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Since my window-of-opportunity to spray paint track outside in Central PA is coming to a close, I want to decide on a spray paint color soon.  As someone here pointed out, color looks different inside -on the layout - vs. outdoors.  So using my local ex-PRR track as a desired "goal" (see photo) I tried 2 different colors, Rustoleum Camo Brown (#1918 Earth Brown) & Rustoleum Red auto primer (#2067830)IMG_1025 [1)IMG_1051IMG_1052The red primer looked too red outside, but inside in my basement lighting I thought it looked pretty good.  My "ballast" was free & it may be too coarse for O-scale.  It is a poultry feed additive called Calcium Chips. I'm still considering it.IMG_1053IMG_1054

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 For the rails I used flat black then over sprayed the black with a rustoleum rust color. For ballast,,,, HO ballast is perfect. The rock size is, scale size, so that a 1/48 person could pick up a rock with their hand and throw it. Just as you can with real ballast. the rails were removed from the ties then painted and I sprayed the ties separately with gray paint, then apllied a black wash over the gray. I score the ties with a razor saw before painting.

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The ballast doesn't over power the track or the trains.

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Best of luck to your project.

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Here is my formula....all the track and ties gets spray painted with Rust-oleum Camo Brown. It is a very flat color. Than I spritz some Camo Black over everything in a hit or miss random pattern. Clean off the rails with lacquer thinner. Almost all of this was done outside in the fresh air or if I had to do it in the train room, I made sure I had adequate ventilation and a supply of fresh air!

For ballast, I used Brennan's Better Ballast. I got the gray color. It is real granite and scale sized. I used about 50 pounds for the layout. Check out my article last month in Run 313. The paint and the ballast obtained the look I wanted.

My opinion, I do not care for the "red" color or rust primer. Just does not look right to me unless used on a siding or something and then covered a little with the camo brown. Remember, just my opinion.

Donald

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@Ron H posted:

 For the rails I used flat black then over sprayed the black with a rustoleum rust color. For ballast,,,, HO ballast is perfect. The rock size is, scale size, so that a 1/48 person could pick up a rock with their hand and throw it. Just as you can with real ballast. the rails were removed from the ties then painted and I sprayed the ties separately with gray paint, then apllied a black wash over the gray. I score the ties with a razor saw before painting.

The ballast doesn't over power the track or the trains.

Best of luck to your project.

Really looks great Ron!

Donald

@Ron H posted:

 For the rails I used flat black then over sprayed the black with a rustoleum rust color. For ballast,,,, HO ballast is perfect. The rock size is, scale size, so that a 1/48 person could pick up a rock with their hand and throw it. Just as you can with real ballast. the rails were removed from the ties then painted and I sprayed the ties separately with gray paint, then apllied a black wash over the gray. I score the ties with a razor saw before painting.

IMG_2448

Ron -- Is that 2 rail track with an HO rail added for the pickup roller? If so, that's clever. However you accomplished it, it looks great! Everything runs fine?

@Bob "O" posted:

I too prefer the Camo Brown.

Does anyone care to estimate how many feet of track can be sprayed with one can of Camo Brown. Spraying both sides.

Thanks.

OK....I will guess. I have over 500 feet of track. Sprayed both sides I think I used like 5 or 6 cans of camo brown paint. So, that is like 80' to 100' per can. A can goes a long way, no need to use more than 1 coat and no need to soak it either. I would buy at least (2) to start. I also used the spray to paint other stuff too on the layout.

Donald

Great input from the reply posters. I really like Ron's results. In particular, the ballast on the ties edge to edge has been darkened to enhance the grimey look in contrast to the ballast that extends beyond the ties. I have not ballasted my track but painted my track in place with Rusto earth brown camo for the grime between the ties. But I did it in short installments with plenty of ventilation. Good luck with your project.

I used Joe's Rail Paint (acrylic) so I could spray the track where it laid. It doesn't adhere as well as solvent paint. I used roofing granules for ballast. I simply couldn't afford the amount of Brennan's that I would need for my railroad. A word of warning. Roofing granules are not rocks. They are a manufactured product and contain and iron compound to resist mildew. Ergo, they are MILDLY MAGNETIC and will be attracted to engines with Magna-Traction. Don't ask me how I know this. But they are the perfect size for O'scale. I know… I measured rocks on the Norfolk and Southern track in Louisville and converted to scale and the roofing granules work. 50 pounds of it is a little more than $20. I used almost 150 pounds of it.

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