Painting and weathering Plastic Sleepers

Discuss the prototype and how to model it.
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Serjt-Dave
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Painting and weathering Plastic Sleepers

Postby Serjt-Dave » Thu Jul 09, 2015 11:03 am

Good Day All!

Any help, tips and advice on {first of all} painting plastic sleepers, and then weathering them please.

Having previously used wooden ones and stained them some twenty odd years ago, so a all new ball game for me.

For starters have we moved onto using Acrylic's rather than Enamels?

I know this sort of thing is very much a personal preference etc but a push in the right direction with some ideas so I can go away and practices and see what works for me.

Ta Very Much.

Dave

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Tim V
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Re: Painting and weathering Plastic Sleepers

Postby Tim V » Thu Jul 09, 2015 2:49 pm

It was because I couldn't colour plastic sleepers properly, I didn't bother with them. I much prefer the look of plywood ones. Unfortunately, this doesn't answer your question!
Tim V
Scalefour News Editor

waveydavey
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Re: Painting and weathering Plastic Sleepers

Postby waveydavey » Thu Jul 09, 2015 4:25 pm

On Longcarse West I used a mixture of enamels and mixed them in situ on the sleepers to get a varied effect that ranged from almost black through brownish grey to silvery grey with the occasional green tinge to represent moss. Sleepers vary immensely in colour depending on such factors as type of wood, how much creosote was absorbed, how old they are, what has been spilt on them and whether they are in direct sunlight or shade.

Cheers

David
Modelling Clackmannanshire Railways in 1975
http://waveydaveysmodelmuddle.wordpress.com/

David Knight
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Re: Painting and weathering Plastic Sleepers

Postby David Knight » Thu Jul 09, 2015 5:52 pm

Dave,

You may find this of some use
http://www.proto87.com/fast-tracks-ties-stain.html

Cheers,

David

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Serjt-Dave
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Re: Painting and weathering Plastic Sleepers

Postby Serjt-Dave » Fri Jul 10, 2015 7:33 am

Thanks Guy's, that help points me in the right direction with a colour pallet etc.

David, your right there are many variables that can effect the colour, texture etc as well as if it's main line or sidings. It's getting a base colour and build up from there.

I'll go and buy some Acrylics and play around with them along with using some enamels and see what I prefer.

Funny enough Tim, I thought you were the chap I spoke to at a Scalefour a couple of years ago on the Society's Track Demo stand who swayed me to use plastic rather than wood. Never Mind. LOL.

All Best

Dave

Terry Bendall
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Re: Painting and weathering Plastic Sleepers

Postby Terry Bendall » Fri Jul 10, 2015 1:25 pm

My solution is once the track has been laid, wired up and tested, the sleepers are painted using Railmatch Sleeper Grime by hand with a brush. I happen to prefer enamel paint but the colour is also available in acrylic. I then paint the sides of the rails and rail fixings in shades of rust and last time I did this I used Precision Paints - light rust, dark rust and track colour - all enamels. A dollop of each is put on a pallet and some of each is mixed together and applied by brush. Each time the brush needs more paint the mix will be a bit different. Then the ballast is laid down - dry, and PVA glue applied. When the ballast is dry the whole lot is airbrushed using a thinish mix of sleeper grime which tones down the ballast and all the previous applied paint. A light wash of matt black is applied where locos stand, e,g at signals and other places the track may be a bit darker. Finally a satin black is applied by hand with a brush where there will be grease on slide chairs, stretcher bars, etc. Seems to work.

Terry Bendall

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Tim V
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Re: Painting and weathering Plastic Sleepers

Postby Tim V » Fri Jul 10, 2015 2:06 pm

Serjt-Dave wrote:Funny enough Tim, I thought you were the chap I spoke to at a Scalefour a couple of years ago on the Society's Track Demo stand who swayed me to use plastic rather than wood. Never Mind. LOL.

All Best

Dave

No that wasn't me. Over the recent years at various shows I've done loco clinic, using computers, DCC, but never track!
Tim V
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dal-t
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Re: Painting and weathering Plastic Sleepers

Postby dal-t » Fri Jul 10, 2015 4:51 pm

Terry's comments have brought out the point I would wish to make - it's the whole track ensemble that needs to look right, not just the sleepers. Like Tim, I found I could not paint plastic sleepers to look much like wood in isolation, but I pressed on with painting rails (the trickiest bit) and ballast (the most satisfying bit) and found I suddenly had something that looked remarkably like track. A few oils dribbles in the bay road and a weed or two alongside the sidings and the whole picture comes alive, almost regardless of how you've done the sleepers (perhaps because their colour does vary so much in real life).

