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H/O Diecast Construction Equipment Weathing and Painting

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  • Member since
    October, 2007
  • 38 posts
H/O Diecast Construction Equipment Weathing and Painting
Posted by conrailran on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 11:03 AM

Good day,

I have several pieces of construction equipment that are diecast models and would like to make them less toy like in appearance. For example I have an extension type crane with weight plates on the back and cable spools as molded parts  Here is a photo of the item in question.

http://www.3000toys.com/images/YCC/790.jpg

  • Member since
    August, 2006
  • From: Franconia, NH
  • 2,612 posts
Posted by dstarr on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 3:30 PM

Nice looking crane.  The prototype will have a layer of dirt over all.  If the machine is used at places like gravel pits, open pit mines, hiway construction, just plain dirt dirt (light brown) will settle all over it.  If it is used in city work, the dirt will be dark gray shading to black.  The tires are too clean and black, they want to be dark gray or grimy black, or dark gray auto primer.  The wheels need a lot of mud splashes.  For extra class, give the windshields a coat of dull cote but leave the arc of the windshield wipers clean and shiny.  You can do this by cutting a piece of Scotch magic mending tape to the right shape and use it to mask the arc of the wipers.

   If you have an air brush, you can give it a light spray coat of your weathering color.  Or, you can use a rattle can, pulled back enough to let you apply a very light thin coat.  This can be a little tricky.  Or you can make up a wash.  For black, thin out india ink in a lot of alcohol.  For dirt dirt color, thin out some paint  (acrylics poster paint from Hobby Lobby or Walmart works fine).  Apply the wash to the up side of the model and allow to run down the sides.  Practice first on a junker to get the hang of it.  One benefit of using an acrylic wash, is if it doesn't look good, you can wash it off in hot soapy water and try again. 

For any kind of paint or wash, surface prep is essential to get mold parting compound, oily finger prints, grease and grime off the plastic.  A good run thru the kitchen dishwasher will do the job. 

  Good luck.  Post some before and after pictures.

  • Member since
    May, 2010
  • 1,680 posts
Posted by mbinsewi on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 4:10 PM

Good methods mentioned by Dstarr, I've never thought of the dishwasher idea.  Just remember to start out easy.  Most company's that own these expensive pieces of equipment usually take decent care of them.  The GC  I worked for had a few similar, just as big, from different manufacturers, and a few tower cranes, and when they hit the shop for service, they got a good going over.  With the mobile cranes, such as yours, in between "picks", the operator would be out wiping things down.  Not so much with a tower crane!.  Older, more used hydraulic cranes develop some grease stains, and wear on the paint, in a horizontal pattern (lengthwise with the boom) from extending and retracting the boom sections.

I'd start with some fading, leaving the cab just a little nicer looking, then a light dust and fading from the top down, as Dstarr mentioned.  Look at a lot of pictures, and images, and you'll get a good idea of the general weathering pattern. 

On my diecast equipment, I also removed the wheels and tires, and sand down the tread of the tire to give it some "road wear", and get rid of the shine.  They usually have a mold line down the middle too, and sanding gets rid of that.  The only time the tires on equipment like this are shiny, is for display, and for parades.

Mike.

  • Member since
    October, 2007
  • 38 posts
Posted by conrailran on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 4:14 PM

Thank you was not sure if I needed to apply something like future  to have a surface to add those suggestions.  I also several  norscott piece that need to have the same treatment

  • Member since
    May, 2010
  • 1,680 posts
Posted by mbinsewi on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 5:21 PM

You could use light, thinned coats of Dullcoat, (Testors) to get the faded look you want, then some weathering, and then seal it all with another light coat of Dullcoat.

Furture would only make it shine more.  Some use Future to prepare an area for decals.

Mike.

  • Member since
    January, 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 812 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 6:42 PM

That is a very modern crane.

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Something like that represents a major investment by the owning construction company. This model should have very little weathering... this job will be executed in the small details.

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#1 The Erection Company will have their name displayed on the boom in prominent red or black lettering, probably with a white outline, or white with a black outline.

