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Painting Modern HO Wheels and Trucks

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Painting Modern HO Wheels and Trucks
Posted by JakeTurner11 on Monday, June 26, 2023 7:08 PM

I've just converted a lot of my modern freight cars over to metal wheels. Now I need to paint them. The last time I painted wheels, I was using Floquil. Since all of that has been discontinued, does anyone have recommendations on paint brands/ colors for wheels and trucks? I have the wheel jig to mask the wheels, so I would prefer spray cans or airbrush paints. 

Thanks! 

Jake 

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Posted by gmpullman on Monday, June 26, 2023 7:16 PM

I have various methods depending on several factors but for the 'quick & dirty' method I like to use Rustoleum Camo Earth Brown rattle can on both the wheel faces and truck side frames.

'Sometimes" while the paint is still tacky I'll dust the sideframes with a rust colored weathering powder I have on hand.

 Trucks-rusty by Edmund, on Flickr

Roller bearing wheels get more of a rusty steel color and solid bearing journals get more of an oily gray color.

Good Luck, Ed.

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Posted by JakeTurner11 on Monday, June 26, 2023 7:41 PM

Oooh, those look great! 

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Posted by HO-Velo on Monday, June 26, 2023 9:17 PM

Still shooting wheel faces with my dwindling supply of Floquil Railroad Tie Brown.  Side Frames get a light coat of Rust-Oleum rattle can Dark Grey Automotive Primer, which is almost a flat black; the color that many prototype trucks begin life. 

Regards, Peter

  

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Posted by NittanyLion on Monday, June 26, 2023 10:09 PM

gmpullman

I have various methods depending on several factors but for the 'quick & dirty' method I like to use Rustoleum Camo Earth Brown rattle can on both the wheel faces and truck side frames.

'Sometimes" while the paint is still tacky I'll dust the sideframes with a rust colored weathering powder I have on hand.

 Trucks-rusty by Edmund, on Flickr

Roller bearing wheels get more of a rusty steel color and solid bearing journals get more of an oily gray color.

Good Luck, Ed.

 

This is pretty much what I do, with the addition that after a few dozen wheels go by, I'll do one or two a clean gunmetal or a bright orange.  New wheels are a gunmetal-ish color, but they can also turn bright orange if they're brand new and the treads got a good new coat of rust before they were used.  

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Posted by kasskaboose on Thursday, June 29, 2023 4:54 PM

Why not use artist paint of burnt umber and burnt sienna?  I do that with the wheels while on the freight cars and apply the paint with a toothpick.

Love the assembly line approach though!

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Posted by MetrolinkFan on Thursday, June 29, 2023 5:02 PM

Wow Ed that is neat Ill have to paint my trucks that way It looks great Glad you added a photo to this topic, Looks very real from what i see in the picture you posted.

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Posted by maxman on Friday, June 30, 2023 12:11 AM

 

gmpullman

I have various methods depending on several factors but for the 'quick & dirty' method I like to use Rustoleum Camo Earth Brown rattle can on both the wheel faces and truck side frames.

'Sometimes" while the paint is still tacky I'll dust the sideframes with a rust colored weathering powder I have on hand.

 Trucks-rusty by Edmund, on Flickr

Roller bearing wheels get more of a rusty steel color and solid bearing journals get more of an oily gray color.

Good Luck, Ed.

 

How do you manage to get an even coat of paint on the wheel faces where the faces are hidden behind the side frames?

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Posted by gmpullman on Friday, June 30, 2023 1:07 AM

maxman
How do you manage to get an even coat of paint on the wheel faces where the faces are hidden behind the side frames?

The above photo is taken during the final stages of the weathering process. I have three or four of the laser-cut painting guides that I use in rotation.

Then I clean the tips of the axle ends with a little naptha and buzz the 'truck tuner' inside the bearing sockets.

After reassembling the wheelsets to the sideframes I give them this dusting of "Ed's Rusto-Magic" which is my own blend of iron oxide removed from a clogged heat exchanger from one of the boilers at GE which I then sifted through a 360 mesh screen. As I dab the rust powder over a container to collect the excess the slightly stiff brush will spin the wheels.

Finally I roll the trucks over a length of track with a paper towel soaked in a bit of paint thinner to clean the treads and flanges.

Here's a dozen Pennsy H21s getting a similar treatment:

 PRR_H21_rust by Edmund, on Flickr

 PRR_H21_rust-b by Edmund, on Flickr

Easy-peecie —

Cheers, Ed

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Posted by ricktrains4824 on Friday, June 30, 2023 9:26 AM

I custom mix a "dirty" brown/rust out of acrylic paint, thin it with Airbrush Medium and spray both wheels and trucks at the same time, though like Ed I pop the wheels out and into a painting mask.

Then I can just use a bit of rubbing alcohol to clean the axle tips, and truck tuner inside the trucks, and they are good to go.

One neat thing I found to help paint "stick" is Createx Adhesion Promoter, it can be airbrushed seperately, or mixed in with water-based paints. It works really well on flexable handrails too. Really tough-to-paint items get that mixed in as well.

Ricky W.

HO scale Proto-freelancer.

My Railroad rules:

1: It's my railroad, my rules.

2: It's for having fun and enjoyment.

3: Any objections, consult above rules.

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Posted by kasskaboose on Friday, June 30, 2023 3:05 PM

Good on you with the assembly line approach.  I'm far less patient and systematic.  Then again, I also don't have the purchasing power with getting so many cars at once.

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, July 1, 2023 7:24 AM

I find this thread inspiring. If I could only bring myself to do it. Indifferent

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by JakeTurner11 on Tuesday, July 4, 2023 4:57 PM

I really appreciate all the suggestions! Feeling a little more confident to get started. Thanks! 

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