Weathering Marklin track/flex...

MrCONRAIL&BNSF Jan 13, 2011

  1. MrCONRAIL&BNSF

    MrCONRAIL&BNSF TrainBoard Member

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    those of you that paint and weather your marklin tracks to give them a more solid realism look do you weather the top of the rails? If so what do you use?

    Usually I just paint the ties brown, and use rust testers paint scheme for the side of rails, then go over spots with orange rust weathering powders. I have yet to weather the top of rails because I'm scared my engines may get ruined or loose traction. What do you guys do.

    Also I plan on building a steel viaduct bridge with about a 15-20 inch girder length. Im planing on building the steel viaduct towers from scratch and attaching them onto micron art girders or the MT line new steel girders. I need the bridges to be about 20 inches high as well. If building from scratch what would be the best material to use to construct steel beams for towers? I saw the bridge layout done by tin and Im having trouble finding which coal tower he bashed to construct his towers. They came out perfect and are exactly what im looking for.

    How do you guys get the long track on bridges with the 2 interior tracks to prevent derailment. I still haven't figured out what you guys use to do that. Is it just a separate track that was stripped or do they actually sell those pieces. I'm going to need them pretty long as well.

    Any help would be awesome. Thanks!


    PS where do I buy 3-5 inch thick pink foam for mountains? the only foam I seem to find is the 1inch and half inch blue foam. And it gets annoying having to clue and shape 30 foam boards and glue them together just to get the accurate hight I want on my layout. I need 300-500ft mountains. So in Z thats about 2-3 ft

    I bashed my old lay out which was constricted to a small space of 7 by 3x.. and plan on building a module type layout against a long free wall I have. I want to make it fit to the wall as far as lengths and widths so it should be a beauty.

    track I have to work with

    5-right turnouts elec
    5-left turnouts elec
    2-left curved turnouts elec
    2-right curved turnouts elec
    2-double slip switches elec
    1-basic slip switch
    15-pieces marklin flex
    54-pieces marklin 5 inch straights
    30-pieces of marklin 12inch straights
    43-marklin long radius turns
    41-marklin medium radius turns
    10-marklin short radius turns- don't see a need for these, because of long trains.
    10-turn out turn tracks
    5-marklin feeder tracks
    1-reverse loop set (don't really need this)
    1-marklin re-railer

    I have yet to choose my new track plan, but have some ideas in mind. I really want this lay out to be my best ever. This is my 4th time changing lay outs mid lay out form. I liked my last one, but not enough action, to much continuous running in long ovals. I need a lot of optional switching, a nice yard, and a nice over under with double track mainline. I know I know I'm greedy lol

    If you guys can fill me in on maybe the area I can fill up with the track I have and maybe some ideas for track plans that would be really appreciative. I'm looking for a program to maybe create my own. I just ordered the marklin track plan book the 30$ one. And I know the cover of the book shows an awesome plan. Its just a partial photo of it, but man it looks sweet! Thats the kind of lay out I'll be satisfied with a complex track plan that I will never get board of and get module the ends of it to add onto it eventually.

    I'm working with a 12 by 4 area so I have room and height to work with. A seaport water canal and water front is a must! living on long island my whole life being around the water really inspired me to created a nice big juicy waterfront! I'm talking about 12 docs with tons of boats doc'd on them! Thanks to pray's work with the waterfront kits my waterfront is really going to be brought to life.

    But any help with items you think im missing ex reverse loop set, uncoupler tracks, and so on would be great!

    Thanks for looking and reading guys! CANT WAIT TO START MY BENCH WORK THIS WEEKEND!!!!!
     
