Ideas that don't work

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by jr switch, Nov 29, 2006.

  1. jr switch

    jr switch Member

    I have a bottle of the Super Blue, the charcoal black and even the plum brown, for re-blueing or touching up gun barrels. Looked at the shiny drive rods on the 4-8-4 and the bottle of blueing, pictured the dark engine, dark wheels and visualized the darkened drive rods. No dice, anyone know what that metal is? --Also, when painting the metal wheels on the rolling stock to get the rusty look, are they usually removed from the truck and hand painted? One more thing, I have used Testors paint for years with good results, but Iv'e seen the whole line of railroad paints at the LHS. Is this a better paint? Easier to use? More realistic? Thanks for any and all suggestions------John R
  2. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    The two most popular line of railroad color paints, Floquil and PollyScale, are actually made by Testors anyway. The Floquils are solvent-based enamels, and the PollyScales are water-based acrylics. For safety you can't beat the acrylics.

    Hope this helps.
  3. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    The advantage of the "Railroad colors" is that they replicate prototype raioroad colors. When I first started I thought I would save some money and find some craft paints to match railroad colors. I never found anything close. You can save money by using craft paints for anything that isn't railroad related, houses, cars, trucks, etc. The craft paints are dead flat. If you want to give a shine to scale vehicles, you can put on a clear gloss coat over the flat paint.
  4. jr switch

    jr switch Member

    Thanks Tom, Russ for the info---I have weathered all my freight cars with the tester master paints and I think if I go over some of them with a flat clear they will look pretty good. If and when I get to the point where I need to duplicate a certain railroads color scheme, say on a salvaged garage sale car, the authentic colors will be needed. I'm still trying to figure out where in the house to put a layout. I want at least 22" radius curves and just don't know if I can make it work. I'm learning a lot from all the progress photos on the forum and have seen some great ideas----John R
  5. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    The siderods are usually nickel plated and very resistant to chemical blackeners, including Hobby Black. Silver siderods, while not typical of all roads, were still seen on steamers, even heavily worked ones, so don't fret too much. I weather mine with everything else, then cover it with a coat of Dulcote...haven't lost a wink of sleep in 32 years in the hobby:thumb:

    I hand paint and pull my wheels for painting when I can...some sprung trucks are best left alone:rolleyes: I know one man who has a lead into his hidden storage yard that's just wide enough for the track. By slowly pulling his cars thru it, he'll aim his airbrush up at the trucks, wheels and undercarriage for a very authentic looking effect.

    The better hobby paints have one thing in common, their pigments are finely ground, making for a flatter laying coat of paint, perfect for the finer details in model building.

    Attached Files:

  6. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Some plated siderods seem to be more resistant than others to the effects of chemical etchants like gun blue or model railroad products like A-West Blacken It or Hobbyblack. In any case, if you're going to use these products on your models, it's best to disassemble things first. Many plated siderods seem to have a light coating of oil on them, which will prevent the necessary chemical reaction. With the rods removed, they can be easily degreased. Another thing that can interfere with the etching process is oxidation, and most products recommend that the parts to be treated be cleaned with fine steel wool first. This is something that should definitely not be done while the parts are still attached to the loco: a loose bit of steel wool can end up in the drive train, or be attracted to the magnets of the motor. The other reason to have the parts that you are blackening separate from the loco is to allow you to wash the parts to remove all active traces of the etchant before reassembly. If etchant is left on the parts, it can continue to "work", and may actually damage some parts - bearings and places where moving parts are in contact are particularily important areas where the etching process must be stopped.
    This derelict locomotive, an old cast zinc model, was coloured using HobbyBlack, after first polishing the entire casting with steel wool. The resultant finish is extremely durable, and no sealant, such as Dulcote, was used. Any plastic parts are unaffected by the chemical, so you'll need to paint these details with a matching colour.




    The manufacturers of these blackening products recommend that you not return the "spent" chemical to the original bottle, as it will contaminate the unused portion. I usually save the used chemical in another sealable container, as it often has enough "life" left in it to blacken other parts, but when the chemical process becomes really slow, it's almost reached the end of its useful life.
    I did say almost: I transfer the chemical to yet another container, then, as metal "parts" become available, they're tossed into the container and left to sit, for days or sometimes even weeks. These "parts" could be broken metal couplers, damaged brass detail parts, or even brass trimmings from various scratchbuilding projects: if it's small and metal, and not useful for anything else, in it goes.:D Eventually, the liquid in this container is almost depleted. When this happens, the contents of the bottle are dumped onto an old newspaper, then spread out to dry. The colours will range from black to rust, even green: perfect for a scrap pile somewhere or even a load for a gondola.
    While I have used HobbyBlack on siderods and valve gear, I generally prefer to use Floquil paints, applied either with a brush or an airbrush, as appropriate. Disassemble the loco, remove all electrical parts, then thoroughly wash the subassemblies with hot water and detergent, to remove all traces of oil and grease. Rinse well and allow to dry before painting. While the paint will rapidly dry to the touch, allow at least one week for it to fully harden before reassembly or operation. Be sure to lubricate all moving parts before operating the loco, too.

  7. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    One other option for blackening siderods is NeoLube, a graphite lubricant in suspension. Not only will it blacken/darken the side rods, the graphite lubricates the moving parts. It does not "handle" well, so you may need to reapply occasionally. It is also VERY slippery, so be careful not to get any on the treads of the drivers.

  8. rfmicro

    rfmicro Member

    Hi John R.,

    Regarding those 'other' LHS paints while not suitable for prototypical color matching on model RR cars, they are good for weathering and buildings where such color matching is not a requirement. There certainly good for use in that application if the price is lower. Paints from Michaels are also good for scenery and building painiting.

  9. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    I view dullcote (or flat finish) as the single most important step in weathering. If people are scared of taking chalk, chemicals, or paints to their trains...they should still try dullcote. The biggest reason to blacken the rods or weather at all is to remove the gloss cote that seems standard accross the model manufacturing industry. Very few things in the real world have a glossy appearance. Also, adding a touch of gloss paint can really bring out an effect such as John Allen adding gloss black to a tank car to give the appearance of a petroleum spill.

    I've painted side rods before to good effect...but I don't have any pictures of those engines.

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