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Jimbo

Jimbo's layout

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railsquid
Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, Martijn Meerts said:

Ballasting is one of the most annoying tasks in model railroading in my opinion 🙂

 

It does add a great deal to the overall look of the layout though. I don't agree that the track base has to be painted brown if using brown ballast, it's not uncommon at all for ballast to have multiple colours. Although, usually it'll be grey on top of brown instead of brown on top of grey.

 

Railsquid's Patent Removeable Ballast Method™®:

 

45723093014_9e7e85065f.jpg

trackside-paraphenalia-2018-12-24_01 by Rail Squid, on Flickr

 

45728755904_ddda4cb208.jpg

station-throat-2018-12-25_01 by Rail Squid, on Flickr

 

using 3mm foamboard painted grey with a relatively thin layer of ballast on top:

 

46837350294_e4f7a34e5c.jpg

removeable-ballast-section_01 by Rail Squid, on Flickr

 

40595155353_98e397ffaa.jpg

[url=https://flic.kr/p/24RfMnB]removeable-ballast-section_02[/url] by Rail Squid, on Flickr

 

Can be anchored in place and the track ballasted as well, but unless you look closely, looks reasonably convincing.

Edited by railsquid
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Jimbo

i thought about painting,,  it would blend in better,   Im also looking for rocks of all things,, out walking the dog an keep my eyes open!!  I also want to do the back half with a different color ballast?? maybe a lighter color??   as many may have noticed I kept away from between the rails, I know its not the right way but, will save me trouble (I my mind),,, also I had to glue the autos on the the car racks due them moving around to much, solved that problem!  

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Martijn Meerts
4 hours ago, railsquid said:

Railsquid's Patent Removeable Ballast Method™®:

 

Do you have a version for flex track as well, that might change radius from 1 layout to another? 😄

 

 

9 minutes ago, Jimbo said:

i thought about painting,,  it would blend in better,   Im also looking for rocks of all things,, out walking the dog an keep my eyes open!!  I also want to do the back half with a different color ballast?? maybe a lighter color??   as many may have noticed I kept away from between the rails, I know its not the right way but, will save me trouble (I my mind),,, also I had to glue the autos on the the car racks due them moving around to much, solved that problem!  

 

Whether something is the 'right way' or not is something you determine really. It's your layout, and as long as you feel it looks good, it looks good. Model railroading is a constant learning process, and it's very likely that after you've tried some things, you decide you want to start a new layout and concentrate more on the scenery bit.

 

For me, my first couple of layouts didn't have ballast at all, or scenery for that matter. Then I started laying track on cork, which I decided looked good enough even without ballast. At some point I used those ballast mats which I just glued strips off to the base, and laid tracks on top of it. In hindsight, it looked pretty bad, but at the time I was happy with it. I used to be all about getting as much track on a table as possible, but slowly I've moved more towards concentrating on scenery, even though I still enjoy lots of track 😉

 

The important thing is to do things at your pace, experiment a lot on the layout you're building, and once you get to the point where you feel your skills have outgrown the layout, you can start over and apply those skills to a new one. I don't think there are many people that build 1 layout, and run trains on that for the rest of their lives. For many people, the building process is more fun than running the trains.

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Jimbo

I have found that I love the Japanese trains,, from watching different vids  to doing on line search's,,  I wanted to do something,, but it had to be electric engines,  the  American ones just didn't do anything for me,, Then I thought about doing Euro,,  just wasn't sticking in my head,,  so I went Japanese style,   I have no real hobby shops near me, so things have to be bought on line,, Then its trail an error ,,,,,,,,  but I haven't given up,,  Ive found that I have different taste,, so things are not always correct so to speak,, Im working on a stop for one of the EMUs  Its European style  but it fits what I was looking for,,  Lucky for me that Ive found two e bay sellers that have worked with me an have been more then willing to answer my questions too, So between the two of them (one is from Japan)  they both ship out  fast!  an this forum its all been a learning experience  for me which has been good,   Sorry I call them engines,,, I know I know locomotives!! 

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Martijn Meerts

Euro is expensive, especially compared to Japanese 🙂

 

Personally, I do like many of the American named trains, like the SP Morning Daylight and the Santa Fe Super Chief and such, and I plan on getting some more of them eventually.

 

Model trains can be really annoying at times, but a short break normally helps. Or work on a different project for a little bit. For example, building a small diorama to practice some new scenery techniques, or even some T-Trak modules is great to do when you're stuck on the big layout, or just not motivated to work on it.

 

And the forum is always helpful, sometimes it might take a while to get a reply, but everyone's busy with stuff as well, or it might take a bit for someone with specific knowledge to see the post. Also, engines is fine, everyone knows what you mean anyway 😄

 

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Jimbo

oh that wall I made up with the cribbing,,Thats to keep the trains on the table, already had one disaster!!   But Im thinking  now the snow is finally gone, is to find rocks slate etc etc to make a rock wall there instead

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cteno4

Jimbo,

 

keep at it. Martijn’s words are wise. Take breaks from the layout or do other sub projects and it won’t be as frustrating when you hit any Walls on it.

