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Advice on painting Caboose ground throws?

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Advice on painting Caboose ground throws?
Posted by IDRick on Wednesday, September 6, 2023 3:19 PM

I'd like to paint one side of the GT handle red (diverging route) and the other side green (through route).  I'll just be painting the top of the handle.  Any advice on how to do this?  The Delrin plastic is so slippery that I'm thinking it will be hard to find paint that sticks.  Does a primer help?

 

*** Add-in, Please give brand names if you can.  I need to order online.

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Posted by snjroy on Wednesday, September 6, 2023 4:12 PM

I used Tremclad rust paint, because I had some open at the time. Still holds after 3 years of handling. I used a file to thin the top of the handle a bit.

Simon

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Posted by IDRick on Wednesday, September 6, 2023 4:26 PM

Thank you, Simon!  Must a Canadian product?  Approximately $33 with about half of that as shipping...  Seems that it is a member of the Rust-oleum family so may be a cheaper version here in the States.  Will check that out!

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Posted by IDRick on Wednesday, September 6, 2023 5:05 PM

I found a reference for Napa # 7223 primer in the forum railwire.net  Author reported great success painting plastic hand rails and being able to paint over the primer with Accu-paint or Tru-color.  It is available at my local Napa store.  May give it a try.

Add in:  A trainboard post also reported good results with the Napa 7223 primer and claimed one could paint over with Modelflex or craft acrylic paints.

ADD in 2:  Apparently Vallejo surface primer also works on Caboose ground throws.

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Posted by snjroy on Wednesday, September 6, 2023 8:13 PM

A good auto primer should also work.

Simon

 

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Posted by dehusman on Wednesday, September 6, 2023 9:56 PM

I used craft paints when I used Caboose throws and it lasted years.

Dave H. Painted side goes up. My website : wnbranch.com

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Posted by IDRick on Wednesday, September 6, 2023 11:12 PM

Dave, do remember the company name and product line?  Some craft paints are labeled as multi-surface acrylics which may increase the odds of sticking to delrin.  I'll have to take a look around at craft paints in town.  They're cheap enough to try several different ones.  Thanks for sharing Dave!

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Posted by BroadwayLion on Thursday, September 7, 2023 12:53 AM

What is with ground throws. Use a GRS machiine!

The Route of the Broadway Lion The Largest Subway Layout in North Dakota.

Here there be cats.                                LIONS with CAMERAS

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Posted by PC101 on Thursday, September 7, 2023 1:32 AM

I paint white first on the throw lever handle end then the red/green over the white which makes the red/green brighter, and I used Tester's paint pens over the years.

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Posted by rrebell on Thursday, September 7, 2023 7:58 AM

If I remember right, someone used nail polish.

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Posted by IDRick on Thursday, September 7, 2023 10:32 AM

Quick Follow-up  I had two bottles of craft paint available to try (Craft-smart and Americana).  Paint came off easily with a 10 hour dry time.  The multi-surface version might work better but unfortunately not available locally in the desired colors (white, red and green).

PC101  Great idea to use a white background with green or red dot.  Will use that idea on my ground throws!  Will look for testors pens locally.

Simon Lots of different auto primers out there with a range in price.  The Napa 7223 primer has some positive reviews online for uses on a model RR, leaning that direction if I go with a primer.

rrbell Nail polish, an intriguing idea!  Will call a friend and see if she is willing to donate a dab of polish to one of my ground throws. 

Lion  I'm a cat fan and my cat enjoys watching the trains go by.  At times he's tempted to go full Godzilla on the train but he gives the game away with black eyes and a wiggling butt.  A sharp no and he resists and goes away sulking.  The GRS machine is cool!

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Posted by hornblower on Thursday, September 7, 2023 1:10 PM

I used some cheap paint pens I picked up at Michael's craft store.  I painted one side of the ground throw handle red and the other side green.  I have not had to repaint any after several years and several operating sessions where some operators can be a little rough on these ground throws.  

Hornblower

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Posted by JoeinPA on Thursday, September 7, 2023 2:34 PM

I used Testors enamel that is in the little bottles. It has lasted since I painted the ground throw handles 2005.

