Monday, 3 March 2014

Weathering with PanPastels

This is what was included in Peters purchase, seven colours and a group of applicators. Two cars await application.
Let's Try Weathering with PanPastels.
by Peter Mumby 
photos by Peter Mumby

I found Tony Koester's recent weathering article (MR, Nov. 2013) quite intriguing.  Here was a method that promised to be quick and easy, yet looked relatively convincing.  Mess would be minimal, and there were no harmful fumes to inhale.  It sounded like something that could be right up my alley.

Acquiring the materials turned out to be the biggest part of the project.  The website identified a source here in London, but it wasn't exactly close to home.  I decided to simply keep an eye out at upcoming train shows.  This turned out to be a good strategy - at the Ganaraska train show in Port Hope the PanPastels were being displayed by GLX Scale Models from Ottawa.  A variety of the pans were open and available for experimentation - a sound marketing technique.  The pans themselves resembled make-up, and were priced accordingly.  Individual pans cost $7.00 each, while a kit of seven pans plus a package of applicators was $50.00.  The white and black included in the kit looked a little stark to me, so the proprietor indicated that I could select any seven individual pans and take a bag of applicators for the kit price.  A deal had been struck.

Instead of black I picked two shades of extra dark grey.  The white I replaced with a very light grey.  The reds were represented by two shades of iron oxide plus a rusty looking burnt sienna.  Raw umber completed my palette.

Work day...Peter came over last Monday and we spent some time weathering a few of our cars. This was the second time we got together and tested the weathering pastels. Peter was using the small applicator while I tried the wedge. George Dutka photo.

As per Tony's article, application simply involves rubbing the material on with the rubber applicators.  This can also be done with a brush or your finger.  Start with a light application, but it will wash off if you change your mind.  The iron oxides nicely toned down a typical red boxcar, while the light and dark greys looked good on the green cars.  The light grey looked especially good on a grey covered hopper, while the dark greys were a natural fit for the black open hoppers.  Apply a little rust to the trucks and you have a nice looking car.  Weathering powders or dry brushing can still be used to apply highlights - the PanPastels complement rather than supersede other techniques.  Take a look at the accompanying photos  and see if you might want to give the pastels a try.

Some very light gray was used on this car.

Both Peter and I tried one of his CPR hopper.  Peter went at this car with more weathering than I did...I really like the heavy weathering on the left. 

An overall coating of light gray on the sides and hints of rust on the top of the car really looked good. Although it really does not show all that well in this photo, this car turned out to be the best looker of our Monday afternoon workshop...George Dutka photo
The pastels gives boxcars a nice even weathered appearance. This was one of the first models Peter tried.
The hoppers got interior weathering also. I went with more weathering that Peter to the interior of the cars.


  1. Thanks! I missed that article by Tony so I'll have to go back and find it. There is a good source in the states for the pan pastels: He also has a how to DVD. After seeing your results I may invest in this.

  2. thanks for sharing your techniques, Im going to have to give that a try.

  3. Very realistic. Thank you