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bill937ca

Roadbed track--Ballast or Not?

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bill937ca

I am rebuilding my layout that uses Tomix roadbed track. I am thinking of just having ballast between the tracks and  not up to the top of ties. i would paint the Tomix rail base flat brown and the rails red-brown. Ever tried this?  It would make layout changes easier.

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katoftw

Just a thin layer of ballast between that plastic track pieces?  The 18.5mm gap?

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bill937ca

That's right.

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katoftw

I think what you suggest is pretty common. So yeah do it.

 

If you do wanna raise the inbetween ballast height a little on the cheap. Just use old piece of scrap wood and the ballast over the top.

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cteno4

I think squid was even just cutting a strip of cardstock that fit between the rails and just putting ballast on that and setting it in place or just tacking it down.

 

jeff

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toc36

I was thinking of using ballast to anchor Kato track in a semi-permanent layout.  Is there a better way to do this?  

 

Thanks.

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cteno4

Toc 

 

folks use Pva glue or bathroom caulk to hold down unitrak and works well and is removable by scraping up with caulk or applying moisture with PVA to soften it. Usually they put the glue on the underside edged of the track.

 

but his can work as well. Once track is where you want it and running well you and just paint a little glue or thick matte medium along the edge of the track where it meets the layout board. You could just let it dry clear to hold it down or do a more ragged edge of ballast and ground cover. Easy to pull up by applying some moisture along this joint later to soften and pull up. Don’t have to ballast the whole track.
 

nice thing about matte medium (like mod podge) is it stays a little flexible, Pva sort of goes rock hard. This can mean a little wiggle room and a little dampening of train vibration noise and less transmission to the layout board. Also just more forgiving if you need to pick at something, Pva is rock hard! Matte medium also dries with a little flatter look, Pva can be a nit glossy at times.

 

cheers,

 

jeff

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Morcs

Does anyone know if there is a commonly available ballast (such as woodland scenics) that is a close match for unitrack? Unitrack grey is a bit more 'blue' than typical grey mainline ballasts.

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katoftw

You will never get a 100-% match. I brought a grey and a black sinders and mixed to my liking.

 

Even the greys in the kato track can be different shakes dependi g on manufacture batch.

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inobu
1 hour ago, Morcs said:

Does anyone know if there is a commonly available ballast (such as woodland scenics) that is a close match for unitrack? Unitrack grey is a bit more 'blue' than typical grey mainline ballasts.

 

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railsquid
On 4/10/2020 at 7:01 AM, cteno4 said:

I think squid was even just cutting a strip of cardstock that fit between the rails and just putting ballast on that and setting it in place or just tacking it down.

 

 

5mm Tamiya foamboard, cut to shape:

 

46418535721_55d269a30c_z.jpg

station-throat-2018-12-22_04 by Rail Squid, on Flickr

 

and spread with ballast etc.:

 

44638014110_41b5dd08b7_z.jpg

station-throat-2018-12-25_02 by Rail Squid, on Flickr

 

Not fixed down so easy to remove for further work if needed.

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Jimbo

 I tried the ballast route,, wasn't happy with it, when I changed things around found it set up rock hard!! what a pain in the butt that was,,   so any I do from here on it will be between the tracks, have already experimented with it,, cereal boxes work good once cut to fit!! for a base an it doesn't bond to the table, an much easier to remove!! without a air chisel!! lol 

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Sheffie

I’ve got good results with ballast made from granite, laid between tracks, and fixed with watered-down matte medium.

EF54F15E-4580-4D11-BE2C-0BE7D8B3686E.thumb.jpeg.5d0a8541c4e1ee031c9cc5bb0f1a3273.jpeg

This allows the track to be recovered using a flat screwdriver, because it doesn’t set too hard. Earlier work used PVA glue and set much harder—and also darkened the ballast. 

 

 

The color match wasn’t perfect and the shipping fee for crushed rocks isn’t cheap but I was very happy with it. 

6CF63863-3D3B-44BE-95E2-4BE58D20B4A1.thumb.jpeg.87cc680585112eced782bd830a40fabb.jpeg

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