Joe

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Posted by IDRick on Thursday, September 7, 2023 5:07 PM

Hornblower   Thanks for the tip on cheap paint pens at Michaels ($4 these days).  I'll pick some up tomorrow, easiest solution and cheapest!

Joe  Thanks for the tip on testor's enamel paint.  Not available locally but could be ordered.  A bit more than the paint pens + would need to buy paint thinner.  A worthy suggestion!

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Posted by BigDaddy on Thursday, September 7, 2023 5:48 PM

We've had Delrin paint threads before.  I recall the recommendation was a primer used by RC car modelers. 

EDIT  Forum member Zstripe recommended Polycarbonate Paint

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

Shenandoah Valley

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Posted by IDRick on Friday, September 8, 2023 12:21 PM

Thank you to all who replied to my thread!  Lots of different options out there to add throw indication colors to my 12 ground throws.   Implementation costs range from $13 to $32.  I have decided to go with Vallejo surface primer (VSP) + craft paint due to having the lowest cost and alternative uses in other projects.  There will be minimal waste and no product sitting on a shelf waiting for a purpose.

I have listed the price total for the different options below.

Vallejo SP + craft paint $13

Napa 7223 primer + craft paint $15

Michaels color pens + shipping + craft paint $18

Tamiya surface primer + craft paint  $19

Testors bottles, thinner, shipping, craft paint $26

Testors paint pens, craft paint $32

 

 

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Posted by snjroy on Friday, September 8, 2023 4:38 PM

You should be fine. You can always do touch-ups from time to time.

Simon

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Posted by IDRick on Thursday, September 14, 2023 11:55 AM

UPDATE: I tried the Vallejo Surface Primer (VSP) + craft paints on a CI ground throw.  A moderate single coat of VSP was easy to remove from the ground throw.  Three thin layers of VSP, applied a few hours apart, was more durable than a moderate single layer.  However, the combination of VSP + craft paint peeled off the ground throw by light probing with a skewer stick.  Result: FAIL

For Option 2, I will try JoeinPA's approach where he cleaned the ground throw thoroughly and then applied Testor's enamel paint to the handle.  The ground throws have retained their enamel paint spots since 2005.  Testor's enamel paint bottles are available on-line at widely ranging prices ($2.69 to over $8).  In my searching, Hobby Lobby had the best price.

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Posted by IDRick on Thursday, September 14, 2023 3:57 PM

I've already ordered the Testor's paints and thinner.

I found this comment on a different forum:

"In the April 2006 issue of Model Railroader (page 36) is an article about "Curing chipped handrails", and it addresses a product called Plastic Adhesion Promoter #SXA 1050. The product is made by Specialty Performance Products."

Might be worth trying if painting Delrin handrails.  My MR's are not organized, too lazy to search out the article...

 
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Posted by PC101 on Thursday, September 14, 2023 8:21 PM

My CIGT's throw lever heads have been painted with Testor's enamel paints since I started using ground throws, of course it is only me throwing them and who knows how often and which ones have been thrown more or less then others. Saying that, since this posted subject, I just started to scratch with my fingernail to see what happens, well the Testor's enamal comes off. So the real railroads have to paint and repaint their property do to weather and use why should my equipment be any different. Also my CIGT are of course all within easy reach.

I am going to rub the throw lever's head with fine sandpaper to ruffen it up some and repaint it, then let it dry for many days then scratch at it just to see what happens.  

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Posted by IDRick on Thursday, September 14, 2023 9:01 PM

PC101, thanks for reporting your experiences with testors enamel on CIGT!  Did you always use the testor's pens or did you sometimes use the bottled enamel?  Please report back on how well the repaint adheres to the GT.  I don't mind repainting, especially if gives another several years of use!  BTW, love your idea of painting the tip white then spotting either red or green.  Colors really pop!

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Posted by PC101 on Thursday, September 14, 2023 9:56 PM

IDRick

PC101, thanks for reporting your experiences with testors enamel on CIGT!  Did you always use the testor's pens or did you sometimes use the bottled enamel?  Please report back on how well the repaint adheres to the GT.  I don't mind repainting, especially if gives another several years of use!  BTW, love your idea of painting the tip white then spotting either red or green.  Colors really pop!

