Ballast hints??

I'm adding Woodland Scenics ballast to already-installed flextrack. I'm
using the 1-to-1 water/white glue mix with a little wetting agent. I
prespray with a little "wet" water only, sprinkle some ballast, spread
it between the ties then give a final soak with an eyedropper. Results
are marginal and are not quick.
Too little wetting agent and the ballast floats or washes away. Too much
and you get a soap bubble mess. Either way, the ballast washes back over
the ties. Spraying the glue mix (rather than the eye dropper) spreads it
If you apply the ballast then lay the track, the ballast does not fill
in between the ties as most branchlines look. Ideally, we'd like the
ballast to stay between the ties once it is sprinkled on. Okay, I can
scrape away excess ballast when dry then vacuum it away (and it looks
okay). But is there a better method??
Tx, Larry
Reply to
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Let me second using real stone ballast; unlike wood, it doesn't float.
Reply to
Steve Caple
The Arizona Rock and Mineral ballast is heavier, and comes in alot of sizes and colors. Also, don't use soap. Use rubbing alcohol. Soap makes bubbles. Your glue should be 1/3 white glue, 1/3 water, and 1/3 alcohol. Going to 50% glue.....I don't know, you can end up with satin-finish scenery that way. (Not good). And the spray should be 75% water to 25% alcohol. And use a fair amount of spray, not just a little. If it's good and wet it won't move around so much when you dribble on the glue. Trial and error here to get the feel for it. And if you do a large area you may need to open a window. This is the one downside of the alcohol. You can speed drying time with a fan BUT WAIT FOR THE WHITE OF THE GLUE TO GO AWAY FIRST or it will skin over on you and be semi-gloss in spots. As for how much glue to put on, again, trial and error. You'll develop instincts.
Ballasting is the ONE part of this hobby I don't like. I even like wiring. Using a foam brush to smooth the ballast off the tops of the ties (before wetting) works well, or those trim-painting pads that clip into handle like they have at Home Depot.
Reply to
I always had a problem with Wodland Scenics ballast. Here's the method I used to make it work and look nice:
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Reply to
Bill (Bill) wrote in news:11417-41ADE872-11@storefull-
Intresting. it sounds like you either love or hate Woodland Scenics ballast around here. As for me, I've balasted many miles of track with the stuff with narry a problem. Well, the biggest problem is if I don't get the ballast wet enough before applying the glue. But if it does start to float or ball up, just give it a spritz with the watter bottle. BTW: I use a drop af detergent in the water. This breaks up the surface tension. If the water or glue gets foamy, you have too much detergent.
Reply to
Gordon Reeder
Wet the ballast with rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle instead of soapy water. Model Railroader magazine has been promoting that method for the last few years on their project layouts.
Reply to
Mark Mathu

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