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Found 14 results

  1. For ballasting I use sandpit sand bought from ToysRUs before it disappeared. It is reasonably coarse so can pass for ballast in n gauge. One of the things I do not like about commercial N gauge track is the depth of the sleepers. I therefore wanted to use the ballast to hide this depth consistently. After some experimentation I came up with a scheme to achieve this. Once the track was laid, I lined the edge of the sleepers with evergreen 1mm quarter-round StripStyrene. The depth is just a little lower than Peco code 55 sleeper depth. An example of this can be seen in the attached image showing a bit of test track. Ballast was then glued to the edge strip using water proof wood working adhesive painted on to the strip with a fine brush. Once this was dry the remaining gaps between the sleepers were ballasted in the traditional way by spreading ballast carefully and setting with watered down PVA with a little washing up liquid to kill surface tension. This creates the illusion of a ballast shoulder on which the sleepers are resting. It was then airbrush weathered using a range of colours but mostly Precision Paints Track Colour.
  2. Just a few quick pics of the last bit of third rail I can lay before more arrives in the post and some detail of wiring on the insulated track sections: Laid in the now traditional way - held in place with Blu-tak and then glued at intervals with super glue, which seems to be "drawn in" to the gap between rail and sleeper by percolation (?) Some gets on the edge of the rail inevitably, but is usually quite easy to remove with a blade once thoroughly dried. You might be able to see some yet to be removed in this pic. Plus detail of isolated track joiners: Isolated section power feed (ready soldered fishplates) connected via on/off toggle switches on what will one day be "Platform 2": The view from down the line: Lastly, a quick experiment with local beach sand (not rinsed or sifted!) on a piece of offcut track: Promising, but I'll probably opt for shop bought play sand....
  3. Four weeks ago a back of envelope calculation indicated a requirement for circa 3.5 kg of ballast. Four bags of poppy seeds were purchased. Now four weeks later the first bag has been all used up. My wife confirms my suspicions. Instead of four bags, the visible trackwork will probably require at least five bags. Four weeks to use one bag, 20 weeks to use five bags. A Christmas completion is still a possibility? There have been discussions on this web site regards the optimum width of baseboards. The Longsheds Layout was constructed with maximum 3ft width boards. This is fine for operating. However for ballasting the width is a bit of a problem. The solution presently adopted is to start ballasting at the most difficult postion - 'upstairs' on the viaduct at the back: Then when my back starts creaking the centre of operations moves 'downstairs' to the main station boards: The darker patches of ballast are still not dry. Interestingly there is a tendancy for the poppy seed to swell when initially wetted but it tightens up as it dries - will it sprout?
  4. Ballasting, a task which is feared of by many railway modellers across the globe. Welcome to this new blog entry, where I hope to show you a quick and effective method of creating ballasted Code 75 Wooden sleeper track which looks professional and realistic. The Materials you will need for my method is as follows. Deluxe Materials - Ballast Bond. (Approximately £6.00 Per 100ml.) Fine Spray Bottle - Containing Luke Warm Water with two drops of Fairy Liquid. Greenscenes Ballast - Codes GS408 (Fine) & GS409 (Semi Coarse) Large Soft Paint Brush Tea Spoon Ballast Spreader. Method. Before Starting, ensure your work area is clear of dust, debris and other items you do not want getting in your ballast, or wetting with the spray application bottle later on in the process. Mixing the Ballast. We Mix up some ballast using Greenscenes fine and semi coarse ballast, The ballast is Product codes GS408 & GS409 mixed together. Remembering that Ballast is never all the same size. You'll Probably see that the ballast shade we have chosen is quite a light shade. This will be weathered and dulled down in due course at a later stage. Applying the Ballast. Ballast Spreaders are available from many manufacturers and suppliers around the globe, such as Proses and Greenscenes. We picked this one up from a local supplier at a model railway show a few years ago, they all function the same. This is a simple, yet effective way of ballasting large areas quickly and hassle free. Upon Loading the Ballast Spreader, drag it along the rails. It will deposit any ballast in open areas along the 4ft and Cess at the side of the rails. Be careful not to drag the ballast spreader along to quickly, doing so will not allow the ballast to go into all of the areas it is required. I advise working in small sections at a time when doing Ballasting in this way, theres nothing worse than laying out all of your ballast and then realising you do not have enough Glue half way through! This can lead to all manor of problems, the main one being dust and debris falling into it! Remove the Ballast spreader from the rails when the hopper is empty, and you have ballasted all the areas required. Once you've done this, Using a soft large brush, remove the ballast from the top of the sleepers and the sleeper sides, this will give a more realistic appearance. Forming the Ballast Shoulder and Neatening up. Once you've removed all the ballast from the sleeper tops and sides, I use the brush to just push the ballast down between the sides of the rails so there is no gaps visable of the cork underneath. You can also use the brush to pat down the ballast shoulder softly. I am aware that most modern day ballast shoulders are raised above the rails, but at the GCR, this is a different story. Tap the Rail head with a tea spoon too when you are happy, this will allow all of the ballast to sit comfortably inside