Sand color & texture

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Freelancer, Jan 8, 2008.

  1. Freelancer

    Freelancer Member

    Progress of my service facility is moving along slowly and I am now in the process of filling my sand bin with sand. I am having a hard time making up my mind and was hoping to receive some input.

    I had some fine ballast that looked pretty good in the bag, but once it was spread out and the light hit it, it was obviously too course. I like the color of it, and after reading a bit here on the-gauge found that I could use nylons as a sifter. I was able to get it down to a finer texture, but after sampling some "real" sand, found it to still be quite course. I like the texture of the "real" sand, but the color of the fine ballast. The first picture is of the ballast before sifting. The second picture is a comparison of the sifted ballast, and the last picture is the "real" sand. What do you all think? Is the "real" sand too red/brown? What about the sifted ballast, is it too course to resemble sand? Thanks for your input!

    Attached Files:

  2. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    I would think you would want it as fine as you can get it, yet still be able to (barely) see the grains without magnification. If it were me, i would sift real sand to the size I wanted, and call it good. My guess is railroads would have used whatever was available locally and cheapest, but they probably wanted it to be free of large particles and clumps.

  3. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I like the last picture (the "real" sand?).

    If you really don't like it, you could always model a tarp over the green (wet) sand bin... ;) :D

  4. Santa Fe Jack

    Santa Fe Jack Member

    Is there a creek, arroyo, or other watercourse near you? If so, look for the superfine-grained deposits. You need a fine silt. Oven dry it and see how it looks.
  5. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    From the distance the photo was taken, the real sand doesn't read as a sand pile. It looks like bare ground.

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