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Author Topic: Who paints brass track...?  (Read 5486 times)
Skip

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« on: June 25, 2007, 09:15:03 PM »

I'm trying to decide if I want to go to the trouble of painting my stock of USA brass track before laying it (I know, keeping the paint off the top...).  Local rail around here in service is mostly a medium dark chocolate brown, combo rust and oil.  I do paint my N gauge and it looks better for it,  but I dunno - lot of painting for the G... Krylon camo brown looks about right.  I can see from the bit of LGB that I have that it would darken up, but the Aristo and USA don't look like they would anytime soon... Comments?
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MBB


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« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2007, 12:33:11 AM »

If you paint... suggest you also not paint the inside of the railhead as well as not painting the top of the rail.

I am familiar with folks painting (weathering) large-scale rails used on indoor static displays, but, not the rail used outside.
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Kevin Strong


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« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2007, 02:50:59 AM »

I've painted brass rail in the past, with good results. It looks quite nice when painted, and you don't have to worry about waiting for the stuff to weather naturally. (This was Aristo's track, which seems to take a good, long while.)

Having said that, I didn't paint the AMS track I installed two summers ago, and beginning to show signs of weathering naturally. You may also try washing the rail with muriatic acid, as there is a coating of some sort that seems to inhibit weathering. Once that's removed (wire brushes work well, also) it will weather quicker.

Later,

K
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soleman10

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« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2007, 08:49:53 AM »

Hey Skip!
I'm in the process of painting Aristo's SS track before I lay it outside.  I'm using Krylon, but the red primer then a thin wash of black using isopropol alcohol.  Works real well.  I'm using vegetable ouil on the railhead first, smearing it with my finger, and that seems to take care of the railhead as well as the sides of the railhead.  Good luck.
Mike.
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Bud Steinhoff

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« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2007, 05:18:28 PM »

Brass will turn brown within 1 year, seems like a waist of time.

Bud







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Kevin Strong


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« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2007, 08:32:28 PM »

Bud,

Depends on the brass. LGB and Sunset Valley brass weathers to a brown very quickly. Other tracks don't. I've got some Aristo rail that's been outside for 5 years that's still quite yellow. My AMS stuff is just starting to turn here and there, but still yellowish elsewhere.

Later,

K
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japasha

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« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2007, 09:51:59 PM »

If the brass is anodized, it will stay yellow. Aristo does this to their track.
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Bud Steinhoff

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« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2007, 08:34:57 AM »

Kevin, you are correct about the different brand of track.
I have all Aristo and it is brown, but the other factor is the weather in your area, in Florida lots of rain and moisture turns the track brown very quickly.

Aristo brass track is not anodized, anodizing is a treatrment for aluminum and it is also makes the surface non-conductive.
Bud
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vic


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« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2007, 11:03:18 AM »

Outdoors I wouldnt bother,

Indoors, once all the track was down, wired up and tested OK,  I used Krylon red oxide primer to coat the rails and ties, then used a Scotchbrite pad to remove paint from the top of the rails, then ran a track cleaner car around several times.

Basicly whatever you would do in HO or O also applies to indoor G.
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altterrain


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« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2007, 12:44:05 PM »

I paint my Aristo stainless with a mix of the  Rustoleum red primer and flat brown. I wipe the top of the rail with a bit of old motor oil, spray paint and then wipe it off with an old t shirt. Works great!

-Brian

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jsmvmd

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« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2007, 06:59:43 AM »

Dear Brian,

Nice pic!  Would like mine to be that nice some day.

Has anyone tried to stain the rail?  Perhaps the folks at Brownell's, Montezuma, IA could suggest a metal stain that is used in the gunsmithing industry. Personally, I have used their Oxpho-Blue for cold bluing of rifle bbls, pistols, etc. Works very nicely for ferrous metals, and cuts trough surface film, oil, etc.  Birchwood Casey makes a product called Plum Brown that obviously browns the bbl in a rust-like process. Old timey flintlock and percussion firearms were browned. One method I have used is to soak a few cut iron nails in HCl, paint it on a sanded wood gunstock, then apply a heat source, like an electric stove to oxidize the iron that has been absorbed into the stock. Afterward, you neutralize the acid with a baking soda solution before applying the finish.  I realize this is for iron, but surely there must be an application for brass.  Just a thought, or rambling thoughts!

Too, the Dixie Gunworks catalog has a very neat way to case harden a frizzen the old fashioned way, no cost, in a wood fire. Nice thing to know if you are ever out in the boonies with a soft frizzen that will not spark.  Also, it is just good to know you can do stuff on your own, if you ever have to.

Best Wishes,

Jack
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Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2007, 06:16:21 PM »

Brass came is often chemically aged or coloured in the stained glass business.  Talk to your local glass shop about "patinas" for brass.  Or Google "coloring brass came" which should get you some formulae if you want to mix your own patina solution.

By the way, did you ever get an anwer to your R/C question?
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jsmvmd

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« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2007, 10:47:06 PM »

Dear Jim,

Will post to Dave re a LS installation.

Best Wishes,

Jack
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Llyn Rice

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« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2007, 04:45:18 PM »

Hi Skip,

Whether or not to paint is, I believe, a function of how patient you are.  My layout is all Aristo Craft track which has oxidized to a shade of brown which is really quite believable.  It takes about two years here in Vermont.  Once it is oxidized, you need only keep the railhead bright and clean for track power to work.

Llyn
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Skip

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« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2007, 08:51:55 AM »

Llyn, that sounds like a plan then... I'm in Southern Ontario, so we've got similar climates.  Now to try and get the yard work done so I can start laying it.  Laid it out on the ground yesterday to see if my plan actually fits in the yard, and by golly, it mostly did, AND I actually ordered enough track with the right curves (220 ft) (TrainLi benders look nice but I can buy a lot of track for the price of one...).
Not looking forward to all the hand shoveling in clay soil tho, its been a dry summer this year so far (nice otherwise)  Angry
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