 

model railroading is a very evolutionary hobby. Many hobbies have a much more discrete, planned outcome in things created and there are a lot more plans and factors that control the outcomes. With model railroading you have so many things you can fiddle with there can be huge spectrum of outcomes. What’s great about this is you can find what you really like. But finding out what you really like can be a long evolutionary process that can have some dead ends that you need to back out of and start over from. The trick is to keep paying attention to what you like and don’t like all the time and keep thinking about it. Many ignore these things for a while and they get way down a dead end and then can get very frustrated and give up. In the early to mid stages in the hobby it’s best to keep things as flexible as possible and test a lot of little side roads quickly and inexpensively to help learn what you like and don’t like as best as possible and just expose yourself to as much as possible before you start to make things really permanent and get stuck if it’s not what you want.

 

doing small test bits of scenery on a hunk of cardboard is the most effective way I’ve found to not learn how to do scenery techniques as well as mess with them to fit your needs, materials, and skills. You then have the little bit as a sample to refer to for later when noodling on scenery ideas for the layout. Take notes on the back of the cardboard or number the cardboard and have a notebook with notes on what you did on that sample. Helps to refine and evolve your scenery efforts quickly and bring them back when dusty after not doing it for a time (I’m always forgetting tiny steps in many scenery techniques I’ve not done in a while as I’ve done quite a few over the decades and many sort of blur together in memory with time...)

 

also search around on YouTube as there are scads of great how to videos there on scenery (and just about everything else for that matter!). Seeing someone do things like scenery techniques is really, really helpful and many times you can see the same technique done by a few different folks in slightly different ways that can be super helpful in figuring out what will work best for you. Scenery techniques tend to be pretty personal in preference so good to look around a lot and try lots of different things as there is no “right” way! 

 

You can do a lot with natural “found” scenery materials, but you do need to make sure to kill all the critters in them by baking dirt and sand and stabilizing and sterilizing vegetation with something. A set of fine sieves helps to make your own ground covers. Again there are a lot of videos and web pages out there on this.

 

you can even make your own ground foam with cheap craft paint, old foam rubber, and an old blender and/or coffee grinder. At the good will get an old coffee grinder and blender and play. You soak the foam rubber in the paint, squeeze out and let dry. Then mince it up in the blender and grinder to the consistency you want. Let’s you make the exact colors you want. It’s a bit of an art and takes some experimenting but if funds are short you can save some $$ and add a new aspect onto the hobby. That’s one of the most fun things about model railroading is there are all sorts of interesting tangential things you can do to expand your skills and creativity — and fun!

 

cheers

 

jeff

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Jimbo
Posted (edited)

Ha that's why Im on a search for  rocks!! I have a couple of ideas in my head,,,!! Have glue gun an plenty of glue sticks!!    Jeff all is true, I've found what I like in engines an rail cars, no big deal there,,   As I have found out  some rail ways are correct, the amount of time an money they put into them blows my mind,   Mine will never be!  That's like my trees, where I live  we have  trees that change color in the fall, That an I like fir trees,,,  Now that I have my track replaced with what I should have done in the first place,, an added another siding for parking room, That has falling into place,, finally 

Edited by Jimbo
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Jimbo

I found some gray course ballast  for a different part of the lay out,,  which I like better!  Now my question is I mixed my glue to water  3 parts water 1 part glue?? took 2 days to dry?? pics latter,

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cteno4

Jimbo,

 

thats the usual mix. Folks say to flood it but I’ve found not going crazy is better, dries faster and not cement solid and doesn’t creep moisture as far into other stuff. Second application will help if first is too light.

 

i also gave up the white glue for matte medium. It’s basically just clear matte acrylic paint (the medium refers to its the medium for the paint of the base stuff and you can get it in matte, gloss, satin, etc finishes). When dry on ballast or ground foam it’s a flexible bond not the rock solid bond of pva (white) glue. This makes it easier to scrape off bits of ground cover or dig out some ballast when needed without having to try to soak the area with water to get the pva to loosen up. Folks also think it softens the noise transfer from trains into your base board being a looser connection. Pva can make a really rock solid bond in this application. Folks use it at 3-5 parts water to 1 part matte medium, vary to your taste and need (why I always say experiment to find what works best for you in your situation).

 

you can get matte medium in art stores but it’s expensive, higher quality stuff. You can get a cheaper version called modge podge at craft store (if you have an ac Moore or Michael’s near hit their coupons) and sometimes at big box stores like Walmart. Get the matte as it gives the right look on scenery. Dollar store here at times have little bottles of it if you want to experiment. Works great for spraying with various ground covers as well.

 

always do a little pre test off of the layout of anything like this before hitting the layout with anything like this, it lets you goof without screwing the layout up and figure out any mods you need to make to the process.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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Jimbo

the arts an craft store here has the modge  podge, but iwent with Elmer's,,,, it seems to darking up the ballast,,    the first section I did I had wet again,, the gray I've done so far only once,, so I guess that's one of the differences between the corse  an the medium,,  lol I ha to stop from time to time get the shakes!! so im doing small sections at a time,,   Thanks for the input 

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cteno4

Yeah thats why it’s best to test first as things can change color differently once dried. I’ve liked the matte medium over other stuff for a long time now. It’s been more consistent and versatile. I remember as a kid when I needed to change tracks in my ever expanding/evolving old school layout with flex track and atlas points doing the jackhammering of Elmer’s glued ballast where I couldn’t soften it with water due to points and such was such a pain that I loathed making changes but of course kept doing them!

 

i also like that the matte medium is a little resilient and flexible so when banged into ground cover it does not seem to come loose as much and when it does so it’s in a more forgiving way. 

 

But its good to do tests to compare how it works for you and dial it in for your needs and such.

 

Jeff

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