Friday 19 July 2019

Hudson Skips With Graphite

As promised in my last post, I have now tested a new way of adding a worn metal effect. Until now I have used soft pencils to make worn edges on metal surfaces. When I weathered my first two skips I found that it took a lot of work to make the insides of the skip look well with graphite from a pencil. With graphite powder the process took only minutes for all four skips and looked much more realistic.

Nystrup Gravel Hudson skip no 52 showing off its weathered inside. It doesn't show too clearly in the image, but the graphite adds a slight sheen to the inside on the parts of the bucket that are polished by exiting gravel.

Graphite powder is used for lubrication and I was fortunate enough to pick up some left overs in the bottom of a can. A very small amount will last a long time even in 16 mm scale. The graphite is easily aquired from lock smiths in small amounts for lubricating locks. The graphite can also be bought in cans or even sacks from specialist dealers.
All four skips empty with buckets raised. Usually unloaded skips were left like this by the workers of the gravel company. It avoided them filling with water when it rained, dead leaves in autumn and snow during winter. Kids (usually boys) from Nystrup often played with the skips and seldom left the buckets tipped when they headed home for dinner. For that reason the workers had drilled holes in the skips as an extra precaution to avoid them filling with water.

To apply the graphite I simply pick up the amount of powder that will stick to my index finger by natural adhesion (moisture and skin oil) and work the powder into the matt paint and varnish on the skips' insides. All it takes is a few passes back and forth with the graphited finger tip. I was careful not to overdo the effect. I was going for a moderate sheen and a smooth texture in contrast to the other matt and 'rough texture' surfaces on the skips. I'm not producing a polished silver fork here!

The four empty skips are ready to be picked up by a loco and propelled to the gravel pits for loading.

Skip 52 and its three stablemates parked on my semi-finished photo plank with 15 lbs/yard rail on wooden sleepers.

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