how is that? Anyway, it was worth persisting for the good finish from airbrushing. (The clothes peg helped to hold the coach while painting).

With the masking removed I was very pleased with how it had worked. There were a few places paint had leached under the tape as seen on the lower coach, which needed touching up, but mostly the join was clean and tidy. 

While I had the airbrush out I weathered the roofs (which were in grey primer) with a dark grey acrylic mix. This is varies a little in density and hopefully represents smoke deposits. 

The frames, steps, and handrails were painted with black acrylic, as were the lamptops. I considered masking but the matchboard sides and handrails would have made that difficult, and probably ineffective. Hand painting was tricky and even so some black paint wicked up into the matchboarding requiring touching up. I realised I should have painted the lamptops before fitting! The window drop-frames were painted very carefully with light brown enamel paint - I still prefer the way enamel paint flows - and the tiny door handles dry brushed with enamel brass colour. The insides were roughly painted with brown bench seats and cream/white walls, although I left the end vestibules in green. Not seen here, but the bogies were painted with a black-grey enamel. 

I'm very happy with the way the painting has gone, but there's a little way to go yet. I'd like to matt varnish them, but the weather isn't great for spraying at the moment. I'm wondering about subtle weathering - not to take away from the clean look expected of a preserved railway, but to add dust to the underframes. Then there will be glazing to cut and fit, including around all those open windows!

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