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Old 20-06-2018, 12:44 PM   #31
minipix
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Well, I've bitten the bullet and made my first attempt at some ballasting. I've read various posts and watched several videos, so hopefully I've remembered everyone's tips!

The first little patch I did (about 15cm of the far siding) I carefully brushed neat PVA glue around the track with a big paint brush, and then carefully poured the ballast on top. Not quite how people recommend, but fortunately the glue seeped up into the ballast and glued it ok. Not a great process if you've got loads to do, but it worked. I'll probably use that technique (or similar) around the tricky bits of the pointwork, as I got more control this way.

The next bit of track (the remainder of that far siding) I did the 'traditional' way, spreading the ballast first and then dropping watered down glue on top. I forgot to add the washing up liquid though, so the glue initially beaded up on top of the ballast and moved some of it around, but a little moving around with a small brush and a finger seems to have limited any disruption. Rather than using a pipette or syringe like some people have, I'm using an old glue pot the kids have used up; it's got a small enough nozzle that it's quite controllable, and means I'll be able to squirt out plenty when it comes to a larger area.

With those two being successful, I've also laid out some of the ballast around the station area. It's not finished yet, and there are some thin patches, so I'll have to go back and finish laying that before I can glue it all down. And once it's glued, I'll add some weathering with some acrylic paints (or will the moisture from the paint unstick the glue??). Anyway, pretty pleased with how it's looking so far!
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File Type: jpg IMG_20180619_220140721.jpg (204.2 KB, 43 views)
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Frontington and Backwoods Steam Railway (WIP): https://www.matthewdawkins.co.uk/cat...railway-build/
LocoSound - sound effects for DC model railways: https://mafu-d.github.io/loco-sound
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Old 20-06-2018, 03:12 PM   #32
ians
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Looking good so far. I've got some of my track laid but not sure it's in the position I want it to stay so ballasting is a long way off for me.
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Old 20-06-2018, 07:33 PM   #33
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Yes it looks good from here as well. A good job done. I am quite a way off ballasting yet but yours looks like a pro has done it .
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Old 22-07-2018, 07:28 PM   #34
minipix
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It's taken me a while, but the ballasting is now complete! The warm weather recently has helped set the glue nice and quickly. I took care with the points, and they seem to have survived, which is a relief.

Tidying up afterwards was the biggest challenge. Pouring ballast everywhere and drenching it in glue is easy, but going round all the track making sure none of it had stuck itself to the rails was a pain in the neck. Or, to be more precise, a pain in the back. So much leaning. Still, it's done now. There are still a few more 'clicks' on the track than I remember, but not enough to derail anything or cause electrical outages, so hopefully over time anything I've missed will sort itself out.

Talking of electrical issues, I discovered when I first sent a loco round that part of my track had lost its electrical conductivity. From memory, that particular joint was dodgy when I was first laying the track, so clearly whatever I did with the ballasting was enough to undo the careful alignment. Still, nothing a little solder wouldn't fix.

And, not being satisfied with just ballasting, I've also weathered it. The ballast I used was quite light in colour, and I wanted something that looked a little more well-used. This was basically just a case of dabbing at it gently with a paint brush using the same brown acrylic paint I used for the track bed. Deliberately uneven, instantly more realistic. I also went round with a bit of black, lightly along the middle of the track and particularly where locos would stop (e.g. at the end of a station platform) and around the coal bunkers.

Really the nicest thing though is that I can run my locos again. It's been so long since they ran, because there has always been an area of track that has been wet with glue - not something I want in my running gear! So I was delighted to be able to get my J94 and my J72 tootling around today.

Oh, and one other addition to the layout is a house. It's a Dapol plastic kit I bought on eBay. It's in need of curtains, and some flooring, and ultimately lighting too, but it's a good addition to the layout.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_20180722_145555487_HDR.jpg (245.1 KB, 27 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20180722_153150458_HDR.jpg (147.0 KB, 29 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20180722_160053412_HDR.jpg (131.6 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20180722_163500301_HDR.jpg (153.4 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20180722_160113811_HDR.jpg (296.9 KB, 26 views)
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Frontington and Backwoods Steam Railway (WIP): https://www.matthewdawkins.co.uk/cat...railway-build/
LocoSound - sound effects for DC model railways: https://mafu-d.github.io/loco-sound
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