some questions regarding ballast and rail painting

Discussion in 'Photos & Videos' started by basementdweller, Aug 29, 2004.

  1. My track is laid, I am ready for ballast and scenery.

    Do you ballast the turnouts?

    My last layout I only put ballast on the outsides of the turnout and it looked OK from the sides. I wish I had painted the cork grey first, but I failed to do so. What do others do?

    Rail painting. I am very aprehensive to start this, I do not have a paint sprayer so it would have to be brushed on. I am concerned that it would take forever, I have about 100' - 150' of track. I do believe it would look better though, especially as it would discuise my track feeder wires, where they are soldered.
  2. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Spray paint, a dark flat brown, works great for painting rails. Try a hardware store as Walmart prob don't carry that color. I just spray the whole thing and clean the railtops with a greenpad and briteboy anymore. That's quicker than trying to mask it or use oil. Ballasting points can be fun. That's all im gonna say. I do it carefully. Fred
  3. Dash10 do you spray the ties flat brown also? I would also be concerned about overspray eating the pink foam.
  4. Muddy Creek

    Muddy Creek Member

    If you can, first brush on a coat of latex paint on the foam alongside the track. That will protect the foam from the spray paint.

  5. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Yes, I paint the ties. I paint the track outside hanging on wire and let it dry before putting it down on the layout. Fred
  6. Ah, unfortunatly I already have the track in place.
  7. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    In another post you said it's on cork, so paint the foam beside the cork with latex as above, or mask it with 3 inch masking tape. Fred
  8. TrainClown

    TrainClown Member

    you can get water base spray paint. Takes a while to dry, but wont eat the foam.

    TrainClown :)
  9. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    I just take a tube of acrylic burnt ubmer, squish a bunch out on the end of a cheap 2" brush, and jab at the track with the ends of the bristols. It's faster than an air brush and the burnt umber is a decent old rust color, and a great tie color. You don't need perfect coverage; looks fine once ballasted. I stop and wipe the tops of the rails with a paper towel every few minutes.
  10. Thanks Jon, I didn't realize it was so basic, I guess I was thinking about painting the rails only and leaving the ties black. I think I will avoid the spray paint in the basement, but thanks for all the input everyone.
  11. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member


    Yup, dem fumes is another good reason to just jab at it with a nasty old brush and latex paint.
  12. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    To ballast turnouts without sticking the points, put a little oil on the pivot points of the points and on any tie they slide over. Try to keep the oil just on top of the ties. Then when you ballast, the glue won't stick to the oil. just vaccuum up the excess ballast around the points and they will work fine.
  13. Joesmodeltrains

    Joesmodeltrains New Member

  14. Joesmodeltrains

    Joesmodeltrains New Member

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  15. Joe, this may be just what I am looking for, but how do you paint the ties also?
  16. Joesmodeltrains

    Joesmodeltrains New Member

    Joe's Model Trains Weathering Dye to weather track ties...

    Oh, well here is a pic of the same tool using the larger (o scale) Urethane roller to do the ties (HO). Now to do the black Atlas ties, I love the "Rust" Dye that I disolve in common rubbing alcohol & that is what gives the absolutely realistic transparency that you see after it quickly dries. The rust dye actually settles into the grain of the wood ties- just like in real life! You can't do this with any spray or brush unless you go back and literally wipe the paint off the tops...but what the hec is all that mess do for ya! I use the HO size Rusty Rails Painter to do the rails and spikes with the Rusty Rails Weathering Paints- Then I use the O scale Rusty Rails Painter separately with Joe's Weathering Dye mixed with alcohol to go back over all the track ties. Best to have the two containers separate, but you can get away with just the one if you get the larger rollers in a separate pack.

    Here is a pic of what it looks can't get any better than this Buddy!


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