Weathering Ties – Test Shots

I got started on staining and weathering some ties this evening, and decided to take some test shots to see how things look.




IMG_0222These ties are on the coal track, which is about 10″ in front a viewer’s nose when they’re standing next to the layout, so I’m experimenting with a few different approaches to creating decrepit track.  I gouged a bit of wear (ok, a lot of wear) into the ties and then took three or four passes with a range of artist oil colours that I mixed from burnt umber, raw umber, mixing white, an grey.  The last step was a thin wash of a really dark dirt colour I made up.

Here are some more pics of other spots along the coal track.


IMG_0223IMG_0226I want to be sure that I like the treatment of the ties before I stain the lot of them. I might have to spike down some rail and set in some ballast before I know for sure.

9 thoughts on “Weathering Ties – Test Shots

  1. Hi Hunter,I love the wear you added to them. I’m going to add that step tot my tie laying process. For a gray weathered look I use fine steel wool and vinegar to stain ties. Nice job!

    • Hunter, I’ve never added anthing to the steel wool/vinegar mix but why not try it. It takes two to three days for the vinegar to breake the steel wool down, make sure to use the finest size. Then leave the ties in the goop for one to three hours, the dry on paper towles. It leaves a nice light gray shade.

      Best, Scott

  2. I’m always interested in the various techniques people use to build and weather their track – particularly the lightly-used track where maintenance has been deferred. I’ve written about it on my own blog, here…
    Care to share your tools and techniques via your blog, Hunter? I’m sure others would like to see it too – your ties look really nice.
    – Trevor

    • Trevor, I just checked out your post about ties. You actually have a system and some real tools for doing this. Truth is, I don’t have a clue what I’m doing. I just look for photos of railroad ties and try to make mine look like the picture… sort of making it up as I go. That approach has often served me well. 🙂

      I’ll try to sort out my madness and write it up.

      • I worked out my system as I went along, Hunter. Every system starts somewhere. I think it would be neat to collect these ideas together somewhere, though. “10 ways to weather ties” – that sort of thing.

  3. Pingback: Hand Laid Track Attempt – Part I | Matt's Railroad Blog

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