Sunday, December 31, 2006

Blackening the chassis

The underframe of the loco will obviously have to be a dirty oily colour when it’s done. I’m hoping I can get away without painting a lot of small delicate parts if I blacken them first.

I don’t think much of the chassis will eventually be visible, so this would be a good place to see how well it works.

I bought some Birchwood Casey Liquid Blue once, planning to reduce the shine on the top of my rails. Haven't got round to that yet, but have used it for chemical blackening. It’s strong stuff (used on rifle barrels, apparently), and needs to be washed off in water as soon as the required colour is reached. I paint a little on a spare part of etch, and it starts to colour after a few seconds.

They give instructions on how to prepare the surface with some products I don't have, so I use liquid flux and wash off after a minute or so.

the chassis prepared with flux

after blue-ing for 10 seconds

30 seconds

I'd say this was a good colour, but there were a few stubborn bits refusing to blacken.

60 seconds

Perhaps I didn't prepare those areas well enough.

Now with a small dab of lubricating oil smeared over.

This looks quite promising, but the black layer can come off. I'll leave one side oil-free and see how it looks after being handled for a couple of weeks.

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