Monday, November 26, 2012
A view of the heaped-up ballast. The concrete supports for the bridge still need to be painted, and the bridge itself needs a little touch-up after getting hit with some plaster. I lightly sanded the surface of the rails where I had ballasted, and the loco runs very smoothly.
The entire layout, back in its normal spot. Hard to see my progress from this angle, but now I can continue on the areas in front that are easier to see, and easier to reach. You can also see my progress on the road and the level crossings. In the meantime I'm working on converting a construction crane into a yard crane, pictures to follow once I have a base coat on it.
Friday, November 9, 2012
What I've learned about ballasting so far:
- It's always easier to add more ballast than it is to taking it away
- Working around switches is not as hard as it seems, you just need a lot of light and a careful hand
- Dentistry tools are very helpful!
- Don't let the ballast creep up on the inside of the rails. If you test the track surface with a boxcar and it seems smooth, beware that a locomotive with deeper flanges will bump and scrape over the same section
- Overall it seems better to ballast first then do the groundcover around it, since the width and slope of the ballast edges is more a matter of setting it up by eye than measurement
- It's tedious but the layout looks so much better once it's done!
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Recently I started ballasting the track, starting from the front left and working around the back of the layout. So far it's proved much easier than applying the ground-cover flock, which just seems to want to clump together.
Today I mixed up some more patching compund and applied another layer to the road, smoothing out the areas that needed it. I've also finished adding crossing boards to the level crossings. I didn't have any curved pieces so for here and the other road crossing I cut pieces of thick card and glued them down. Later I'll paint and surface them to match the road.