Size/Code/Scale of Model Rail:
More than a little discussion has been seen on these pages regarding the rail code/size/scale of model track different folks might prefer to use! With many preferring the smaller code rail as being more “realistic”. Now while I cannot fault them on that, I myself tend to approach my modeling more from the direction of the visual impact a given effect is going to create. Therefore if there is a way to make your rail look smaller, regardless of code/size/scale then that is to be desired.
Shown here is Code 83 rail in HO Scale
Painting the sides of the rails diminishes the apparent visual size of your model rail no matter what code/size/scale you may be running. Here I simply sprayed the entire piece of track with the Tamiya Red Oxide Primer (Rust) and then went back over it all with a blotchy, randomly applied coat of the Nulin Oil black shader. Finally when dry I burnished the tops of the rail with my abrasive track cleaning block. **
When I started in HO (MANY years ago) code 100 was all we had so I was determined then to reduce the visual impact of the overly large rail and to draw the viewer’s eye away from this bright, shiny distraction to what rightfully should be the center of attention: the model train.
** p.s. I also go over just about any/all plastic parts with a final coat of Matte Clear to kill any plastic or paint shine (Tamiya Matte Clear TS-80 in the rattle can.)