Jump to content
  • entries
  • comments
  • views

Summer arrives...



and with it time to complete the ballasting and adding some sculptamold to flat bits and slopey bits alike, with the opportunity of getting in some good quality drying time.




Aaarrgg!! What IS it about Easitrac and getting effective ballasting!

i know now, I've worked it out. The sleepers at an accurate 0.82mm are too shallow to hold the ballast well.

By comparison, Code 55 is easy to get to look good., being a whopping overscale 1 foot 6 inches deep - and so holds the ballast well!


In the past I have used dilute PVA + w/u liquid on N ballast; Copydex and w/u on ballast and ash; and finally I tried a spray of surgical spirit as a wetting agent followed by PVA, but using fine sand as the ballast, as it is supposed to sit better between the sleepers than the angular rock variety.


This is the second layout where I think the track has looked worse rather than better after ballasting - and believe me I was careful. It's not just the colour - it has gone patchy in places.

Indeed, I would say that Easitrac would lend itself well to a ballast patterned underlay, if one were available.


I'll just have to hope that a few washes improves things and that it will be less obvious once landscape colour is applied.




What could go wrong? Used it before in some tricky situations, also gone on well.

Well this time it has dried quite lumpy.

This is not a major problem, but just another job to - sand smooth when dry.

I do wonder if it was a result of sticking the board outside to dry in the sun?


While adding the scupatamold, I took the opportunity of adding sites for TWO canal bridges!! :O

I realised that a barge horse wouldn't in fact be able to cross the lock gates to access the tow path on the other side!! :sarcastichand:

So a bridge by the lock is required, but that's ok cos I like bridges...





Lock Keeper's Cottage.


A quick search of t'net revealed that the old GF (?) cottage is no longer available, though I found oneon ebay for thirty quid! :sarcastichand:


So, it was down to do it yourself once more.

I spent an hour or so trying to find acottage on the Cromford, with no success. One ruined cottage, too run down to see much at all. So I had to widen my search and found this one near Wigan:




and then this, location unknown, but looking pretty convincingly Derbyshire stone:




So I decided to combine the two and came up with this:




which is still in need of gutters, drainpipes and flashing - and of course, painting and weathering.


I considered trying to locate some etched windows, but then using thin plasticard strips is not that gruelling, and I think the overall look ofthe windows is ok.

There is no interior - I don't do interiors in 2mm - well only in railway buildings anyway.


I hope that this time I do not lose all of this entry and have to type it out a third time!!!




  • Like 6


Recommended Comments

Have you tried to use Norman Solomon's method, of using a thick layer of undiluted PVA, then temporally pin the track in position, then place a layer of ballast, leave it for about five minutes, and then shake the excess ballast off?


I have used this method with fine sand, the effect for me anyway is excellent.



Link to comment

HI Lisa, thanks for your reply.

Noone else was biting, obviously ;)


I think the idea is a good one, and a bit similar to laying easitrac directly onto double sided tape, and then pressing the ballast onto this; followed by a dribble of PVA to fix it more permanently. I used this on Glenfield, and it looks, well, OK, No more. With the canal layout, I wanted to try to emulate some of Chris Nevard's 4mm methods, which is why I tried it differently.

Personally, and this is meant with no disrespect to the guys who designed easitrac, I think a slightly deeper sleeper base would have held the ballast better and allowed a natural edge.

Either ways, the rule is "less is more" when ballasting easitrac.

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.