Lionel Spotlights Weathered Locomotives

Jan. 26th 2014

There's something wonderful about a shiny new model train that seems to glisten on a shelf, but sometimes you just need a grimy and realistic train to bring you a little closer to the reality of the rails. Lionel's latest spotlight focuses in on a few new locomotives that do exactly that. 

I love realistic and detailed weathering on my locomotives, but it's not something I'm adept at creating myself. That's why I love when manufacturers bring experts to the table to do it for me, creating beautifully realistic, gritty, and masterful creations like the ones below. Check out the full details on Lionel's weathered locomotives straight from the source below. 

New Product Spotlight – Weathered Locomotives

Hard work and harsh weather quickly take their tole on trains. It doesn’t take long before the gleam of fresh paint is covered in soot, dust and grime. And before you know it, the rust starts creeping in. All of this weathering alters the look of a locomotive and makes each one unique. Recreating these effects in miniature is an art.

Weathering is one of the best ways to add realism to any model. While attacking the perfect finish of a fine model can be intimidating, by selectively highlighting certain details, weathering often enhances more of a model’s original beauty rather than obscuring it. And, like the prototype, each weathered model is unique.

We’ve presented some tips on weathering here on the blog in the past. While starting with an inexpensive freight car is a great way to learn, stepping up to a LEGACY locomotive can be scary. Lionel has partnered with artist Harry Heike to bring you the look of some hard-working locomotives without any fear.

A life-long enthusiast and modeler, Harry has turned his love and talents into a commercial venture since 1998. He has already produced more than 75 prototypes for Lionel so there’s a good chance some of his handiwork is already on your layout! Now you can see his artistry first-hand with three new weathered locomotives.

We’re launching this weathering effort with some unique locomotives. For steam fans, there is the massive Union Pacific 9000. These 4-12-2′s earned their keep along the midwestern plains. For more history of the prototype and all of the features of these amazing models, see this earlier blog post.

We’ve chosen an equally distinctive diesel prototype for weathering as well. The Baldwin RF-16 “Sharknose” A-A diesels powered freight trains over many northeastern lines. Weathered versions will be available for both the B&O and Pennsylvania. For more background and model features, see this previous post.

The locomotives are being weathered to reflect a few years of operation – hard working but well-maintained machines. Note that each model will be hand-weathered by the artist, so no two will be exactly the same.

Take your roster to the next level of realism with these new weathered locomotives. Just be forewarned – after seeing how good these look you might be tempted to try your own hand at the process.

The weathered AA (Powered and Non-powered) Sharks retail for $829.99 and the weathered 4-12-2 for $1299.99. See your dealer to order your custom masterpiece today.

Aren't they wonderful? They have just enough wear and tear to make them look like they just jumped off the rails straight onto the screen. Harry Heike does wonderful work, and the fact that he's handled each and every one of these trains himself means you're going to end up with something fantastic and totally unique. It also means the prices are a little steep, but when the end result is this good, it's well worth it. 

You should keep your eyes out for these (and other wonderfully-weathered) locomotives on the DASH Marketplace. I know I'd give up half my trains just to grab one of these beauties.   

New Comment

Login to post comments.

If you don't already have an account, register for free to get started.


  • 4 years, 3 months ago

    Yes! there is something wonderful about a shiny new model train, but wearthering is the way for me. Lione diesel and locomotives engines are some of the best looking weathered trains around. Can't wait to get my hands on a another one.

    See sqb2024's collection

    Login to post comments.

    If you don't already have an account, register for free to get started.