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#2 The pulleys have grooves where the wire rope rides in them. These will all be black with some bare metal showing.

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#3 The cable slack buffers on the top side of the main boom section should be black, chipped, and with bare metal showing where the wire rope has been hitting against them. You might even add sacrificial used tire "fenders" to them secured with bands.

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#4 The tires should be dark gray with medium gray drybrushing on the treads.

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#5 The strap on the front that anchors the "headache ball" for road travel should be missing most of the paint near the apex. This model has a multi groove pulley on the end of the boom, but this would never be on the crane when it is moved. There would likely be a 250 pound ball on the end of the single laced wire rope. The multi groove pulley would be hauled in a support truck if needed. You would not use a lower pulley like that unless the boom is fully retracted, so it would not be needed often. 

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#6 The telescopic guides for the boom sections should be missing a lot of paint. Same for the locking mechanisms for the boom sections. The four holes on the end of the telescopic boom are for attaching a lattice extension, they should have paint damage and missing paint also.

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#7 The top surface walkways on the carbody should be randomly scuffed from various service technicians dragging tools and parts across them. Same with ladder handles and treads.

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#8 The ends of all the pivot points on the hydraulic rams should be black where they attach to the mechanical members from daily greasing. The visible portions of the ram itself should be chrome silver. The ends of the ram tube cylinders where the ram slides should be black.

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#9 There will always be scuffs and scratches on the outriggers. Outriggers take a beating on a job site.

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#10 If you put this thing on a roadway it will require at least two pilot escort vehicles and at least one support truck with spreader bars, chains, slings, etc.

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Do not make it very dirty. Things like this will have an assigned operator that will be expected to keep in well maintained, and it will probably be a point of pride for him.

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-Kevin

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Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

  • Member since
    March, 2012
  • From: Stow, OH - originally Boston
  • 168 posts
Posted by Paul D on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 8:10 PM

Hi Con - For my city HO scale dump trucks, I pick up some "Bare Steel" & "Chrome" paint at Hobby Lobby for wear points. For example, when you lift the boom, is the ram on the hydraulic cylinder the same yellow/orange color as the cylinder? Thin some chrome and apply it to the ram. Same with any other wear points on the sides of the boom sections, etc. I do that to the inside of my dump trucks if they come in the same color as the cab to show wear, then wash with a thin solution of India Ink to show asphalt residue. All the other tips above are good ones. 

  • Member since
    November, 2007
  • From: California
  • 914 posts
Posted by HO-Velo on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 11:02 PM

I agree, nice looking crane.  Like Kevin says such a piece of equipment is indeed a source of pride for the crane operator & driver.  The crane crews I've been around during oil refinery turn-arounds are no-nonsense pros and keep the machine and tools in tip-top shape, "if you've got time to lean, you've got time to clean" is certainly in force.  

BTW, colored artists pencils in silver and various greys work good when adding wear marks to handrails, steps, walkways, etc.  They can be sharpened to a fine point on a piece of sandpaper, dragging the side of the point along an edge works good too.

Regards,  Peter

  • Member since
    January, 2015
  • From: Southern California
  • 908 posts
Posted by Lone Wolf and Santa Fe on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 9:33 AM

To me, the tires and rims stand out the most as being unrealistic due to their glossy sheen. No matter how clean you keep a vehicle, the tires and rims get dirty and show wear. I would start there and leave the rest of the model clean until you get more experience.
I would use water colors at first because you can correct mistakes with just a wet paintbrush or wet paper towel. Use a very watered down wash to cover the rims. It will cut down the shine and bring out the details as the paint pools around them.
A little mud on the tire treads will help too as it stays on the sides but wears off on the bottom. This is often done with excellent results on tires used in construction, farming and military models.
Like others said the crane might be very clean. Bulldozers, scrapers, dump trucks and backhoes are a different story because they get to play in the dirt all day long and get covered in a lot more dirt.

Modeling a fictional version of California set in the 1990s Lone Wolf and Santa Fe Railroad
  • Member since
    October, 2007
  • 38 posts
Posted by conrailran on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 9:56 AM
Thank you all....

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