Painting/Weathering Track

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by fortresscast, Oct 11, 2006.

  1. fortresscast

    fortresscast New Member

    Hi, I'm new to this hobby and close to building my first model railroad (HO Scale) on a tabletop. My main concern is which way to paint the track. I'm using Atlas Code 83.Do I do it like this (painting with a brush) or do I spray paint w/ rust brown and black? Also, is it better to paint/weather in place or separately (sectional track)? What about wiring and rail joiners if painted separately?Thanks for your suggestions!
  2. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Welcome to The Gauge:wave:

    Once everything is installed, I just slather on a coat of cheap craft paint from Wal-Mart called Nutmeg Brown then remove it with a small piece of wood shortly after it dries.

    Attached Files:

  3. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    Shaygetz - that looks too good. Really nice job mixing a bunch of materials in one place.

    fortresscast - interesting screen name btw...I used Bachmann EZ track and painted it all by hand with a 00 brush. So I'd offer a suggestions to spray paint it first then put it on the layout. Took forever to paint my little layout twice (still needs a third coat). I should have sprayed it (and the ties) before I ballasted and mounted it to the train board. Save yourself a lot of tedious painting and spray it on!
  4. R. MARTIN

    R. MARTIN Member

  5. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    I literally just painted every tie and rail idividually. it takes time, but if you paint it as you lay it, it goes by faster.
  6. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I don't paint ties. I do the sides of the rails with a brown/red colour. I use acrylic paints (sell for about a dollar at craft stores) and I will in future be using those little brushes with the cotton balls (forget what they call them). A paint designed for metal would work as well. I paint after it's all down -- often years after. That gives you consistency of colour. With flex track, it's important to paint after you finish sliding the rails through the ties or you end up with shiny spots.
    Watch out at rail joints and switch points -- paint is an insulator and these bits are hard to clean.
    You don't have to paint the side you can't see.
  7. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Shay...When you say "slather on a coat" does that go on rail, ties, ballast, etc?? It looks too good to be "slathered" on...

    Gus (LC&P).
  8. Fluesheet

    Fluesheet Member

    My question as well!

    60103 makes a good point about painting after your rail is set. I spray paint my track, and if the rail moves even a very slight distance, the paintless "shadows" created by the spikes stick out like a sore thumb!

    Attached is a very closeup of Atlas code 83 flextrack airbrushed roof brown (ties and all). I'm still experimenting (have done black and rust as well), but like this best so far.

    Attached Files:

  9. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    wow, maybe i am crazy... i painted all the rails polly scale rust, and the ties Floquil RR tie brown. I must have been painting for 2 days.
  10. gottaBreal

    gottaBreal Member

    Ok I must say I have seen a great way to make flextrack look really good and seems to be rather simple to do. Its from TomPM right here on the Gauge. Here is a sample of his work......

  11. Iron Horse

    Iron Horse Member

    Tip :: Rub a light coat of oil on the tops of the rails before you paint them. The paint can then be wiped off easier (I did mine right away after airbrushing). You can wipe off any remaining oil/paint with a track eraser.
  12. santafewillie

    santafewillie Member

    I spray paint after the track is secured to the roadbed. I paint the rails and ties the same color...I use various shades of brown. I wipe the tops of the track immediately with a paper towel and use a Brite-Boy the next day. I sometimes go back and highlight some individual ties, but on Atlas flextrack, the ties take the paint differently than the rail and they really don't look the same unless the paint is applied very heavily. After ballasting I go back with a brush and some grimy black paint, and apply oil/grease stripes down the center where appropriate.
  13. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    I'm afraid to say it but, yes, that's all I do and rather wantonly at that. The ties being plastic don't hold the paint as well so they look carefully weathered when in practice it's just a sloppy paint job. The rails for some reason hold the paint real well and so look like it took hours to do. The ballast doesn't go on 'til the next day when all is good and dry.

    Attached Files:

  14. jcrowell

    jcrowell New Member

    painting track

    I use Krylon "suede" light brown spray paint.
  15. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

    I remember that MR article where Pelle used a greyish color, to make it look like there's alot of grease mixed in. I was thinking of going along those lines for my track, but I have to track down the article first. I'll let ya'll know what it was an how it looks when I find it & test it.
  16. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    One of my friends used automotive primer -- iron oxide colour. He got a shock one day; found out they'd switched to grey.

Share This Page