Last night saw me finish and re-assemble a metal kit of one of the distinctive Consett-Tyne Dock iron ore hoppers, somthing that I'd built a few years ago (2005 to be precise) but was never really satisfied with the paint job. Featured in Model Rail issue 82, I'd ended up putting the decals on and varnishing it by hand in the bedroom of a B&B in Peterborough, such was the tightness of the deadline for the magazine. Given that it's a magnificent kit, my rushed finish certainly did it no justice, so it's been on the 'to do' list ever since.
Having been completely stripped of paint, I also took the time to fill some of the imperfections in the white-metal castings, tidy some of the joints and refine the cast buffers. Then, a coat of etching primer preceded the regular priming and finish coats. This time, with a bit more care, the finish is much improved.
Etching primer helps to produce a better, long lasting finish on metal kits. It's only necessary to build up to a light coat, with a semi-opaque finish. The etching takes place as the paint dries, so leave it for a day or two before applying the regular undercoat.
The wagon has also received an improved weathering job, courtesy of my new Iwata HP airbrush - look out for a review in Model Rail soon.
This kit is from the Dave Bradwell range and, although it's not easy to build, it's a very enjoyable project. Fully compensated, it rides ever so smoothly. Decals are from Cambridge Custom Transfers.