N scale dirt ?

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Biased turkey, Dec 23, 2007.

  1. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    I want to make an N scale dirt road.
    It will be made by applying some sculptamold for the base, paint it using a tan latex paint and while the paint is still wet, sift some " N scale dirt".
    The problem is that I don't know what to use for the sifted material.
    Any suggestion is welcome.

  2. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    You may get 100 answers, all different, but what I used was some sawdust that I had dyed a darker brown. I put enough over the glue that I was able to push it to the sides to create berms as if the road had been recently graded.

    Oh, after I dyed it, I screened the sawdust so I wound up with just the fine particles.
  3. I myself use the real thing. After it dries i use scenic cement to hold it down
  4. woodone

    woodone Member

    I use the real stuff ( DIRT). I collect the dirt that is at the bottom of small dried up mud puddles. I looks like small curled up flakes, take it home and dry. Put in oven for about 1 hour at 250 degrees. Then brake it up and sift it throught a tea strainer, for smaller dirt I sift through a old nylon stocking that is stretched over a small bottle opening. If the dirt color is too dark, mix with some Durham's water puddy to make it lighter in color. I use Latex paint (50% paint-50% water) colored brown for glueing it in place.
  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I bought some HO dirt from Hamilton Model Works. Can't say if they do N, but the HO might work. They may be on the web, somewhere.
  6. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    First, thanks to all the nice members on this forum who took some of their precious time to reply.
    It looks like real sifted dirt is the way to go.
    After some extra Googling, I found that baseball diamond dirt can be used too.
    Living in Canada, my problem of getting real dirt is compounded by the fact that real dirt won't be available soon here because the snow won't melt until the month of april.
    Getting some baseball diamond dirt will be even harder because we lost our baseball team ( Montreal Expos ) a couple of years ago lol.
    I might try some ceramic tile grout.

    To 60103: the Hamilton Model Works web link is down.

  7. woodone

    woodone Member


    Biased turkey:
    The baseball diamond dirt is really clay dirt. I think that I would stay away from tile grout. It is a cement product that will harden like( well like concret). Don't think that is what you want.
    No indoor garden shops in Canada? Buy a small plant with some dirt, toss the plant ( save the roots) and you use the dirt. The roots? use for small trees, bushes or what ever.:thumb:
  8. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    After baking, you might consider running a powerful magnet over the dirt in case there are some iron/steel particles in it. In N, motor and speaker magnets hang low and can pick up iron particles in places you don't want them. In HO, I don't have any sound engines, but I have heard of speakers being torn by sucking up loose track spikes.

    just a thought

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