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Author Topic: ballasting tips  (Read 2829 times)

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Offline ntpntpntp

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Re: ballasting tips
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2019, 06:08:45 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?

I used to use Humbrol "Track Colour" in the 70s and 80s, but I've also used a home-brew mix of Tamiya acrylics (browns and greys and a little khaki mixed to taste and thinned if airbrushing).  I suggest you experiment and develop the blend that achieves the effect you're looking for, remembering this is just a base colour which you'll weather after ballasting anyway.

It doesn't have to be sprayed, a 1/2" brush will do to slosh it on, but I do prefer spraying.  A cheap single action airbrush will do the job as you don't need accuracy and absolute smoothness in this situation, even a beginner's basic outside-mix design works for general scenic use.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2019, 06:22:37 PM by ntpntpntp »
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!
https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=50050.0

Offline crewearpley40

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Re: ballasting tips
« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2019, 06:11:01 PM »
that would be helpful please ntpntp ntp

i was only using contrasting comments to further a tutorial and help everybody else like springwood after yes admittedly i looked at old points on my test track line - which i used old track and point to test my skills on when younger.

Offline crewearpley40

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Re: ballasting tips
« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2019, 06:13:13 PM »
and thank you ntp ntp ntp

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: ballasting tips
« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2019, 09:32:36 PM »
I'm another of the 'spray it all over' brigade (and I don't mean Brut :no:)
I use Railmatch sleeper grime ref 1406 from a rattle can and hold a piece of card to mask off anything else while spraying. Just remember to wipe clean railtops and their inside top before it dries. For points I'll use the same stuff sprayed onto some card and then carefully brushed on

Online Bealman

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Re: ballasting tips
« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2019, 11:39:36 PM »
I use the bottled stuff meself.

Oh thought you were talking about Brut sorry  :)
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Online LASteve

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Re: ballasting tips
« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2019, 01:36:21 AM »
I sprayed the whole track with sleeper grime before I started to ballast. I only use rust on the rails, either the scrap rails laying between the tracks or the tracks in little-used sidings.

One trick I learned from someone on here is to use an electric toothbrush to "bounce" excess ballast from the sleepers before you begin the glue/eyedropper process. Just put the vibrating part on the rails and work your way down. (Stop sniggering at the back). Much quicker than brushing the excess between the sleepers.

I learned to be careful around the tiebar of points, but I certainly would not leave them unballasted.

I didn't worry too much about sharp edges to the shoulders, look at the real permanent way and there's always a rough edge to the ballast if it hasn't been recently laid.

My two cents, anyway.

I found it quite a therapeutic exercise laying the ballast, but I didn't have a whole ton of track to deal with.

Online Bealman

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Re: ballasting tips
« Reply #21 on: July 24, 2019, 02:33:44 AM »
My hatred of ballasting is well documented on this forum. It's even in a Railway Modeller mag from the nineties, when the editor, the late John Brewer, added a note suggesting I use Peco foam underlay (well never miss an advertising opportunity, I guess)!

Points (turnouts) are always a problem. I agree that unballasted points in the middle of otherwise ballasted track look crap.

However, ballasting them given their fragile nature is a pain, and I have wrecked more than one set in the process.

Even doing plain track is mind-numbingly boring to me, and made more stressful by the fact that, in this small scale, just one grain glued in the wrong place, can cause havoc with running.

Sorry, but ballasting?  :thumbsdown:

Worst part of all railwaymodellingdom  :sick2:
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline Platy767

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Re: ballasting tips
« Reply #22 on: July 24, 2019, 10:01:21 AM »
(To oneself) Let's think about this for a while. Spend time laying down some ballast...OR play trains... OR make a wagon? I'm with Bealman.

...and besides, I've just got it all cleaned and running smoothly.

Actually, I didn't do any trains yesterday, I played golf. Mid winter and a temperature of 24C, beautiful, but we really could do with a lot of rain across the whole country.

Sorry, off topic!
Mark

Offline Railwaygun

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Re: ballasting tips
« Reply #23 on: July 24, 2019, 10:12:59 AM »
there's always Kato Unitrack..JLTRT



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Offline njee20

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Re: ballasting tips
« Reply #24 on: July 24, 2019, 01:23:32 PM »
And the points...?

Offline springwood

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Re: ballasting tips
« Reply #25 on: July 24, 2019, 03:06:55 PM »
Wise monkeys do not ballast points - better a bare point than a dud point!

there's always Kato Unitrack..JLTRT


Nice photo - ballast looks quite good - but two things..

1. What does JLTRT mean? and
2. As njee20 comments, you have (conveniently?) not shown us any of your points.

They must look a bit bare against the track sections..


Offline Newportnobby

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Re: ballasting tips
« Reply #26 on: July 24, 2019, 03:44:39 PM »

What does JLTRT mean?

I would imagine 'just like the real thing', although at the risk of upsetting Unitrack users I think that's stretching things somewhat!

Online NeMo

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Re: ballasting tips
« Reply #27 on: July 24, 2019, 03:48:35 PM »
1. What does JLTRT mean? and

Just like the real thing.

2. As njee20 comments, you have (conveniently?) not shown us any of your points.

What I've started to do recently is use superglue gel or UHU impact adhesive. Working very, very carefully, form a sort of patch of glue around the edge of the point, and then sprinkle the ballast onto that. Test repeatedly to check everything works. Unlike water-based glues, these form a semisolid mass that isn't prone to running, so it tends to leave the 'gubbings' alone. Tiny drops of superglue gel can be used around any remaining bits that need filling in once I'm done.

Obviously you can still use the water-based PVA mixture across the non-critical parts of the point, but around the moving bits, I'm finding this approach works tolerably well.

Cheers, NeMo
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Offline njee20

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Re: ballasting tips
« Reply #28 on: July 24, 2019, 03:52:36 PM »
That sounds terrifying, although the theory makes sense!

Offline ntpntpntp

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Re: ballasting tips
« Reply #29 on: July 24, 2019, 03:54:48 PM »
Just ballast the points like you do the plain track, but using smaller "shovels" of ballast and a smaller brush to fill the small holes between the sleepers. Macdonalds used to do small long handled plastic stirring spoons which were ideal for the job!  These wooden stirrers we have now are no help at all  :D



It really is nothing to fear, and a relaxing way to pass an hour or so.
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!
https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=50050.0

 

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