Sunday, November 28, 2010

Keeping It On Track

Whilst on the topic of track I thought I'd do a quick spot of weathering and ballasting of some Peco code 75 flex track as a comparison to the hand laid NSWGR branch line track I did recently.

I've got a few lengths of timber that are around 40mm wide by 30mm high that I have some Peco code 75 flex track attached to. I use these to display some of my steam loco's on and they are typically cut so they are about 20mm longer than the loco sitting on them.

So taking one of these bits aside I had a stab at making the Peco track look as close to the typical NSW track and sleeper colouring you find in the more western areas where the sleepers are a dull'ish browny grey colour and the rails are a sort of dusty rust colour.

I used the same basic technique as detailed previously, firstly giving the sleepers and rail a light coating of Killrust etch primer from a spray can. This gives a good grey base colour to the sleepers and gives the clear orange Tamiya paint I use for the rust something to key to.

I then used a diluted wash of the Tamiya Flat Earth and Flat Blackand brushed it across the sleepers, building up the colour slowly. Isocol alcohol works really well for diluting the paint and basically evaporates so you don't get a thick buildup of paint which can hide the grain detain in the sleepers.

Once dry I then use my mix of 20+ year old slightly solidified Tamiya Clear Orange with a bit of Isocol mixed in, and brushed it along the sides of the rail. The diluted mix is very runny and spreads very easily along the rails. Once again I don't worry about a little bit of it running onto the replicated steel plates that the rail sits on as these have a rusty appearance on the real thing. I found two coats of the clear orange gave just enough tint without it being too obtrusive. Ballast used is what I usually refer to as a river bed mix which is found in a lot of country areas.

Overall I was quite happy with how the flex track turned out. For modelling a main line the Peco code 75 and closer spaced sleepers look reasonably good, and unless you run a vernier over the sleepers their different size to the real NSW ones are not really that noticeable.I guess it's another case of being not quite right under the magnifying glass, but at typical viewing distance it probably would do the job nicely.

Looking at the two types of track together though, the finer rail height and rail head width of the code 55 along with the wider spaced, slightly crooked and less uniform placement looks very different to the flex track and in my opinion justifies the extra effort in laying it especially for a smaller branch line style layout.

1 comment:

IainS said...

The Peco could loose a few sleepers and have them evened up to widen the spaces.

I do notice the lack of fishplates and spikes though.

Well worth the experiment.