  2. Z_thek

    Z_thek TrainBoard Member

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    Looks like this project will keep you busy for a while. To jump into a project this magnitude requires lots of practice and experience. Modeling is the scaled down, possibly closest reproduction of the real thing. So my first advice, study the real thing. You'll find answer for almost all of your questions. There are many ways to weather rails and ties, but I won't waste my time to do it on Marklin track pieces. The tie spacing is European, the rails are bulky, the switches are absolutely not prototypical. Because of that, you'll never be happy with the results. On the other end, the Marklin track is very good for runnung trains on them. You're planning real train operations, but never practiced it. Doesn't work. Build a small yard, then learn the behavior of your locomotives and turnouts, the reactions of couplers to various "swings". Without lots of experiment and practice your ambitious project is going to fail. You shuld take the time and stop by various train shows and hang around the Z-Bend Track guyZ, learn how they did it, watch the trains how they behave over switches, shabby track work and various radiuses. If you're in SoCal next weekend (22nd and 23rd of January), we (ZoCal Modular group) will be in Anaheim with a good size modular layout, where a bunch of seasoned Z-scaler can answer your questions all weekend long.
     
  3. Ike the BN Freak

    Ike the BN Freak TrainBoard Member

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    Real track on a busy track will not weather on top. Steel wheels on steel rails polish each other. So the tops of the rails should be shiny along with the wheel tread.
     
  4. shamoo737

    shamoo737 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I usually like to paint my rails with rust brown, then I follow it up with grimmy black. Its not a good idea to paint the top of the rails because of bad electrical contact. I clean up the top of the rails right after I finish painting it.
     
  5. ddechamp71

    ddechamp71 TrainBoard Member

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    Don't be affraid to paint your rail threads. When paint is dry it's easy to clean rail threads with a rubber eraser done for that purpose (Roco do them, as well as Woodlands Scenics I guess). But indeed you must remove paint from rail threads otherwise power won't go through and your trains will remain stalled.

    Dom
     
  6. drken

    drken TrainBoard Member

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    OK, so that's a no on the Marklin turnouts. They do look much better if you cut that big box off of them, which you're going to have to do if you install tortoise switches. That's my plan anyway.
     
  7. ztrack

    ztrack TrainBoard Supporter Advertiser

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    Here is an image of a Marklin turnout, with the rails painted, top of the rail kept clean. The control box is still attached, but blended into the scenery.

    [​IMG]

    It is amazing the difference painted rail makes! It really decreased the shine and the rail appear smaller.

    Rob
     
  8. Z_thek

    Z_thek TrainBoard Member

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    Yes, they look OK without the boxes. I used to do it on my old European layout, except instead of Tortoise, I used cheap Atlas relays.
    [​IMG]

    But there are a few problems with Marklin turnouts. The tie spacing is not for American layouts, the "frogless" design looks OK only from a distance, it doesn't work with more prototypical wheels with smaller flanges and finally, the bulky rails and pressed metal points look toy like compare to a turnout made of MTL flex track. Keep in mind, the Marklin turnouts were developed 39 years ago...
    [​IMG]
     
  9. zmaner

    zmaner TrainBoard Member

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    Matt,

    If you are going to invest in that much. I would strongly recommend DCC switches with DCC locos. Think about the investment you are making in parts and time. I think you would be wasting that investment without DCCing your layout.

    Chris
     
  10. drken

    drken TrainBoard Member

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    Good point, the MTL ones look much better. But, not everybody can make their own turnouts. For the rest of us, Marklin's the only game in town.
     
  11. Z_thek

    Z_thek TrainBoard Member

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    What's wrong with the MTL or Rokuhan roadbed turnouts? They can be easily "blended in" to match the MTL flex track. Also, the Wright turnouts are available, if I remember correctly, with both tie spacing. Jeff Merrill knows more about that. I hate to say :0), but my upcoming line of chassis for various switchers have wheels with very delicate flanges. Unfortunately :0) they will not go through any Marklin turnout...
     
  12. JamesTraction

    JamesTraction TrainBoard Supporter

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    Lajos,
    don't tell me that you're turning your own wheelsets? Or is it that your trucks that make them delicate?
    Regardless, I'm looking forward to what you're creating.
    -James
     
  13. MrCONRAIL&BNSF

    MrCONRAIL&BNSF TrainBoard Member

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    Wait a second, micro trains makes turnouts with non pre roadbed? If so wow count me in!!!

