Model Railroading Tips: Weathering with a Scratch Brush

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Weathering components of a model railroad layout is highly important for creating a realistic scene that will keep your viewers’ attention. And there are a wide variety of ways to give the structures, scenery, locomotives and rolling stock on your railroad that weathered or distressed look as if they’ve been in use for decades.

Most model railroaders opt for chalks, paints and rust materials, but you may not know there’s another valuable tool that can be used to weather parts of your layouts. It’s called a scratch brush, and we love using it to quickly distress and add years to our layouts. In this lesson, we teach you the model railroading tips and techniques you need to take advantage of the unique benefits scratch brushes can provide to your model railroads.

Model railroading tips for using a scratch brush

We’re big fans of using scratch brushes to weather objects on our model railroad layouts, so we’d like to introduce some important model railroading tips in regard to using these handy tools. Scratch brushes are typically used for cleaning electrical contacts and removing corrosion, but they can be utilized for a number of other tasks. They are generally available in a few different materials–fiberglass, brass and steel–each of which provides a varying degree of coarseness and is best suited for working on a specific type of surface.

To help you learn how to best utilize each kind of scratch brush, NMRA Master Modeler walks you through an in-depth demonstration of scratch brushing to weather elements of your layouts, and teaches you the model railroading tips necessary to take advantage of this useful tool. You’ll discover expert model railroading tips for distressing sign posts and telephone poles, chipping paint from siding and removing lettering from the side of a boxcar. With these and other of Gerry’s model railroading tips for working with scratch brushes, you’ll be able to quickly and effectively add years to the components of your next layout!