When I do get my double track MTH Steel Arch Bridge for my ceiling layout, I'm thinking that I would like to paint it.  Out of the four OEM colors, Silver, Rust and Black, I like the rust best.  Not a fan of the silver at all.  I would like to color mine a shade of green, maybe like what the New York MTA uses - Pittsburgh Paints PPF 7009 Woodland Night - thank you OGR member Railride for the exact color.  Having never kitbashed an existing finished product before, the bridge material is made of ABS plastic according to MTH.  How does ABS plastic handle basic arcylic paints (my paints of choice)?  Will the paint adhere to the surface, or do I need to try other types, enamel, etc.?

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I painted the bridge and 2 extensions rust 15 years ago, used Keylon paint formulated to work on plastic ( laen chairs etc)  worked great. Bridge was originally silver. 

My friend Chet and I painted this one.  I can't remember what color it started out as.  

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Last edited by David Minarik

Hey Kevin. First give it a bath to remove any oils or impurities from handling, etc. Let it dry and then spray it with a plastic compatible primer.

I would use gray primer for almost all colors except rust. For that, I would use a red primer. This will give the plastic some "tooth" for the top / color coat to adhere to.

Acrylics will work fine. I prefer the cheap big box store paints myself. There are a lot of camouflage colors out there that look good. I like the olive green color and then I spritz it with a wash of India ink and alcohol. On my new layout I used a combination of "metalized" silver with a little flat black overspray.

Good luck and post some pictures!

Donald

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David Minarik posted:

My friend Chet and I painted this one.  I can't remember what color it started out as.  

3rail posted:

Oops Kevin...this is my Atlas bridge, not MTH.

Great work David and Donald. 

Donald, the Atlas photo aside, I presume the instructions are still the same.  The bridge will be added at the latter stages of the construction and I will be sure to include photos.  I will most definitely use the silver bridge as the base model to start the priming/paint job on.

Kevin, do you plan to mount the bridge prototypically; i.e., bridge shoes, etc..  Or will the shelf-style mounting prevent that?

Pingman posted:

Kevin, do you plan to mount the bridge prototypically; i.e., bridge shoes, etc..  Or will the shelf-style mounting prevent that?

Carl, 

I plan on having the 5 inches at the each end of the bridge to be screwed into the shelves for support with the 20 inches in the center spanning the gap between the two shelf ends.  So to answer your question directly, it won't be a prototypical mount. If you don't mind, I'm going to refer you to my ceiling layout build thread for further details and discussion .  Thanks.

Kevin:

I agree with Donald - especially the initial cleaning. I have used both enamels and acrylics without issues but always give the one coat a few days to dry and I also tend to use Dullcote after the paint dries.

I will add one recommendation. When I build plastic structures for customers I sand all plastic prior to paint. On stuff I can't sand I use steel wool. After paint I spray Dullcote to even out the surface in preparation for decals (some recommend gloss coat but I never had issues with Dullcote). You obviously can't sand the bridge but you can spray the bridge with Dullcote first to help adhesion and also between enamel and acrylic to avoid any potential issues. If you want a dull/rusty look the Dullcote will tone down any satin or gloss paint you use.

Joe

I have used Krylon primer without any problems. Just follow the directions for drying time before you paint with your acrylics. 48 hours is usually safe. Washing it first is good practice, but I don't always follow the rules. Also, don't make the primer coat too thick, or you will lose some of the rivet detail of the plastic model.

George

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