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  • billb
    replied
    That looks good,Mike.

    I have ballast spread out on the two sections of benchwork I'm working on for a log reload area.I had attempted using my airbrush to apply alcohol and glue on a test piece of track I set up on some scrap homasote.The big problem was blowing the ballast off the track.That's what prompted my question.I'm going to try your solution and see if I can get it to work.I guess in reality there's no getting around the tedious part of ballasting track.I'll just have to have more patience.

    Thanks to everyone for helping me thru this.

    Bill Burge

    Marion,Iowa

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  • jwmurrayjr
    replied
    Mike,

    I like it!

    Thanks,

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  • MikeC
    replied
    Since I mentioned using tile grout for dirt/ballast yesterday, I thought someone might be interested in seeing the results. This is supposed to depict industrial trackage that is very nearly dirt bound with little actual ballast left.

    In reality, it's "Summer Wheat" tile grout. The scale is HO, but I think this could work with N just as well.




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  • plbab
    replied
    Thanks to everyone. I think i am going to try the play sand. The idea of a wash to wet and color it will br used also. That was going to be the next question how to color it. Thanks again Paul

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  • MP_Rich
    replied
    Funny thing that I've found due to modeling is that it forces you to look at things much more closely. Sand was always just sand to me. Then I started looking for different things to givedifferent textures and I found sand comes in almost unlimited forms. It is usually just rock that has been broken down to tiny peices. That makes it possible to find everything from really rough grainy stuff that's black from volcanic rocks all the way to almost soft, white powder. When you're out of your regular area on vacation or traveling it may pay to look really close at what the sand where you go has to offer. Sand from the river in Colorado or sand from the beach in Florida might be just the one you are looking for in that special place on the layout. When my wife wants to take me for a walk I try to take a Zip-lock bag along just in case. Richard

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  • Will_Annand
    replied
    Thanks Shawn and Mike.

    That is what I like about this forum, I learn something new every day.

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  • Drew
    replied
    Hi Paul! I built this tiny N scale layout (24"x30") a few years back...I used regular Atlas track, & ballaeted it with play sand...the kind you use in a kid's sandbox...it's very fine...I used a black wash of alcohol & India Ink as a wetting agent...this wets the ballast, & gives it a nice grayish color...I thought it turned out fairly well...


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  • bpate
    replied
    I have used fine sand for ballast and have had no trouble with it. There is very fine sand on the river beaches where we go camping. I have not found any metal (including sadly any gold) in it.

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  • MikeC
    replied
    Another method for making "wet" water is to add a few drops of Kodak Photo-Flo (if you're into photography and film developing) to your water. It's formulated specifically to break down surface adhesion and water tension. (In photography freshly developed/fixed film is treated with Photo-Flo so that water will run off the film and the film will dry without water spots.) It's excellent for wetting ballast or other scenery in model RR'ing, but it's also more expensive than ordinary dish detergent. I used it to wet the tile grout I used for ballast on my "railroad camp" diorama.

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  • irishbull
    replied
    Well, "wet water" is water that is mixed a few drops of dish soap. The soap helps break the surface tension of the water to make your gluing mixture flow a lot easier...there is a tutorial on ballasting on the forum....here's that address...it's on page 3 & 4...

    http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/t...?TOPIC_ID=3885

    hope this helps

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  • Will_Annand
    replied
    I think I missed something..

    I have read several references to "Wet Water".

    What is wet water?

    I thought all water was wet?

    On the other hand I have never heard of "Dry Water"

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  • irishbull
    replied
    Good AM all,

    I have used the alcohol method with an eyedropper and it works for me rather well...maybe I did soak the heck out of the ballast, but I didn't have any of the "crusties" that can ruin what seemed at the time, a real awesome ballasting job

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  • MikeC
    replied
    Bill, I have seen several posts here and on other forums about using plain rubbing alcohol as the wetting agent. I have never tried it myself, but most of the folks who have say it's much better than trying to wet ballast with "wet" water. They claim it soaks right in (when applied with an eye dropper) and doesn't disturb the ballast doing so. After the ballast is thoroughly soaked, they apply the dilute glue or matte medium and let it soak in. Like I said, thought, I haven't tried it, so I can't give you a "first hand" review of it. Might be something worth experimenting with, though.

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  • MP_Rich
    replied
    For Paul. There is no problem with the sand taking the glue that I have found. Since ballast is a hard nonporous item, the glue really just coats it on the outside forming a shell that holds it in place. That is one reason that you need to really have lots of glue on it. On porous items you can soak just one edge and it works but for ballast it works a little different. For yard areas that are going to be dirty, I like to find somewhere that the sand is already dirty to collect some. I use a lot of plain dirt and natural materials and it all glues well if it doesn't dissolve back to mud. Richard

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  • MP_Rich
    replied
    I use wet water and spray from a distance so that the larger drops don't rearrange the dry ballast and then move closer as it gets wet and less likely to move. Really soak it good all the way down through. Then I flood the area with 50/50 glue and water. I add this with an old Elmers glue bottle on the side of the rails so that it runs down and under rather than on top. I go clear to the puddle stage to make sure it is all glued. If it doesn't soak down you will have acrust on top that is easy to break through when cleaning track, etc. I think most common error is not using enough to wet all the way down. I buy Elmer's in the gallon jug from the home center. Much cheaper that way. Richard

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