Roads

ModelRailroadForums.com is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.


Maxitrains

Member
I am experimenting with some material I got at hand, and apart of using it for ballast ( as a mixture ) I think I will use it for roads too. This is the result I got after experimenting a little yesterday.



I tried applying a little paint on the quick, but I didn't mix the paint enough and it was too thin and smudged all over the thing, I also used a match stick to apply paint, so do not expect miracles from it :). Though I think this powder is a little course for roads, I will try using finer powder and apply some weathering, as it is it looks too new :)
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Trucula

Drum Driver
It would look great behind a paving machine and add alittle fibers to look like steam/heat coming off and a fresh wet roller following...Good Work!!
 

rlundy90

Armchair Engineer
Hi Maxitrains. Am I mistaken or is that copper slag for sandblasting you are using. If it is you may not want to use it for ballasting. That stuff is super abrasive(About 10 times as abrasive as silica sand) and as it breaks down into smaller pieces it forms new sharp edges that stay abrasive. I use this material to blast heavy rust off of cars before restoration. It will destroy the motors on air driven tools in no time and will do the same to your locos if not carefull. Does look great for roads though.Just make sure it is really glued down good. Ron
 

Maxitrains

Member
Hi Maxitrains. Am I mistaken or is that copper slag for sandblasting you are using. If it is you may not want to use it for ballasting. That stuff is super abrasive(About 10 times as abrasive as silica sand) and as it breaks down into smaller pieces it forms new sharp edges that stay abrasive. I use this material to blast heavy rust off of cars before restoration. It will destroy the motors on air driven tools in no time and will do the same to your locos if not carefull. Does look great for roads though.Just make sure it is really glued down good. Ron
Actually, this material is not used for sand blasting as far as I know, but it is an abrasive compound used with sanding wheels ( applying glue on sanding wheels then apply this compound), the one I am using in this trial is Grit 80. Though it is abrasive, but I think if the track is cleaned of it and glued propperly to the base, I don't think it will cause any trouble ( As far as it won't come lose ). I will definately use for roads, but donno yet about ballast. For Ballast I was going to use beach sand at first, but the sand we have on our beaches is all golden ( yellowish ) and I guess its not a good colour for track ballast, that's why I was trying a mixture of sand and this compound ).

For any of you who has this material at hand an want to try it, its simple, just add white (wood)glue to it and stir till everything is mixed well, then lay on the surface you need.
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
It actually does look like copper stamp sand to me (Trust me I've seen allot of that in my life). Higher grit sand papers have been known to use that stuff, in the past at least.
 

Maxitrains

Member
Hi I'm still wondering and experimenting with material to use as Ballast. Last time I posted a photo of the types of material I'm trying with.

This time I tried to mix a finer grade of that abrhesive material with beach sand, and got some better results, but then I remembered I had some other material which I could use, but this could be a little over scaled, but I cannot judge for myself as we have no railroads here to check on.

Latest Ballast mixture with sand and finer abrehsive trial and with new material placed infront
Ballast4.png


The following photo has both Sand and Abrehsive materials shown in it.
Ballast2.png


Then, let me go back to the street detail, for this I has also already shown a photo of a road sample, and it was said that it looked like freshly layer tarmac. Well here's another try, kindly post your comments and suggestions.

Earlier road photo:
road.png


Latest road try
Street_1.png
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Trucula

Drum Driver
In the first pic, What is the fibers you used for the grass?...Is that static grass?...I like the way it looks like its growing between the rocks. The rounded sand looks good too..The fibers on the track might become a problem if its magnetic...might stick to engines... I like the abrasive black too...would do nice in yards and older roadbeds as the riser and mixed with whitish around the ties. As long as it's glued down good i don't see any problems....and saves on the wallet! :)
 

Maxitrains

Member
1. Those fibre like grass, I don't know exactly what material it is, but I bought it some years ago for this purpose, and since then I stored them in jars, so I don't have their original bags, but they are for scenic purposes. I also like to use it because it looks very natural, for that result I mix 70% green and 30% brown ( yes I have 2 colours), and the result is really awesome. Actually I need to find more of it, if it still exist int he market, since the little I got is not gonna be enough for all my layout.

