Acrylic paint for ties OK ?

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Biased turkey, Jun 11, 2006.

  1. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    I purchased some Floquil solvent based paints for the rails but would like to use some Tamiya acrylic paint that I have ( airplane scale modeling ) for the ties .
    Would the process of ballasting the track dammage the acrylic paint on the ties ?
    Tia for any info or opinion.
  2. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    never have tried it but I do know that acrylic paint don't stick well to plastic with a slick surface.
  3. XavierJ123

    XavierJ123 Member

    Hmmmm, I airbrush acrylic paints on plastic model airplanes with no trouble. Per the instuctions, I do wash the plastic first in mild dish washing detergent, rinse and dry. Not doing so will allow a film on the plastic left over from the manufacturing to inhibit.
  4. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    I believe models have a different type of plastic from ties I use plastic pallet knifes and mixing trays that acrylic tube paints wont stick to .
  5. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    I've used Polly S paints with no problems, and lately I'm using latex paint I had made to match roof brown, which is my base color for ties. I don't do any prep whatsoever, just paint the ties and ballast, no problems with paint coming off.
  6. Art67

    Art67 Member

    I have to echo what Gary stated, I have not had any trouble with acrylics sticking to the ties. Tamiya paint is a bit thinner than Polly S, so that may be a concern, but Polly S has always worked well for me. Also, Liquitex {sold in art stores}, is an acrylic that works very well and is reasonably priced. I also do military modeling, and I think Tamiya paints are best used with an airbrush- at least thats the general opinion I have gotten from the military modeling forums. Hope that helps.

  7. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    I've used Tamiya paint for locos but have never used it on the track. It should work though, as it's intended for use on plastics. My main objection to it is that I find its odour very irritating. I have used Polly Scale water-based paints to paint both ties and rails, and once fully hardened, it is very durable. I apply it with a brush.

  8. Art67

    Art67 Member


    Have you had success brushing Tamiya paints?

  9. abutt

    abutt Member

    I have used acrylic paints for just about every paint job I've had. I've stoppd buying the expensive Tamiya paints and now have a large collection of Delta and Apple paints I've gotten from the major crafts stores like Micheal's. I'm what you would call a "water-based" hobbiest now. These are used on the most expensive craftsman kits around with no fear.

    Good luck,
  10. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    The locos that I painted with the Tamiya were airbrushed, so my two-stage respirator let me avoid smelling the stuff. The paint was left over from a model airplane kit assembly many years earlier and the paint has stood up well. As I mentioned, I find the odour very irritating and only use it now to paint tail light lenses on vehicles, using a brush. I tried once to brush paint a larger item with it, but I didn't care for its lack of levelling qualities. My favourite for brush painting was Polly S, no longer made, and even then, some colours weren't as easy to use as others.

  11. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    Wayne i found that using Grumbacher or Liquitex tube colors thinned with a good quality airbrush medium is close to painting with Polly S.
  12. abutt

    abutt Member

    I agree with Wayne. I like Tamiya for airbrushing. I use their own thinner. Tamiya does have a "leveling " problem so a good quality brush is a must.

    I've switched almost entirely to the acrylic paints found in the craft stores...Delta or Apple. Not only cheaper, but a huige variety of colors. I've not tried it in the airbrush, but have been building a lot of the crafty kits like Bar-Mills and it's terrific. Both companies make their own sealers and the paint opacity couldn't be better. I also like everything being water-based. Easy clean-up and the brushes last much longer.
  13. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I have always had a hard time getting the craft paints to cover plastic with a nice smooth coat. TomPM has success thinning them with blue windshield washer fluid, so maybe a search for some of his projects would be in order.

    I find the craft paints best for wood, card or other porous surfaces. For an initial coat over plastic, nothing beats the acrylics forumlated for plastic (Polly S, Tamiya, Testors, etc). Once that is on, the craft paints stick much better.

    So for your ties - if weathering, the craft paint is fine. If you want to actually change their colour (e.g. paint black Atlas ties brown), you are probably better off with a paint formulated for plastic.

  14. abutt

    abutt Member

    I now have to go along with Andrew here. Between my last post and now I've been starting to paint the windows in my Bar-Mills kit. Unlike previous kits, these are plastic, not laser cut self-stick. The craft paint is covering very poorly. I am using an antique white, and whites are notoriously poor covering in any kind of paint. I think I'll switch to Tamiya for a base coat -- maybe light gray, then go back to the antique white craft paint. Proving again, you're never too old to learn.
  15. I use all types of acrylics on model structures and track, but always prime everything first. On structures, I usually brush on a coat of white acrylic gesso. This bonds to washed plastics very well, and all the overlaying colors I've ever used go on with very good coverage.
    On track, I generally blast everything (rails & ties) with a can of brown auto primer, then use acrylics for further coloration and variation.

  16. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Now back to the original question....

    No, ballasting the track should not damage the acrylic paint, provided it is dry, and you do not use anything out of the ordinary for ballasting, such as boiling water that may strip the acrylic by basically melting it.

    The isopropyl alocohol or dish detergent for wetting the ballast should not harm the paint, nor should the 50-50 water-glue mix for cementing it in place.

  17. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    Tamiya acrylic stuff? Don't waste your money. Get a goot jar sized elcheapo artist (student quality) acrylic paint from your local arts store. $5 a cup sized tub. I use red oxide, burnt umber etc type colours with the following result for track weathering. No probs with ballasting when diluted (with water) wood glue, or it coming off.

    Wadda ya reckon?

    Attached Files:

  18. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    and this one.....

    Attached Files:

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