    The only reason I don't do MT track is because I like to highly detail my rails and ballist.

    Please fill me in with other turnouts that im not aware of.
     
  14. TechRepJapan

    TechRepJapan Permanently dispatched

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    ......................................
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 24, 2011
  15. Curn

    Curn TrainBoard Member

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    Hiding MTL roadbed turnouts:

    The John Cubbin Method, except I used Floquil enamel pens to paint the rails because I found that the weathering powders came off too easily while cleaning the track.
    [​IMG]

    MTL Turnout ballasted with Arizona Rock Co. ballast, after airbrushing rails boxcar red and the ties tie brown.
    [​IMG]
    Same turnout before scenery:
    [​IMG]

    It is kind of a pain to ballast a roadbed turnout, however not dealing with power routing and mounting switch machines can offset the time needed hiding the fake roadbed.

    David K. also came up with a method of hiding those switch machines under the turnout: http://jamesriverbranch.net/plans_bury.htm
     
  16. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

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    Yeow, a lot of reading for a day, in 5 minutes. To answer your original questions (if they weren't already:

    The thickest foam I've seen is 2" so use the 1.5" You may want to try and find some 3/4 tho, makes layering easier in some places. Loctite's PowerGrab Foamboard will bond it all together nicely.

    You cannot paint the railheads, they won't conduct electricity. Make sure after you spray paint them, especailly Testors, you wipe it of within a minute or you will need more than a 'BriteBoy' track cleaning eraser. It dries pretty dang hard. Quickly.

    I use Peter Wrights turnouts but these are not easy to get. Typically several months, sometimes just weeks. He can only make about 20 at a time and then has to recreate mold. The MTL turnouts weather and ballast up nicely, per the link you were given.
    .
     
  17. ddechamp71

    ddechamp71 TrainBoard Member

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    Myself I'm exclusively using Micro-Trains flextrack as definitly I don't like having to work with sectional track. MTL flex doesn't have plastic roadbed, of course. Sectional track is "mono-dimensional" as flex is "bi-dimensional". With flextrack you don't even have to worry about junction matching. You bend, you cut, and it fits. As easy as that.

    About turnouts, as Lajos Thek and Jeff M suggest I rely on Wright samples: same footprint than Marklin's and Micro-Trains's, no plastic roadbed neither, and "true" power routing, meaning that the frog is fully powered and thus you can't have any stall, even at 2 scale mph or less...

    http://www.wrightturnouts.com/index.html

    However it seems that Peter is currently suffering of health issues, I don't know exactly. I wish him a soon recovery if it's really the case....

    Dom
     
  18. MrCONRAIL&BNSF

    MrCONRAIL&BNSF TrainBoard Member

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    so pretty much, I should use MT flex track, and MT turnouts because they are better and seem to be easy to ballast, They give more of a real look because im running UP,CSX, and BNSF so im going with gray ballast anyway and don't ballast my switches anyway.

    The MT turnouts are a lot more powerful it seems correct?


    Thanks for all replys guys
     
  19. Z_thek

    Z_thek TrainBoard Member

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    One more note, if you stop by our Zocal display at the Anaheim show on Saturday (the 22nd), beside picking up tons of valuable information, you have the chance to walk away with some ultra rare, high quality 1" and 2" blue foam next day.
     
  20. PuppySnacks

    PuppySnacks Guest

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    I live in the northeast too, so finding insulation foam board is not hard at all. I get all my foam from Lowe's. It comes in a 1" and 2" thickness. Plus, it's not pink or blue either...its a nice green color. It's not cheap foam and will not fall apart/crumble on you; its extruded polystyrene insulation board, and runs around $25.00 for a 4'x8' sheet. I use the 1" for my base on my Z layout and 2" for my base on my N layout.
     

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