Why are Atlas ties black ?

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Biased turkey, Mar 20, 2007.

  1. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    So far in my life I never seen black ties on a prototype railroad. I t shouldn't cost Atlas too much to change the color of their sectional and flextrack ties to some brown color.
    Fleischmann does it ( I don't know about Kato unitrack because I never had one in front of me ).

    I paint the rails ...rail brown ( Floquil ) but don't have the time to paint the ties tie brown.
    Just curious.
  2. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    Because it's easy, because ties are fairly dark brown and stained with creosote so it's close enough, and because most modelers who care about the color of the track paint it anyhow, while they're also painting the sides of rail--and bright shiny rail sides is a lot less prototypical than dark black ties. I don't paint the ties a different color either, but I figure "Rail Brown" is pretty close to "tie Brown," especially after an ink wash, which settles more on the horizontal track than the vertical rail.

    Besides, Atlas Code 83 ties, the ones used by folks who want more realistic-looking track, is brown.
  3. railohio

    railohio Active Member

    Not if they're modeling in N scale...:D
  4. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Nope, but code 55 is.:D

    But it shouldn't matter. I wouldn't care if they were white or even pink, by the time they are weathered, the tracks are painted and you have finished ballasting, you'll never know what the original color was. Regardless of their original color, they are plastic and will always look like plastic until you do something to them anyway.
  5. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    sign1 sign1
  6. Catt

    Catt Guest

    I have never in my entire life seen a prototype BROWN tie.They just don't grow brown ones in West Michigan.I will be painting my ATLAS code 55 ties a proper shade of black when I get to that point in layout construction.(along with some gray,and white drybrushing that is. :D )

    Actually I will most likely use oily or tarnished black on them.
  7. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    up here ties are creosote black.
    The Atlas ties are far closer to prototypical than Kato brown ties.
  8. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    "Why are Atlas ties black ?"

    ICC regulations....?
  9. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Fact: Black plastic is the cheapest plastic to make since they can mix in any scraps from other colors and just add carbon black. Clear plastic is the most expensive to make.
    Fact: I haven't the foggiest if this is the reason Atlas ties are black, but it is a piece of trivia that might come in handy.:D :DWho knows, it may come up in a game of Trivia Pursuit someday.sign1
  10. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

    Code 100 from atlas is black, Code 83 from atlas is brown, Code 100 is less realistic.
    If you want realistic colors use more realistic track sizes. Even smaller than 83.
  11. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Prodigy: but then you get into code 70 Micro Engineering track which has black ties. Biased turkey: As for the black tie effect. New creosoted ties are indeed black. Weathering causes them to become a black, brown greyish mixture. The only real solution is to get out the paints, reduce the shiney plastic finish and weather your ties.
  12. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

    He asked about Atlas :p
  13. billgee-n-scale

    billgee-n-scale New Member

    Well I use water base rust color to paint the entire track. I wipe the excess off the top, let dry. I paint the roadbed matching the gravel color, let dry. I use white glue, and lay the track. I put gravel down next, pressing it firmly on top of the ties as well as between the ties. When it drys, I wipe the excess gravel off. The result is rust colored areas where the rail hits the ties, and a combination of rust and black on the center and edges of the ties.
  14. stary

    stary Member

    what he said!
  15. viperman

    viperman Active Member

    I'm in the process of painting my Atlas code 100 ties Boxcar Red. Just slathering it on, without trying for an even/perfect coat, is showing some nice results. You can see some black poking through in places, and the brownish color is actually very dark
  16. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    ahhh, my HO scale is showing! The other points remain the same...out west, you see more brownish ties than black, but maybe that's just becasue UP doesn't do a whole lot of track maintenance.
  17. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    I took some pics of the ties on the CN line down the road, none of them is black or even very very dark brown. Of course here in Quebec people like to have even their track ties different than in the rest of Canada :)

Share This Page