Rail Painting

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NickB

Wannabe Engineer
I was wondering what everyone uses to paint their rails for that weathered look and how is it done? I've seen a special roller, then I've seen some just mask areas and spraint it with krylon. Just curious as to I'm thinking about giving my rails that weathered look. Thanks
Nick
 

CP9302

Member
It really depends on personal preference and where you are in the construction of the layout.
If you only have the track down, the easiest thing is to airbrush or spray can it all and clean the rail head after it is dry. My RR Club will be doing this on our new layout.
If you have ballast and scenery done, I would just use a small paint brush. (this is how I did my Dad's home layout but it is only 8'x8') It could take a while to finish, but it is easier then masking. Another option would be a 'bottle brush'. It is basically and paint bottle with a brush attached. This gives a continuous flow of paint so you don't have to dip the brush all the time. (I used one to seal the grout lines in my tile floor)
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
I've used both brush and airbrush. On my last layout I airbrushed it, then after redoing the elevation and ballast, I redit it by hand. In the end, I like the control of the hand brush.
 

NickB

Wannabe Engineer
Well I currently just have track down, no scenery or ballast. What did you use to clean the top of the rails after the paint dried?? On another question if I do it by hand cause what type of paint acrylic or enamel?? I was thinking acrylic but was just checking the pros and cons of each. Thanks guys keep the tips coming it's a big help, I might start painting the rails Sunday.
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
I used acrylic. To take the paint off, I wait until it is just dry and take it off with a very light abrasive. A small putty knife wrapped in a cloth should do it.

As a bonus, your track is really clean.
 

Maxitrains

Member
The best way I found myself in doing this thing is spray it ( airbrush ), and while the paint is still wet, I prepared a block of wood larger then the rails width, cover it with a stretched fabric, wet it with thinner or white spirit , and wipe the paint easily till its still wet, and with the block of wood touching only the surface of the rails, you won't take off paint from the sides or from sleepers. In this was it will avoid scraping and hard brushing.

For me it worked fine :)
 

NickB

Wannabe Engineer
Nice I'll definately considered it, although I don't have an airbrush I might investigate getting one though. That's a good tip about the block with the cloth. Does anyone have a certain color of paint they find looks the most realistic too?? Thanks again everyone.
 

CP9302

Member
I cleaned the rail head while the paint was still wet. I didn't think of the block of wood though, thats a great idea!

As for paint and colour, I always use acrylic paints. The colour should be based on your prototype. But in general, main line track tends to be dark brown to black and seldom used tracks can be more to the rusty orange tones.
I used model master acryl rust on my Dad's layout, but would choose a darker colour next time. My Club is using a dark brown/black mix.
 

Maxitrains

Member
I just went to the Art shop and bought some acrylic color for weathering rust, actually I don't know if I will repaint all my rails after I painted them orangy rust ( brownish actually ), but I guess that after the ballast and some more weathering, the colour will fit right, I mean the photo I posted on the other thread, where I had the fibre type grass and rocks in the photo, the rails are shown with the colour I painted all the layout track.

I will see how it looks when I start ballasting the first part.
 

MLW

Active Member
Painting rail. Yes
Painting ties. Yes

Airbrush? no. I don't have one, and furthermore I like using variation in shades and colors. Practice makes perfect

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RexHea

RAIL BENDER
Yeah, I first tried the air brush when I didn't have anything in the way, but cleanup and working with the ties took additional time. Next time around I tried hand brushing and was surprised that it didn't take any longer, looked better, cleanup was easy, and the ties were still clean and ready for their painting.

NOTE: REALLY good looking track, MLW.
 

Maxitrains

Member
I am using some acrylic tube paints for the weather jobs, but I duobt that they will stick on metal since they are water based. What type of paint do you use to weather the rails?
 




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