As to acrylics or enamels, I've used both with equal success/failure, usually reverting to enamels because I'm happier thinning/mixing/spraying them. But people who use modern acrylics like Vallejo Air and Pollyscale seem to work wonders with them - just avoid trying to get Tamiya to stick to ABS (or anything else, 4 days out of 5!), and, if brush painting, make sure you have plenty of retarder handy (preferably the one that goes with the paint brand you're using).
David L-T

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Paul Townsend
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Re: Painting and weathering Plastic Sleepers

Postby Paul Townsend » Sat Jul 11, 2015 11:57 pm

Put the plastic sleepers for sale and buy proper wood sleepers! You can't beat them for appearance when stained.

Brook-Smith rivets still strongest for pointwork with cosmetic half chairs after testing. Plastic functional chairs bonded to wood for plain track are quicker to build and reliable but dearer.

Many threads here and elsewhere on detailed techniques.

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jim s-w
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Re: Painting and weathering Plastic Sleepers

Postby jim s-w » Sun Jul 12, 2015 10:05 am

If you are going to add plastic chairs to riveted track how is using them without rivets dearer? :?

I've never been all that convinced by the use of real wood. It's good for worn out track but for newish sleepers they actually look really smooth. Certainly scaled down they would be without any texture. Also when new they are really really dark. I wonder if there's an element of we know it's wood so it must be right but ignore the materials and does it look like the real thing? My vote would be erring on the side of no.

Going back to th original question. I spray I with JLTRT track colour. Then do the rail sides, ballast and them weather with enamels.

HTH

Jim

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Paul Townsend
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Re: Painting and weathering Plastic Sleepers

Postby Paul Townsend » Sun Jul 12, 2015 8:04 pm

jim s-w wrote:If you are going to add plastic chairs to riveted track how is using them without rivets dearer? :?

Jim


Yes, you are right....too many pints...I was comparing pure BrookSmith with solder blobs to plastic chairs whether cosmetic or functional.

We old timers who built pure Brook-Smith way back are astonished by the cost of placcy chairs now de riguer, hence my refuge in pints!
Apologies.

I think my other issues remain valid and must agree to differ with Jim over appearance, nothing looks like wood except .....wood!

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Serjt-Dave
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Re: Painting and weathering Plastic Sleepers

Postby Serjt-Dave » Thu Jul 16, 2015 9:45 am

20150715_175122.jpg
20150715_175035.jpg
[attachment=2]

Whilst sitting in Oxford sidings I took these images of one of the sidings to show the different effects that time and the weather has of the timbers. The new flat bottom rail extension were added about 6 or 7 years ago. The third image shows one of the bay platform lines which still has 2 bolt chairs. It's also interesting to note how the spacing differs some what of the timbers of the other lines. Though it is hard to tell if they are wood or plastic sleepers. LOL.

All Best
Attachments
20150715_175830.jpg

billbedford
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Re: Painting and weathering Plastic Sleepers

Postby billbedford » Fri Jul 17, 2015 7:47 am

..and in none of the photos are are the rails and chairs an orange 'rust' colour.
Bill Bedford
Mousa Models
http://www.mousa.biz

DougN
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Re: Painting and weathering Plastic Sleepers

Postby DougN » Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:12 am

I agree with Bill here. The more I look at natural weathering and the colour that I think we need is the dark greyish brown colour that cars get before you wash them..,the grim tends to be curious colour but I think it is the dark colour that most weathering ends up close too.... Like all these things I need to have spare time to prove this one.... Though on track I think there is also a "dry brush" style dark deep brick red as a rusty colour. The top of the chairs have a hint of it.

The spring clips seem interesting as they are a brighter colour
Doug
Still not doing enough modelling

Alan Turner
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Re: Painting and weathering Plastic Sleepers

Postby Alan Turner » Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:55 am

DougN wrote:
The spring clips seem interesting as they are a brighter colour


If you mean the Pandrol clips in the top photo it is because Pandrol clips can be plastic coated. The colour red, blue indicates the hand of the clip.

This has perhaps a little more rust red:

IMG_20150614_133439.jpg


IMG_20150614_133452.jpg


regards

Alan

DougN
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Re: Painting and weathering Plastic Sleepers

Postby DougN » Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:04 pm

Yes your right Alan. I think I have seen bright safety yellow in my travels.
Doug
Still not doing enough modelling

shipbadger
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Re: Painting and weathering Plastic Sleepers

Postby shipbadger » Sat Jul 18, 2015 7:50 am

Hi all,

The second page of this site gives pictures of various clips and their colours.
http://www.unipartrail.com/WebPDF/Stock ... oducts.pdf

Tony Comber


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