Preferred ballast for 00 gauge

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joshv8
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Preferred ballast for 00 gauge

Postby joshv8 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 12:14 am

Since the modelling shops around Brisbane here are a bit sparse on model railway supplies I need to mostly order online. I know N scale balast is supposed to be the way to go but even thats got different grades. I was hoping some of you gents could lead me down the right path to a specific brand or make so I buy a good size ballast the first time. Cheers!
Last edited by joshv8 on Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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minipix
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Re: Preferred ballast for 00 gauge

Postby minipix » Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:09 am

The easy answer is medium grade in grey, simply because it's 'average'. The 'correct' answer is whatever looks right for your particular layout. In reality, a mixture of medium and fine grade will probably look really good, but I wouldn't stress about it too much - unless you are trying to model something very specific you could get away with pretty much anything!
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Re: Preferred ballast for 00 gauge

Postby luckymucklebackit » Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:28 am

The type of ballast you use should reflect the purpose of the track that it surrounds and also the era you are modelling, for example a lightly used steam era goods yard would have very little stone ballast and would most likely be a fine ash (good beach sand can be used), passenger tracks in a station area would be a small stone ballast (I use Hornby Dark Grey Grit). The larger stone ballast would be found under and around a high speed modern man line this will also have banked shoulders to stabilise the track, some of the independent suppliers sell large bags of real crushed granite which is good for main lines.
Have a look at photographs for inspiration then it can be a matter of trial and error until you get what looks right for you.

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alex3410
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Re: Preferred ballast for 00 gauge

Postby alex3410 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:46 am

I have recently been searching for the same thing, my end result was to go to a local show to look at it in person to make a decision, not ideal but worth effort.

now i know what i prefer (need to test it out first) i can then look online for more

b308
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Re: Preferred ballast for 00 gauge

Postby b308 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:24 am

Also bear in mind that some glues will change the colour of the ballast, usually by darkening it!

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joshv8
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Re: Preferred ballast for 00 gauge

Postby joshv8 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:45 pm

Thats all great advice thanks guys. Ill have to keep looking at some reference material to be sure in what I want to achieve.
So medium grade sounds like a good start anyway and I can work from there. I imagine ill be starting ballasting in a couple of weeks so I might see what I can find for sale locally and adjust my preference from there.

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End2end
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Re: Preferred ballast for 00 gauge

Postby End2end » Tue Oct 02, 2018 4:21 pm

As B308 mentioned, I painted the top of my baseboards black and used watered down pva to fix my ballast. The ballast changed colour as if some of the black mixed with the pva mix and soaked into the ballast making it a much darker than the mid light grey I actually laid.
I'm thinking to re-paint the ballast back to mid light grey perhaps by dry brushing.
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Bufferstop
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Re: Preferred ballast for 00 gauge

Postby Bufferstop » Tue Oct 02, 2018 4:53 pm

You're better off spraying ballast, You always find the bits with the least glue on them when you use a brush. Just stick a strip of masking tape to the top of the rails.
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Mountain
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Re: Preferred ballast for 00 gauge

Postby Mountain » Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:27 pm

It would take a very small brush and lots of patience to glue each piece of ballast in one at a time?
I used to spend ages studying ballast. Often we were held at signals. I remember it was either 11 or 21 that was the average number of ballast stones in between sleepers and most ballast in then area where I worked (South and West Wales, U.K.) was grey. It coloured brown in places due to the passing of trains and their toilet discharges.
We did have the odd area of pink ballast with the rarer patch of brown. Usually they would be where they had more recently been working on the track. Some lines I worked on had no ballast in certain areas. Just soil or mud.
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joshv8
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Re: Preferred ballast for 00 gauge

Postby joshv8 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:11 am

I remember looking at a layout in one of the magazines where the balast had been quite weathered and I did like the look so I had planned to spray it to some degree anyhow. But perhaps I will start on the lighter shade. Ill have to pull all my magazines out of storage and look.

Its such a shame a large majority of photos from the steam era are black and white. Ill have to find some examples of fine ash in goods areas.
I sometimes note where people have trouble blending from say ballast to ash etc and even with scatters, dirt to grass and so on. Its a real talent the guys who do it well.

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Re: Preferred ballast for 00 gauge

Postby luckymucklebackit » Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:14 am

joshv8 wrote:I remember looking at a layout in one of the magazines where the balast had been quite weathered and I did like the look so I had planned to spray it to some degree anyhow. But perhaps I will start on the lighter shade. Ill have to pull all my magazines out of storage and look.

Its such a shame a large majority of photos from the steam era are black and white. Ill have to find some examples of fine ash in goods areas.
I sometimes note where people have trouble blending from say ballast to ash etc and even with scatters, dirt to grass and so on. Its a real talent the guys who do it well.


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GeraldH
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Re: Preferred ballast for 00 gauge

Postby GeraldH » Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:03 am

Used tea leaves and wallpaper paste on the BNR. Cheap, easy to remove without damaging the track and pre-weathered :) .
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Chops
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Re: Preferred ballast for 00 gauge

Postby Chops » Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:01 am

Rustoleum Textured Spray Paint sprayed upon the road bed, then installed when dry, is what works for me. Can be weathered to one's taste with ease. Allows for easy recycling of track and general getting on with it.
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joshv8
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Re: Preferred ballast for 00 gauge

Postby joshv8 » Mon Oct 22, 2018 12:26 pm

GeraldH wrote:Used tea leaves and wallpaper paste on the BNR. Cheap, easy to remove without damaging the track and pre-weathered :) .

Haha just had a look, it definitely works and saves you forking out good dollars!

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GeraldH
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Re: Preferred ballast for 00 gauge

Postby GeraldH » Mon Oct 22, 2018 7:28 pm

joshv8 wrote:
GeraldH wrote:Used tea leaves and wallpaper paste on the BNR. Cheap, easy to remove without damaging the track and pre-weathered :) .

Haha just had a look, it definitely works and saves you forking out good dollars!


Just in case you're going to have a dabble... make the wallpaper paste strong and put plenty of tealeaves in the mix. The paste disappears when it dries, so if you don't put in enough tea-leaves you'll see gaps in the ballast when it dries out. I just spread it on with a fairly stiff paintbrush. You can always add some more if there's gaps when it dries. You can put some powder paints on to the ballast to tone down down the redness if you like. The ballast is strong enough to resist a vacuum cleaner, but can easily be removed with a blunt knife if you want to lift and reuse the track.
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