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Author Topic: ballasting tips  (Read 1418 times)

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Offline moggy12

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ballasting tips
« on: January 22, 2019, 08:29:24 AM »
i started to ballast my n gauge track I use model scenics fine grade and a ballasting hopper thing you fill up and drag across track looks really neat when I have brushed the gravel away from the sleepers the problem is applying the glue I use 50/50 pva water and a small dose of washing up liquid and apply with a pipette the glue in centre of track is fine its doing the edges of the ballast the glue rolls off and takes some gravel with it so not giving the sharp edge to the ballast any tips on how to do this ? many thanks

Offline ntpntpntp

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Re: ballasting tips
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2019, 08:40:29 AM »
Sounds like too much glue?   Trickle the glue down the sides of the rail (don't drop it on) and also from the outer edge of the ballast so that it soaks in a little at a time.     
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!

Offline daversmth

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Re: ballasting tips
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2019, 08:46:48 AM »
Try wetting the balast with a fine spray before applying the glue. I wet mine with a small fine spray of isoproponal,  being careful where it goes as it can attack paintwork.

Offline daveg

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Re: ballasting tips
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2019, 09:09:06 AM »
Agree with the IPA option but as I've done a lot of scenic stuff before ballasting I use an eye dropper to avoid any damage to the completed areas.

Dave G

Offline Bealman

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Re: ballasting tips
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2019, 09:52:51 AM »
I regard ballasting as the worst and messingly unsatisfying part of this hobby.

However, the advice to water it down and wait a bit longer to dry seems sound.

It's still the worst job in model railways, though, I don't care wot anybody says.  :P ;)
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline Malc

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Re: ballasting tips
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2019, 10:14:06 AM »
I find a fine spray of water with a squirt of washing up liquid before using the PVA mix helps break the surface tension. If you want a sharp edge, mask it off with some tape.
The years have been good to me, it was the weekends that did the damage.

Offline moggy12

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Re: ballasting tips
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2019, 02:20:48 PM »
all most useful tips many thanks

Online Karhedron

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Re: ballasting tips
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2019, 03:32:24 PM »
I don't use PVA anymore. I use acrylic floor polish (pledge multisurface polish) with a few drop of matting agent (Tamiya Flat Base) to kill the shine. It flows much more easily and does not disturb the ballast.

Well, that's just not good enough. Some fount of all knowledge you are!  :no:  ;)

Offline springwood

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Re: ballasting tips
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2019, 04:15:12 PM »
I'm not too far off some ballasting on my layout, so just want to check one or two things.
In simple terms, is this generally accepted as the 'way to do it?'

1. Glue track and points to baseboard..and thoroughly test and check electrics till 100% happy!
2. Paint (via brush or spray) the sleepers (sleeper grime etc) and rail sides (rust colour). - initial weathering
3. Spread dry ballast, spray with a mist of water (+ tiny drop of washing up liquid)
4. Pipette or syringe a 50/50 PVA and water solution over the ballast to glue. Allow to dry.
5. Secondary weathering - e.g. brake dust colour on ballast shoulder and chairs, black to represent oil in the station areas.

If - as I hope - this looks about right, then I am unsure whether to use acrylic or enamel for stages 2 and 5?? Is the PECO weathering powder good?


Offline Railwaygun

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Re: ballasting tips
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2019, 04:33:00 PM »
Wise monkeys do not ballast points - better a bare point than a dud point!
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Online crewearpley40

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Re: ballasting tips
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2019, 05:03:06 PM »
Never go near points i say with ballast. I used a cameo scene on a junction to depict the pway gang preparing to ballast but i stay clear

Online njee20

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Re: ballasting tips
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2019, 05:38:32 PM »
You need to be more careful for sure, but you can’t leave an entire layout of points unballasted! Just keep moving the blades to ensure they’re not glued up.

Offline springwood

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Re: ballasting tips
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2019, 05:39:02 PM »
Wise monkeys do not ballast points - better a bare point than a dud point!

Never go near points i say with ballast...

Eh?? Two rather curious comments. I've been to plenty of exhibitions and seen a lot of layouts and don't believe I have ever seen an unballasted point!!

The guy from Everard Junction shows you how it's done very well here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bj04VA4cOo8

What about my 1 to 5 list??


Offline ntpntpntp

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Re: ballasting tips
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2019, 05:41:49 PM »
@springwood  yep that pretty much covers it.  Personally I prefer not to highlight the rails with a different colour, I find it tends to emphasise the overscale size of the rail - even code 55. I just spray the track colour over everything before ballasting.

you missed the vital step 3.5   :D  :   tap the rails gently with the back of a spoon or similar, to bounce stray ballast grains off the tops of the sleepers before applying the glue.

When applying the diluted PVA, trickle it down the sides of the rails with a pipette  and from the edge of the ballast, rather than dropping directly onto the ballast.

Don't get hung up about doing the points, they are easy to ballast just be sure to keep the tie-bar totally clear and use small amounts of ballast, working away from the tie-bar.

« Last Edit: July 23, 2019, 05:46:44 PM by ntpntpntp »
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!

Offline springwood

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Re: ballasting tips
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2019, 05:56:35 PM »
@springwood

I just spray the track colour over everything before ballasting.


Can you give me a little more detail here - track colour (whose stuff do you use?). Can you recommend a decent (not too expensive!) spray gun? I here people using sleeper grime..is track colour similar to this? Prototypically, all rail sides and chairs are rusty so that's why I have always wanted to imitate that. Wooden sleepers look mid to dark brown (depending on age and location I guess). I think a mix of sleeper grime and some darker shades would do here.

 

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