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Model Railroading > HO scale ballast


Date: 03/21/06 18:13
HO scale ballast
Author: bobdavis

Anyone have any suggestions for a good looking, close to scale HO dark gray ballast? I tried one new product and was totally disappointed. The stuff was huge for HO, might have even been out of scale for O. I'm not a "rivet counter" but I also don't want track ballast the size of HO scale basketballs. Guess I should have asked on here first!

Bob



Date: 03/21/06 18:25
Re: HO scale ballast
Author: HB90MACH

alot of modelers do use oversized ballast in HO Something about the look. SCale ballast looks like fine sand. Alot of guys i know use woodland scenics ballast. The result doesnt look bad



Date: 03/21/06 18:29
Re: HO scale ballast
Author: 03GrandAmGT

ARIZONA ROCK AND MINERAL CO. is good stuff. I have seen it and looks like what you would pick up on the side of the track and make yourself. Awhile back I heard that this guy shut his doors but found the website here's the link. http://www.rrscenery.com/index.html

There is one I used many years ago, and if I can find the bag it came in I will post the info. It was great stuff also. The other choice would be Woodland scenics.

jd



Date: 03/21/06 18:35
Re: HO scale ballast
Author: RioGrandeFan

I have used Highball Products ballast and it is great stuff. Much better than Woodland Scenics. The only problem is Highball has two different types, some that comes in a blue bag and some that comes in a yellow bag. The blue bag stuff is not uniform in size and therefore isn't as good. The stuff that comes in the yellow bag is uniform and is really great. I usually order the 5LB bag through the hobby store where I work and they order from Walthers. You never know which bag you'll get. I've tried to request the yellow bag but it is always a 50/50 chance.

Anyway, look into Highball ballast as it is generally a really great product. I just checked Walthers website and they are showing it not being in stock with an unknown date of being back in stock. Probably not a good sign but somewhere some hobby shop in the country has to have it in stock.

Rio Grande Fan
Denver, CO



Date: 03/21/06 18:42
Re: HO scale ballast
Author: pepperidge

03GrandAmGT Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> ARIZONA ROCK AND MINERAL CO. is good stuff. I
> have seen it and looks like what you would pick up
> on the side of the track and make yourself.
> Awhile back I heard that this guy shut his doors
> but found the website here's the link.
> http://www.rrscenery.com/index.html
>
> There is one I used many years ago, and if I can
> find the bag it came in I will post the info. It
> was great stuff also. The other choice would be
> Woodland scenics.
>
> jd

I recently bought some AZ Rock and Ballast at An Affair With Trains in Phoenix. They have a large stock on hand in all colors. The size is right for HO, too. Don't know if they ship. They are on West Bethany Home Rd. Phone # is available at the DEX online directory.

Pepperidge



Date: 03/21/06 21:25
Re: HO scale ballast
Author: hammer

Hello,
I dont know if they make this product anymore, but I have used "John's Ballast" and it looked really, really good. Like I said I dont know if it even exists anymore.
Hope this helps,
TheHammer
Mark



Date: 03/22/06 00:04
Re: HO scale ballast
Author: alaska

Consider using N scale ballast, it may look better to scale for you. Just look at some photos of tracks and you'll see just how fine the stuff is. Keep in mind that railroads generally use local material for their ballast so some may be large but usually no larger than a golf ball.

Hal



Date: 03/22/06 01:47
Re: HO scale ballast
Author: Trainworm

I tried using Woodland Scenics medium ballast for my first layout and I wasnt too happy with it. on my little photo module I built, I used WS fine ballast and it looks 1000% better. much more scale sized.



Date: 03/22/06 04:03
Re: HO scale ballast
Author: timharris

Another choice is Color Canyon Materials. I think his stuff competes with Arizona Rock and Mineral materals. The web site is www.colorcanyonmaterials.com and he ships no charge.

Tim Harris



Date: 03/22/06 05:07
Re: HO scale ballast
Author: brfriedm

I have used Woodland Scenics ballast on my layout. I have ballasted my whole layout 45' X 45' 3 levels so I consider myself a ballast expert. I hate nothing more then ballasting but it also makes a huge difference. I use Woodland Scenics HO ballast for the mainlines and sidings and N scale for branches and yards. I also airbrush the track. To me it looks good. You can use the other companies but the challenges are availability on a consistent basis and pricing. I was able to get Woodland Scenics in quantity very reasonably. Pictures below show Dark Grey HO on a siding and N scale Dark Grey in a local industry. Good luck Bob!

Bruce Friedman

PS - If you look at Class 1 ballast in my area (CSX), its fairly large. I know allot of HO modelers that use the N scale size exclusively on their HO layouts too.






Date: 03/22/06 07:11
Re: HO scale ballast
Author: stivmac

I use Arizona in the yards (the SP Yard ballast is a neat mix of black and rust) and Woodland on the main--yeah, it IS a bit big,but the smaller stuff, closer to scale does look a bit like sand. Funny that the medium ballast seems to "look" right. At least to me. Its also a question of $$$. Price per ounce for AZ is almost double the Woodlands! And it's a bit finer so it takes more to do a given section of track. That drives teh $4/"mile" up to prohibitive (for me) levels. Whstle Stop in Pasadena has AZ. Get bags of each and see what works for you and the look you want.



Date: 03/22/06 09:09
Re: HO scale ballast
Author: keysubdiv

ditto on the airbrushed tarck and Woodland scenics ballast:

<http://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?3,1110503,1110503#msg-1110503>;

TWL



Date: 03/22/06 16:51
Thanks!
Author: bobdavis

Many thanks for all the tips!

Bob



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