How to detail your track

Choose your ballast

Ballast takes on many different colours and textures, so pay attention to what’s used on the stretch of railway that you’re modelling and select the right miniature ballast accordingly. There’s huge choice from synthetic materials to real crushed rock. Sieved sand offers a realistic alternative.

Apply the glue

Mist your track with water and a drop of washing up liquid before gluing. Use an eyedropper, pipette or syringe and pinpoint applicator to apply the diluted PVA glue to the ballast. Be careful not to disturb the material. Allow a few days for the glue to set.

Tone down you track

Real rails are only bright and shiny when they’re freshly rolled, and sleepers and ballast will soon take on a dirty, weathered look with prolonged exposure to the elements. Paint your rail sides with a rust colour whilst a couple of light coats of RailMatch Sleeper Grime will sort out your sleepers.

Get the rural look

Only grey chippings and a ballast shoulder are suitable for modern main lines. To get steam era track, paint and ballast your track as normal. Then press DAS clay over the ballast and sleepers. Packing it into place with a stiff brush. Leave to dry and then paint.

Gear essential

After ballasting, painting and weathering track, you must clean the rail tops otherwise you’ll impair the performance of your trains. Peco’s PL-41 Rail Cleaner is ideal but don’t leave paint to dry for too long, or else it will be difficult to remove.

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