Chicken or the egg ?

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by train1, Feb 11, 2005.

  1. train1

    train1 Member

    After you've waited twenty years and finally have the space, the equipment, the time, the money and you're down to the last 10 feet of mainline to lay - do you you ballast now (while it looks like "the plywood/foam central") or wait till you put you basic scenery in (ie mountains,hills etc).
    After all the magazine and book articles I've read over the years - there are conflicting sides.
    You would think as in the real world - ballast goes on last, before you really start to superdetail.

    Any thought's and/or ideas from my knowledgeable friends here?

    Should I send out the invites for the ballasting party - (and what will I wear ?)
  2. theBear

    theBear Member

    I'd stop and run trains for a bit [​IMG] .

    But then I do like to run them ....

    The track will never be easier to work on than when it is in the plywood/foam flatlands mode.
  3. SteamerFan

    SteamerFan Member

    Ballast now before appling trees and junk. As for what to wear, well your engineers outfit of course.
  4. dwight77

    dwight77 Member

    I agree with theBear, I would take some time and run and run and run your trains over every possible route and direction and make sure you don't have any bad spots physically or electrically.
  5. seanm

    seanm Member

    After a few years of running, I think scenery goes first. I hate it when my plaster goes over nice ballast then I have to reballast anyhow! If you do it last, it will cover any problems with the plaster interface.
  6. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    I usually ballast first as I use it to hold the track in place but it is more difficult to bring the scenery up to the track though.
  7. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I would run trains before you do anything else to make sure you have no "bugs" in the track work. If you need to relay any track to correct problems, it is much easier if you don't have ballast.
  8. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    I do scenery first and ballast later, but my scenery/track ratio is really low--the "scenery" is just some dirt and streets in between the tracks for the most part. For a large area of scenery I'd probably ballast first, then put painter's tape over the ballast to avoid getting plaster spots on the track (I do that anyhow during the scenery step.)
  9. santafewillie

    santafewillie Member

    Run trains first...every engine, every car, forward and backward to be sure you don't have to re-do anything. I usually ballast first because it's easier for me. It looks like I have made more progress that way. Like jetrock said, you can always cover the track later. I use newspaper and just tape it in place. Since I model mostly flatlands anyway, I don't use a lot of plaster.

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