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Which ballast - Scenery - Getting You Started. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Wed Jul 5th, 2017 04:53 pm
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Kev
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Hi I'm planning on starting ballasting my inglenook layout next week. My layout is in oo gauge and I would like to know what size and make ballast I should be using. Any advice will be great. :)



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 Posted: Wed Jul 5th, 2017 05:10 pm
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Brossard
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Kev, I always used fine or N ballast for 00.  Coarser ballast supplied by the likes of Woodland Scenics always seems too big.

I like to mix different colours too since real ballast is not monochrome.

John



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 Posted: Wed Jul 5th, 2017 05:19 pm
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Kev
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Thanks John for replying much appreciated. :)



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 Posted: Wed Jul 5th, 2017 05:45 pm
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Ed
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Agree with John, I bought some fine and medium,  and the medium just looks too big.

Been trying to use it up by putting a small amount of medium in with the fine, not that I've done much ballasting recently :oops:


Ed





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 Posted: Wed Jul 5th, 2017 07:29 pm
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BCDR
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Hi Kev,

I use N and HO scale granite chips (Noch/Gaugemaster or similar), no issues about lifting/floating when gluing down and easier to tamp between the ties. Cost effective for a small layout, expensive for a big one.

One thing you can do with the organic ballast (walnut shells I think if it's WS) is to give the HO/OO scale one a quick blast in a herb chopper (10-30 seconds, test beforehand, the aim is to be somewhere between HO and N). Also useful for reducing the size of the N scale one for yards or the track side walkways.

Nigel



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 Posted: Wed Jul 5th, 2017 10:23 pm
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Kev
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Hi Ed and Nigel thanks for all the great advice I will be going for the fine ballast. ;-)



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 Posted: Wed Jul 5th, 2017 10:45 pm
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I have used green scene ballast . i think it is made from nut shells or similar . the reason is, it does not take on a greenish hue when used with PVA   granite will.. oh yes n gauge for OO



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 Posted: Thu Jul 6th, 2017 12:03 am
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I use Woodland Scenics myself.I started with Medium but thought it was a bit big so rather than waste it I mix the medium 1 to 1 with fine grade.
I have heard of some ballasts turning a kind of green colour if pva is used with them but not Woodland Scenics.


Tony.



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 Posted: Thu Jul 6th, 2017 02:20 am
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MaxSouthOz
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I've used Woodlands (Not called Woodlands Scenics now), HO ballast on my O scale track.



I'm happy with it.



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 Posted: Thu Jul 6th, 2017 12:28 pm
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new04db
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If 00 gauge, use N gauge ballast, looks alot better



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 Posted: Thu Jul 6th, 2017 02:17 pm
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allan downes
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Along with most guys on here I use the next grade down. That's N for OO - OO for O and O for Gauge 1.

Which now begs the question. Why is all designated ballast overscale ?


As for the colour well, this depends on whether or not that you are modelling a prototype in which case the choice is made for you. However, since I hardly ever model prototypes, then what looks best rules and, in most cases, that means light or dark brown.


Anyway, all ballast when fixed down with PVA ( although I use super thin superglue because it's instant and more agreeable than lakes of PVA that take an eternity to completely dry out ) will darken considerably. 


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 Posted: Thu Jul 6th, 2017 03:31 pm
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Ed
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'Super thin superglue' sounds interesting Allan, how do we get hold of some.


Ed



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 Posted: Thu Jul 6th, 2017 03:43 pm
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Kev
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Hi thanks for all your input about ballast I have gone ahead and ordered some woodland scenics n scale fine ballast for my tracks then I can't wait to attempt my ballast laying. :)



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 Posted: Thu Jul 6th, 2017 07:31 pm
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allan downes
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Ed wrote: 'Super thin superglue' sounds interesting Allan, how do we get hold of some.


Ed


The cheapest supplier by a very large margin is SILVERSIL as stocked by EUROCELL BUILDING PLASTICS ( check on line for a supplier near you )


They charge £1. 51p for a 50 gram bottle as opposed to model shop prices at £ 8 for the same amount.


Alternatively, try BONDFIX ( bondfix@hotmail.co.uk ) as sold on Ebay although  considerably dearer than SILVERSIL it's also considerably cheaper than model shop rip off prices and when ordering, always quote viscosity - ie, thin, super thin, medium, thick.  Also SILVERSIL super glue accelerator is £ 1 78p for a 200ml spray can whereas a model shop will gladly and swiftly relieve you of 10 quid for the same.


Hope this helps.


Allan.

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 Posted: Thu Jul 6th, 2017 07:48 pm
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BCDR
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sparky wrote: I have used green scene ballast . i think it is made from nut shells or similar . the reason is, it does not take on a greenish hue when used with PVA   granite will.. oh yes n gauge for OO

Granite is pretty inert stuff, the reason for the green tint (discussed before on this forum) is because of reaction of the mineral or rails (N/S rail is brass) with acetic acid in cheap PVA.  Ferrous acetate (granite can contain contain ferric and ferrous oxide, up to 4%) is a tasteful green. As is copper acetate. I've never had this problem with good quality acid-free PVA ("pH neutral") over the last 14 years.

I've read that a 3:1 mix of HO/OO and N seems to be best for HO/OO. I use about the same ratio with the granite.

Nigel
 



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 Posted: Thu Jul 6th, 2017 11:11 pm
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Ed
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allan downes wrote: Ed wrote: 'Super thin superglue' sounds interesting Allan, how do we get hold of some.


Ed


The cheapest supplier by a very large margin is SILVERSIL as stocked by EUROCELL BUILDING PLASTICS ( check on line for a supplier near you )


They charge £1. 51p for a 50 gram bottle as opposed to model shop prices at £ 8 for the same amount.


Alternatively, try BONDFIX ( bondfix@hotmail.co.uk ) as sold on Ebay although  considerably dearer than SILVERSIL it's also considerably cheaper than model shop rip off prices and when ordering, always quote viscosity - ie, thin, super thin, medium, thick.  Also SILVERSIL super glue accelerator is £ 1 78p for a 200ml spray can whereas a model shop will gladly and swiftly relieve you of 10 quid for the same.


Hope this helps.


Allan.

Thanks Allan, going to search around :thumbs



Ed



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 Posted: Sun Jul 9th, 2017 01:08 am
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BCDR
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CA for ballasting? Make sure it's plastic compatible, otherwise you will get bloom (CA will also dissolve most plastics and paints).

There are ways to attach ballast without flooding with white glue and getting that rainy-day sheen.

Nigel



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 Posted: Sun Jul 9th, 2017 04:12 am
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allan downes
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CA won't attack the kind of plastic that trackwork sleepers are made of - why do you think it comes in bottles made from the same plastic ?

Also, the type of plastic used for trackwork compares to that used for food containers and no way will CA attack that either let alone glue it - and neither will any solvent. In fact, nothing will.


Allan

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 Posted: Sun Jul 9th, 2017 03:54 pm
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I've never used it myself but is Copydex still popular for trackwork and ballasting ?



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 Posted: Sun Jul 9th, 2017 04:05 pm
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allan downes
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Is that the powder form, Peter that you're supposed to mix in with the ballast ?

If so, I tried it once which was marketed  under the name of 'Magic Ballast' and that was a total and utter failure and an expensive one too.


Allan

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