Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sleeper Painting: Experiment Number 1

I'm still trying to clear enough space on my desk to get cracking on Hudson's Pizza but I have now cut and gapped all 90 sleepers I will need for the circle of track.

While I was really happy with how my first attempt at hand built track turned out I've been wondering if I can make it look better and slightly more natural. Specifically I was thinking it might be possible to improve the sleepers. On the test piece I simply painted them with RailMatch sleeper grime. There were two problems with this approach. Firstly there was no texture to the sleeper tops and secondly the colour was very uniform.

What you can see on the left is my first attempt at trying something different. The sleeper isn't soldered to the test track just placed underneath for the photo. Basically I ran a file along the sleeper to add some wood grain and then painted it in roughly the same way I do my small wooden bodied wagons albeit with an extra round of dry brushing using Model Color London Grey to give a slightly more silvery appearance. If I'd painted this in situ then there would have been a bit more variation as it would have been difficult to dry brush right up against the rails. Now I'm not sure I'm entirely happy with the final colour but I'm also finding it difficult to work out if I prefer this to the block colour of the previous attempt. Any thoughts or suggestions?

And before anyone says anything, yes I know Hudson's would likely have used their own metal sleeper track system for the test track, but I'm only basing my layout on it and I think wooden sleepers will be easier to model.... possibly. Maybe I should have a go at doing a metal sleeper?

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