 

One of my Tester's paint marker (white) is dated 2/26/97. I do know that this marker is not the first one or the latest one in white for use on the CIGTs. I have just scratched off the red/green/white on a CIGT and scuff sanded the lever's head just to remove the shine and painted it white. Maybe tomorrow it might get the green and red coat.

Opps, I forget to answer your second question, I never used bottle paint on CIGTs, that would require a lot of shaking time and a brush or Q-tip. I think some of my Tester's bottles, the small ones have .15 or .20 on their lids.

The paint marker was fast for the job, shake, dapple the tip on a plate glass work area and paint the ground throw's head. I painted all the lever's heads white first and at that time very few were painted the red/green. Most heads were left with only the white paint. When that ground throw was in place with the switch/turnout then I would paint the lever's head for the main (green) and the diverging (red) route.

Now you have me looking at my CIGT's to see if any need maintenance.

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Posted by PC101 on Monday, September 18, 2023 11:03 PM

So far with the scuffing/sanding of the head's surface and only the white paint applied, I have scratched lightly with my finger nail three times then seven times and the white paint is holding good. Now for the application of the red and green paint. 

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Posted by IDRick on Tuesday, September 19, 2023 12:09 AM

Keep the reports coming PC101!  My Testor's paint is supposed to arrive this week and I'm looking forward to giving it a try!

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Posted by PC101 on Tuesday, September 19, 2023 11:12 PM

As of now I would say the sanding/scuffing of the head is a good starting point.

Tonight it will get the green paint. 

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Posted by doctorwayne on Wednesday, September 20, 2023 12:11 AM

I could never understand why the throw arm would require paint, but if I had to do so, I would have drilled a shallow hole in both the top and bottom of the throw  arm, then added a drop of red (or green) paint in each dimple.  With the painted area recessed, it would likely last forever.
I kept my Caboose Industries ground throws on the staging tracks, but replaced the others with bent steel rod to finger-activate the turnouts.

If anybody needs some Caboose Industries ground throws, I have 40 of them, all in good condition, for a buck apiece.

Wayne

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Posted by IDRick on Wednesday, September 20, 2023 10:46 AM

doctorwayne

I could never understand why the throw arm would require paint, but if I had to do so, I would have drilled a shallow hole in both the top and bottom of the throw  arm, then added a drop of red (or green) paint in each dimple.  With the painted area recessed, it would likely last forever.

I will just be painting the top faces of the throw arm, not the whole thing. PC101's method of painting a white base on the tip followed by a red or green dot has enhanced visibility.  I like it, anything that helps me prevent derailments is worthwhile. 

I tried center over springs to control turnouts.  Inexpensive and work very well.  However, with my aging eyes, I had issues with reading turnout direction on my switching layout leading to derailments.  Thus, IMO, my move to CIGT with painted tips should lead to better operations on my layout.

Good to have you back Wayne!

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Posted by PC101 on Friday, September 22, 2023 9:54 PM

The only thing I did different with this one then with the other ones on my layout is scuff/sanding of the head. (testing purpose for this post)

I can't see where the painted surface of the head gets abused (*), when you start the throw you touch the end of the head and when completing the throw you are pushing down on the painted head touching the head with a finger/soft flesh.

* maybe one, when the operator over throws the GT and jams the head into the ballast. 

 

 

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Posted by IDRick on Saturday, September 23, 2023 11:33 AM

Looks good PC101, thanks for posting!  Did you decide to not use a white background as on your previous GT's or am I attributing someone else's work to you?  Looks good without the white.  I will try it both ways when I paint my GT's.

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Posted by PC101 on Sunday, September 24, 2023 9:20 PM

IDRick

Looks good PC101, thanks for posting!  Did you decide to not use a white background as on your previous GT's or am I attributing someone else's work to you?  Looks good without the white.  I will try it both ways when I paint my GT's.

 

I have used white paint as the undercoat on all my GTs followed with the red/green paint.

I felt that using white for the undercoat I could use a thinner coat of red and green. IIRC without the white undercoat I needed to use a heavy/thicker coat of red/green which could/would scatch off easier.

I did try silver as the undercoat and did not like the results. 

If you look close at my above reply you will see the white paint on the side with the red head and a little white on the green head where the arm contacts the head.

I could say with people's eyes and how it sees color, some may see a darker/lighter green and the same with the red. My father would see brown for red. 

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