Ballast

Trying to figure out how to lay the ballast. (HO) Years ago when I did a N scale layout I used a water/white glue mix and poured the ballast out on the track
then with an eye-dropper put on the glue. I was wondering if there is a better way and how other people do it?
Thanks Chris
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Bill Carl's outstanding scenery page includes ballasting:
http://www.fcsme.org/bcarl/basic_scenery.htm
Here's how I did my N scale railroad:
http://www.billsrailroad.net/bills-ballasting.html
Good luck with your ballasting!
Bill Bill's Railroad Empire N Scale Model Railroad: http://www.billsrailroad.net Brief History of N Scale: http://www.billsrailroad.net/history/n-scale Model Railroad Books, Toys, and Trains: http://www.billsrailroad.net/bookstore Resources--Links to 1,200 sites: http://www.billsrailroad.net/bills-favorite-links
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Bill wrote:

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That is a good web site. Thank you. That is the way I did it years ago and will do it again. I liked it then, so why mess with a good thing.
Chris
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in article koOdnW1UHrBz9MrYnZ2dnUVZ snipped-for-privacy@adelphia.com, ChrisGW at snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote on 11/12/06 10:37 AM:

I ballasted my HO layout a bit ago using Arizona Rock ballast (it is actual rock, not ground up walnut shells aka Woodland Scenics). I was using WS foam roadbed, but have used cork in prior projects.
The big challenge for me is getting the shoulders shaped with minimal bare spots. Especially with WS ballast, and even with "wet water," there tends to be some washing out as the glue mixture flows outward from the center.
I believe I solved that issue by using some foam tack glue (probably, any tack glue which is thicker than regular white glue would work), and using a paint brush, spreading it on the shoulders and right up to the ties. Then I would apply the ballast, first over that newly applied glue, then to the tie centers. I'd use my DRY fingers to press the ballast down a bit over the shoulders, then do all the usual stuff to get the ballast down between the ties and not to thick, etc.
I found a trick (at least with rock ballast, don't know about the WS stuff since it is lighter) to get the ballast off of the top of the ties once you had it at the right height between the ties: tap lightly on the rails with a wooden brush handle (or an wooden dowel). Since mass tends to a lower energy state, as the rock hops around on the ties, it tends to fall between the tied rather than stay up higher. The ballast between the rails get less energy from the taps so tends to stay put, just settles a bit (which is also good).
Then I used an eyedropper to apply scenic cement (or wet, dilute white glue) carefully between the ties. I applied enough so I could see the glue wick out to the side and wet all of the ballast, including that one the shoulder. The previously applied tack glue kept the ballast on the shoulders from being washed away, and it should keep WS ballast from floating away.
Pictures of the ballast job are on my web site below.
--
Ed Oates
http://homepage.mac.com/edoates
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1) Lay the ballast and groom to taste.
2) Mist with "wet" water (water with a tiny drop of dish soap). Use a fine mister, such as one for perfume as opposed to one that sprays big droplets.
3) Use an eyedropper to apply Woodland Scenics Scenic Cement (any hobby store will have it). Let it flow gently from the eyedropper, you don't want to disturb the ballast.
4) Let dry.
You can use white glue/water or matte medium/water mixes. But using Woodland Scenics Scenic Cement makes it a no braniner
wrote:

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ChrisGW wrote:

You can also use thinned acrylic medium (available at art stores and usually in the craft section of your favourite bargain store). This doesn't dry rock-hard like glue, and so helps a little with controlling sound.
Either way, mist the ballast with isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) first. Or add dish detergent to the water-glue mix (about 1 drop to 1 cup.)
Have fun!
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