After a very slow and painstaking session of track painting the other night, having hit upon a colour mix that seemed to work (and still looked ok the following morning!) and established something of a painting technique I finished the whole piece tonight in under an hour (this is the 18" long miniature diorama/test project I'm building).
Its all very well reading how epople do things in model railway magazines, but nothing beats hands on practise. The last painting session I was struggling with the paint drying out in the metal lid I was using as a palette, which meant I had to keep adding and mixing more paint. Tonight I tried mising up the paint with a liberal amount of thinners (Revell 'Colour mix' to be precise) - this proved very effective, and coupled with the much faster rate of work meant the paint stayed at a useable consistency throughout the session. When it did start to thicken up a bit I just added more thinners. (Of course, if you carried on doing this too many times the paint would become too thin.)
I think the colour proportions I gave last time were a bit on the 'black' side. I think the 'dark chocolate' sleeper colour is closer to 2:1 orange to black and the 'milk chocolate' rail colour 3:1 or more depending on the brand of chocolate (or freshness of rust!).
I was thinking about the track colour while looking through some magazines - close up, weathered track seems often to appear quite an orangey colour - more orange than my 'milk chocolate' brown. However, from a distance this is less evident. Model track painted in this way tends to stand out too much, so I think the darker colour is called for - although it seems to go against the general rule of thumb that the further away you view something from the lighter it appears. I don't know, all I can say is that my piece of track satisfies my sense of realism, for now at least!