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Thread: How to routinely clean track after painted by woodland scenics track painter

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    Default How to routinely clean track after painted by woodland scenics track painter

    Hi everyone! I'm going to paint my track with the track painter pens.

    I usually clean my track with rubbing alcohol. I'm concerned this cleaning material will remove the paint.

    How are you cleaning your track after its painted?

    Thank you!

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    Actually, I don't think I will be painting the rails with this. I just tried it and my atlas code 55 is to low to the spikes and the marker can't get most of the track.

    It's a shame because it does look good where its applied.

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    I'm using one of those rubbery track cleaners... whatsthenameagain... just cleans the tops of the rails, no problem with painted sides.

    edit: Got me some Molotow ONE4ALL™ 127HS-CO 1,5 mm paint pens: https://shop.molotow.com/en/marker-r...co-1-5-mm.html in 092 - hazelnut-brown. The crosstip version works perfectly for Atlas Code 55 track (as long as you don't worry too much if you get a little paint on the ties as well, but that would be a plus for me) and also for weathering wheelsets and trucks when the tip is frayed. They seem to sell them through a couple of distributors in the US: https://www.molotow.com/en/businesscenter/distribution/

    Heiko

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    I painted my Unitrack and cleaned the track with this https://woodlandscenics.woodlandscen...kerCleaningKit
    "It's not whats best......It's whats best for you"

    Gary

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    Quote Originally Posted by Heiko View Post
    I'm using one of those rubbery track cleaners... whatsthenameagain... just cleans the tops of the rails, no problem with painted sides.

    edit: Got me some Molotow ONE4ALL™ 127HS-CO 1,5 mm paint pens: https://shop.molotow.com/en/marker-r...co-1-5-mm.html in 092 - hazelnut-brown. The crosstip version works perfectly for Atlas Code 55 track (as long as you don't worry too much if you get a little paint on the ties as well, but that would be a plus for me) and also for weathering wheelsets and trucks when the tip is frayed. They seem to sell them through a couple of distributors in the US: https://www.molotow.com/en/businesscenter/distribution/

    Heiko
    Excellent suggestion on these pens. I wish they had something that looked more like rust, but this us a great start. I will order one. Thank you!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Heiko View Post
    I'm using one of those rubbery track cleaners... whatsthenameagain... just cleans the tops of the rails, no problem with painted sides.

    edit: Got me some Molotow ONE4ALL™ 127HS-CO 1,5 mm paint pens: https://shop.molotow.com/en/marker-r...co-1-5-mm.html in 092 - hazelnut-brown. The crosstip version works perfectly for Atlas Code 55 track (as long as you don't worry too much if you get a little paint on the ties as well, but that would be a plus for me) and also for weathering wheelsets and trucks when the tip is frayed. They seem to sell them through a couple of distributors in the US: https://www.molotow.com/en/businesscenter/distribution/

    Heiko
    Do you have any pictures you could share of how your rail looks after using the marker?

    I also tried a copic marker and those things worked well from tip perspective but they were too shiny when dry.

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    Another way to clean the track, is to not get any on top of the rails. I airbrush track after wiping a thin layer of Vaseline/Petroleum Jelly on the tops, paint the rails, etc., then wipe the Vaseline off and give it a good cleaning. My only concern with the pens would be that you may get some of the Vaseline on the pen, and I'm not sure that wouldn't ruin your pen. Anyway, just wanted to put that out there as a way to keep paint off the railtops anywhere you're painting close/next to the trackage.

    Cheers!

    Matt

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    Quote Originally Posted by jayareed View Post
    Do you have any pictures you could share of how your rail looks after using the marker?
    Not really, no... (and my modules are in storage again, remind me every once in a while to take a picture so I'll remember when I bring them out again )

    I do use the same pen also for (metal) wheels and truck sideframes, so maybe you can already get an impression from my latest car card pictures compilation here: https://www.nscale.net/forums/showth...718#post552718

    Heiko

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    Heiko- I definitely like the looks of those!

    Do you typically ballast then use the paint pen, or do you paint first? Thank you!

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    Usually I follow a three step process:

    1) Spray paint (I use Tamiya German Gray as per the standard from my module group, something a little darker or more brownish would probably be more suitable in most cases) from the top (or rather put the module on it's side, but it's "track top"). This covers the ties and the area between them so all the pink and green and yellow foam roadbed is hidden - don't bother with the rail sides, but do try to clean the rail tops before the paint dries.
    2) Use the paint pens to paint the rails - don't worry if you overpaint them and also get brown spikes and partly ties, it will all blend together when ballasting
    3) Ballast with real rock ballast (ASOA or Mobalit in my case, I guess in the US the closest similar product would be some gray stuff from Arizona Rock and Minerals at www.armballast.com)

    YMMV, try it, adapt to your needs as you see fit and have fun I'll try and get a picture to you as soon as I'll work on it again...

