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Author Topic: Help on Ballasting required  (Read 289 times)

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Offline mojo

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Help on Ballasting required
« on: February 07, 2020, 09:16:08 AM »
I need to cover a larger area than between the tracks as in normal ballasting for a steam shed layout.
Some parts are 3" to 4" in width and I have great difficulty in obtaining an even spread and coverage.
To be honest it looks a right bl----y mess!
Any tips?
MauriceC.

Offline Markthetog

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Re: Help on Ballasting required
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2020, 09:41:18 AM »
After trying several techniques my best results to date have been from using a Peedie Ballast spreader (much cheaper than Proses) and Deluxe Materials Ballast Magic. For long straight sections I've found that for me it gives the neatest results in the shortest time. Everyone has their favourite but that's mine. I use Woodland Scenics fine ballast.

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Help on Ballasting required
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2020, 10:07:44 AM »
I need to cover a larger area than between the tracks as in normal ballasting for a steam shed layout.
Some parts are 3" to 4" in width and I have great difficulty in obtaining an even spread and coverage.
To be honest it looks a right bl----y mess!
Any tips?
MauriceC.

How about putting down a membrane of cork first - cut to the desired shape of the infill. Then lay down the ballast of your choice and flatten with a small comb. You don't actually want a totally flat result but you also don't want N gauge mountains!! Good luck.

Offline AlanK

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Re: Help on Ballasting required
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2020, 10:13:48 AM »
I need to cover a larger area than between the tracks as in normal ballasting for a steam shed layout.
Some parts are 3" to 4" in width and I have great difficulty in obtaining an even spread and coverage.
To be honest it looks a right bl----y mess!
Any tips?
MauriceC.

How about putting down a membrane of cork first - cut to the desired shape of the infill. Then lay down the ballast of your choice and flatten with a small comb. You don't actually want a totally flat result but you also don't want N gauge mountains!! Good luck.

First time I infilled I put down way to much, now I put down as a little as possible with a view to adding more later if needed.. But still I see these perfectly ballasted tracks and look at mine and sigh, maybe weathering will tidy it :)..

Used to use the 50/50 PVA mix but recently changed to WWS ballast glue, avoiding the need to pre-soak and it dries fast..  Still have to spend hours after removing it from the chairs and sleepers though (sigh again)... Mines on cork it does help with the look...
Returnee to Model Railways after 38 years, last time I was 10 and OO Gauge, now 48 and N gauge.

Offline PLD

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Re: Help on Ballasting required
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2020, 10:20:23 AM »
As per Mick's response - part infill with cork/card or whatever to reduced the depth of the ballast and you should get a neater final finish.

Offline Karhedron

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Re: Help on Ballasting required
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2020, 11:06:15 AM »
The area between tracks around sheds was rarely ballasted with neat stone like running lines. More often it was a compacted mix of ash and clinker that was a lot finer. The pictures below are fairly typical.







Rather than using loose ballast, you might have an easier time raising the surface with cork sheet as Newportnobby suggests. Then paint over this with textured paint. Tamiya and Games Workshop both make a range of paints for simulating earth and gravel. Astrogranite with a dirty wash might look good.



You can probably get a similar effect by mixing sand into cheaper acrylic paint if you want. I tried using Woodland Scenics fine cinder ballast around my engine shed but I wasn't really happy with the effect. In N gauge, even the fine stuff is too coarse to give the sort of finish shown in the pictures above.

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

Offline AlanK

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Re: Help on Ballasting required
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2020, 04:13:38 PM »
Hi,

Was messing with some of this stuff ages back for roads, bit over scale so scrapped it, tried it again for Engine sheds and potentially works Depot, still think its over scale?

Returnee to Model Railways after 38 years, last time I was 10 and OO Gauge, now 48 and N gauge.

Offline mojo

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Re: Help on Ballasting required
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2020, 10:24:12 PM »
Thanks for the helpful suggestions.
The areas have been filled with card just thick enough to leave about 0.6mm. below the tops of the sleepers and the ballast I am using is almost dust, far smaller than the track ballast I have used.
Areas between tracks of about 0.75 to 1 inches have turned out fairly reasonable but anything wider seems to be a problem.
I will have a test using thinned acrylic paint mixed with a small amount of the ballast a.s.a.p.
Thanks again,
Maurice c.

Offline emjaybee

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Re: Help on Ballasting required
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2020, 12:04:09 AM »
I'm a long way from undertaking this task, but what about laying down a sheet of fine grade emery paper/cloth and giving it a wash over?
Sometimes you bite the dog...

...sometimes the dog bites you!

----------------------------------------------------------

I can explain it to you...

...but I can't understand it for you.

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Help on Ballasting required
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2020, 01:33:09 PM »
A friend of mine glued down some of those thin green scourers you get (e.g. 6 in a pack) from supermarkets and painted them black. The result is actually very good.

 

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