East of the Blue Ridge

Chronicles of an On30 quarry railroad

Returned Ballast

It has taken a long time for me to get tired of looking at my incomplete trackwork.

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Most of my turnouts have been waiting a long time to have the copper clad crossties and throwbars painted.

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My first few attempts at painting copper were unsuccessful due to the paint not sticking. A thorough search of my paint supplies turned up these Floquil paint markers. They came in a set called “structure weathering.” Colors included Weathered Concrete, Roof Brown, and Weathered Black.

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The Floquil markers did an excellent job of coloring the copper. Since the markers are no longer available and I wasn’t sure it they would last once primed, I went ahead and painted all the copper crossties and throwbars on the layout. Hopefully I will have the opportunity to use them again before they dry up.

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After the paint dried on the copper crossties, I ballasted the turnouts. This limestone ballast was crushed and screened for me by Gene Browning. Years ago I gave the ballast away after getting all my track laid, completely forgetting that I still had all the turnouts yet to do. I felt like an idiot having to go back and ask for my ballast back. It had been given away a few more times, but it miraculously found its way back to me. I mixed some sand and HO scale cinders in the limestone ballast and spread it very thin, sprayed it with a mixture of water and rubbing alcohol, then a mixture of water and matte medium.