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Scratchbuild - Scratchbuilding. - More Practical Help - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Mon Aug 20th, 2018 02:40 am
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Passed Driver
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Hi All.   Even train staff, are not expected to “crunch ballast “ as they walk to prepare , or from the depot, after disposal, of their trains. So how can I Scratchbuild a footpath beside the tracks on my layout??? Any advice would be welcome .     Best wishes .  Kevin



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 Posted: Mon Aug 20th, 2018 08:30 am
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That depends on your period of modelling, quite often in the past railway staff were expected to crunch the ballast.

 However, in steam days ballast around a shed was often covered with, mixed with,  or made of ash from the locomotives. 
 Today there may be a concrete path. unless for some reason it has to be raised, then to day it would be a metal  grating in the past it would be wood.
For a ground level path for both ash and concrete I would use pollyfilla, suitably painted, but the ash would have something slightly grainy added on top.
For a wooden raised path then plasticard scribed or bought embossed. For Metal gratings then your only choice is  some etched brass



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 Posted: Mon Aug 20th, 2018 12:33 pm
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Hi the Q.  Thank you for your reply. As it so happens, I have got a bag of “Ash?” from a famous manufacturer, and I have a “£1.00” shop tiub of their filler, which I may experiment with , a filler and ash combo? Whether or not I can press the ash into the filler? I don’t know , but, it is an idea.   Best wishes. Kevin



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 Posted: Wed Aug 22nd, 2018 02:28 am
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Hi Kevin,

N-scale cinders or ballast are too big for walkways, and fine sand looks terrible. Put N-scale cinders or ballast in a herb chopper or coffee grinder, and give it a whizz for 15-20 seconds or so. Paint desired path with white glue/IPA/water (75/10/15 by volume), sprinkle ground-up ballast on top, leave to set. The alcohol pulls the PVA up by capillary action and evaporation. Mist with water/IPA if desired to help things along. Avoid washing up liquid, if you must use it unscented and cheap is best. Otherwise your layout will smell of spring garland or summer glory for months. Learned this off Brossard.

Nigel



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 Posted: Wed Aug 22nd, 2018 06:35 am
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Hi Nigel.  Thank you for you reply. Sounds a good idea, I have a herb chopper, that I purchased for chopping cinnamon , would it be easy to clean? after the event. You didn’t think much of the £1.00 shop filler idea then.Best wishes.  Kevin



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 Posted: Thu Aug 23rd, 2018 08:37 am
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HI Kevin,
Have a look at the thread on the St Agnes.  There is a waste material that you should be able to get at a picture framers that Foam Core sheets come separated by and my local picture framer is more than happy to give it to local modellers. It cannot be recycled any other way and will wind up in land fill.

It is literally a wafer thin foam sheet that can be easily cut with scissors and has a texture like a rough concrete path but not the rough texture of ground down ground ballast, particularly for N scale.


I used it for the decking of my station platforms as well as concrete between rails in my engine depot area. The cost was right so all I have to do is paint it... which I will get on and do.  If you want, I can take a pic or two to show you the stuff.  


In the past I have tried to recycle foam cups n HO which in small interlocking pieces glued flat looks very representative of cobblestone but for N I think it would look too thick.


Anyway, my two cents/pennies/rupees/lira/whatever worth!


Regards


Trevor




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