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setting scenery and ballast

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  • Member since
    June 2013
  • 5 posts
setting scenery and ballast
Posted by mechanic1206 on Monday, September 9, 2013 9:54 PM

I have seen vidios of diluted pva used to set scenery but have not been able to find correct mix of glue and water   Bruce

  • Member since
    September 2010
  • From: Redmond, Wa.
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Posted by glutrain on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 12:23 AM

Bruce , there are several answers to your question, as people have differing preferences. PVA ( known more precisely as either poly vinyl alcohol or poly vinyl acetate) is the base resin for most of the "white glues' on the market. Since the characteristics of brands vary in strength and consistency, most modelers do experiment and make up test areas to determine what they like.

What I do is take a good quality adhesive and mix it in equal parts with water, and add a couple of drops of dish soap from the kitchen. This is because I prefer my ballast to bond strongly to my scenery base. Contrary to the wet water techniques-which work very well- I coat the area to be ballasted first with the glue mixture, then add the ballast, letting the adhesive mixture wick up into the ballast.

Essentially, Bruce, the correct mix is the one that works well with the techniques that you are comfortable using. The best way to figure that part out is to try different techniques and mixtures. I have always used a small piece of plywood off layout as a practice zone.

Don H.

 

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  • From: Eastern Shore Virginia
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Posted by gandydancer19 on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 8:57 AM

Everyone has a favorite and different method, and most work well.  You just need to experiment and find one that works for you.  You will get many suggestions and none are wrong.

I use Elmer's white glue for scenery and Mod-Podge matt for Ballast.  I dilute mine with 40% water to make a strong mix.  Then I pre-wet the area with 70% alcohol.  Then I put down the glue mix right away.  I find that the pre-wet alcohol dilutes the glue mix some and that is why I use a strong mix.  I use eye droppers for the application of both liquids.  When still wet, both glue mixes will appear milky in color.  When they dry, usually over night, this will go away.

Elmer.

The above is my opinion, from an active and experienced Model Railroader in N scale and HO since 1961.

(Modeling Freelance, Eastern US, HO scale, in 1962, with NCE DCC for locomotive control and a stand alone LocoNet for block detection and signals.) http://waynes-trains.com/ at home, and N scale at the Club.

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Posted by wp8thsub on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 12:45 PM

If you're using Elmer's white glue, a dilution with 50% water works well for just about every scenery application.  It's the standard glue mixture I use almost everywhere.

Everything here, from fine sand to larger talus material and ballast, was secured with Elmer's white glue mixed 50/50 with water.

Rob Spangler

  • Member since
    May 2006
  • From: N.E. Lancashire (off Jnt. 12, M65.
  • 215 posts
Posted by john.pickles87 on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 1:42 PM

Hi Bruce,

Just make sure it's water soliable PVA.  I used waterproof way back when I didn't know better, was not happy with the result, when I tried to rectify things I ended up wrecking a switch and length of flexi.

Be in touch.

pick

?
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    January 2013
  • From: PA
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Posted by Schuylkill and Susquehanna on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 4:07 PM

To make placement of larger materials easier (talus, bushes, trees) I'd suggest using full strength white glue.  The tackiness of the glue will hold the materials in place until it sets, and so you don't have to worry about "roll-aways" on slopes.  I also have used full strength glue when brushing glue on before adding the first scenic layer.

S&S

 

Modeling the Pennsy and loving it!

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    October 2008
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Posted by BIG JERR on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 5:47 PM

wp8thsub

If you're using Elmer's white glue, a dilution with 50% water works well for just about every scenery application.  It's the standard glue mixture I use almost everywhere.

Everything here, from fine sand to larger talus material and ballast, was secured with Elmer's white glue mixed 50/50 with water.


WOWSurprise ,shweeeeeet scene. Rob

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: Clinton, MO, US
  • 4,180 posts
Posted by Medina1128 on Friday, September 13, 2013 4:33 PM

john.pickles87

Hi Bruce,

Just make sure it's water soliable PVA.  I used waterproof way back when I didn't know better, was not happy with the result, when I tried to rectify things I ended up wrecking a switch and length of flexi.

Be in touch.

pick

You've brought up an excellent point! Using Mod-Podge as an affixative negates this. Right on the bottle, it says that it's water soluble (for clean-up) until it sets up. Then, it's no longer water soluble. I use plain Elmers white glue, diluted for almost ALL of my scenic needs; ballasting, vegetation, etc. The only time I use anything thicker, is for planting trees; then I use Allene's Tacky Glue. I've started using Hob-e-Tac to glue crushed foam to tree armatures.

  • Member since
    June 2013
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Posted by mechanic1206 on Tuesday, October 1, 2013 9:28 PM

Sorry I took so long to get back. Seems a 50% solution is what I want  Thanks to all for their ideas and comments  

  • Member since
    March 2007
  • From: comanche, texas
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Posted by fluff on Saturday, October 5, 2013 8:06 PM

great scene....love the

'pasture looking" road by the track.....well doneYes

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    February 2004
  • From: Central Ohio
  • 518 posts
Posted by basementdweller on Sunday, October 13, 2013 11:03 AM

For ballasting track first  I spread the ballast to the desired profile. I soak with straight rubbing alcohol from a spray bottle then drip a 50 /50 mix of Elmers and water. I drip it right out of the bottle, It takes a lot, I almost fill up the area  between the rails. I do scenery the same way. Don't skimp on the glue, extra is good if you don't put enough on then you will only get a shell of ballast and it remains loose underneath.

One exception where I go sparingly with glue is on turnout,  I use put in one drop of glue between each tie, no problem gluing turnouts in place.

I find I spray alcohol and glue in about three foot sections or work between two turnouts etc.

 

Nice work in the photos above.

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