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weathering peco flex track - Hints & Tips - Reference Area. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Thu Feb 7th, 2013 03:01 am
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zedcell
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hi all can anyone give me the pros & cons of weathering flex-track before or after its been laid as i have been reading conflicting advice on the subject for sometime now.

I would prefer to weather the track before its laid only i am not sure if it would crack or peel  when installing curves etc.

Would be interesting to hear from someone who has tried both methods.

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 Posted: Thu Feb 7th, 2013 04:21 am
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Sol
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I usually paint the whole track - sleepers & rail with a flat/matt dark brown acrylic, wiping the rail heads as I go to remove plastic look & the shine off the rails. I then paint the rail sides a rusty colour but if I miss any, then the dark brown is still there.
For sleepers, I use weathering powders on my fingers & run it up & down between the rails and this helps to weather the ballast.






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 Posted: Thu Feb 7th, 2013 05:42 am
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Gary
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I for one will be weathering my track (rails) before it is laid. It is so much simpler spraying both sides of the rail before it is put down permantly. But, if you are using flexi-track, the chairs will move a little along the rail when forming curves, which means it will need a touch up after it's down. Once the track is down and ballasted, I will give the whole track a layer of sleeper grime. If you are using set track, spraying the rails first will definately be easier.

Cheers, Gary.



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 Posted: Thu Feb 7th, 2013 10:18 am
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SoundandDirty
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Spraying the flex-track before laying has the added advantage that on curved sections the track will stay " curved" due to the paint between the chairs and the rail.
You will still need to do a final finish with a dry brush and /or powers to achieve your desired look.
Try doing a test section first.

Kim

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 Posted: Thu Feb 7th, 2013 07:07 pm
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Sol
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Perhaps I should say that I do not paint or weather the track until I have had a few running sessions to make sure the plan is what I want for operational purposes.



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 Posted: Thu Feb 7th, 2013 10:12 pm
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DAVE1562
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Hi Richard...i agree with sol,plan track,wire electrics and check everything works first!!! when happy i ballasted then airbrushed rails weathering with sleeper grime cleaning top of rails before totally dry..:thumbs

...dave

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 Posted: Fri Feb 8th, 2013 03:48 pm
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zedcell
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hi thanks for the replys, it seems this issue is still very divided, at the moment im leaning towards air brushing before the track is layed.:???:

If anyone has anymore tips or advice please post.

Perhaps i should do a poll on this subject.

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 Posted: Fri Feb 8th, 2013 08:48 pm
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Petermac
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I don't think you need to worry too much about the paint peeling on the sleepers when you fix the track down, it's more that a)the paint could make it more difficult to flex the track resulting in possible damage to the chairs and b), to me the worst problem,  you'll end up with a sdmall piece of unweathered rail showing as the rails move out of the original position when you bend it.  All these bits will haver to be touched up.

Additionally, presumably you're also going to weather the track bed........:roll::roll:  it seems pointless to weather the area twice - once for the track and again for the trackbed.  Fix your track down, test it thoroughly and, once you're happy everything works well, do your ballasting and then weather the whole caboodle in a single go ;-)

Whichever method you use, you'll still have to add "rust" to the rail sides as a final operation.



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 Posted: Fri Feb 8th, 2013 09:49 pm
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MaxSouthOz
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The prototype tracks aren't weathered before they are laid.  It all goes down fresh and clean, unless they are using reclaimed rail and ties.

Lay the track, ballast and then weather.  Don't worry if some of the rust gets on the ballast - it's like that in real life.  Don't worry if some of the "oil" gets on the rails.  That happens too.

If you must paint the tracks before you ballast, do it once you have it fixed in position.



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 Posted: Sat Feb 9th, 2013 08:41 am
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Chinahand
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Hi Richard. I use a technique that was originally shown to me by Richard Johnson of DCC Concepts fame. The basic colouring is done before the track is laid.

Firstly I spray the track with good old Halford's grey primer and wipe it off the tops and inside edges of the rails before it dries.

Once that has dried I 'slosh' various diluted water based wood stains over the lot (mahogany & walnut give a good basic colour) and again wipe it off the tops and inside edges of the rails.

Finally I run some Dark Oak wood stain onto the sleepers only (down the centre of the track and on the ends of the sleepers). This then gives me a basic weathered rail (reddish brown) with the sleepers a darker colour but the grey primer shows through the stain so you get the grey/brown colour of weathered wood. 



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 Posted: Sat Feb 9th, 2013 03:02 pm
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zedcell
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hi trevor

Thanks for the input now that does sound like that could be very effective.

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