Here at Osborns we thought we would try and give you a few hints and tips for your modelling. We will try and add as many topics as possible and try to cover a range of aspects of model railways.

Weathering Track
Paint Brushes
Making Rocks
Upgrading Loco's #1


Weathering Track
There is no doubt about it, weathered track looks so much better than the ‘out of the box’ look.


As you can see from the illustration above there is nothing uniform about the colours of real trackwork. There are various products on the market to help with this process but which ever one you decide upon the job of painting the sides of the rails rusty  is best done before the track is laid and then touched up or improved upon when the track is in-situ. In reality track, chairs, sleeper (ties) are coated with a mixture of rust and brake dust and in areas where locos stop there is an accumulation of oil in the diesel era or coal dust, grease and oil in the steam era. Depicting this on YOUR layout will greatly enhance the realism.
To paint the rails rusty take a look at

There you will be able to access a demo Video of this mini paint roller tool which neatly paints rails without messy spraying or masking. Allows you to paint cross ties over loose or moulded ballast and makes it easy to reach tight spots like switches or bridges. Roller is adjustable so you can paint rails, spikes and plates at the same time. Use your own thinned oil-base paints or Rusty Rails Custom Acrylic Paint. It could not be simpler or more effective!
A new and alternative product is that recently introduced by Woodland Scenics
This comes packaged similar to a felt tipped pen and is simple to use. Separate colours are available for the rail and the sleepers.



Paint brush tips (forgive the pun)

Like everything in life it is best to use the right tool for the job. Paint brushes are no exception but is it usually a case of any old brush will do?

There are basically 3 types:

Synthetic Hair –best used with Acrylic and enamel paints
Coloro Single Hor

Sable Hair--more expensive but good for enamel paints.

Palpo single hor

Natural Hair—More economical General Purpose.
Evoco Single hor


To remove dried acrylic paint from bristles try soaking them in methylated spirit (alcohol) to soften it
Restore a clean paint brush to its proper shape by dipping it into boiling water for just one second
Do not store paint brushes on their tips but lay flat and keep dry.
Do not leave brushes standing in water or thinners.
Try and keep separate brushes for use with enamel and acrylic paints.
Never use one of your best paint brushes fro applying liquid poly solvents---keep an old one handy.



Making Rocks

Want to know how to make realistic rocks for your layout? Here are some great instructional videos to show you how:



Products used:

Lightweight Hydrocal WC1201 Woodland Scenics: Lightweight Hydrocal (1/2 gal.)
Rock Moulds WC1236 Woodland Scenics: Classic Rock (5x7 Mold)


Now to colour your rocks:


Earth Colour pigments WC1215 Woodland Scenics: Earth Color / Colour Kit


and here is just a few more tips and tricks for making great rocks:





BR Headlamp Codes

Low cost improvements to Steam locos (1) Locomotive headlamp codes




These headlamps are a prominent feature on all steam locos in traffic. They are inexpensive essentials and can be found here for N scale

And here for OO  

But if you really want to go mad have a look at these ‘working’ BR headlamps