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Author Topic: Regarding ballasting for a beginner.  (Read 709 times)

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Offline TrevL

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Regarding ballasting for a beginner.
« on: November 10, 2017, 07:54:25 pm »
Having bought a job lot of 2mm cork underlay, and got some free as well, I covered the whole of my baseboard with it using spray adhesive.  This has allowed me to experiment a little as to track positioning.  I am now at a point where 95% of the track is laid and I'm thinking about ballasting, and I have made, from perspex sheet, one of those ballast hoppers which you drag along the track.  This is 24mm wide internally, and 27mm externally.  I now plan to remove the excess cork away from the track and was thinking of attaching a couple of craft knike blades to the hopper sides and use that to give me good cuts which will be parallel the track.
Question is, should I attach the blades to the inner surface of the hopper, (24mm) so that when I eventually do the ballasting, it covers the cork completely, or do I attach the blades to the outside (27mm), which will leave the cork sticking out beyond the ballast?
Having never ballasted before, I don't know the conventional thinking on how wide the ballast should be.
Cheers, Trev.


Time flys like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana!

Offline PLD

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Re: Regarding ballasting for a beginner.
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2017, 12:13:05 am »
The answer is research & observation...

Find some photos of the line you are modelling. Does it have a high ballast shoulder? How wide is the ballasted strip? Answers to those questions (which will Cary between locations) will determine whether you should be cutting away the cork at all and if so, what width strip to leave.

Offline mattycoops43

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Re: Regarding ballasting for a beginner.
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2017, 12:16:01 am »
Personally I would not have fixed blades, I would do it free hand. it will look a bit too fake with really precise edges running parallel to the track all the way. you need a bit of variation going on.

Offline Zogbert Splod

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Re: Regarding ballasting for a beginner.
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2017, 05:30:54 am »
 :laughabovepost:  :hmmm: Yeah, otherwise it would look like that Kato stuff!   :smiley-laughing:  :sorrysign: (or am I?)
"When in trouble, when in doubt, run (trains) in circles..." etc.
There, doesn't that feel better? 
Lovely!

Planning thread:
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Offline bluedepot

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Re: Regarding ballasting for a beginner.
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2017, 06:18:21 pm »
in the old days the ballast shoulder seemed to look much lower, or not visible at all...

I wasn't around then, just based on pictures...

what era and country are you modelling?


Tim

Online ntpntpntp

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Re: Regarding ballasting for a beginner.
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2017, 07:46:41 pm »
Personally I would not have fixed blades, I would do it free hand.
Agreed, it's actually easier to use a decent Stanley knife with a comfortable handle and a sharp blade. Also, attaching blades to the hopper will become a real nuisance when you reach point work!
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!

Offline stephen lewis

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Re: Regarding ballasting for a beginner.
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2017, 08:18:49 pm »
Trev,
I am in much the same position as you, cork bed covering baseboard, 90% track laid, point motors in and wired up, only took 6 months! so starting on the ballast adventure.
Are you cutting the cork to make the shoulder and removing the rest of the cork from the baseboard?
After a few experiments with various types of ballast I have settled on Gaugemaster granite and a small shoulder to the level cork, not exhibition stuff but looks ok to me.
Reference Bluedepot's comment, in the old days; shoulder seemed to look lower or not visible at all, as I am attempting to base most of my efforts on GWR plus so may be ok.

Any advise much appreciated

Steve

Offline newportnobby

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Re: Regarding ballasting for a beginner.
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2017, 08:41:19 pm »

Are you cutting the cork to make the shoulder and removing the rest of the cork from the baseboard?


Hope I'm not teaching grandma to suck eggs, but please remember you'll need the same material used for track underlay beneath buildings such as platforms, signal boxes etc.

Offline stephen lewis

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Re: Regarding ballasting for a beginner.
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2017, 10:11:36 pm »
Newport N,

Definately not, I am a grandad but don't even know where the eggs are kept, never mind sucking them!

I hope TrevL notices your post in case that is what he intends to do.

Thanks for one of your previous replies to my layout design, I have amended some of the long straights to more curved design.

Steve


Offline Zogbert Splod

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Re: Regarding ballasting for a beginner.
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2017, 11:13:13 pm »
in the old days the ballast shoulder seemed to look much lower, or not visible at all...

I wasn't around then, ...
I was, :hmmm: and that is my impression too.  Possibly due to my exposure to mainly British railway systems, I often feel that modeled ballast shoulders seem a bit high.  I hope I haven't started a deluge of pictures now!  I well remember, as a kid out 'adventuring', crossing the tracks just by stepping over them, not climbing up to get to them.  I have seen pics of really high ballasting in real life and wondered why it doesn't fall away.  That explains some of my reluctance to even consider Kato track and others of that ilk.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2017, 11:14:16 pm by Zogbert Splod »
"When in trouble, when in doubt, run (trains) in circles..." etc.
There, doesn't that feel better? 
Lovely!

Planning thread:
http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=25873.0

My website: Zog Trains

Run what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law
I may appear to be listening to you, but inside my head, I'm playing with my trains.

Offline stephen lewis

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Re: Regarding ballasting for a beginner.
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2017, 11:55:31 pm »
My dear Mr Splod,

I can not venture too strong opinions as I am a relative novice but I will anyway; the Kato track seems to be very
efficient in what it does but looks to my untrained eye to be as realistic as plum duff, I am 6 months into 55 streamline and apart from the hard work I am happy with the results.

Apologies to Kato enthusiasts, as I said I am fairly new to this.  :beers:

Steve

Online dannyboy

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Re: Regarding ballasting for a beginner.
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2017, 12:41:53 am »
 Yeah, otherwise it would look like that Kato stuff!  Oy - wash yer marf out!   :P

Apologies to Kato enthusiasts - apology accepted.  :)

Seriously though, Kato track is quite easy to disguise, a bit of loose Kato ballast and glue at the sides, a bit of that green stuff .... And as for having rigid pieces of track, it is amazing what a small saw can do. Still, each to his/her own.  :beers:
David.
I used to be indecisive - now I'm not - I don't think.

Offline stephen lewis

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Re: Regarding ballasting for a beginner.
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2017, 12:58:31 am »
No offence meant, and it is probably because I have only seen Kato track in blister packs and not on a layout that I have this impression,
All the best
Steve

Online dannyboy

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Re: Regarding ballasting for a beginner.
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2017, 01:05:40 am »
@stephen lewis
Steve, no offence taken whatsoever. If we all only liked one particular maker of track or whatever, this hobby of ours would not be as much fun. (And this forum would not be as much fun neither!).   :beers:
David.
I used to be indecisive - now I'm not - I don't think.

Offline stephen lewis

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Re: Regarding ballasting for a beginner.
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2017, 01:16:15 am »
I think I have drifted from the OP somewhat, so I will go a bit further, come on the boys in green! Football wise

 

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