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A Kind Of (Ballast) Magic?



Like taxes, death and failing to win the lottery, ballasting is something of a required inevitably.


Its also something I've never been very good at. For the sidings, I plan to use DAS clay as per Chris Nevard's methods; http://nevardmedia.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/creating-effect-of-ash-ballast.html


For the main line though, and given that shingle extraction is in my history as a purpose of the line, I wanted to give the impression of shingle ballast. As this isn't available out of the packet, I mixed some up from various Woodland Scenics fine grade ballast with a ratio of a tablespoon of Buff, a teaspoon of Grey and half a teaspoon of Brown.




So far, so good. So now we come to fixing it. Various methods have been suggested over the years, from a mix of PVA and water, to scenic cement, to neat glue and no doubt plenty of others to boot. There is though a new option - I saw this just after Christmas and have been tempted ever since.


This is 'Ballast Magic' from Deluxe Materials - there is an advert/instructional video on YouTube;


I bought the kit which comes with a water spray bottle and a mixing cup -https://www.deluxematerials.co.uk/gb/scale-plastics/108-ballast-magic-5060243901507.html


As per the video, you mix it 1.7 with ballast, then apply dry and spray with water. It is then supposed to dry in a couple of hours.


Here is a section of my first attempt, photographed about 20 minutes after spraying with water.




One thing to note is that the video suggests not making up too much at once - I presume this is is to avoid the powder going off prematurely due to moisture in the air. I overestimated, so may have to have to get rid of what's left in the mixing cup - though the bottle comes with 100ml or so, which should be more than plenty to finish the rest of the layout. I also ran piece of cardboard over the track after spraying, to take any of the gluey water off that had settled on the railhead - this isn't mentioned anywhere so I may be worrying unnecessarily, but thought it better to take it off wet rather than having to scrub it off when dry!


Verdict? Too early to say - it certainly goes on nicely and is easy to use, but the proof of the pudding for me will come later when I pick the board up to store on end as usual overnight.

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let's know what the out come is. does the ballast move when wetting it down. Does the ballast go rock hard like the old humbrol casmite. Can we have some more photos once it's dried and cleaned up.



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Initial impressions are mixed;


When I picked the board up off the lounge floor last night for overnight storage, all held nicely. This morning, before leaving for work I decided to gently touch some of the ballast on the side of the track, only for it to disintegrate under my finger - that between the rails seemed better.


To be fair, I will give it another go tonight mixing absolutely scrupulously to a 1/7 ratio and stirring for longer, hopefully to coat all the granules better.


In answer to your questions;


1; No, not noticeably anyway. It might do if you were too heavy-handed with the spray, but it is pretty good on this front.


2; See above....

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