Storage Containers

The real location that the Gatport Airwick diorama is based upon, features redundant sea containers that have been converted for use on land. This is a widely employed, cost effective concept. The real location features about three old containers, but for space reasons the diorama will feature just one.

I popped over to the local model shop and purchased a packet of Bachmann 20ft sea containers, these were in the silver grey Maersk livery.

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It became apparent very early on that the containers are manufactured in pristine condition, to make a model of a redundant shipping container, this was going to have to change to make it look more realistic.

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A feature of many well travelled shipping containers, both still in use on the high seas and in other uses on land, are the repair patches on the container side walls, with paintwork that is a lighter or darker shade than the rest of the box. I set about trying to replicate this weathering feature, making square patches on the box sides using Tamiya lining tape.

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Once the Tamiya lining tape was in position, I used a flat Tamiya grey paint to fill in the patched areas. Once the paint was dry, the Tamiya lining tape was removed. The golden rule is to always make sure the paint has dried thoroughly before removing the tape. When the time comes to remove the tape, I find the best method to give a clean line, is to pull the tape back over itself when removing the tape from the model.

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The next step was to add a light rusting effect onto the box. I started by scraping off small flakes from a brown coloured pastel stick onto the box using a sharp scalpel, I then dry brushed the ‘rust’ onto the box surface.

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When dry brushing the ‘rust’, I learnt very quickly to only brush up and down, not side to side, as rust is of course gravity led water based weathering and so the rust streaks wouldn’t look as right if they were horizontal rather than vertical.

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As can be seen from the pictures, I let the ‘rust’ build up at the base of the container, as that is where the water is most likely to build up and sit. Once the rust was in place, the container box was then given a spray coat of matt varnish to lock in the dry brushed particles to the model.

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If anyone is exploring weathering techniques for the first time, I thoroughly recommend practising on a model of a shipping container as its a nice simple shape and a hell of a lot cheaper than a locomotive. During this project I also learnt how easy it is to over weather models, it is always better to begin with very light weathering, exercising patience then building up the worn appearance as the project progresses.

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