Remember the good times? Spending hours brushing ballast into the sleepers, getting the point work clean, repainting, filling the gaps afterwards?
No, me neither! However it is one of those chores that for me is included in the ‘Meh!’ files along with wiring. Today I’ve finished all the track work, it’s all had a good shakedown testing so on with the ballast. I’m using Woodland Scenics and it’s now in place for the fixing.
Normally I use diluted PVA or superglue, but this time I’ve tried a different technique, clear varnish acrylic with the surface tension reduced with detergent. It worked ok and I did a traditional PVA/detergent mix test simultaneously.
Working outside on a warm summer day the PVA cured faster, so I reverted to that method for the ballast across the layout. Peco bufferstops are at the track ends, but will be replaced with GWR or LMS/BR types from Dave Franks, lanarkshiremodels.com these have already been assembled and will go on once the core scenery structure is in place.
These are some of Daves bufferstops, LNER bottom left, and centre/top BR/LMS. And for you retro health geeks out there, yes they are sitting on a ‘Reebok Step’, (no Jane Fonda’s or Olivia Neutron Bombs were hurt or disturbed taking this image).
I’ve found a good way using the new Peco Bullhead rail track of assembling these kits too. For now though I’m running the layout, as well as brushing the track regularly with a two inch household paintbrush. I do this for a week or so to allow the track and glue etc to bed in, and to dislodge any sections or pieces of loose ballast.
Whilst I’m doing this I’m also working up the scenery structure. This time I’ll be using insulation foam as the underpinnings, and that’s partly because it’ll give greater flexibility and opportunities in placing the trees, of which I’m expecting to build quite a few!