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ballasting question

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i came across a vid on ballasting on u tube, the poster was mixing his ballist in a cup with the glue an water mix the added a couple of drops of something? and then added ballast mix an stirred the mix till they had a paste, so it looked almost dry? lol cookie dough comes to mind, the spread it like cement ?? i should have saved it, sadly I couldn’t read or understand him. Any ways any one know this technique? Thanks.

Edited by disturbman
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Hugh, I’ve never seen ballast set to track like this. Seems like it would be very hard to push the cookie dough into the sleepers well and just be a mess. Also seems like it might not adhere well just pressed in place and a short period to work with it until it starts to setup. Traditional method of putting down dry ballast gives you all the time you need to get the ballast looking the way you want. I’ve seen people so some patching or even whole ballast sections by putting down glue first then adding ballast and tamping it down.


but with every scenery technique it’s always valuable to give it a little test whirl to see if it will work for your needs and hands as this varies greatly!


I’m guessing the drops was some soap as a wetting agent maybe, to get the glue/water mix to go around all the grains of ballast well. Do you have the utub link?



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jeff its steves trains on u tube, he does something similar as to the vid i saw, its episode 14   the ballast is more like a paste,,   just mixes the glue an ballast together till its a paste,,   Last time i tried ballasting it didnt work out good for me, my mix was way to wet an the water got into points, this way of doing it looks like its a lot dryer??  Oh its Kato untrack 

Edited by Jimbo
forgot something
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Ok I see now, he’s not trying to do all his ballasting this way just some patching around points. It does look help to help getting ballast into the turnout pieces, but still prone to some dropping in there as a bit mucky to apply. 



i would suggest you put a little chunk of modeling clay over the turnout throw slot and lever to stop any ballast getting in there, whatever way you apply cement around points. It’s always an issue getting loose bits into turnouts. Tape can work but hard to make a good seal and why I like clay. Also vacuum the hell out of it once things are dry, those little micro vaccum hose attachments are handy and like $10 to hook to your vacuum. Also use a dental pick around ballast and points to pull loose any not firmly stuck down. You can also come back over these areas with a light coat with some matte medium with a small brush to help keep everything stuck down well and not have to worry about soaking points.




alternate is to just paint on white glue (around those areas and use a tiny spoon to apply and gently tamp down into glue. After dry vacuum well. Matte gel medium is also good as it goes on sort of like white glue but won’t seep in like white glue can. It also dried a bit flexible and you can use a dental pic to easily crape off problem bits/spots. With white glue stuff once stuck down well is Uber hard to chisel bits off if needed, you really have to soften by soaking it with water (like a wet paper towel left on a while), but that too can be problematic around points. I’ve stopped using white glue for most all scenery stuff and use matte medium and gel, more forgiving and easier to modify once down.


small spoon ideas






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