the rails and sleepers, and also remove any remaining ballast off the sleepers. This is a small, yet effective way of removing the ballast from areas it is not required. Ensure your layout is off before you do this, as you don't want to short the power to your railway out! Applying the Adhesive. When we are ready to apply the glue to hold everything together, there is more to it than just adding the adhesive. We start by giving the area we wish to glue a good spray using a fine mist spray bottle, Nothing Pricey or out of the ordinary, many of you will have something similar lying around at home. In this mixture, we fill it with Luke Warm water and two drops of fairy Liquid just to break the surface tension of the ballast when the glue is applied, this also allows the glue to flow further. When approaching Point-work, the same method can be applied, although be very careful of the switch blades and mechanism. When the mixture is fully soaked, it is time to apply the adhesive. The Simplest way we have found, although more expensive is using Deluxe Materials Ballast Bond. This retails around the £6.00 area per bottle, depending on the supplier. If you are working on very large layouts you may be better sticking with normal PVA & Water, I'm pretty sure there is no difference, although this is my preferred method due to the ease of use. Each bottle is supplied with a fine applicator nossle,which the adhesive can come out of in droplets, This soaks into the ballast really well, and the dry time for this product is between 6 & 8 Hours in a well heated environment. Its important not to touch the ballast whilst it is drying. This can dislodge the ballast, and it is very hard to correct it once it has been touched. It will be a lot easier to rectify and issues once the glue has dried. The Finished Product. Once complete, This is how it will look. You are left with a nice matt finish, no shines from the sleepers and everything is held into place very well. Eventually the rails and sleepers will be weathered with my airbrush. I will do a tutorial on how I go about that in another blog. Here are some images of the finished product. I'd highly recommend this method for beginners its pretty fail safe! Helpful links to some of the products I've used can be seen below. Ballast Used - http://www.green-scenes.co.uk/store?productlist-sort=created-desc&productlist-categories=ballast&productlist-itemcount=20&productlist-search= Ballast Spreader (Example) - https://railsofsheffield.com/products/33597/proses-pbs-ho-02-oo-gauge-ballast-spreader-car-w-shut-off-and-height-adjustment?gclid=CjwKCAjw2uf2BRBpEiwA31VZj_Tc8IOAWaiuycYyTd8lTqId7yqmgOlP8csNY7N0IdWAA7z0FLTVFxoCT6YQAvD_BwE Deluxe Materials Ballast Bond 100ml - https://www.track-shack.com/oo-gauge-railways/adhesives-1/deluxe-materials-ad-75-ballast-bond-liquid-adhesive-100ml-gm_dlad_75-2 Thanks for reading, Hopefully this will help many people get used to ballasting in a different way. All the best Michael Sutton & Kirsty Beardmore.
  5. I have just ballasted my 009 layout. I have a couple of issues I need help on please. i) My PVA (Flangeways Modellers Milk - Which is already mixed to the right consistency) has left a residue (see photo 1). How do i clean that up? ii) One of my Seep Point Motors has had the pin fall out; How do I secure it back in it's hole safely? iii) How would you cover these?
  6. I’m currently building a new layout using British Finescale N track and have been wondering about using Chinchilla dust for ballast. This was after seeing Little Salkeld at Milton Keynes and Hawes Junction at the NEC last year. Ive been experimenting on a piece of spare track using ballast bond which was not entirely successful as even after misting the dry laid dust the ballast bond has lifted a lot of dust onto the sleepers and I’m finding it very difficult to scratch off. I’ve now got a second test piece drying having gone back 50 years to when I first started, and used a 50/50 water and PVA mix with a few drops of Fairy Liquid added but I was wondering if anyone has produced a satisfactory result with chinchilla dust and what method was used?
  7. https://youtu.be/v6G7D5k0kpc Regards Charlie
  8. Mixing and pasting track ballast currently looms large and I am attaching details of the procedure that works for me. I prefer the small poppy seeds to gritty mineral sands. I use wallpaper paste as the adhesive. It should offer less resistance than PVA should there be a change of plan or track repairs needed. I use simple tools, a small plastic bowl (ex Christma Pudding basin), stainless steel spatula and a small screw driver: I use a heavy duty wallpaper paste which has been chopped finer using the Kenwood liquidiser in the kitchen. Hopefully the finer powder mixes more quickly and easily. To make sure that the mix can be used well before it starts setting I only make a small batch at a time. I use around 8ml of water (1/2 a tablespoon): I add sufficient dry paste powder to make a stiff mix (around half a teaspoon full): I then stir in sufficient dry seeds to make a stiff porridge. In this example, just over 1/4 ounce or just under 10 gm: The porridge is then spread between or along the tracks using the spatula: For smaller places I use the screw driver: For the sides of the track I make a wedge or fillet which extends about 1cm from the edge of the rail: This is then flattend between the sleepers and smoothed into place: Then depending on my patience I can use the small screw driver to clean out between individual sleepers: Spare or left over material can then be placed between the rails using the small screw driver: Experience suggests that it can be three or four days before the mix completely dries. Prior to running trains the track is brushed gently with an old tooth brush and the surplus seed carefully removed with a vacuum cleaner. The tops of the rails are then cleaned with a damp cloth. Too little paste or applying the porridge too long after mixing may result in a very fragile ballast which can disappear up the vacuum cleaner!
