Track / ballast / underlay? Questions...

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by PinkPig, Jul 21, 2004.

  1. PinkPig

    PinkPig New Member

    Hi, I'm very new to this, and trying to build a small layout, partly just to try a few things out. I'm planning on working with N gauge, and I want to put it all on a piece of chipboard that I have lying around.

    I've seen lots of advice on the internet about laying track, and what should be done, and so on, but I remain moderately confused. I've seen some foam moulded (into the shape of the track) underlay from Peco. This looks easy, but is it a good idea, and how ballast be put onto this? Thanks for any advice.
  2. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    Welcome to the Gauge PP
    I imagine the Peco underlay must be pricey. With it being moulded into the shape of the track I can' t imagine much need for ballast. Maybe just a light coating of fine ballast spread in place, sprayed with water with a drop of detergent in it then using a sqeeze bottle , putting a 50 , 50 mix of water and white glue onto the ballast. Then it would just be a case of waiting for it to dry
  3. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Just be aware that chipboard is hard to drive track nails into. Even harder than plywood. I would use cork and liquid nails for that reason alone. Fred
  4. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Welcome to The Gauge, Pinkpig. Consider taking the time to put a coat or two of varnish on that chipboard as well. Particleboard is very suseptible to swelling and quickly degrading if exposed to water too long, a key ingredient in most scenery techniques.
  5. PinkPig

    PinkPig New Member

    Is there any guide I can find on the net about how to lay cork, or anything else similar that needs to be done?
  6. PinkPig

    PinkPig New Member

    And any particular sort of varnish that should be used?
  7. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Use an oil base varnish, just the cheap stuff would be fine. As for cork, just about every December issue of Model Railroader Magazine since 1935 has had an article on it. Most hobby shops sell back issues for a buck a pop.
  8. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I have had layouts that used Peco ballast foam. I found that after a few years, the foam changes character and starts to disintegrate.
    We never added anything to the foam, but a bit of paint might disguise it.
    One technique is to glue the foam down and just lay the track in it. (not as secure as tacking, especially if you lift your layout.)
    Chipboard can be a major problem -- the glue in it is harder than most woods.

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