Making Flex Track Look Better

JimJ Jun 18, 2013

  1. JimJ

    JimJ Staff Member

    Nothing earth shattering here but I'll show a pic anyway. This is how I make my Atlas code 83 flex track look a little more realistic. It's been a tedious task these past few days but the track on the Brownwood module is finally painted and ballasted. Quite a few ties were removed from each section and the rest spread out and some where left a bit crooked. The ties are painted/drybrushed an earth color and rails are painted dark rust. It takes some time but I paint and weather track just like any other model. The ballast is sifted material from the actual area and affixed with the standard method of wet water and diluted white glue. Boring job but it has to be done. Here's how it's looking:[​IMG]
  2. paperkite

    paperkite TrainBoard Member

    Looks pretty good for a start, problem in N is finding true scale ballast, hard to find scale ballast . I ran mine thru a very fine sifter and it helps keep the bigger sizes of out of scale rock, out of the mix . I use a combination of Blacken It and Testors rust paint to do mine and am not sure which I like best . Some times the rail just looks dark and dirty and some times it has a nice orange / rust patina . I am guessing it would have to do with the amount of rain fall ?? Like a lot in the Northwest and very little in the Southwest ? Or maybe just a combination of things like age, oil blow by etc., and everything else being in between those two extremes maybe . What you have done looks like a good base to start from ! show some fotos when you get it " all in " ..
  3. JimJ

    JimJ Staff Member

    Thanks, Paul. When the glue is all dry I'll rake the pieces off of the ties, remove obviously large pieces and use some weathering washes here and there. I'm thinking of adding some fishplate castings. Maybe. Prototype photos show this area to have fairly rickety track work.
  4. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Changing the ties to be less uniform is something not seen often enough. It does add a lot to the visual effect. Far more realistic appearance for many, (but not all), layouts.
  5. Dave Jones

    Dave Jones TrainBoard Supporter

    In my area (SE U.S.) track, ties, and even older ballast seems to be "tinted" by rust from the rails. Haven't tried painting individual ties, but I do like the effect and possibly will use it especially on branches/spurs. My method is easy just buy a tin of flat, near rusted color spray paint and basically do it all at once. Of course after it dries, "flex" the track and a second spray will cover the "holidays" left by spikes, tie fasteners, etc.

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