Noch ballast glue

Any questions about designing a model railway layout or problems with track work.
bodger
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Noch ballast glue

Postby bodger » Wed Mar 04, 2015 4:18 pm

Hello folks,
I'm new to the forum, yet another of those retirees who now finds he has a bit more time and can do some railway modelling. My interests are 4mm OO and I lean more towards making buildings and scenery than running trains. I started an oval layout with Setrack a couple of years back but have now scrapped it and am starting again with Peco Code 100 Streamline and a shelf-style end to end layout plan.

I have a question regarding the best glue to fix ballast in the track. I used PVA last time (usual, diluted with water and a drop of washing up liquid) and managed to get a reasonable result but it was a bit of a nightmare even though I sprayed the track with water containing drops of Fairy liquid. In the March issue of one of the magazines (Model Rail) there is a review article of a number of glue products for fixing ballast and they gave top place to `Noch Ballast Glue' which I hadn't heard of before. They said it didn't need any prior spraying of the track and you could just trickle it on from the bottle. I wonder if any of you have used this product and can say whether or not you found it better than PVA? (usual disclaimer..I have no link to any manufccturer of model railway products etc).

Thanks for reading my post.

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End2end
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Re: Noch ballast glue

Postby End2end » Wed Mar 04, 2015 4:23 pm

Welcome to the forum bodger :)
To be honest this sounds like a lot of products ... once you add "scale" "gauge" "N" "OO" or "modelling" the price goes through the roof for what is essential the same product.
Would it be possible that the method you used of applying the watered down PVA without a pipette makes a complete mess?
Only that you did not state how you applied the glue.
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Re: Noch ballast glue

Postby Lancastrian » Wed Mar 04, 2015 4:32 pm

I have just ballasted a new layout and used waterproof PVA (red label) from Ryman Stationers I diluted it very sightly and it has set like a rock. They also do a blue label variety multi purpose PVA glue that is stronger. Don't but cheap PVAs.
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bodger
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Re: Noch ballast glue

Postby bodger » Wed Mar 04, 2015 4:40 pm

End2end, I used a dropper bottle in the usual recommended way and tried varying the ratio of PVA to water and the amount of Fairy liquid but still the glue seemed not to permeate far through the ballast and tended to make the ballast float about and leave empty spots that needed filling later. The trickling method was not me but the magazine reviewer and what he described sounded more user-friendly than the usual PVA method.

Lancastrian's post reminds me to say that I didn't have any problem with the setting of the PVA or its longevity. It became hard and stayed in place; it was the application that made me want to look at other glues. I'm puzzled by the `waterproof PVA' - do you still have to dilute it with water and then it's waterproof when set?

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Re: Noch ballast glue

Postby Lancastrian » Wed Mar 04, 2015 4:54 pm

bodger wrote:I'm puzzled by the `waterproof PVA' - do you still have to dilute it with water and then it's waterproof when set?
Well if it's any consolation, I have no idea of the 'waterproof' tag and neither had the manager of Rymans when asked, but he did say that he will make enquiries. All I know is that I used a small nozelled bottle and let it flow out naturally, firstly along the edge of the ballast and then on top, the ballast didn't move. I didn't use any washing up liquid and used the PVA with only a minimal amount of water.
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Re: Noch ballast glue

Postby End2end » Wed Mar 04, 2015 4:57 pm

I have a 5L bottle of PVA from B&Q. I hope that will suffice :?:
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Re: Noch ballast glue

Postby bodger » Wed Mar 04, 2015 5:01 pm

That sounds better than what I used. I have to admit it was from a bulk pack bought from somewhere like B&Q. I use `Anita's Tacky PVA Glue' when I'm building card kits but the bottle's small and I needed much more for the track ballasting so I used what I already had to hand.

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Re: Noch ballast glue

Postby End2end » Wed Mar 04, 2015 5:04 pm

bodger wrote:tried varying the ratio of PVA to water and the amount of Fairy liquid but still the glue seemed not to permeate far through the ballast

From what I have come to understand is that you should use a mix of 50% PVA to 50% water with a few drops of washing up liquid.
If the PVA is too thick it will not penetrate the ballast thus making the ballast 'float', and vice versa, if theres too much water it will just run all over the place.
The fairy liquid drops are just to reduce surface tension of the water making it more permeable.
Hope that helps somewhat.
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Roger (RJ)
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Re: Noch ballast glue

Postby Roger (RJ) » Wed Mar 04, 2015 5:57 pm

A weaker PVA mix is suggested by some, perhaps as low as 20% PVA and 80% water. Haven't tried it myself though. Said to be easier to remove if needed but still good enough to fix the ballast. Also suggested you can use meths instead of washing up liquid as it is said to be a better wetting agent and pre-wet the ballast with neat meths.


Readers of another model rail forum may recognise the source of this info. :)

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Re: Noch ballast glue

Postby flying scotsman123 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 6:02 pm

I use a pretty weak PVA solution, still works fine for me, also makes it easier to remove bits of ballast once dried. And as has been said, makes removing track easier if you have to do it. Perhaps wouldn't recommend it for non-permanent layouts though just in case, but if it's always up, then it's fine. Another alternative of course is just not to glue it - I read somewhere of someone who had an operating tamping train that was ran round every now and then! I haven't looked at the price of these things, but I suspect that they won't be worth it, perhaps a slight advantage, but I can't imagine an awful lot.
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Re: Noch ballast glue

Postby End2end » Wed Mar 04, 2015 6:18 pm

One quick question to all about your mix, have you/did you change the mix if you changed scale?
Only reason I ask is that with N I would imagine a more watered down mix would be more suitable than for OO.
I will be modelling OO scale.
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Re: Noch ballast glue

Postby JohnN » Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:08 pm

I use the pva mix but recently had the chance to try Deluxe Materials Ballast Bond as part of a review for a model shop. Its a comparble product to the Noch one. The only clear advantage I could find was you don't have to create the mix yourself. The downside is the cost, nearly £5 for 100ml.The fine nosed applicator is useful for accurate spot application. To my mind though, I'd rather keep to the diy pva mix.

As a product though, the only difference to pva mix was the ballast dried darker.

I'll stick with pva mix. :)

bodger
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Re: Noch ballast glue

Postby bodger » Thu Mar 05, 2015 2:46 pm

Thanks, all of you, for your comments and advice. I'll probably use PVA again but (1) buy some that's intended for craft use rather than builder use, (2) try a a mix with higher water content, and (3) perhaps use alcohol mixed in rather than Fairy liquid. I know there must be different qualities of PVA because, as mentioned above, I use `Anita's Tacky PVA Glue' when building card kits. It's great for that but I once ran out and used the builder's PVA - the card glued together fine but when I later handled the model the plastic windows popped out if I touched them! The builder's PVA hadn't made a satisfactory bond between the plastic and card whereas the `Tacky' stuff always does. I guess some PVA might have additives and also the polymer itself might vary in chain length from one product to another (polyvinyl acetate in this case).


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