cant track curves from Japan (who would've thought model trains would be so international?) I've been taking care of some various projects in preparation for the new track.
My first task is the result of admiring several layouts where the owners have painted their track a rust or dark brown color. When I first really started to notice this technique it scared me....I usually spend extra time trying NOT to get any paint, dirt, etc... on my track! But to deliberately do it? That scares me, and I assumed that the folks who did this were designing non-operating dioramas versus working layouts. As time went by, I realized this was not the case. So I've jumped onto the bandwagon of rail painters!
85psi air compressor and the results are amazing! Its really noisy, but as my layout and most of my work occurs in the garage, this isn't a problem for me.
My color of choice has been Tamiya Red Brown. Its also easy to get and I've heard good things on various message boards about how well Tamiya works for air brushes. I have to say, I've been very impressed. The only challenge is trying to not get too sloppy or rush too much and end up with excessive 'rusty ballast'!
What I don't know yet, is whether or not any part of my fears of doing this were justified. I'll find out soon enough.
Speaking of ballast, that's been my other project. Given the mix of Kato Unitrack, Atlas flextrack and Minitrix switches (not to mention several sections of Fleischmann profi-track flex track AND Tomix cant track curves!) I need to unify the look. Painting the rails is one part, but adding a consistent ballast color is the next part. Below is an example of the two methods I used of applying 'rust' to rails (the track in the background was with Tamiya using the airbrush, the track in the foreground used a dark brown and roller device I mentioned), as well as the 'wet' ballast waiting for vacuuming and touch ups tomorrow. Doesn't look great now, but an improvement over what I used to have.
I'm also preparing the yard by putting down the cork, in addition to soldering leads to my some of the yard trackage.