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What did you do to your trains today?
That's curious. I've seen TrackMaster 2 track painted for more realism before, but doing it with TM1 seems uncommon to me. In terms of adding more shades to the ballast, it might be effective to use cotton wool dipped in some of each colour to spread them with light presses against the "gravel" (same method for the sleepers). I hope there might be a good way to ensure paint wouldn't rub off where the rolling stock runs. Alternatively, you could try using a black marker and remove it with alcohol (also on cotton wool) to see if it helps. Looking forward to the improvements.
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Well, I think I was able to finalize the standard for my track.

A light press with a q-tip got the ballast highlight I was looking for. Thanks for the great tip Dala!

[Image: 20210331-212708.jpg]

I need to decide between the lighter or darker grey between the ties. I was thinking dark when painting but now I think I like the lighter shade.

[Image: 20210331-212724.jpg]

[Image: 20210331-212746.jpg]

Happy railroading everyone!
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[Image: awesome-smiley-emoticon.gif]

I find these to be awesome Kipp. If it weren't for the Tomy Rails having so many options for track pieces I would love to have my whole Layout with these Trackmaster tracks and try what you have done. Splendid job.
[Image: super-smiley-emoticon.gif]
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They really do look very good, but I am curious about your decision to leave unpainted those parts of the sleepers/ties that are outside the rails?
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You're welcome. I did not (specifically) refer to a Q-tip, but cotton pads/balls dipped in multiple shades of grey, white and/or brown, green, etc.

Maybe I should've found the precise name to define what I meant back then. Terminology/cultural differences aside, it did help improve the look of the ballast even though it's only one extra colour. Optionally, it would also look good for the wood highlight on the sleepers.
 
(04-01-2021, 05:50 PM)chrisjo Wrote: They really do look very good, but I am curious about your decision to leave unpainted those parts of the sleepers/ties that are outside the rails?

They didn't "decide" to leave the grooves unpainted. That's where the rolling stock's wheels run and paint would most likely rub off (unlike in the middle of the track).
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Thanks for the kind words. Chrisjo, my assumption on the running grooves was friction would strip off most of the paint. Maybe I should experiment and see if some paint stays in the grooves and what that would look like.

Super - I am jealous of the blue track options! I don't have any and my purchases have included the tan track so I decided to go this route...for now.
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I do think these type Trackmaster tracks looks more authentic than the blue Tomy, especially with your customs.
[Image: super-smiley-emoticon.gif]
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As promised on the previous page, I got round to my next batch of Take Along fix ups. I restored Edward and Toby's "flesh toned" (badly faded) faces and repainted some of their detail, and took an opportunity for another improvement I never had confidence to do.

Before:

[Image: 028.jpg][Image: 030.jpg]

After:

[Image: 029.jpg]

Edward's face was cleaned with a cotton bud dipped in acetone to reveal the original paint. There are still a few tight spots I couldn't get rid of, but I had to be careful so as not to remove the eyes/dissolve the plastic. I didn't care about the eyebrows and teeth since I wanted a more Season 1-5 result, and the current eyebrows were meant to look like Season 2. Having a shade of blue that looks very close to the shell, I also repainted his wheel sides to cover up the faded ones (pictured below). Compared to now, the face looked almost "evil" in its previous condition.

[Image: 034.jpg]

Unlike with Edward, the acetone trick didn't seem to work well for Toby. I chose to repaint the face instead, which didn't quite turn out how I thought it would. Some of the paint got onto his planks and bufferbeam and had to be scraped off, and I feel it looks a bit too different compared to other faces. Not 100% fond of it. One of the pupils was redone with black paint on a cotton bud handle, and the bell and lamps were repainted.

[Image: 031.jpg][Image: 033.jpg][Image: 036.jpg]

In addition, I also (finally) repainted Edward, Henry and Gordon's tender sides to match the rest of them. I previously just made them black to avoid having to match the shades, but now it was possible for me. Unlike Edward and Gordon where I instantly found the shade I was looking for, I needed two attempts for Henry. I even tried using the spray paint my custom TOMY Henry has, which turned out too bright and I had to remove it. It makes much more sense than red or black, and I wish I had done it earlier.
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You have been very busy LaG
[Image: super-smiley-emoticon.gif]
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I've begun attempting to scratchbuild a Henrietta top to improve my existing custom (Annie/Clarabel with the ends blacked out and extra windows painted), which should allow me to use the TOMY body for other coaches on the same chassis. The cardboard roof was strapped to the TOMY coach with rubber bands to help form the shape, and the walls are made out of matchsticks with (rough) measurements from the exposed sides. The end posts will be rounded skewers, and the "hoops" in the balconies are expected to be hot glue. I hope everything goes well and it will hold up despite being fragile. In the event this version will fail, I might build the next one directly on the chassis instead.
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The scratch built Henrietta body I mentioned has now been painted, and these are the photos of the (partial) progress on it.

[Image: 010.jpg][Image: 011.jpg]

I just happened to have a box that had enough used long matches in the right condition. The matchsticks were glued on top of each other and onto pieces of paper, inspired by a method I learnt from various DIY videos with wooden pieces. The open windows were made by cutting twelve small pieces for each side and spacing them (more or less) according to the TOMY shell. I initially wanted to copy the sides with cardboard, but that proved even more difficult and not really as durable. The matchsticks helped give the "plank" texture of the real one, so that was another advantage. Compared to the "effortless" version, the balconies didn't really turn out equal in size. At this point, I forgot the middle bars and chose to leave out the railings. While the shell does come off easily, it manages to stay on well and doesn't need a screw post like the original has.

[Image: 013.jpg][Image: 016.jpg]

Unlike Henry (who used spray paint for the green parts and priming), she was fully hand painted and not primed except for the roof. I repainted it to better match Toby's colour instead of leaving it white (something I didn't do back then). The ventilators were made from the same type of skewer used for the end posts. I know they're the wrong size and shape and should be a lot smaller, but that's the result I got. I may or may not replace the whole roof anyway so it would be rounder and more precise. And here's how she looks with Toby:

[Image: 015.jpg]

Needless to say, I'm glad I made this and helped prevent a needless permanent mod I would regret for years (cutting away the ends of the TOMY shell). In my collection thread, I did state I wanted to build one for that exact reason. Looking forward to any further improvements.
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Very cool and neat idea using the wooden matches...I like it Smile
[Image: super-smiley-emoticon.gif]
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[Image: 001.jpg][Image: 003.jpg][Image: 002.jpg]

It may not be easy to tell except for the ventilators, but the roof has now been replaced and the balconies rebuilt (complete with the missing bars added). The main body was unchanged apart from a few minor repaints. I do like how the Annie/Clarabel/official Henrietta chassis happens to have spaces where the end posts can fit in and don't have to be glued/adhered.
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