There are some really neat techniques to weather and age ties and track. I used to be able to say that I’ve not really tried any of them. Yup, I used to be able to say stuff like that. Luckily, I just couldn’t settle my mind or quell that curiousity.
In the above photo, I have lightly sanded the previously coloured ties to just soften the paint. My ties are cut from 1/16″ balsa sheet. I wanted to try scrubbing them with a brass-bristled brush to see what sort of effect that would leave. Initially, I was worried the wood would be too soft to sustain any sort of aggressive action but I soon learned I was wrong about that assumption. The more I picked away at this, the more impressed I felt. I dug an X-Acto knife from my tool box and, using the back of the blade, picked and gouged at random ties to further distress them. By the time I took the above photo I was really starting to feel like I knew what I was doing.
To restore some finish and get some depth into all that work I grabbed some acrylic paints and washed a very thin and equally random coat of black over the finished trackwork. It’s settling in quite nicely and I think the ties look amazing. I’m glad I made the time to try something new, to me, that I hadn’t before.
Distressing these ties wasn’t complicated but, man, am I ever beaming with pride over how well they turned out.
My inspiration for all of this is the track that Hunter Hughson has been building for his layout, as illustrated in this photo:
Some of the nicest HO scale track I’ve ever seen done.