Ballast... would this work?

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Gary S., Apr 27, 2007.

  1. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    I painted the entire side, and, of course, it wasn't possible to avoid getting some paint on the top of the rail: as I noted, this will wipe off easily with a dry rag, if you don't wait too long to do the wiping.:wink: Even though my layout is an around-the-room design, I painted the back (not normally visible) side of the rail, too. This helped to ensure that the paint colour that inevitably ends up on the ties is consistent right across the track: on the prototype, the area of the ties immediately below the rails often becomes discoloured with rust/dirt from the rails. As an added bonus, when I set the camera on the layout, facing towards the aisle, there are no shiny rails showing up in the photo. :thumb:

    Wayne
  2. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    Still debating whether to paint the side of the top.

    When I was painting earlier today, it struck me that one of the beautiful things about a shelf layout is you only have to paint one side of the rails. But now your comments have clouded my thinking on that. Maybe i need to do both sides. Then, on the other hand, maybe I don't! :wink:

    I'm going right now to paint the upper sides on a stretch of rail and compare the look.
  3. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    I got about 6 feet done. It was fairly easy and actually enjoyable. I changed my technique and am painting the entire side now. And as Wayne said, the paint comes off easy if you just stop every now and then and wipe it off!

    Here's a pic showing the painted rail and a parallel track that is not painted. Hopefully you can see the difference!:-D

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  4. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Looks good, Gary, as do the boxcar and structure in the background.:thumb:

    Wayne
  5. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

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    That does look good Gary. What paint are you using? Myself, I am too lazy to do all that by hand, so I will be using a spray can, Rustoleum primer brown. I have tried it before and I liked it.
    And here's that picture of my wiring, please don't laugh to hard. It looks funny, but I have learned to leave some slack just in case. And if you look at the end, you will see where I hat to cut a top brace to put in a switch controller.

    Loren

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  6. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    Wayne, thank you for the comments on the track, building, and boxcars. Do you realize that much of my motivation comes from you and your photos of your layout? I figure if you can build a layout that inspiring, then anyone can!:mrgreen:

    Heeheehee, just kidding!:)

    But really though, your photos and knowledge of the hobby do make me realize what is possible. I appreciate all the help you have given me. As I mentioned in another thread, you guys here at The Gauge are my railroad buddies, since I don't know anyone down here that is in the hobby. I often sit here at my workbench, logged in to The Gauge, sharing ideas and asking questions as I go.

    I made another discovery today. I had bought a couple of Athearn RTR Monon 40 foot gondolas because I didn't have many 40 footers and they seem hard to come by, when I saw them at the LHS I snapped them up. Now, these things were just like fresh from the carshop, shiny black paint, perfect lettering. I decided that I didn't need the Monon road name, and every gon I have seen is generally beat to crap and rusting, so I experimented.

    I took one of the gons and an exacto knife and started scraping the paint off. I didn't care whether I scratched it up or not. I just gouged right in. The plastic underneath was a grayish black, and all the scrathes really gave the car some depth. I went back with some rough sandpaper, a dark wash, then several passes of weathering powder and dullcoat, and some new decals somewhere in there. I think it turned out fairly well, and as I practice the technique, I should get better. The point is, sometimes you have to get over the freight of ruining something, and just go for it. Worse caes is, it will be a good lesson on what not to do. Best case, you discover a new trick and develop your repertoire.

    Now I am considering trying this on a boxcar!:shock:

    Here is a photo of one car as new from the factory. Second one is the other car with the weathering job. Still needs some improvement, but I think this is a viable technique.
    [​IMG]
  7. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    Dang, now that I look at it, i should have scraped off the grab irons and added some made from brass wire.:???:

    Does this hobby have no end? How am I gonna finish the layout if I am spending hours working on rollingstock?:|
  8. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

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    That's why we say were never finished.

    Loren
  9. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    I used regular ol' waterbased hobby paint from the craft store. Before I painted, I took a stiff brush, dipped it in alcohol, and "scrubbed" the side of the rails. Then I took a rag and ran it along to take the alcohol off, then I let it sit for a few minutes to finish evaporating. Then I brushed the hobby paint on. It took two coats. I used several colors, tried to mix them a bit so there would be variations as I went along. Umber, Black, Brown, and dark gray are the colors I used, but mostly Umber.

    Hey, the wiring looks good. My bus wires are all fancy-neat, but the rest of it is run helter-skelter all over. It is difficult to keep it really neat. And I guess, why would you need to? If the trains run, it is PERFECT, right?:-D

    Hope it wasn't too much trouble cutting the brace. Can you believe with my 25 switches, not a single one ended up over a brace? I had a couple that were really close, but just missed. If that is the only one you have to cut, we'll call it good!
  10. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    You got that right! But when do we actually hold an operating session and run trains?:confused:
  11. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

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    Run trains whenever you want to. One of the things I love about this hobby is doing whatever you want once things are operational. Nothing says you have to do this before you can do that. Of course, you end up with about ten half finished projects.
    And cutting that brace was worth it. I am really pleased with those switch controllers. No more ugly switch machines on top of the table. And you got lucky. You having to move a brace would have been a lot worse.

    Loren
  12. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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