I used a small 1/4" flat file to clean the paint from my rails after painting. If you go that route use very light pressure. I used the file to level the rail height as well. The razor blades work well also, I prefer the file with a handle for the grip and control. Here's another link for some building references including how I smoothed the joint between Tomy AFX sectional track.
I got a wild hair and started to paint mine,one section at a time. It did not do well,the cars would not run right after several attempts at cleaning the rails.I ended up having to replace all the track I had painted,now its fine again. It looks good but I would take an asprin and think it over.Just my thoughts.
We just sold our painted track (tyco) but it is pretty easy.....assemble track, paint with flat black primer (we used a rattle bomb) and then scrape rails w/ razor blade, penny and/or a block w/ sand paper wrapped around it.
I like the look of lined track also. I've tried to think of ways to easily (and I stress EASILY) replicate it on Tyco track. I'd like to get dotted lines on the straights and solid lines on the curves, just like MM track.
The only thing I seem to have determined so far is the tool of choice is probably a paint stick. A simple holder could be contructed which rides in the two slots and keeps the pen centered. This would be fine for a solid line. A dotted line would require a more elaborate setup.
I would suggest poster board for your template (Aurora used copper).......now cut out the dashes w/ an exacto knife then overlay onto track and w/ a quick shot of flat white from a rattle bomb you should have the desired results. You will have to create a new template for each radius curve, but once done each piece will look exactly alike....and only one template for straights.
Another medium for the template would be clear transparency sheets. I used a sheet of that for the rainbow on the "Dark Side" van I made a few months ago. The advantages are you can see through it so you're sure the stripes are centered properly, and a quick wipe with lacquer thinner cleans it up quick without hazing the sheet.
I would suggest lacquer paint for the stripes as it dries quickly, and the risk of over spray (the airborne kind) fudging up your table if the track you're painting is already mounted will be minimal. To really keep the fumes to a minimum, I would suggest using an airbrush for the painting.
I painted the track on my Little Le Mans layout (still for sale btw!) & it was a pain to get the rails clean. It tooka couple weeks of running & cleaning the rails/shoes to get it back to normal. It looked cool though. If you search you can find the thread on my track & I explained how I did it.
That was me to suggest using a sponge. It did work wonderfully, but you do have to really thin the paint down. The link is in my first post on this thread.
Let me be clear: On my old track I followed the advice on hoslotcarracing.com right down to the sort of paint to use, and the results were less than impressive, and I think the whole "skim it with a razor" thing was the reason.
You really have to be methodical about cleaning the rails off after, and testing each piece as you go. I used a blade, an old butter knife, some fine grit sandpaper, and a fair bit of persistence.
Set up a terminal track, and after you've gone over each piece, attach it to the terminal and run a car on it. Inch the car , stop, go, forward bit by bit. If it stalls at any point, some more rail care may be needed.
I'd add a caveat. painting the track is a lot of work. Don't let anyone fool you. The painting is the easy part. The popular advice about simply skimming the top of the rail with a blade isn't enough in my opinion. I believe you need to get the sides too.
So you really have to be sure it's worth it for you to have a grey track. In my case I think it is. I have something very particular I'm trying to model.
But if its just a whim, I'd say think long and hard.
I used one of those abrasive erasers to clean the rails, the trick I found, was to clean, run a car, clean the rails again, clean the shoes & then repeat over & over again. Yeah, by the time I was done I said "Never again".
Use Fine line Vinyl Pin Striping tape to mask off the rails if your painting a track.
It's a pain to mask the rails,but easier then trying to scrape the rails clean.
Been there done that,and never again will i paint over the rails,found the time it takes to mask them off,is reaped back on clean-up :thumbsup:
For the track center line I was toying with the idea of using a screen spline tool. I was going to put small sections of screen spline to create the dashed lines. and lightly roll it into a white paint. Then use a guide to keep it centered. Have not tried it but it may work.