Saturday, January 19, 2013

Ballasting continues

With the mainline ballasted in a traditional way, displaying a relatively well manicured right of way, it was time to the turn the attention to the yard and drill tracks. Here I wanted a more unkempt look, with dirt rather than rock ballast. So I decided to give tile grout a try.

I did some tests and decided to go with a mix of 50% grout and 50% N scale ballast. To use only grout, which is much like a fine powder, was more or less impossible. It gave you nearly no control, and the stuff ended up everywhere. A mix of ballast and grout was easier to control, but still gave a dirt look. Here is a picture of a spur ballasted withe the grout and ballast mix (the middle track). The mix is kept in place with a water and white glue mix.

Once the glue had dried I applied weathering powders to obtain a dirt look. I also used some rust powder along the rails, and some black powder in between the rails, simulating oil and whatnot. I gave the mainline a light rust and oil treatment as well.

And a close up...
The dirt is a little to brown maybe. I'll aim for a slightly more gray tone when I do the next stretch of track.


  1. Niuce work! I love the ballasting process (!!!). I think that it is what makes the track look more real tracks...

  2. Thanks! I also think it looks quite good, but it will all take some time. It is a slow process and even if it is a small yard the area to cover with ballast and grout looks awfully large right now :-)