BALLASTING THE TRACK
After laying the track and fully testing it by running trains in all direction at all speeds the next thing to add is ballast the track.
The method I am going to show you is using loose stones of a suitable size (depending on the gauge you are modeling) which is available in various colours in different grain size.
There are other ways but this is the most popular with railway modellers.
Materials required to ballast your track
Below is the basic way to apply and glue down the ballast
Now purchase the ballast, which comes in bags or plastic tubs in the colour you prefer; the common one is grey blend.
The first thing to do is vacuum clean the area you are going to ballast to ensure there are no loose parts.
Now cover the track with a thin layer of ballast taking care to avoid points at this stage.
The next thing to do is carefully run a small brush over the surface of the gravel and start to spread the ballast material to a leave just below the sleepers and arrange the adges so the ballast slopes away from the track edge for about 6mm in 00 gauge but reduce this to around 3mm in N gauge.
This is just a guide as this may vary depending if it is a single line or more lines. Arranging the position of ballast is the longest part of the job and must not be rushed. If you are not happy with the result vacuum it up and start again. You will not be able to start again after it has been glued without a lot of time and material waste.
When you are sure and happy with the appearance of your ballast the next this to do is turn it into a solid foundation for the track. This is done by covering the ballast with liquid glue which is a mixture of
50% PVA glue (wood/hobby grade)
2 small drops of washing-up liquid