Re: Track / Ballast:
I have used the following approach for my AF track and AF Switches.
I have taken AF track and spray painted them completely using the cheapest
flat black paint available. After the paint has dried, I quickly
wire brush the top of the rail with my bench grinder wire wheel.
the top becomes shiny clean and the rest of the track is black. I
would place newspaper outside with the track lined up like soldiers.
I could quickly paint hundreds of
section of track in a short period of time. It is something that
hard but actually easy to do. that process will always have my
name on it.
I then mount the track and add Beaver Boy's wooden ties between the
AF ties. I place two wooden ties between each metal tie. I
then use Ballast King's gray rubber ballast glued in place with a solution
of white glue/water/dish soap
Couple of tips: When mounting the track, I use a small hammer
to tap each rail to the last mounted track. this gives a smooth rail
look. Also, by spray painting the track black, you can buy the most
ugly track under the tables. Instead of flat black paint, one could
use brown primer paint for a rusty track look. I liked the black
look based on the early AF black track look. As long as the track
is physically straight. you can get old track that is painted or
with some rust areas. When it is painted and top rails cleaned, it
I like the system because I am a Hi-rail operator, I have gotten track
for about 10 cents a straight, the system marries into AF switches, the
rubber ballast is soft to the touch, looks great and over all I believe
it is less expensive.
However, it is a time consuming process. For me it is mindless
activity. It is therapy to work on a small section at a time.
I have received many compliments on the look of my layout. It
really does not look like an AF track system after you dress it up.