Ron Kuykendall is a specialist when it comes to weathering on his layout. In fact, he has written a number of articles in magazines on the subject. Two primary techniques are dry and wet brushing. The wash method is probably the most effective for weathering. Ron uses a flat enamel and paint thinner, so oil based paints as opposed to lacquer. This mixture can go over almost every material. He simply brushes it on.
Wood grooving stands out more with the paint, and a smaller brush in the flat black can make certain boards darker. An exacto tool can be used to create some gashes that stand out when the paint is applied for even more weathering. Flat black with a lot of thinner is used for weathering a boxcar. The paint will pile up on protrusions which can be knocked off with the tip of the brush. For force drying a wash finish he uses a hair dryer. This technique is just as effective with figures.
The dry brush technique entails dipping only the very tip of the brush into the paint, testing it out first on a surface. This is good for creating streaks or dirtying window sills. To make the streaks more blended and subtle, dip the brush back into the thinner and run it over the area. The spray method for weathering requires cereal boxes or cardboard pieces to create masks or stencils. Any brushing technique can be used over the spray paint to blend it out.
To Ron, model building is the guts of the hobby. When accompanied by the mechanics and electrics, the layout comes to life. He also emphasizes the importance of friendships in the hobby and the pleasure of sharing an interest with another person. For more weathering tips and techniques or weathering railroad tracks, visit the Model Railroad Academy website.