Anyone interested in working metal tracks like the ones made by Friul knows there is a special sort of fluid to burnish the tracks. By leaving the tracks in the fluid for a while you end up with a nice rusty look that looks perfect. Chemistry is not one of my strong points, so I can’t really tell you how it works, but I can tell you if it works, and how.
First I want to start off with some warnings, as this isn’t a harmless fluid. To make it work it probably uses some not so healthy chemicals. On the label are the following warnings: “Prevent prolonged breathing of vapor.” “Ensure adequate ventilation”, “Harmful / Irritant”, Harmfull if swallowed” and “Keep out of reach of children”. And while working with it you should always wear gloves/
First, let’s have a look at the packaging. The fluid comes in a small 100 ml. bottle which is enough for one set of tracks. The bottle itself is nice and sturdy, and can be reused for something else after a proper cleaning. The rest is the usual fluff of manufacturers details, logos and in this case this product is licensed from Uschi van der Rosten. There are also some rather confusing instructions printed on the label. Step two is as follows “After pour out the product, fill the bottle with water and thin the liquid with an old toothbrush and acetone or vinegar. Allow it to dry completely”
It might just be me, but why do I have to fill the bottle with water, and then thin with acetone or vinegar while using an old toothbrush. It was confusing to me. In this review I just used regular tap water in a 50/50 ratio and it worked well.I’ve watched several reviews of this product and no-one even mentioned vinegar or acetone. For a €8 bottle I would expect better instructions.. Especially because this company also publishes english books and magazines.
If you’ve read my review of the Pz.Kpfw. II Friul tracks or my build log of these tracks you probably already know a little. If not stay tuned. I use two sealable plastic containers for this, one for the Left track and one for the right track so I could keep them apart. In each container I poured 50 ml of the fluid and 50 ml water, after a good shake I dropped in the tracks. After a good shake I left the tracks for 10-20 minutes. In between I would remove some pieces to get some variation in how old the tracks look. 10 minutes was really the minimum because the tracks weren’t covered completely in rust before that. When all tracks were pulled out I put them out to dry. After 24 hours I put the tracks in another container filled with lukewarm water and detergent and gave that a proper shake. Rinse with water to get all the residue of the tracks and leave it to dry for another 24 hours.
The end result was pretty amazing, it looks realistic, just like the real deal, with a great tonal variation on even a single track link. But one word of advice: don’t assemble the tracks before burnishing them. I did one track partially assembled and while it worked just as well the ends of the track pins were covered with superglue. Because of the glue it couldn’t reach every part of the track and it would leave ugly shiny spots around the pins. For the other track I decided to use the fluid before assembling, and it wasn’t a problem during assembly.
After you spend a lot of money on metal tracks is it worth buying yet another rather expensive and single-use fluid just to get a rusty look? Maybe not, getting a similar effect isn’t too hard with just paint, but to get the perfect rusty look takes a lot of time. Between drying I only spent maybe one hour on the track itself. But this was the easiest and fastest method of ‘painting’ the tracks.
8 / 10