Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The "rustults" are in!


I mentioned in my previous post that I was going to try creating prototypical rust on steel model rails.  After a dunk in a saltwater, vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide bath, the results -- er, should I say "rustults" -- are in.   I primarily used the method documented at this link, specifically the ratio of "4 parts white vinegar, 1 part hydrogen peroxide (3%) and 1/2 part of salt" found in the comments section.

See for yourself:
The rust is real, folks...but...maybe...it's a little too real.

Critiques on Day 1:
  • Inconsistent application: Perhaps this is because it's been only a day and they are not continuously exposed to the conditions to keep rusting.
  • Inconsistent coloring: The foreground piece is mostly black or grey, while the two pieces in the back are very, very orange.
  • Too orange: The hobby industry says paint your track "rail brown", not "rail orange"...
  • Fragile: Too much handling and the rust comes right off.  It could make a nice weathering powder though...   To be fair, the same happens to real rails; that's why the top surface is shiny after use.
For comparison, here are some shots of the prototype track:
If there are any readers who'd like to comment, I'd be interested in your thoughts.

Updates on Day 14:

  • I think if I hit them with the salt solution again, the rusting would continue and perhaps sink in a bit.  At least once source I read said to go back with a soft toothbrush to knock down the loose stuff and then repeat until satisfied.
  • After several days, it seems less fragile
  • It isn't any less orange
  • The rails smell like vinegar, perhaps need to tone that down in the mix
Other sources pointed to nitric acid but also said that that's a pretty harsh chemical and I've not yet looked for a supplier of that.

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