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@NJCJOE posted:

Searching the web I came across a product called Metal Effects by Modern Masters. It is a paint that contains iron particles. Once the paint is dry it is sprayed with an activator that actually creates real rust. Can't get more realistic than that! This was a fun product to use. And it allows you to create rust on anything.


A thumbs up for Metal Masters products.  I used their Copper paint (with real copper powder) & their 'Patina' Activator on the galvanized 6" half-round gutters and downspouts that were on the house when I bought it... 18 years on, they still look great.

@NJCJOE posted:

9/24/23 - It finally came time to do a task I have been putting off......weathering the O gauge track. I knew it had to be done but was not looking forward to it. In my opinion, weathering track is one of those details that is really not noticed until you take a closeup photo of the finished layout. Then the shiny side rails just look out of place. Weathering your track makes a big difference.

My initial plan was to use the Rustoleum camo paint that a lot of modelers use nowadays. I bought some and tried it on a test piece of track. While it looked good, I was concerned about the amount of over spray in my finished basement/railroadiana room. I decided that maybe the airbrush would be the better way to go. The last time I used my airbrushes, solvent based paint was ready available. Since that is now hard to find, I would have to rely on acrylic paint.

I bought some rail brown and tie brown from Tru-Color. I first tried my Badger single action airbrush, but it was acting up a bit. I then switched to my Iwata double action model and painted the test track. The first issue is that it appeared it would take a long time to weather all the track with an airbrush. The second issue was that the rail brown came out more like orange that brown. Here is a shot of the test piece. In person it shows up even more red that in the photo. I didn't like it.

I decided to go back to the rattle can method. I bought a bunch of lightweight plastic drop cloths and basically created a sealed room around the work area. It looked like I was prepping for a murder scene.

This is the paint I used. The earth brown gets sprayed at a low angle to coat both sides of the rails. The weathered wood is then sprayed from directly above the track to give the ties some additional color.


It took about 3 hours to do all the spraying. I'm happy with the results. I don't think I would like to do it again, but it's done. Anyway, on to the results. Here are some before and after shots.

And some overall pictures.

Joe, this looks terrific. I’m at the same point - it’s time to paint the track and I'm not necessarily looking forward to it. I have an airbrush, but really like what you did with spray cans. Do you have a rough idea as to how many cans you used?  Linear feet/can, etc?  Thanks, Joe and, again, your work looks awesome.

Last edited by Rider Sandman

@eddie g Thanks Eddie. I am truly blessed to have a very supportive wife. She attends train shows and York at least once a year. I haven't been able to get her to help out with the layout yet, but I'm working on it. She has the artistic talent to do it. Way more than I have.

Thanks for the kind words everybody. I appreciate the encouragement.

@LT1Poncho For the turnouts I didn't do anything special. I painted them just like the rest of the track. I did make sure to use light coats so things didn't get too sticky. As I painted I made sure to open and close the switch points to get all the surfaces covered.

Also, after the turnout painting was completed, I made sure to put the switch points in the mid point between the tracks so everything could dry without touching.

Joe you’re certainly correct! That basic ground cover looks fantastic and made a big transformation. I’d be curious if that’s the look you had in your minds eye hen you started? Track layout always seems to evolve as it goes down. However, the time period and landscape motifs are something that maybe set at the onset. Keep the updates coming.

4/16/24 - I started making some trees using Sedum clippings from my yard. I actually cut these a year and a half ago and they have been sitting in the garage waiting to get used. I try and use pieces that seem to have a more realistic tree look to them. I first paint the underside and top of the dried foliage with a dark green spray paint. No need to completely cover everything with paint since allowing some of the brown foliage to show adds some additional color to the leaves.

Next I lightly spray the trunks and branches with the same colors I used to weather my track, Camo Brown and Weathered Wood. Vary the coverage to give different looks to the trunks.

I then spray the foliage with a liberal amount of cheap non-scented hair spray and sprinkle on some dark green ground foam. I put it on the top as well as on the underside of the foliage. More hairspray is added to lock everything in place. Use plenty of hairspray. You can repeat the process if you want the tree to be more dense or if you want to add another color of ground foam for variety.

The trees are fun to make. I can process a dozen in about an hour. Here are some closeup photos.


I also continued on the basic landscaping of this peninsula on the standard gauge portion of the layout. Before I knew it I had this section completed. I was hoping to have it done before York and I got it done. Doesn't feel great when you meet a goal? Here are some photos of this area of the layout. More detail will come down the road but I'm happy with how things are progressing.



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