Northern Ontario “Paper On Wheels”

Hope everyone is enjoying their thanksgiving weekend!!. .. This weekend I decided to start weathering my fleet of NSC, FMC and PS boxcars. I started with the first of 3 GTW NSC boxcars for paper service. After doing a bit of research I noticed that most of the NSC boxcars that the GTW owned faded from the factory paint to a faded light blue. I achieved this by mixing light blue acrylic paint with water applying it to the model in coats. Then drying it in layers with a hair dryer on a low heat setting to prevent the plastic from melting. After the paint dried I used a toothpick with the tip soaked in 99% isopropyl alcohol to scratch out all the reporting marks.. It honestly felt like a scratch card from hell because this model had a lot of small details in peculiar spots. Here is what the car looks like after the fade.

Quick fact about paper service in the area I model.. Both CN and CP Rail served dozens of lumber/paper mills on both lines in the Ottawa valley. CN served the Smurfit Stone paper mill in Portage Du Fort QC near Ottawa. CP/OVR served a massive Tembec newsprint mill in Temiscaming QC. Both mills plus others along the line meant there where always large amounts of boxcars needed to haul paper and wood products in the area making them a common sight. This GTW boxcar is billed to the Smurfit mill in Portage and is awaiting pickup by the next CN eastbound freight.

In the prototype photo this particular car had a couple rust spots on side and rear. Instead of using oil paint to simulate the rust I decided to use acrylic mixed with flour. I mix red, yellow, brown to simulate the rust then add a bit of flour so it flakes like real rust. After the rust spots are done I go over them with with just strait acrylic paint mixed with a bit of water so it runs down the side of the car. Once that was done I gave the car a wash of flat black and then sealed it with dull coat to keep the rust paint mix from flaking any further.

Here’s another look at the car. I added a filter so you can see where I added the rust spots and black grime wash. On the prototype the ACI label (red white blue label on the side of the car) was torn in some corners so I represented that by scraping it with a toothpick till the corners of the decal came off.

CN, GTW, CP, BCRR owned NSC 50′ plug door boxcars that where built between 1975-1980. My model railway operates 4 CN versions, 3 GTW and 2 CP rail boxcars. I use/mix them in with my fleet of 50′ PS and FMC boxcars.

Finally. To finish the car off I went over the underbody of the car with weathering chalks. The wheel faces are painted with acrylic then dusted with weathering chalks. I’d like to note that its easy to make mistakes with the acrylic wash but I found that you can literally erase your mistakes with a Q-tip and some isopropyl alcohol.

I’d also like to stress that I’m still learning this process and that I only intend to go through how I weathered these cars. I see a lot of people online preaching about different methods that don’t usually work. I don’t intend anyone to try this.. I am not an expert. Remember, Its your railway.

Happy Thanksgiving 🙂

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