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Weathering with Pan Pastels

September 14, 2011

I became aware of a product called Pan Pastels when I attended a weathering clinic by Rob Manley at the last Naperville RPM meet. Over the year I've experimented some with this product and weathered up a few cars.  When the subject of Pan Pastels came up on the Proto-Layouts yahoo list, I got them out again and added some weathering to a couple of cars and posted my results to my Picasa photo album. These paints are getting a lot of positive comments in that group.  I find them to be a very fast medium to add overall grunge to a model.  I wouldn't turn to these for fine weathering details myself and I don't plan to put away entirely my chalks, oil paints, etc.  But I'll be using these more and more.  

Here is the new car (True Line Trains) straight out of the box.  In most cases I'd be starting with a car that had been Dullcoated, but my focus here was on what could be done fast so I just started in on the brand new surfaces.  In the foreground are several shades of Pan Pastels.  I purchased the six-color Earth Tones set and I added a couple of grays to the collection.  The foam applicators also sold by the same company are in the dishes to the left, and handles of other foam applicators are to the left rear of the boxcar.  Off we go...  

And here is the car 5-10 minutes later after applying the three shades of Pan Pastel shown in the foreground.  An unintended effect was that the Pan Pastels darkened the freight car red sides more readily than the pad painted lettering.  This causes the white lettering to stand out, similar to the weathering patterns of some steam era freight cars.  Had the whole car been Dullcoated first I doubt that same effect would have occurred.  

The two CP cars on the rails looking like they have some age to them.  

It's really hard to beat Pan Pastels as a way to quickly age a freight car.  It isn't my first choice for effects that require fine control, and for some cars I prefer the patina effect that oil paint weathering produces, but I'm definitely going to make continued use of Pan Pastels.  

All photographs this page, Bob Sterner.