Select Page

Modelling Tip Of The Day – 53

Modelling Tip Of The Day – 53

Modelling Tip Of The Day – 53

This Modelling Tip Of The Day is an ongoing series, in which we’ll be posting a modelling tip that may be of use to the newbie right up to the seasoned modeller. Today’s tip is:

Paint The Rails

Give your track a more realistic weathered look by painting the rails & sleepers. The likes of Humbrol, Railmatch, Phoenix Precision Paints & Woodland Scenics, Model Mates amongst others produce paints & paint pens for painting & weathering the rails & trackwork. Track paints cover various rusty track colours, general track grime.

The paint can be simply brush painted on, airbrush painted on, spray painted on. Woodland Scenics produce paint pens that allow you to simply draw on the sides of the rails quickly & easily (they also do one for painting the sleepers too!). Another handy rail painting tool on the market is Joe’s Rusty Rail rail painter. This contains a jar with a tube built into the lid, on the end of the tube is a foam type roller disk. To use this tool fill the jar with your chosen rusty paint colour, turn the jar upside down. The paint will then flow down into the tube & fill the foam roller with paint.

Simply run the roller on the side of the rails to paint them. Make sure you wipe clean the railheads and switch rails on point work.

If you’ve not tried painting the rails before, you’ll be amazed at the difference to a more realistic looking track. One thing to note that on heavily used mainlines that the rails will look a darker steel colour, whereas a siding or lightly used track will look a more red/orange rusty colour. Have a look at the two images below to see the difference in the colour of the side rails.


Paint & Paint Tools

Below are some images of the various track paints & paint tools. If you’ve not tried painting the rails before, practice on a spare piece of track work or make up a small practice board with the track already laid & ballasted. That way you can try out various methods to see which works best for you.

If you’ve already had a go at painting your track or take your first steps after reading this article, post your photos below.


Happy modelling.



Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About The Author


  1. ClaytonCanuk

    Great tips, I have never tried painting rails but very curious to try it out.

    • Iain

      Makes a massive difference painting the rails, well worth doing.

Leave a reply

Become A VIP Today!