2.The fibres are not magnetic and if not glued they can be easily vacuumed, the loco there is just static, no electricity on the rails. Sprinkling this fibre on the layout could be a pain, its so fine that it sticks together, normally I place a lot in one place then gently blowing on it, will distribute and stick over glued areas

3. I thought of using teh white rocks as Ballast, but I think they are too large for that job

4. You may have noticed the detailed sleepers of the track. Unfortunately the modern tracks do not have that detail on the sleepers any more. That track is an old LIMA straight track, and the rails are Iron not nickel silver, that's why I use them for dioramas or small trials. Pitty they reduced this detail fromt he sleepers on new tracks :(
 

rlundy90

Armchair Engineer
That beach sand would make great ballast if you can just sift it through a screen to get rid of the bigger pieces. The small pile closest to the front looks just the right size. As far as the color goes the railroads will usually use want is most readily available.I have seen ballast in all colors from the color of your beach sand to black.Here limestone is the favorite. It is a light tan color. Where I was raised cinders were the prefered ballast. Ron
 

Maxitrains

Member
The small pile closest to the front looks just the right size.

Right size compared to what? U mean the front pile is the right size for ballast? but then you said also that the beach sand is also good for ballast if sifted, there's a great difference in size between the sand and the pile.
 

rlundy90

Armchair Engineer
In the picture in front of the fourth railroad tie is a little pile of sea sand mixed with the black grit.Those grains look about the right size for ballast. To the right on top of the black grit are some single grains of sand. These look to big for ballast. If you can sift out the bigger grains you should have some good looking ballast. Ron
 

Maxitrains

Member
Well they shouldn't look the same, in the first road photo I tried the grit 80 material alone with only glue, on the second photo I used the grit 120 mixed with plaster and glue, the result is a finer surface. Once dry I will try sand a little the 2nd road sample to try and get a smoother and flat surface, then I will paint the markings.

Ron, you were referring to this pic, right? That's why I was not understanding.

Ballast2.png
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Old 97

Hogger
Everything looks good Maxitrains.
I really like the black top work! :)
What's that person doing with the broken shopping cart in the ballast photo and who makes HO scale shopping carts???
 
Last edited by a moderator:

rlundy90

Armchair Engineer
Yes. Sorry I didn't make myself clear.The sand I referred to would look just like real ballast.I think I would stay away from the black grit though. I think that stuff could be really hard on your locos. Besides the sand looks much more natural for ballast.The sand we have here has no color variance like that does. We have pure silica sand that wouldn't look right. Ron
 

SF 4th District

New Member
Has anybody tried this and had much luck with it? I've carried large coffee cans in my trunk when I have been out railfanning Southern California and I'd fill them up if I saw some interesting looking sand/dirt near the tracks. I then went to my local hardware store and bought various sizes of screen. I would sift everything through the largest size screen, then take that sifted material and sift that throuh the next largest size screen and so on until I sift through the smallest size I bought. That can make good ballast, landscape for scenery etc. since I already have it sorted into various sizes, I've kept the different sizes and different colors in different containers. I've come up with quite a few shades of Grays, Blacks, Reds and brown/biege. Once I have everything sifted into different sizes I wash it and bake it at 375 degrees for 30 minutes to kill any critters and/or bacteria. I want to try and paint some of my finished product with an asphalt color, make some roads and somehow bond the loos sand/dirt together so it looks like decent roads. If I model a certain subdivision I'd like to use real sand/dirt from that subdivision to sift and use on the layout.
David
 

Maxitrains

Member
What's that person doing with the broken shopping cart in the ballast photo and who makes HO scale shopping carts???
OLD97, that's not a shopping cart :) its not focused so it doesn't show well, but thats a station luggage trolley :)

SF4th District, I try to do that but the only interesting thing I can find is sand on the beach, everything else is just dust and soil, we have no tracks here for maybe some crumbled ballast.

I will try to use the beach sand and when applying the wetting agent, I will also apply some weathering acrilic colour to it, so it will have different shades along the track.
 




Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here)


ModelRailroadForums.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

RailroadBookstore.com - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section.

ModelRailroadBookstore.com - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.

Top