Tuesday, 12 July 2011

NCB Stores Vans

This small rake of NCB-branded vans is intended to provide a little operational variety to Maudetown, and a break from the endless procession of mineral wagons.

The new issue of Model Rail features a short article by Yours Truly on the interesting weathering technique known as ‘Pre-shading’. Adapted from what I see regularly in a number of military and aviation modeling magazines, this is something that I’ve only really embraced in the past 18 months or so. I’d been thinking of trying it for some time and limited my first forays to scenic objects, such as steel girders, a couple of turntable kits and a water tower.

It was only when I started work on my Airbrushing for Railway Modellers book that I resolved to explore the technique a bit further, especially where rolling stock was concerned. Starting with a 7mm scale wagon, the results were so pleasing that I moved onto 4mm scale vehicles and, although the smaller scale needs a bit more accuracy and control over the airbrush, I soon got used to it and it’s now become one of my staple techniques, especially for freight rolling stock.

I’ve yet to try it in earnest on a locomotive yet, but I have made a few initial attempts on some scrap bodyshells by way of practice. With a few interesting steam and diesel projects coming up, I think I’ll give the pre-shading a whirl and see what happens. Look out for the results in Model Rail soon.

Meanwhile, here are some images of the finished models that feature in the article in question, in MR159 – Out Now!


This Parkside GWR Mink van has responded brilliantly to the pre-shading method, described in the latest issue of Model Rail. The horizontal planking and external strengthening ribs lend themselves well to creating shadows beneath the thin layer of livery paint.


Com-Art acrylics have been used for the pre-shading, topcoat and subsequent light weathering. They’re ready thinned and formulated specifically for airbrush use. Burnt Umber has been used for this Internal User livery. Com-Art paints are available from The Airbrush Company.


Another model that suits the pre-shading method is this plank-sided van. A Bachmann body on a Parkside kit-built chassis, this is another fictitious NCB stores van for my Maudetown Colliery layout.


This Cambrian Models kit of an LMS steel-bodied van builds into a lovely vehicle. The delicate shading of the body panels would be much more difficult to achieve by weathering after the livery coats have been applied. However, with the pre-shading method, this convincing finish was relatively easy. And quick!



Another Parkside kit, this ex-LNER fish van is now in NCB Stores use, although it hasn’t received a running number yet (ooops!). Again, the darker shading applied before the white coats bring out the relief in the mouldings. I hope that the smell of fish has faded now that the van is being used to move engineering equipment around the colliery network

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