After the last post, back to more mundane reality. Much as the nice clean shiny ballast, grey and black, looks good, it's somewhat unlikely a fair chunk of Soddingham would have been re-ballasted all in one go. Yesterday. With all the other projectlets stalled due to waiting for stuff I manned up and faced the one task I've been dreading - weathering the ballast. The effect I'm looking for is oldish, but cared for. At the Long Siding headshunt I've brushed on Railmatch Sleeper Grime with some very dilute black stippled on top get the oily bits. But that was basically just clay, so easy. I guess it would be possible to paint on the ballastm but spraying seems a better bet. I've never attempted this before, and it Could Go Badly. Not having a spray gun, or rather one that can actually manage to spray anything, some pondering was required. Ebay turned up some little 20ml spray bottles, so I bought one (they are about 70p each in 10s, see dreadful pic) as a sample. The next bit was which paint? The headshunty bit of the headshunt is the aforementioned Railmatch Sleeper Grime, the bit of actual siding is Railmatch Acrylic Sleeper Grime. In the spirit of discovery, aka making an order from someone who had the large cans in stock, I bought some Phoenix Sleeper Grime for the Big Experiment. This stuff has been sitting there glaring at me for some weeks. Today it was here goes time. I mixed the paint 3:1 with thinners and loaded the sprayer. It worked! Well! The Phoenix paint looks alarmingly maroon when wet, as in the photos where it's not long been done (I checked the can!). It's getting better as it dries, but its got a bit of a red tint compared to the Railmatch's brown tone. Tomorrow will tell when it's really gone off. Taking the photos I noticed I need to go in both directions as there are a couple bits with 'light' shadows. While still wet I stippled in black to get the oily effect, and a bit on the slide chairs of the points. Assuming the sprayer works, tomorrow will be a test of Railmatch acrylic with it. At the moment it's Railmatch 2:1 Phoeinix.