Monroe Stewart starts his process with a dollar can of brown primer spray from Kmart. A piece of cardstock is placed behind the track to preserve what’s behind it when he sprays. He shoots the brown primer lightly and not too neatly to give it a little rust color. Make sure to do this in a well ventilated area.
This technique is lovingly calls this a “Monroe Brush”. He then goes over the area with another dollar can of Kmart flat black spray. Then he wipes the excess off the top of the rails with a rag while it is still wet. The faster you can wipe it, the better. After this he takes a track cleaner and further wipes down the rails to remove all paint residue. A mixture of white glue and water, half water half glue is spread between the tracks with a brush. A gray ballast os sprinkled over the top to areas with wet glue.
He also adds it to the rails, which do not have glue yet. He can control the glue between the tracks, but he can’t control the glue between the rails as well. A dry brush is used to brush off excess ballast and disperse it between the rails. Next he applies “wet water” – detergent, water and a touch of glue – between the rails. The reason why a lot of ballast was poured on the outside, and very little on the inside, was because the ballast buildup on the exterior of the rails helps to hide the track and the ties so all you see is the little ribbon of steel across the top.
Monroe believes that N scale is coming of age in terms of respect in the model railroading community. For one thing, big spaces are harder to find in houses. The equipment and availability of N scale equipment is also getting better. You can learn more about N scale or constructing an N scale model railroad highway here.