Messing with a 8 planker.


In an article about basic weathering I thought a good place to start would be one of Dapol’s Rose Smith O gauge 8 plank wagons.

The intention was to produce a wagon that had been worked hard and been repaired (at least once).



Several books have been written on the subject (including a couple by George Dent I would recommend) so I am not going into a lengthy discussion, suffice to say that although you can buy cheap Chinese airbrush copies on a certain website, and in the past I have done so, they are not value for money and if you are just starting out they hinder rather than enhance your technique. After many years of using an airbrush I would always choose Iwata for their reliability. These need not cost the earth, and a good starting point is the Sparmax MAX-4 and the Neo for Iwata CN.

Both are gravity fed double action airbrushes and are ideal for this type of work. I will be using both to complete the task in hand. As for compressors – they are a must and a good all round one that I use is an AS 18 or AS 186.


I will be using various enamels by Phoenix paints, weathering liquid by Model Mates and powders by MIG and Wilder. A little on the subject of mixing paint, I use cellulose but thinners is fine and preferable for use with varnish, mixing is achieved by use of either a metal stirrer by hand or an electric one produced by Badger, in both cases I add the paint to my mixing jar and then thin the solution until I can get 2 drops of the end of my stirring device, the consistency has been likened to “green top milk” in the past.

In the interests of safety please always remember to wear a face mask when spraying, even if you are outside.


Items Used

Sparmax MAX-4, Neo for Iwata CN

Phoenix Paints – Frame Dirt, Sleeper Grime, Dirty Black, Weathered Wood, Matt Varnish.

Humbrol Paint - Natural Wood

Model Mates Weathering Liquid – Slate Grey, Soot Black, Rust.

Mig / Wilder Powders – Black Smoke, Aged Rust.



The airbrush company: tel. +44 (0)1903 767 800.

Eileens Emporium: tel. +44 (0)1531 828009.

Both can supply Sparmax, Neo and Iwata airbrushes & / or compressors and are highly recommended.

Phoenix Paints: tel. +44 (0) 1268 730549.

Humbrol, Model Mates and MIG / Wilder products can be found at good model shops or at suppliers I have used in the past who offer a good reliable service:

The airbrush company: tel. +44 (0)1903 767 800.

SnM stuff: tel. +44 (0)1252 540 894.

Creative Models: tel. +44 (0) 1354 760022.

If you are a model railway show attendee Eileens Emporium, Phoenix Paints and Hobby Holidays (who stock MIG and all sorts of weathering and painting equipment) are regular participants at shows throughout the year.

The wagon straight from the box in a pristine condition.

Two airbrushes are to be used the Sparmax 4 and the Neo CN.

The wagon underframes have been completed using Phoenix Frame Dirt applied with the Sparmax 4.

All the vehicle sides are given a dusting of Phoenix Weathered Wood.

A full side view following the application of the initial coat.

The wagon interior is also given a coat of Weathered Wood.

Replacement planks are hand painted using a good quality brush using Humbrol Natural Wood #110.

A side view of further replacement planks.

The Neo CN is now employed to mist a mixture of Model Mates Soot Black and Slate Grey. The Neo has a more refined action & a smaller nozzle so is ideal for this type of work.

Similarly the wagon interior is also dealt with. The wagon is then given a coat of matt varnish and allowed to dry for 24 hours.

Rust patches are added to the strapping by stippling Model Mates Rust with a flat brush.

MIG and Wilder weathering powders are used to enhance the interior and the strapping, Gloss varnish mixed with a little powder is also added to the axle boxes & buffer heads to simulate grease.

The finished wagon after a final coat of matt varnish.