    Heiko

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    I have taken a liking to using brushed-on washes of color for my rails, after first spray-painting with a good general color. Previously I used to do two colors of spray cans, one from low angles to get the sides of the rail, and one from directly above to get only the ties. But I find that an acrylic wash can do a good job because capillary action tends to pull it into the rail web and off of the top of the rail. With the spray can you do need to clean off the tops of the rails and I prefer to do this immediately after spraying, as it will wipe up with a shop towel wrapped around a finger. The acrylic wash will only adhere to where there is some tooth, i.e. where the spray paint "primer" went, and when dry will have no bond whatsoever to the clean bare metal on top of the rail, so it comes off easily with whatever your preferred track cleaning regimen might be. As a wash, you can push the color to whatever shade of rust you prefer. And you can apply a wash that goes over the entire ties, to accentuate some of the molded-in detail, or you can just touch the tip of the brush to the rails and let it flow only onto them. I build it up in several applications, with a lighter brown spray color as my base, then a darker brown overall wash on the ties and rails, ending with a rusty orange wash on just the rails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jayareed View Post
    Heiko- I definitely like the looks of those!

    Do you typically ballast then use the paint pen, or do you paint first? Thank you!
    I didn't forget about this, but stuff came up...

    But today I finally managed to bring camera and module together and even snap a picture:



    That's after spray painting gray from above and painting the rails with the paint pen, but (obviously) before ballasting.

    Heiko

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    I was able to use the Molotow pens that Heiko suggested. Overall, looking decent. It's hard to get all of the shiny parts covered. I found out it works better being pretty aggressive with the amount of paint.

    I'm not loving the way the switches are looking. Any tips on what you're doing to make the switches look better? Thank you!

    JAY
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Sorry, my (single so far) switch looks pretty similar. I may get a paintbrush and spread the paint from the pen a little more, and I hope ballasting will help as well (but haven't tried that on switches yet).

    YMMV,
    Heiko

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    Quote Originally Posted by Heiko View Post
    Sorry, my (single so far) switch looks pretty similar. I may get a paintbrush and spread the paint from the pen a little more, and I hope ballasting will help as well (but haven't tried that on switches yet).

    YMMV,
    Heiko
    I was considering something similar. Maybe using one of those micro brushes?

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    And I just remembered I have no good way to paint the track in my Atlas code 55 through truss bridges (that are already in place on the layout).
    OMG, this hobby can be frustrating!!

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    I used Floquil's track colors paint pens on my Atlas C55
    (I know - I know - Floquil is long gone - but, I believe Testers offers the same colors in pen form)

    Here are my bridges -- I painted the rail before installing into the bridges


    In my yard:


    To clean the top of the rails, I used a bright boy -- that's it.

    Thanks,
    Wolf

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    Quote Originally Posted by SP-Wolf View Post
    I used Floquil's track colors paint pens on my Atlas C55
    (I know - I know - Floquil is long gone - but, I believe Testers offers the same colors in pen form)

    Here are my bridges -- I painted the rail before installing into the bridges
    https://www.therailwire.net/forum/ga...118133533.jpeg

    In my yard:
    http://www.trainboard.com/highball/i...58.133903/full

    To clean the top of the rails, I used a bright boy -- that's it.

    Thanks,
    Wolf
    Wolf - that all looks great! I tried the woodland scenic pens and the tips were WAY too big. I wonder if the testors pens have a smaller tip?

    And yes, sadly, painting BEFORE I installed the bridges would have been a super smart idea. Back then I wasn't going to paint the rail though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jayareed View Post
    Wolf - that all looks great! I tried the woodland scenic pens and the tips were WAY too big. I wonder if the testors pens have a smaller tip?

    And yes, sadly, painting BEFORE I installed the bridges would have been a super smart idea. Back then I wasn't going to paint the rail though.
    Thanks Jay,

    The Floquil markers have a pretty thin chiseled tip. (I did purchase a bunch of extra tips - I changed them out as the they flattened out).

    I just looked on Testors site -- they do not list any of the railroad colors that Floquil once offered. Bummer.

    And - yeah painting the track in your bridges will be challenging -- to say the least. Not impossible --

    Wolf

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    I use Rust-Oleum Earth Brown Camouflage spray paint to paint my track. Don't have any ballasted yet but I'll try to find a picture when I get home tonight. Haven't gotten to any bridges yet.

    To clean the rail heads, I wipe them with a paper towel and then go over them with an abrasive block right after painting, while it's still wet.
    Tim Rumph
    Modeling the Southern Railway in N-Scale

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