Fast Tracks

What paint was used?
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Author:  Zoinks007 [ Fri Mar 04, 2016 3:51 pm ]
Post subject:  What paint was used?

Clearly I make things too hard. When I see Tim's videos and hear about painting the track, I imagine small compressors, paint guns, specialized colors... Involved, technical stuff. (My other hobby is restoring old cars, and believe me painting a car is very technical.)

But then I saw the video on the home page. About minute 6, I see the track being can-blasted, of all things! I couldn't believe it! And ya know, it looked damn good, too. :)

So someone, if you know, please tell me what was in that rattle can of paint? I'm all for not over-engineering, especially with results like that...

Author:  Zoinks007 [ Sat Mar 12, 2016 4:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What paint was used?

With apologies to Tim for the interruption, I asked him directly for suggestions. I'm still waiting for my first order, and if there is a video for this included on the CD, I'll definitely look into that.

Tim, however, suggested looking at primers, gray or black, to paint the overall turnout. So I took a trip to a local hardware store and found a color that could be amazing...I've shown the cap in the photo. (The bottle is medium gray fine ballast, which I was also comparing to prototype...I didn't realize there would be so much glare.)

The color is "Anodized Bronze" from a local hardware chain. The link, however is here:

The page shows a gloss finish only. The cap is clearly a flat finish. So I'll spray some on scrap wood and finish off with a clear flat if needs be.

The other thing I am going to try is Woodland Scenic's TidyTrack painter:

They have rusty rail and weathered tie, so I'll try both. I'd wash the ties in a very light gray wash anyway to weather, so I'll see if the TidyTrack paint is worthwhile or a bust.

Having painted metal parts before, I'll scrub the turnout as Tim shows in his (amazing) videos, but I'll also wipe with lacquer thinner to degrease and clean prior to painting. I'd then wipe the tops of the rails once sprayed with a flat spreader holding a lightly-soaked paper towel (soaked with lacquer thinner as well). That'll clean the rails nicely.

Of course this is all supposition on my part until I get my order and build a turnout, so the plan may change. But if it all works out I'll post a picture here.

File comment: Color comparison, anodized bronze and prototypical tie.
AnodizedBronze.png [ 404.81 KiB | Viewed 553 times ]

Author:  Zoinks007 [ Thu Mar 17, 2016 2:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What paint was used?

Update... The anodized bronze seems to be glossy (I didn't test on a smooth surface, but since it's likely a Rustoleum OEM, I strongly suspect it's glossy). I may yet try it on a QuickSticks fret to see what it looks like on ties, but I chickened out. I didn't want a thick coat of paint on the turnout, and glossy finishes are typically thicker than flat.

Instead I turned to Rustoleum's Camo Brown (product 1918830):

It's not weathered yet, but looks great in person. When painting, I learned:

1) Be patient. Remember good painting skills (can 8-12" away from material, spray multiple light coats, not one heavy coat, keep moving).

2) Tape the points in one position and paint, allow to dry. Then open the points and touch up the unpainted portions. Tape underneath the ties worked great.

3) The PC tie close to the throw tie seems to scrape a little. I might've put too much paint on, or not been patient enough. But next turnout I might take a wee bit off the rail (or tie) to allow for some clearance. No issues with wood ties.

4) *Be sure* to check your electrical gaps (the rail cuts you made to isolate the frog). Two of the four showed a short...weak, but it was there. Picking with a modeling knife cleaned things up.

Hope this is helpful to someone...

Rustoleum Camo Brown.JPG
Rustoleum Camo Brown.JPG [ 115.67 KiB | Viewed 539 times ]

Author:  Zoinks007 [ Fri Mar 18, 2016 4:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What paint was used?

If it's helpful...

I did end up painting a turnout with the Anodized Bronze, and it actually looks pretty good. The wood ties look a bit like dull plastic (since the paint is a gloss). The PC ties have more like a satin finish. Once weathered I don't think any gloss would be present, so if the paint isn't too thick, it's actually a nice color.

I've attached a couple of close-ups of both the camo brown and bronze. The brown is a deep brown whereas the bronze is very much like weathered creosote, a sort of darkish-gray. Both need some additional weathering to make ties appear more individual, not so uniform. But as a first approximation, this isn't bad.

So barring any cool videos on painting and finishing using currently-available paint products, the two I found I find very satisfactory. As to which I'd personally choose, I was surprised by the bronze and how well that gray color fits with my impressions of weathered mainline ties. But I'd like to throw some ballast on it, do some weathering, and then decide. If you prefer brown, this is a good brown to use.

My goal was to find a readily-available paint, one that's easy to use, has great appearance, and would stick to the track. I think both paints work well (keeping in mind the bronze paint is OEM from Rustoleum, by the same color name in fact).

Hoping this is useful.

File comment: Close-up of anodized bronze.
AnodizedBronze.JPG [ 121.76 KiB | Viewed 526 times ]
File comment: Anodized bronze with a loco.
MoreAnodizedBronze.JPG [ 152.64 KiB | Viewed 526 times ]
File comment: Close-up of camo brown.
CamoBrown.JPG [ 116.9 KiB | Viewed 526 times ]
File comment: Camo brown with a loco.
MoreCamoBrown.JPG [ 140.59 KiB | Viewed 526 times ]

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