Painting Rail....

Discussion in 'Photos & Videos' started by steamhead, Nov 18, 2007.

  1. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Hi...I'm at the point of having to paint "miles & miles" of rail at one of the yards on the layout...:eek:

    Does any one have a "quick & dirty" method for this...?? I don't even want to think about doing it the old fashioned "Dab-it-with-a-brush" way...:cry:
  2. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    i saw somwhere where a guy just masked over the ties real quick and spray painted the rails oxide red and wiped the excess of the top. it shouldnt matter if a little rust gets on the ties as rust would stain them eventually anyway.-josh
  3. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Steamhead, I just paint the rails and ties with rust-o-leum primer brown spray paint and then wipe off the tops of the rails. looks ok to me.

  4. jeffrey-wimberl

    jeffrey-wimberl Active Member

    I mask off the ties and while holding a sheet of paper behind the track to catch overspray, I spray the rails with Rust-Oleum Rusty Metal Primer, wipe of the rail tops, remove the tape and move on to the next section. I generally do a six foot section at a time.
  5. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    I did mine, about 200' of mainline and perhaps half as much again of sidings, with a brush. I used PollyScale paint, straight from the bottle, and a fairly stiff 1/4" brush. The stiff brush allows you to get the paint around the moulded-on spike heads on the ties. Don't "dab": it's rough on the brush, and wastes time, too. ;) Turnouts take a little longer, but plain track is quick and easy, and you don't have to do the whole layout all at the same time. I do 10' or 12', then wipe the tops of the rails with a dry rag (the paint is dry to the touch, but not hardened, so it wipes off easily). Let it harden overnight before running trains. Don't worry about getting paint on the ties, either, as they get discoloured from the rails, too, on the prototype. I wouldn't spray paint in the layout room unless there was no other way to do the job: this is a good way to get paint dust on everything, and it'll all end up on the wheels of your trains, eventually. :eek: :lol: :-D
    Here are some prototype photos, for inspiration:




  6. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    sweet thanks Wayne for the pics :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

    Hopefully this will finally get me started on weathering my rails :mrgreen:
  7. baldwinjl

    baldwinjl Member

    I think that rails and ties are often a very similar color. If you spray from the side with a rust/brown color, and then from the top with a grimy black color, then clean the railheads, I think you are pretty close.
  8. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Hi guys...Thanks for the suggestions. I spent half the day yesterday looking for 1/2" masking tape....None to be found..:cry:

    I think that's the way to go, although I do have concerns about spray mist settling over everything in the layout, as DrW points out...
  9. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    MMMHHHMMMMM. If you have any scenery or rolling stock you want to protect, move it to another room or cover it. If you use acrylic paint, you probably don't have to worry about anything greater than 10 feet away. But slower-drying solvent paints....well. I painted part of my car once. I put drop cloths and tarps around the whole garage - and some of the paint mist escaped and coated a fine film over stuff tens of feet away.

  10. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Yeah, I think spraying at the layout is a bad idea. It really doesn't take long to brush paint on rails. Getting the paint on the tie plates just happens pretty much naturally when you move a small brush along the rail web, and will look like track in Doc Waynes second photo. Not too much paint on the brush! A brushload will do 3 or 4 inches, it goes fast.
  11. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    It's not so bad doing it with a brush...It's bending over the layout for hours...then my back starts complaining...Spraying would go much faster..
    I'll dedicate the Txgiving weekend on it, hopefully I can get it out of the way and go on to the rest of the scenicking.

    You all have a thankful holiday.
  12. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Forgot to ask...DrW, how did you get a picture of my track..?? :mrgreen:

    Attached Files:

  13. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    This has always been one of my concerns. I am feeling a bit under the weather and that is something I can do without too much energy. And do now that school is done for the week, plenty of time:mrgreen:. I got great Ideas on this thread. Thanks.
  14. MadHatter

    MadHatter Charging at full tilt.

    If you use a brush, you only need to paint the visible side.
  15. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Unless you have the curious habit of placing the camera on the layout and shooting towards the aisle. ;)


  16. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    Wayne, those automobiles are awesome.

  17. Has anyone ever tried the Micro-Engineering track weathering solution? I am also ready to begin painting or weathering my track, and was wondering how that stuff does.

  18. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I tried a paint marker - worked reasonably well, and is available in a wide range of colours. The only complaint I have about it is the one I chose is not fine enough, and there's a bit of unpainted rail above every spike. This can be solved on one rail of flextrack by sliding the "free" rail, but that solution won't work for the other rail. I'll have to find a finer tip marker.

  19. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Thanks, Kevin. In the first photo, the car on the left is from Williams Bros., and beside it is a 1926 Essex and a 1928 Model A, both from Jordan, while the green sedan on the right is a Sylvan kit.

  20. trainz_dude24

    trainz_dude24 Member

    My favorite railway

    Hi, I live near the NPRR (Northern Pacific Rail Road) and it is my favorite railway! I rode an amtrak on it and the sites were amazing!

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