I am in a hurry to see rail spiked to ties. However, I would like to add some aging and distressing to the ties before the tie plates and rail go down.I am working on is my “test tube”. I am experimenting with techniques and materials. I am also looking for hints and suggestions from modelers who have done this before.
My first step was to block sand the ties with 320 paper on a short sanding block. I finished the sanding by running the block along the length of the ties. Hopefully, this will minimize scratched running across the ties. Ben Brown brought up an interesting point about the marks that sanding can leave on the ties.
This is not a very efficient approach. I probably should batch stain the ties. Most of my modeling in recent years has been in brass and styrene. Wood has become a foreign material to me. The stain I am using is called Silver Wood and it is sold by C.C. Crow. The applicator reminds me of the liquid polish that I would use on my shoe welting. My time in the Navy taught me about the art of spit shines and preparation of “inspection shoes”.
Not leaving well enough alone for the day, I decided to try my hand at ballast. I pulled out an old jar of Highball ballast and cinder mix and applied it to the track. I used the time-honored method of a spray of water with Kodak Photo Flo added. I followed that with diluted Titebond glue delivered with a pipet.
I made the mistake of adding some O scale cinder fill to the mix. The chunks are a little big for my taste. I have started thinking about picking them out once the glue dries. The mix needs more dirt and some gray colored crushed rock. Sounds like a trip to my local hobby shop is in order.
The tape was applied to the side of the roadbed to keep the glue off my epoxy-coated floor. I really don’t want cinder fill on the floor.