Friday, 30 August 2013


The final job before ballasting was to put in the concrete wall that separated the trackbed from the paved area, this was done with DAS clay rolled out, squared up, and stuck in place, before being painted.

I wanted to control the initial ballast layer carefully so I applied dilute PVA with a brush around the sleepers, and sprinkled the ballast on to it. The ballast is very fine granite, probably intended for N-gauge, and more like gravel in 7mm scale, but that seems to suit.

The second layer of ballast was more conventionally applied dry, brushed into place, then sprayed (misted) with water from a plant mister before having dilute PVA dribbled in from a pippette. Both the water spray and dilute glue have a drop of washing-up liquid to minimise surface tension.

I'm pleased with the result being quite even, and still allowing the wooden sleepers to be visible and a decent gap apparent under the rail. It will get dirtied up with a brown wash later on, and lots of spilt sand over it too.

You may have noticed in the last update that the roof of the rear building had developed a distinct upward curve at the edges despite my best efforts at bracing it. To reverse this it was clamped to a piece of wood, with a little packing at either end, then boiling water poured over it.

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