Saturday, 13 July 2019


Some pics from old Essence and the early use of Chalks.

I want to change the front page photo but, I have to search my slide collection for the specific photo I want to really show, it is of 3642 at Tumulla on the rear of a guards van, the reason is to highlight the grime on both the pig and the van, I have however a photo that I downloaded from somewhere of 3652 at Bathurst on an up passenger train showing a fair amount of road grime, but there is to the left side of the photo a section of an LHG that has interesting coloured panels.

This is not a photo of mine and will pull it down as soon as I can scan the other photo.

Reason for this post is after reading Phil from Phillips Creek blog about the TOR MLV and course panel grooves, hopefully these pastel works of mine may add something for Phil and others.

I have in general found these to be pretty forgiving as against using paints while the chalk may come off or rub off it allows for adjustments to the colour tones, with paint I have not had the success even with spraying it and trying to get the right colour mixes.

Weathering is road grime and not just black, but here in the Hunter black seems to be the main weathered affect on the coal trains, with a bit of the old colour showing through and that shows with the main operators not having real clean loco's overall, although nice to see some that are.

My expensive weathering pack, first the water and mixing container and expensive brushes

Artists expensive colour palette box

Light weathering on RTC

Some heavier affects on some wagons

 The following two photo's are of the TOR MLV reruns I purchased some time back, the first foto shows the two MLV's an the end of an OTM LLV prior to weathering using the chalks. The second photo shows how the pastel chalks help fill the side panels making them a lot more realistic. I rubbed the weathered models number area to show its the same as the new model.

I am in no way an expert on weathering and the element of pastels makes me a lot more relaxed in weathering any models.  I have to admit that some of my first attempts at using paints and spraying all but wrecked a couple of models and once Essence Mk2 is up and I get back into the actual modelling side of things I do want to get help in using the spray paints, but with what I have achieved so far with the pastels I'm not too sure about that.

The last photo is of an Austrains pig, & while the more brown like mud affects are apparent in the photo, its typical of a steam locomotive in the Western and Northern Regions where bore water was very much in use and even the special treatments such as briquets did not help with keeping the locos clean.

The area around the firebox however should be more whitish owing to the ash dust that came up from under the ashpans when being de-ashed and usually stuck to the sides. 36cl had ash pan bottom discharge and water flushers which did help keep the ash dust down, on other older types of steam loco;s had ash pans that had to be raked out from underneath and the main dust went up and settled around the front of the firebox area including the boiler.

The above is initial wash using So Jongia Nimbus grey

Below in service for a few more trips


  1. Col,
    Thanks for putting the photos up. The comparison between photos 5 and 6 is telling. From your mixing pot, I presume that you apply the pastels wet rather than dry?
    cheers Phil

  2. Hi Phil.

    I usually just have enough water in the bottom of the mixing pot, (mini yoghurt container or similar) I also never wash it out as each different pastel adds to the colour variations.

    Using the larger of those two brushes I wet it and then rub the brush into the pastel block, the grooves are the result of that rubbing, once the water has dried off with the pastel colour still on the brush I do a light dip into the water again and then apply it to the model.

    In the case of the MLV's I really put a lot of the pastels on the brush and worked it across the body side, that got the pastels to stick into the grooves. As the pastels do not take long to dry, its not long before you can apply different colours to the body, but you need a bit more of a moist brush, its not hard to work out a method that suits you.

    I do intend to cover the number area once those models are out of storage, a cleaned off section was often seen on the real wagon and usually just the code and number, I too more of that model as I had it in an early blog.

    If you go to ebay & put a search for soft pastels you will get them in large packs of 24 or 36 for around $25.00 I have only used the blue pastels on a house and mixed with black or brown to show a dirty house in need of painting.

    The brand Monte Marte is a brand of note but I have had as much if not more benefit from the cheaper brands, all are from China under a different brand.

    If you want a strong undercoat for weathering I also use an Acrylic tube paint, as it sticks well to the high gloss plastics found with most models

    I personally do not put sealing sprays on them as usually required or recommended with the weathering powders for them to provide a better adhesive aspect of them

    I personally do not put sealing sprays on them as usually required or recommended with the weathering powders for them to provide a better adhesive aspect of the pastels as against the powders, its what I used for my GSV's for the inside, So Jonja Nimbus Grey, I will put a photo up of the end results with them