  9. Hi there, I've got a layout in the shed which I wasn't happy with so I've made a new layout by creating a plan with SCARM on my PC. The old layout is 9mm ply with cork stuck on top with evo stik wood glue, I've used this wood glue for my ballasting also. It's great stuff and very strong. However now I'm trying to remove it and nothings working. All the track has been lifted so I don't have to worry about damaging anything except the baseboard really. I've tried using a wallpaper scraper, tried water too but that just seems to make a mess. If anyone has any tips or tricks could they let me know?
  10. Construction for Snitzl - Track Ballasting and Baseboard Wiring. Cork tiles are cut into strips and glued with a latex based glue. The cork tiles are also ground in an electric coffee grinder for the ballast. Discarded milk containers make great cable ties and dental floss is used to loom the wires. Other than that, pretty conventional stuff.
  11. wenlock


    Since the last update, some progress has been made, albeit at a slower pace than I'd planned! The point rodding is now a rather fetching vermilion colour, it will need a little judicious weathering as its a bit "in your face" at the moment! I've also made a start on the ballasting and installed one of two ground signals. Ballasting is one of those tedious jobs that I find you have to be in the right mood for! This is my first 7mm scale layout and I definitely found ballasting this scale far more enjoyable than on my previous 4mm layouts. I'm not a fan of using real stone for ballasting, it always seems to take on a greenish tinge once I apply PVA glue to hold it in position. Woodland Scenics ballast is made from ground up nut shells and to my eye looks pretty convincing and doesn't appear to change colour with the application of glue. I want to have a visual contrast between the main running lines and the sidings, so differing materials will be used for each. The main and loop will be ballasted in a representation of stone ballast, but the sidings will be laid in ash. I want the private siding to look fairly poorly maintained with grass and weeds growing liberally through the ballast. The scenic part of the layout splits into 3 sections, so initially I thought i would need to separate the boards and ballast each one individually. In past layouts this has lead to a very visible join in the ballast at each board junction which was hard to hide. This time I simply opened the gap between the boards by a couple of millimetres and slid in a sheet of 10 thou Slaters Plastikard. Once the sheet was in position the base boards were tightened back together clamping the plastic card in situ. As PVA glue only works on porous surfaces, I reasoned that once the glue used to hold the ballast in position had set I could simply prise the boards apart and get a perfectly crisp junction. Ballast was poured around the sleepers in the usual manner and then teased into position using a small paint brush. Water was then misted over the surface of the ballast and trackwork to ensure that when the glue was applied it would penetrate by capillary action throughout the ballast. The usual PVA/Water/drop of washing up liqiud mix was applied to the ballast using a eyedropper. Plasticard barrier in position, ballast flooded in PVA/Water mix Once the glue had fully set I used a wide bladed screw driver to lever the boards apart. I'm pleased and a little relieved to say that the plasticard formed a perfect barrier and the boards separated easily with a nice straight line! Overall view of ballasted main and loop View up the line towards the road bridge View to end of terminus Close up of crossing Rotating point indicator at end of loop Chief Ganger Albert Cruickshank and his team posing alongside the freshly ballasted mainline Ballasting the sidings is the next big project and then the installation of the last ground signal. I'm hoping to find some decent buffer stops at Telford in September, which should see the trackwork more or less complete. A bit of weathering and blending is needed to tone down the colours, which I'll do using my airbrush. Once that's been achieved I can finally make a start on the scenery, which if I'm honest is the bit of modelling I enjoy the most :-) Best wishes Dave
  12. Longsheds layout started life around 2005. Base board construction and track laying is complete but as a number of observers have noted the track is unballasted and the scenery is lacking. This blog will detail progress with these tasks. Last week saw completion of the ballasting to the mid level junction station: This week has seen a start to ballasting at the branch terminus: Ballast is blue poppy seed otherwise known as maw seed and it is mixed with wallpaper paste. It will be interesting to see just how durable the 'product' is.
  13. So welcome to my new thread where I will be building a 009 layout from scratch for a very tight budget of £100. This is my first proper 009 layout and it will be a very basic continuous run with maybe one point to store rolling stock. I hope you are interested and there will be more updates to follow. Thanks.
  14. This week has seen lots of rain so there has been lots of progress with the ballasting: On the mainline the ballast has reached the main station. 'Upstairs' ballasting has progressed in both directions, towards the branch terminus: - and some more at the junction: A back breaking task reaching across the layout. This week has seen the second 1 kg bag of seed used. Must be approaching half of the visible trackwork. Still on target for a Christmas completion
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