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gravel and dirt roads

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gravel and dirt roads
Posted by johngriffey18ca1 on Sunday, June 05, 2011 2:28 PM

Can I use medium grey ballast from woodland scenics to make dirt or gravel roads or are there better ideas for a better look?

Thanks!

Tags: Roads
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Posted by wp8thsub on Sunday, June 05, 2011 2:48 PM

Real sifted sand and dirt work great.  Material that has a lot of clay can shrink and crack, but otherwise the natural material usually works much better than Woodland Scenics ballast.

Rob Spangler

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Posted by mikelhh on Sunday, June 05, 2011 5:24 PM

If you use say water putty or plaster, you can roll or press the ballast or sand into it, pressed right down where the tyre tracks are, and piled a bit more at the edges so it looks used. The putty or plaster will look like soil. I guess it depends how rough you want it to be.

Modelling the UK in 00, and New England - MEC, B&M, D&H and Guilford - in H0

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Posted by JTRacerAZ on Sunday, June 05, 2011 5:25 PM

I got some real fine silica sand that had spilled out of bags at Home Depot.(they let me have it free) The sand colors well with thinned acrylic paints so you can do just about any color you may want on your layout.

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Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, June 05, 2011 5:47 PM

johngriffey18ca1

Can I use medium grey ballast from woodland scenics to make dirt or gravel roads or are there better ideas for a better look?

Thanks!

I use a 50/50 mix of WS Medium Gray and Light Gray for my track ballast, but I use Brown and Buff for my country roads.

Rich

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Posted by Grampys Trains on Sunday, June 05, 2011 11:50 PM

John, in my humble opinion, ballast seems too big for HO scale dirt or gravel roads. The gravel road in this photo at Blackwood Mine, is made from a mix of Sculptamold/Structolite, (a base coat for plastering with fine perlite grit). I smoothed the original pour with an old Surform plane. For a dirt road  I would smooth the mix with an artist's trowel.

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Posted by mikelhh on Monday, June 06, 2011 12:19 AM

Grampy that's a beautiful scene!

Something I like to use is crushed shellgrit. Bags of grit are very cheap from the pet store. I wrap it in an old cloth and hammer it, keeping all the bits, especially the dust. I even grind it finer with a mortar and pestle. It's important you lose the ribbed look of the shells if you want it to look like gravel  [although in the right place they can look like scraps of old tiles and masonry etc]

Modelling the UK in 00, and New England - MEC, B&M, D&H and Guilford - in H0

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Posted by HOn21/2 on Monday, June 06, 2011 7:53 AM

Try sanded grout. It comes in various colors. By using a brush dipped in water yoiu can make ruts in the road.

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Posted by CTValleyRR on Tuesday, June 07, 2011 8:30 PM

I agree -- you need something finer than ballast.  Fine ballast in HO scale is still about the size of a scale fist.  Only a real yutz would pave a road with rocks that big.  You can, however, use it for gravel fill along the shoulders (erosion prevention).

Connecticut Valley Railroad A Branch of the New York, New Haven, and Hartford

"If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right." -- Henry Ford

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Posted by owen w in california on Thursday, June 16, 2011 7:52 PM

Thanks for using "yutz" in your reply. Haven't heard anyone use it in a long time, and it made me smile.

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Posted by owen w in california on Thursday, June 16, 2011 7:53 PM

Great suggestion! I'm going to try it in N. Thanks

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Posted by wsdimenna on Thursday, June 16, 2011 8:41 PM

if you want a commerical product try the fine dirt from Scenic Express. Believe it will be exactly what you want.

 

Bill D

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Posted by CTValleyRR on Saturday, June 18, 2011 7:13 AM

owen w in california

Thanks for using "yutz" in your reply. Haven't heard anyone use it in a long time, and it made me smile.

Yiddish is such an expressive language -- it often has just the right word to describe the less than competent among us!

Connecticut Valley Railroad A Branch of the New York, New Haven, and Hartford

"If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right." -- Henry Ford

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Posted by Santa Fe all the way! on Monday, June 20, 2011 2:46 PM

What about using N or Z scale ballast ?

Come on CMW, make a '41-'46 Chevy school bus!
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Posted by CTValleyRR on Monday, June 20, 2011 7:52 PM

Santa Fe all the way!

What about using N or Z scale ballast ?

Most ballast products aren't scale specific -- it's coarse, medium, fine, etc.

Here's what you need to visualize:  generally unpaved roads, if treated at all, are covered with 3/4" crushed stone.  In HO scale, that's under 0.01 inches, or a very fine sand, almost a powder.  That's the size you should be aiming for.

Connecticut Valley Railroad A Branch of the New York, New Haven, and Hartford

"If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right." -- Henry Ford

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