There is a lot of different approaches in weathering and the appearances to one’s freight car wheel sets. None are wrong. It really depends on the region one models. If the area you model is mostly clay, wheels would pick up a lot of red tones and in coal areas there would be a lot of black dust on the trucks and wheels.
I like to have a variation in the appearance of my wheel sets. The simplest way I found to get this effect is to begin with a dollar store acrylic coat of cinnamon brown brushed on the faces of the wheels which becomes the base coat for whatever tone of coloring I want to add to the wheels. Cinnamon brown is a medium to dark rust looking tone. The smaller size Testors brush works well for this coating.
My second option for painting wheels is to coat the wheel faces with Vallejo Rust Texture which is a very dark looking rust tone, almost black. I like to leave these wheels set with only the Vallejo coating but one can then adjust the coloring with your favorite PanPastel tone. I have been known to also paint the truck side frames with Vallejo Rust Texture although my go-to paint for trucks is Princess Auto product Cast Iron Gray which comes in a spray can.
It is nice to have different effects for each car...I try not to have too many looking the same...George Dutka
|Rapido steel wheels have been painted acrylic cinnamon brown followed by different shades of Bragdon Powders. I normally use soot or dark rust. This one is getting a light rust applied to emulate a new wheel.|
|This Rapido open top hopper has had the wheels and trucks painted Vallejo Rust Texture using a brush. I did not apply any powders on this truck.|
|A look inside the open door. I used some scarp paper bag material to resemble leftovers from the last delivery.|