The stuff under tracks

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gjpope
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The stuff under tracks

Postby gjpope » Thu May 13, 2010 11:48 am

I don't know what you call the stuff under tracks - is it ballast?
Anyway, looking at the superb railscenes.com its possible to download and print brick to stone, but nothing that looks like the stuff under tracks.
What I want to do is glue the shape of this rock stuff under my tracks and then lay them on top.
Anyone know where I can download the sheets?
Best wishes
Glyn

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sishades
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Re: The stuff under tracks

Postby sishades » Thu May 13, 2010 2:18 pm

The stuff underneath the tracks is indeed ballast and is made from various materials from granite to slate and foam(!). This is available from various companies but I prefer Woodland Scenics. It comes in a variety of colours and grades and costs around 8 pounds for a largish tub.

You can download brick sheets from Scalescenes at a cost of a couple of quid and they are indeed very good.
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gjpope
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Re: The stuff under tracks

Postby gjpope » Thu May 13, 2010 3:03 pm

Thankyou for your reply.
My idea is to download brick sheets from railscenes.
Which will be the most like ballast?
Glyn

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Flashbang
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Re: The stuff under tracks

Postby Flashbang » Thu May 13, 2010 7:09 pm

gjpope wrote:Thankyou for your reply.
My idea is to download brick sheets from railscenes.
Which will be the most like ballast?
Glyn

Hi
None will! :(
Ballast is made up of stones.
In the real thing around 2 inches or 3 inches diameter per piece (some of course are large and some smaller!)
Brick is never used as ballast as its far to soft.
The only time you would encounter brick around the rails is where the track is laid into a street or yard scene and bricks are used, not as ballast, but as a road surface. Here more often than not the actual road surface would be of cobbles, which are more hard wearing for the road traffic.
:D
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gjpope
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Re: The stuff under tracks

Postby gjpope » Thu May 13, 2010 7:31 pm

Thanks for that. I will download what looks the closest.
Glyn

bigbob
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Re: The stuff under tracks

Postby bigbob » Thu May 13, 2010 7:39 pm

You don`t download it you buy it in bags!!
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hobby boy
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Re: The stuff under tracks

Postby hobby boy » Thu May 13, 2010 9:07 pm

Ballast is also different colours, in real life you get a mixture of colours and sizes. Also, where the track crosses a road via a level crossing, i'm sure they used concrete or tarmack.

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gjpope
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Re: The stuff under tracks

Postby gjpope » Fri May 14, 2010 6:14 am

Thanks for your responses they have been helpful.
I shall download the sheets that look closest from rail scenes, cut them and put them into the shape of my layout.
I'm sure it will look effective enough, for a real beginner.
Glyn

b308
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Re: The stuff under tracks

Postby b308 » Fri May 14, 2010 8:06 am

TBH you'd be better just painting the surface of the baseboard where you intend to lay the track in dark grey, that would be just as realistic, if not more so, as laying brickpaper and expecting it to look like ballast!

Painted cork underlay would also look better than brickpaper, as well as giving a smoother ride for your locos...

If you want it to look like the real thing, then granite chippings are the way forward (or at a pinch foam underlay)... before you do anything check up the many threads on ballasting and then decide... the chippings are very cheap from your local model shop and PVA glue is 99p from the 99p store... surely cheaper than printer ink?!

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0121modeller
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Re: The stuff under tracks

Postby 0121modeller » Fri May 14, 2010 10:11 am

gjpope wrote:I'm sure it will look effective enough, for a real beginner.

Thats true i suppose if you've already decided your track plan, tested the efficiency of the wiring up etc, as you need to do this first before you decide to apply any sort of ballasting.

I do suppose also that if you chose to use printed sheet for ballast , this can then be added to with the normal granules at anytime in the future, Its all down to what you're satified with.
As for my choice, it would be the ballast granuals from woodland scenics, but only applied after i was satified with all layed track & its electrical connections.

Printed ballast sheet would be ideally better used at points , as point blades need to be free from risk of normal ballast, If you choose to use granual ballast then paint baseboard area of points matt grey & apply granual ballast & very sparingly using extra care when fixing down using the dilued PVA & water from spray bottle.

Mat grey painted cork would be another good option as b308 said, the natural look of the cork is rather similar to ballast, so only apply a thin coat of paint so you don't lose the effect.

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Flashbang
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Re: The stuff under tracks

Postby Flashbang » Fri May 14, 2010 12:32 pm

If using real stone ballast doesn't appeal, but you would like to have the look of real stone ballast?
How about using the Javis ballast (granite) sheet? http://www.newmodellersshop.co.uk/Javis/scatter_mat_fine_granite_underlay.htm
Sold in sheet form, which can be cut up into strips each a little wider than the tracks sleepers, then glued to the baseboard surface where the track is to lay, with PVA or Copydex glue etc. No messing around with loose chippings etc if you don't want that!
Far more realistic looking than brick paper too. :D
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gjpope
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Re: The stuff under tracks

Postby gjpope » Fri May 14, 2010 3:27 pm

Thank you for all of this. Your responses have been tremendously useful.
Best wishes Glyn

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RAF
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Re: The stuff under tracks

Postby RAF » Sun May 23, 2010 5:53 pm

If you want a mat, that you can cut that looks like ballast, you could use shed roofing felt.

About £8 a roll big enough to last you decades. :D


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