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Tim H
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I loathe and hate ballasting,
it is a boring task that takes forever and it is not easy to get an even result.



That was how I felt about ballasting when I worked in HO, but O Scale is so much easier,
or at least it is after starting to use a paper cup to distribute the ballast.

The quality and brand might make a big difference, but I was using Woodland Scenic N Scale for HO,
but now I use  B89 Coarse Grey  lovely stuff.

Absolutely no dust, and it does not discolour after being soaked in PVA,
whilst the redundant N Scale ballast is used for the fine gravel found at the edge of the cess.



My tools for ballasting are nothing special:
  • Paper Coffee cup
  • Jar of diluted PVA with pipette
  • Couple of soft(ish) brushes
  • Spray of wet water (from WalMart)


Though I cannot ballast the layout is one go, therefore I use the elephant principle*

but I ensure that I ballast at least 15cm each time I visit the workshop (without exception).



*Eating an elephant, one bite at a time


Tim H


Tramcar Trev
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I'm impressed by your ballast Tim, mine pales into insignificance beside it...

dennischee
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Looks good Tim

Deenis

Anton D
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Great looking ballast.

I also love the weathering on what I presume is flex track.

Great work Tim.



fanai
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Yes must agree - so much neater than mine

Tim H
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fanai wrote: Yes must agree - so much neater than mine

The 'secret' is the use of a paper cup and bone-dry ballast.
I load a small amount of ballast and position the lip (of the cup) above the required gap,
then tap the upper edge of the cup with my index finger.
Only a small amount of ballast drops directly where it is directed.

Just fill the gap and move onto the next gap.

The 'softish' brushes allow you to move excess ballast into the gaps and straighten the ballast shoulders,
if you use a stiff brush it will flick ballast all over the place.


I spray wet water onto the dry ballast,
wait a few minutes for he water to soak in,
then drip dilute top quality PVA (1:1) mix with a pipette.

Leave well alone and do not touch for 24hrs (or less if you live in Oz or somewhere hot).


The beauty of the process is that almost everything should be available in the home/office,
only the pipette and spray need to be bought, but once you have them, they're a keeper.

Don't use a plastic coffee cup as the ballast slides too easily,
I can't explain why, but try it and see what I mean.


DOES ANYONE WANT A PHOTO?


Tim H

 

Tim H
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Today is a significant milestone.

I completed ballasting the scenic side of the layout.

The turnouts were a major pain, but the finished ballasting looks neat.

I just have to weather and clean the tracks before I can recommence running after a six month hiatus.



I am pleased that I moved up to O gauge, the opportunity for detailing is much better than HO.



Herb Kephart
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Tim

Great looking ballast.

And I agree that 1/48, or in your case 1/45 I would suppose, is THE scale.

Herb



Shoulders
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Hi Tim

You have done a grand job of the ballasting there.

Probably a bit late now,
but IKEA spray bottles are only a Pound each,
and they spray a large amount of water very finely, like a mist, and are controllable.

Stops even the finest of ballast moving when dampening.

Cheers Dan


Tim H
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The first post shows the use of a water mist spray bottle.

A large amount of water isn't really a good idea, unless spraying a large area,

The bottles from Boots (75p) work perfectly.


Tim


Ray Dunakin
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Looks really great, Tim!



Rick Dow
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Nice ballasting job. 

And very funny, Tim  - "Eating an elephant one bite at a time."

Sounds like a new motto for this "in progress" layout of mine.   


:)


Si.
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Yes indeeeedy.  :old dude:



Pretty funny ...

... &  a  N I C E  ballasting job.  :cool:



I think any comments on how to make the admittedly LOATHSOME  :f:  task of ballasting, less so ...

... will always be welcome thoughts indeed !  :thumb:



Anyone else got any bloomin' good ballasting tips ?  ???



:)



Si.



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