Making a Rusty Roof with Cliff Powers

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Duration: 5:22

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The rust of the metal parts on Cliff Powers’ Mississippi, Alabama and Gulf model railroad layout looks very realistic. Allen Keller wonders his secret. Cliff has used many different methods, including Rust-all 4 part systems, but his favorite is a two part material that’s available at craft stores and really gives some unique rust effects.

The product is called Sophisticated Finishes rust antiquing set. The first part is the iron metallic surface, and then a rust antiquing solution to apply after that. He first begins by applying the paint to one of his metal buildings. He brushes it on like a paint, more thickly for a gritty finish or thinly for a more painted on appearance. After this is dry, it’s on to the rust finish. This is a clear material that will attack the metal in the paint and create a rusting effect. The longer the drying time of the base, the darker orange the finish will be.

Cliff’s building for his layout is separate from the house and is what he calls his Superman fortress of solitude. It’s a great getaway and escape, even though his job isn’t the most stressful, it’s nice to have the space for privacy, quiet and solitude. He has tried a number of creative endeavors throughout the years, but nothing has spoken to him quite like model railroading because it combines to make creative hobbies. He has been happy to model an often overlooked area of the country, as most model the East and West. The laid back appeal of home appealed much more to Cliff than any other area he could have modeled.

To learn about making tolled model railroad roofing or to watch more from Allen Keller’s Great Model Railroad series, visit the Model Railroad Academy archives.