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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

Whilst i was waiting for my damned ballast (
) to dry, I thought i would experiment with track painting. I have heard that some people paint the track in its entirety a rusty brown before it is layed, then touch up the individual sleepers to make it look more real.

Is this a good way of doing it? I just airbrushed a 6 inch bit of HO track a solid rust brown colour,and even now, it looks pretty good - much better than the black and shiney metal that it was before...

How should I do this?

Thanks,
 

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You asked: Whilst i was waiting for my damned ballast (
) to dry, I thought i would experiment with track painting. I have heard that some people paint the track in its entirety a rusty brown before it is layed, then touch up the individual sleepers to make it look more real.
Is this a good way of doing it? I just airbrushed a 6 inch bit of HO track a solid rust brown colour,and even now, it looks pretty good - much better than the black and shiney metal that it was before... How should I do this?

*** There are many approaches: I agree that it will always look better than the plastic & metal look and will always be easier to do before rather than after ballasting.

As I posted elsewhere, I spray a neutral (pale gray) undercoat and then use one overall wash of track coloured stain followed by rail painting with a rusty stain/paint combination.

Airbushing with track colour + brush painting rust on rails/fixings will also work

The key to me is not have it too perfectly consistent as base colours - ie the track colour should have slight variances and the rustry rails shouldn't be so neat that it looks like they were painted: The rail rust is constantly viobrated off/flakes and gets on the area around the track quickly. This why I prefer modified timber stains over an undercoat rather than neat paint for this process.

Final touch should be added grime and "weathering" of the ballast depending on track use/loco types/period & area modelled

Regards

Richard
 

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Hello Oscar: You asked...

"Have any picture of your rusted track?"

*** Please look in the Gallery - "Richard Johnsons Railway" images are there - between them there is track pre undercoat, undercoated track, track with first wash, and the ballasted track images have also had rail sides with second coat/rust coat

Richard
 

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Hi: You asked. How do you get teh ballast to look so uniform like that?

*** Firstly, I use a finer ballast mix - made up of about 1 part 4mm scale and 3 parts N scale, as I find that the size of most 4mm scale ballast is way too big when laid by itself.

I prefer the Ballast made by C&L Finescale - it is the best I've ever used. I especially like the fact that their colours look quite "pre-weathered" and are never that hard even gray of the other brands I see....

They have great mail order service in the UK and can be found at the following URL:

http://www.finescale.org.uk/.

I also stock it in limited quantities in Australia

Secondly, I ballast using the method indicated in earlier posts / other posts I've made - I paint the glue between the sleepers carefully, and paint the ballast srtip edge carefully too, then lay the ballast, which will of course only stick where the glue is! Cleanup takes moments with a vacuum cleaner and a slightly stiff brush (like an oil paint brush stiffness, NOT a toothbrush stiffness).

if you want to do the bulk of it with the very slightly faster "Lay ballast then add glue" method as per Paul Ploughmans well described method, you could make it easy to be super tidy by doing it in two stages:

Paint the edge line for the ballast (my method) with glue and lay ballast only there, vacuum up excess when dry and then add / brush out the ballast between these two tidy strips, tidy up well and dropper the glue in - combining the two methods will give guaranteed tidy results in less time than my method alone takes.

No matter what you do, taking much more time is needed for a tidy result. Graham and I have diferent methods but we both take about an hour per "double track foot" of ballast. You can be a wee bit faster, but if you want a really good job, it can't be rushed! Time taken early on means much less time tidying up later!

Richard
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Mr Double, i have now ordered that little ballast gadget. I got 400 feet of track to lay, and il be buggered if Im going to sculpt it all with a paintbrush....
 

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You said: " I got 400 feet of track to lay, and il be buggered if Im going to sculpt it all with a paintbrush...."

***Ahhh - but if you want a good result, then you'll still have to spend a lot of time with that paintbrush - If you are using the "apply glue to pre-placed ballast" the only way to get tidy ballast is to brush it all into place off the sleepers and make it really tidy before the glue goes anywhere near it. The Ballast spreader is a help, but not a total solution!

I do sympathise though - my own layout is more like 400 metres of track, and I'm painting the glue between sleepers then laying the ballast on top! The trick is to do it a bit at a time.... there are a million other things to be done as well anyway, so it can be broken into manageable lumps without goind quietly insane.

Richard
 

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You said: "....ballasting party?"

I'm still laughing at that - I have a group of wonderful very skilled modellers that often meet at my layout for a chin wag about anything to do with modelling....

I made exactly the same suggestion, that I hold a Saturday afternoon barbequeue and the reaction was "no problem, but if its for ballasting it'll have to be fillet steak & good wine, not Sausages & a coke....

Actually its not all that bad if you simply accept that it should be done in lots of small sessions in between other jobs - you'll be amazed at how quickly it gets done.

For example, my layout is at my business premises - I arrive a few minutes early, wander down the back to put the kettle on and while its boiling, I do a bit of ballasting - and repeat this several times each day. After a couple of weeks of painless five to ten minute sessions, lots is complete, I get a bit better at it every time and I haven't started knocking my head against the wall yet....

This I think is the trick for all the less fun parts of layout building - lots of small efforts keep them a pleasure - or at least prevent them overwhelming and stopping progress!

Richard
 

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I have to agree with Richard about doing things in manageable chunks! The other job akin to ballasting is flocking (cue dbc50).

My answer is to make a cup of tea, stare at the layout for ten minutes thinking, drink the tea, get the ballast/flock out and put the kettle on again.

It doesn't get you very far initially but it helps top focus tthe minds eye on the job in hand.

Following the second cuppa I normally manage to get some work done.

***Helpful hint - do not attempt this sort of job if there is anything half decent on the TV!

Regards
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hi,

Your layout is at your work? where do you work?! (the only acceptable answer is model railway open to the public) what happens if you have to move it?

I will have to just play it by ear....
 

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You said: "Your layout is at your work? where do you work?! (the only acceptable answer is model railway open to the public) what happens if you have to move it?"

My layout is at my own business premises: It occupies a large otherwise largely empty showroom, and is a very good reason for modellers to pop in and say hello - which is useful as my business is in specialised modelling stuff like DCC and many other items related to modelling - I sell everything for Hands on modellers" except the trains themselves in fact.

I also teach at the premises - scenery, dcc, soldering, etc etc

Richard
 

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Hoarp001,

Seems like your misery is over. Perfect piece of kit.
Watch the film. I might need one myself.

Thanks for posting Beast.

Baykal
 

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Richard, I am also looking at painting my track at the moment and had not thought of using stain. Can you please advise the brand and colour of the stain?

Regards

Stephen
 

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QUOTE (StephenB2 @ 10 Feb 2008, 10:57) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Richard, I am also looking at painting my track at the moment and had not thought of using stain. Can you please advise the brand and colour of the stain?

Regards

Stephen

Hi Stephen

I am in Australia so brands will vary - but wood colours dont so the brand isn't critical. I uses a "Wattyl" brand solvent/turps based walnut stain with three or 4 cans of humbrol rusty colour and a couple of cans of humbrol black mixed in - but any walnut stain plus paint will do it - my choice was based on the fact it was heavily discounted, not because it was the perfect stain :). You do need to keep it stirred well or the mixed-in paint pigments settle...

Richard
 
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