Saturday 25 January 2020

Painted Rail...Making a Difference Again

I'm not sure there's anything quite like a photograph from our layouts to help us see where an area might be lacking. A recent case-in-point for me was the photograph that I put up at the top of the page 3 weeks ago.

I liked a photograph I'd taken of my NREX SD38 leaser well enough to put it up there as the header photo at the top the blog for the month of January. But as soon as I did that, my focus went to the appearance of the rails, which quite noticeably look like they're nickel silver. And that look bothered me enough to make me want to do something about it.  It took me a couple of weeks to actually get to it though.
The header photo as it was.

Sooooo, first I removed all of the removable items (freight cars, buildings, everything) from the area, then powered up the compressor and loaded up the airbrush with (ModelFlex) rail brown to paint those rails. And as long as I still had paint in the airbrush, I kept right on going and painted the rest of the rail on the two nearby industry spurs while I was at it. I used a long piece of cardboard to shield anything left behind the rails from overspray.

20 minutes later, with mission accomplished, I was ready re-stage the SD38 in the same location and take the picture again. And here's the result, which I'll leave up at the top of the blog until at least the end of the January.
Don't the rails in this photo make the scene look much better? I updated the blog's header photo to this one on Thursday and I think I'll keep it there for at least a couple of more weeks.

This is the 2nd time in recent weeks that I've painted rails on the JSSX, and I guess I'll have to set myself the goal of doing so all around the layout.  I don't know why I had hardly ever done this before, but it really does make a difference in the appearance of the layout.

And here's a look at nothing much, as in a big empty area along the GTW line, right next to the MidWest Plastics plant.  The total space is 30 inches wide, and I've finally got something underway to fill it in with.

Below is a very early look at what's in store for this empty location, although it won't be served by rail.  There's just not room to properly fit a spur in there, and I won't try to force it as sometimes less is more.
I'll be putting this 25 inch wide structure into a 30 inch wide space.  And the rails in this photo have been painted already, except for that one leading off to the left.


  1. Looks good, Jim. Is the "Jimbo's BAR BQ" sign simply a print-out? I can't exactly tell but it looks like there's neon lighting tubes within the lettering...looks great either way.

  2. Jim, I really like your work! Thank you for sharing it! And I agree about the "Jimbo's BAR BQ" sign - but as the photo shows, you might want to knock down the cobwebs unless they're part of a movie set for a horror movie.

  3. Dave and Geof...Thanks, and yes it's a sign form the internet that I straightened and printed here at home. As for the cobweb, I didn't see it until you mentioned it. It's cleaned off now. And maybe I'll re-do the photo again...sigh. It's always something.


  4. Agreed, painting the rails made a big difference.