Ok, it is no secret that most of us teens are somewhat finacially strapped for cash. It is also no secret that almost every teen in America owns at least one sharpy permanent marker. So here are some tips that can help you save money on your trains and use that marker in your dresser at the same time.
1. Rails- I cant take full credit for this one, I credit Life Like's tips booklet that comes with every one of their train sets. Take the marker and highlight the interior and exterior of the rail profiles with it. (Now for my added touch) Dont be afraid to let the ink get on the "spikes" and "plates" of the track, after all, it aint just the rails that rust over time. Also, if any ink gets on the rails rub your finger back and forth over the area. On nickel-silver it just comes right off wet or dry.
2. Trucks- Take the same marker and (depending on how weathered you want them) either highlight specific areas on the trucks or completely color them.
3. Rolling stock- There are many different methods among modellers for weathering their cars. Some dirt cheap; some extremely expensive. My new favorite is to take the brown sharpy and put a dot of ink on the area that you want "rusted". Then immediately take your thumb or one of your fingers and rub the ink firmly in a circular motion and this creates a convincing patch if "rust". NOTE* This method is best for LIGHT weathering of cars.
I did all three this morning on an impulse and am very satisfied with how it turned out, the track looks great; my 50' reefer and UP caboose look more realistic, and the locomotive trucks look fanominal! Try it and see how well it works for you!
Lionel collector, stuck in an N scaler's modelling space.