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Which ballast - Scenery - Getting You Started. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Sun Jul 9th, 2017 03:05 pm
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jcm@gwr
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When it comes to ballast, I agree with the previous comments.

The ballast comes in different grades (size), just like the real
thing, it all depends on the 'grading' of the line, as well as the
company and era.
You'll see varying 'sizes' of ballast just by looking at main
lines or sidings, but I've not seen really seen anything much
bigger than my fist, so you could use your 'population' as a
rough guide!

To 'fix' my ballast in place (whichever brand I have), I use a
blend of stuff. Using a small plastic bottle a mix about 50/50
PVA and Kleer, then a splash of meths (water wetter!) and
finally a dollop of matt black acrylic paint.
This gives a realistic colour when dry, without the 'wet' look,
also as I don't measure accurately, the colour varies slightly
each time, adding to the realism.



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 Posted: Tue Jul 11th, 2017 07:11 pm
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BCDR
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allan downes wrote: 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

Hi Allan,

My CA (BSI) attacks both Peco and Atlas sleepers/ties. Not SMP/Scaleway ones. The plastic used for CA bottles is polyethylene (beloved of the food industry for it's inertness), I would be surprised if this is used for sleepers. Butanone (MEK), chkloroform, ethers, and quite a few other solvents, do a good job of attacking PE.

Nigel.



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 Posted: Tue Jul 11th, 2017 08:27 pm
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allan downes
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Thanks, Nigel. Most informative.

Your CA seems more potent than what I use  so who makes it please and where can I get hold of some ?


Many thanks.


Allan


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 Posted: Wed Jul 12th, 2017 05:42 am
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BCDR
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Hi Allan,

BSI (Bob Smith Industries, North America only I suspect). Comes in thin, medium and thick (2-3 seconds, 5 seconds and 10-15 seconds). I also use something called Plasti-Zap for CAing plastics as it's less ferocious. Keep away from clear plastics used for windows though.

Looking at the bottom of the Peco turnout I can see where I used some CA to do a quick fix at a show a couple of years ago. The ballast is well and truly fixed to the sleepers. Permanently. It will probably take some acetone to break down the CA and in all likelihood the sleeper. Maybe I should get the Dremel out.

I forgot to mention this previously, "accelerator" is simply dilute alkalie. I just breath on it (breath is normally slightly on the alkaline side, pH 7.8-8.0, enough hydroxyl ions to get things going). Can't get cheaper than that. Muttering a few benedictions seems to help things along. 

Nigel



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 Posted: Wed Jul 12th, 2017 01:00 pm
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allan downes
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Thanks, Nigel.

Breathing you say acts as an accelerator. Most interesting, think I'll go for a  run then !


You're info most appreciated.


Allan

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