Ballast

In HO, I spread the ballast, saturate it with alcohol, and dribble on either thinned white glue or thinned matte medium. I prefer the matte medium, but if I'm out I don't hesitate to use the glue.
Reply to
Larry Blanchard
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What is a preffered method of securing ballast, paraticularly in 0
scale. Roger Aultman
Reply to
Roger Aultman
When I was modeling in O scale I used white glue thinned with water with a few drops of detergent added to act as a wetting agent. Forty years later some of this ballast is beginning to come up in a few places. I have also used Liquitex matte medium for the same purpose, however, none of the ballast that I secured with the matte medium is forty years-old yet, so I don't know which one is actually better.
Froggy,
Reply to
Froggy
We use white glue, diluted in water. Spread the ballast out dry. Then use a spray bottle (the sort that Windex comes in) to moisten the ballast and road bed with the diluted glue mix. Add a bit of Kodak Photoflo or other wetting agent to the glue to make it wet the ballast. Some folks use artist's matte medium in place of white glue.
David Starr
Reply to
David J. Starr
It would seem that the matt medium would be the strongest, though the white glue is more easily reworked by wetting it and scraping it off or vacuming. When I was young I remember reading in RMC that some 0 scalers used loose ballast. Roger Aultman
Froggy wrote:
Reply to
Roger Aultman
I've seen that tried and it doesn't work very well. The natural vibrations that exist in the quiescent state of the Earth will cause it to eventually re-distribute itself. Entropy will always occur if you don't combat it somehow.
Froggy,
Reply to
Froggy
(applies to HO, but should work on other scales)
I use Arizona Rock ballast: it is real rock so doesn't tend to float on matte medium. I put thick glue (white glue is fine, as is Foam Tack Glue (woodland scenics) on the sloped part of the road bed side and then put ballast on that to secure the ballast sides a bit. Then I put ballast on the ties between the tracks and outside the tracks up to the ballast I've just secured on the sides.
I shape that and make sure essentially NONE are on the top of the ties or on the rail sides. Since I use rock ballast, tapping the rail top lightly tends to send ballast to the lowest energy potential: that is, between the ties. The few stray bits I move with a toothpick or small stiff brush.
Then I apply matte medium (I use Woodland Scenics) wit an eye dropper: I really flood the area so that I can see it soaking the ballast. I apply it between the ties, then on the outside of the rails so that ALL the ballast is wet.
When it is dry, I use a not-too-strong vacuum to pick up loose ballast. If I reveal any bare spots, I do spot repairs.
Ed in article snipped-for-privacy@nconnect.net, Roger Aultman at snipped-for-privacy@nconnect.net wrote on 11/19/05 7:18 AM:
Reply to
Edward A. Oates
Diluted white glue, 25 to 50 % glue to water. Perp first with a spray of wet water, a few drops of detergent in water. This breakes down the surface adhesion and allows the glue to really soak through.
Roger Aultman wrote:
Reply to
Ronald Gardner
That's genrally good advice.
As an alternative to the alcohol, a spray of (preferably warm) detergent-water mix ("wet water") will do nicely. All these liquids 'wick' considerable distances, and the alcohol can (occasionally) cause problems with painted, stained, or glued items near the ballast (like ties and nearby structures). I suupose the water could do similar, depending on what is involved, but I've not seen water be a problem in practice. You can't avoid the water anyway, as it's in the scenery-glue mix already.
I too use the thinned matt medium for general scenery purposes. It dries more flexible than the white glue, so MAY lessen sound transfer (I can't say that I've really noticed any difference, however). The white glues do shrink and harden with age, and I've seen them crack, curl, and pull up small sections of scenery (after many years). Kind of like dried mud. The matt medium (a form of rubber) does not do this in my experience. Still, white glue is fine for smaller jobs, like gluing down rocks or details.
The local club is using the Woodland Scenics scenery cement. This seems to be pre-thinned matt medium. So far it's working well. It's more expensive than the regular matt medium, but is always ready to use and handy.
Dan Mitchell ============
Reply to
Daniel A. Mitchell
Most just use the matt medium, same as for scenery. Certainly there are other techniques that work well for some people.
Dan Mitchell ============
Reply to
Daniel A. Mitchell
That is exactly my experience. I've seen the white glues dry and crack in less than 20 years, but I have matt medium glued items that are considerably older and are just fine.
Dan Mitchell ============
Reply to
Daniel A. Mitchell
Just curious, what is a good ratio of water to matte medium and/or glue?
Sam
Reply to
Sam

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