Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Handrails and a Hole in the Wall

   I made the mistake of using Floquil enamal paint for painting handrails safety white on most of my Kato engines.  The paint looked great, but does not adhere well to the plastic used for the handrails by Kato.  So, after years of use, many of the handrails had paint that was flaking off.  The flaking finally got bad enough that I spent some time the last couple of days addressing the issue.  I got some Badger Modelflex reefer white paint and added a bit of black and yellow to tone down the brightness of the white.  Modelflex paint is acrylic based paint that is designed to adhere better to the plastic and flex with the handrail instead of flake.  One by one, I took each of the affected engines (24 of them) and used an Xacto knife to gently flake off any remaining floquil paint.  I then repainted the handrails with the Modelflex paint.  Took awhile, but I think the effort was worth it.

   I also used a picture of the old coaling tower in Nelson to hide the hole in the wall that allows the mainline to pass from thee furnace room, containing Nelson and the east staging yard,  to the Rock River crossing and Franklin Grove. 

   The pictures below show an example of newly painted handrails, the coaling tower and the prototype photo of the coaling tower in Nelson.


  1. Nice effect with the photo of the coal tower. One question: in the prototype photo, there is a mast signal way off to the right but I don't see a track--what's over there?

  2. Daryl,

    That's a great idea using the coal tower for an "escape" through the backdrop, it's the first time I've seen that one.

    I was using Modelflex on handrails until I tried Pactra Racing Finish after reading about it in an article in Model Railroader. It's available at hobby shops that carry R/C cars. It also needs it's own thinner for cleaning brushes.

  3. Yea, I think the racing paint has been around for some time now. I remember using it back in the late 80's. I think the modelflex is the same stuff, just in railroad colors, but I am just assuming that, I don't know for sure. As far as that signal goes, I'm pretty sure there is not any track over there. There is a lot of railroad junk laying around in Nelson. I'm thinking its either being stored there for some reason or maybe there was track there at one time and has since been removed. Its probably the former. Next time I'm in Nelson, I'll have to check it out.


  4. Modelflex and the Pactra racing paint aren't the same. Pactra is made for the flexible lexan bodies of the R/C cars. I found it flakes off too, just not as readily as Modelflex.

    Love the coal toawer hiding the hole. Very cleaver!