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· Just another modeller
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QUOTE (60159 @ 7 Jul 2008, 20:57) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I've now reached the laborious stage of painting the rail sides with rust colour and ballasting. I've read many different ways of tackling these but what is best - and quickest and easiest!

Some say spray the whole lot rust (except turnouts) and then clean off with rag whilst still wet or let dry and clean with track rubber. Others say just get going with the fine brush and lots of patience.

Ballasting - who knows?

(In truth I've been at this stage for some time - big mistake was to lay track, build control panel and do all electrics so everything works, then test everything for months as an excuse for running my cherished collection of nicely weathered locos!)

***Hi - this method works very well and is both non stressful and very realistic.

First, painting the track: This is done after its all laid with a gray automotive primer aerosol can - of any gray general purpose primer in a can will actually do!

(1) I spray the whole of the track and underlay with Gray aerosol undercoat.

(2) Stain # 1 - a turps based walnut wood stain ( 1 litre can) with equivalent of 2~3 cans of humbrol black and about the same of humbrol leather mixed in. Painted over the track & underlay with a "mop" type soft brush. Takes about 3 minutes a metre to do, no need for care or precision at all.

Let dry at least 24, preferably 48 hours

(3) Then paint rail sides and chairs with stain # 2 - ( 1 litre can) cedar wood stain with a little black and brown (say one can black, two of mid to dark brown + 4 or so of leather/rusty colour. I use a super cheap kids paintbrush as I want stiffish bristles to get this stain into the web and over the chairs. I paint rail sides and chair detail with a single stroke, and it takes only a few minutes to do a respectable length of track like this.

Natural "errors" make some seep onto the sleepers in places, but being largely a stain the look is "softened" and it looks very realistic compared to precise painting of rail and chairs that never looks good to me.

(for both stains, keep well stirred or the paint tint settles out)

Using the stains lets the colour flow into the detail areas around chairs without giving a "painting by numbers" look to rail painting - its very natural and realistic that way.

CLEANUP: After each coat/stain: Initially wipe over the top of the track with the end grain of an offcut of timber/ pine block moistened with a little turps to get off most paint (this works really well) , then use a rubber for the little thats left...

OK: Ballasting.

Paint between sleepers and all over the underlay with very slightly thinned (say 2 parts glue, 1 part water). Use a small stiffish kids paintbrush - one that has those "too stiff for most things" synthetic bristles and is super cheap at discount stores).

take care around points of course, but with this method there is much less likelihood of glueing them up anyway!

Paint about 6" at a time, no more or the glue goes off. Spread more ballast than needed and tamp down with a finger. Vaccum off excess and recover for the next section.

Then simply run a stiff-ish brush along rail sides to get the odd bit of unwanted ballst and re-vacuum, and the jobs done.

If you do several slightly spaced 6" sections at a time (about 5 min each) and then after final vaccuming go back and do the gaps, there are no visible joints in the ballasting and the job goes quick enough - with NO furstration and a very neat look!

Overall - undercoating then staining is an added step that for me, makes realism much better - and as to ballasting, applying it the above way takes time, but not so much more than the spreading/glueing/cleanup of the "eyedropper" method, and its far tidier in the end too! Certianly - frustration and "error" is much lower doing it the way suggested above!"


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