Painting rails and ties

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by bobrien, May 21, 2002.

  1. bobrien

    bobrien Member

    I just read an older thread regarding this issue and it appears that many do this.
    Is this the norm? Does it add such a depth of realism that the time spent is well worth it?
    (And I know what you will say already Woodie ;) :D )

    And if so, paint before or after laying track - which is better?
  2. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    My lips are sealed!!


    Then I won't say anything! :D :)

    unpainted, unballasted (and note the track, how close to the edge, for previous thread).

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  3. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member


    ..... versus painted and ballasted.

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  4. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member


    Damn..... I've gotta say something in the text box, othwise it won't post! :D

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  5. BillD53A

    BillD53A Member

    I paint my flex track using the cheapest hardware store squirt paint I can find. I use 3 colors, primer gray, any brown or boxcar red, and flat black. I paint everything before I lay it. Then I use acryllic paints from the craft store to paint the ties. I just slobber the stuff on, not really trying to make it look like anything. Lastly I pick out individual ties here and there with gray, tan or black. Clean the paint off the railhead as soon as it dries. Use a needle file to clean the rail ends so rail joiners can be added and soldered. Paint these areas by hand. I paint turnouts by hand, keeping paint out of the moving parts.
    When the track is ballasted and scenery is added, it no longer stands out like a sore thumb, it becomes part of the over-all scene.

    We tend to make our models stand out...they are the center of attraction. But just for fun, sometime, take a model car with you next time you go trackside. Hold the car at arms length, while you stand far enough away from the prototype, that it is the same size as the model. Note how the real trains blend into the background, totally ulike our models. Just a thought, Bill
  6. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Ditto On What Woodie Said

    Painting the track makes all the difference in the world:) This is a spur leading to the farm supply warehouse and is ballasted with cinders.

    My method: Do it in place. I airbrush the rails and ties with grimy black. Then dry brush the don't have to be careful this goes fast...with a light grey. Add rust to the web of the rail if you want to. Ballast the track and using some #1200 emory paper ( very, very fine) clean off the rail tops.

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  7. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Painted Track

    I painted all the track on an exhibition module. I did it by hand with assorted dark brown and rust paints. I even painted the top of the rails at the end of the sidings. Then I found someone scraping the weathering off saying "Boy, these rails sure get dirty." :mad:

    Does anyone have a good recipe for rail coloured paint? Commercial "rust" is far too fresh.
  8. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    I use Polly Scale roof brown on both ties and the web of the rails. I then go back and use a very small brush to add some rust. Model Master paints have a nice dark rust color, Polly S rust is very orange, can be used to highlight. Easy to make your own rust, start with black, add red till you get a tone you like, add small bit of yellow to vary a bit. The more shades you apply the better the effect, how much time and effort are you willing to spend? Also, let some rust wash down onto the ballast as you will see it does in real life.

  9. Vic

    Vic Active Member


    Try that concoction called RustAll....I really like it. Its not a rusting chemical but a special kind of paint. Works on plastic and metal and you can make it as light or heavy as you like.
  10. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Vic, Is Rustall the product I read about recently that is actually rust in suspension? Had forgotten about it, will have to pick some up.

  11. Vic

    Vic Active Member


    Yep, that's it. It dries in about 5 mins too!!! I really like it!
  12. bobrien

    bobrien Member

    Hey Everyone - thanks very much for all the tips on painting. Will definitely try a mix of everything. I like the different ideas for rust colours. I haven't seen anything in ready made paints that really looks like rust anyway. And besides, there's rust AND rust. :D

    Woodie :
    Great photos ! Have you changed cameras? or has your photographic technique got better??
    Excellent shots.
    Love the station and goods shed.
    Question : Both buildings scratch or kit built? and if kits, where did they come from? The shed is almost identical to a prototype I have seen and I would be keen on locating one.
  13. jland31

    jland31 Member


    This [Rustall] is a new one to me. Where to buy it?
    Some great posts here. Thanx to all.
  14. bobrien

    bobrien Member

    On this topic, I have been experimenting with diffrent paints/colours etc, and have to say that in spite of the thickness of the paint density, best results/colour so far (on rolling stock anyway) has been a Humbrol colour 100 - a sort of reddish brown that when dry does have a very close resemblance to metallic rust.
    Just an observation anyway.... :)
  15. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    I found the elcheapo artist acrylic stuff is just as good. $5 a tub did my whole layout. The humbrol stuff could end up quite expensive.

    The pics were snapped by a friend with a digital camera. I need to invite him over "for a beer" one afternoon again soon!

    The good shed is a cardstock kit from LJ Models (no website) for around $10 a kit. I just "bashed" it up a bit with styrene and model lumber for the barge boards and external frame boards. They make about 20 different kits based on Aussie prototypes. ($10 - $15 each) I can email you a scanned kit if you like (to get the resolution and detail for printing + instructions, its about 5 meg (split over 4 emails).

    The goods shed is a model of this prototype (Seymour, Victoria, but these sheds are all over Victoria.) The house and pub on Garahbara are these kits as well. I've just completed the community hall and church as well. The kits do everything from public houses to public dunnies. :cool:
    They have a fabulous card model of Ripponlea, a historic house in Melbourne. Costs $70 though.[​IMG]

    Now....... Where would you rather live? That house, or this shed!!!

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  16. Rustall

    yep, being new at this whole hobby, Rustall is new to me also, can you share who sell's it?? sounds good for someone not talented in the arts...:confused: planeshavings
  17. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    I get mine from Micro-Mark. 1-800-225-1066, if I could afford it I would buy 75% of the whole catalouge! :D
  18. Vic

    Vic Active Member


    I get mine from MicroMark too but I've seen it in some hobby shops too.
  19. jland31

    jland31 Member

    Micro Mark

    Hold on. Micro Mark usually runs a great sale in June/July. Lotsa $ savings
  20. Thanx for the tip

    I'll definitly be tryin some o that stuff thanx for the tip...planeshavings

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