Author Topic: Track painting tips  (Read 966 times)

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nscalemike

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Track painting tips
« on: March 18, 2013, 10:50:47 PM »
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I know this has been discussed here and there over the years and I tried a search on the topic but nothing too specific, but I was wondering if anyone has any tips on painting track.  I used the Atlas code 55 track throughout and looking for a dark, mainline type color and a lighter, faded spur type color I think.  At least in my mind I am trying to seperate the main from passing tracks/spurs/yard tracks. 

In the past I just used rail brown sprayed from the rattle can and called it a day.  Decent, but looking for something a bit better.  Also, I'm interested if anyone has used any of the craft type paint from Michaels or Hobby Lobby, the cheap $1/bottle stuff often mentioned.  It's a large layout but not to the point of too big to paint by hand.  I'm not looking to paint each individual tie but it may be just as simple as trying to control the overspray from the big can.

Any thoughts or pictures would be appreciated!

Thanks,
Mike

Erik W

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Re: Track painting tips
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2013, 11:20:15 PM »
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I've mixed my own color using railroad tie brown as a base.  You might still do that, but paint random ties with a lighter gray or a darker brown.  Also, depending on the area your RR is located you may run a brush with a rust color along the rails.  Since the humidity is very low in Colorado, where my D&RGW represents, the rails never look rusty. For depicting different track you can also vary the height of the track, meaning the mainline would be higher than sidings, etc.  Also use different ballast, etc.

Anyway here's a few samples of my low tech approach:






Erik
My D&RGW layout  . . . and other stuff
http://s178.photobucket.com/albums/w243/drgw55/

nkalanaga

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Re: Track painting tips
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2013, 01:35:31 AM »
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The craft paint really doesn't stick well to metal, and not that great to plastics.  If you paint the track with a spray can, then use the craft paint on the ties, it works fairly well.  I use a lot of it for weathering freight cars, but again, it's on already painted flat-finish surfaces.
N Kalanaga
Be well

MichaelWinicki

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Re: Track painting tips
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2013, 07:45:19 AM »
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Floquil Weathering Paint Pens.

http://www.fiferhobby.com/html/floquil_weathering_paint_pens.html

Luv the Weathered Black (from the Structure set) for the mainline rail... Brown or the Rust (or a combination) for everything else.

They covered well and the job went very fast.

The thing I learned was the darker you paint the rails, the smaller they will appear.

JMaurer1

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Re: Track painting tips
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2013, 12:05:11 PM »
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As already stated, the craft paint is water based and doesn't stick well to plastic. Spray cans are usually oil based and stick much better. I usually use my airbrush and using various colors of brown spray 10 ties here, 5 ties there and then come back with a lighter color and repeat the process until all of the ties are painted. As a bonus this paints the sides of the rail helping hide and weather the rail. When I'm in a pinch I use either just cheap brown rattle cans from Walmart or HD/Lowes. To help control overspray I use a piece of cardboard on the other side of the track as a backstop. If you check the cans closely, some of the moderate priced spray cans can also have a directional spray nozzle that sprays more in a flat line than a circle (and can be turned either horizontal or vertical). That makes it easier to control overspray. Hope that helps some...

Jeff Maurer
Sacramento Valley NTrak
Sacramento Valley NTrak

rogergperkins

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Re: Track painting tips
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2013, 12:06:17 PM »
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Tidy Track Track Painter Steel Rail is a good option for painting rail.
This is a part of Woodland Scenics.
I have also air-brushed Polly S roof brown on track following Gordon Odegard's guidelines in the MR series on the Clinchfield.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2013, 12:08:03 PM by rogergperkins »