BEGINNER’S GUIDE: Ballasting your model railway

Some detest ballasting, but we find it quite therapeutic. The process requires time and focus and it is a great way to distract your mind from the real world.

THERE ARE a number of choices when it comes to adding ballast to a model railway which is an essential ingredient of the real railway for drainage and to keep the track in position. The simplest method is to use readily available pre-ballasted rolls of foam underlay, but there is no real substitute for carefully finished hand ballasted track as we are showing in this guide.

The finished scene is a complete diorama featuring a main line and siding. Finishing touches include light weathering with diluted Geoscenics Black Concentrate to take away the fresh appearance of the ballast plus Woodland Scenics fine leaf foliage across the rear of the scene.
Above: The finished scene is a complete diorama featuring a main line and siding. Finishing touches include light weathering with diluted Geoscenics Black Concentrate to take away the fresh appearance of the ballast plus Woodland Scenics fine leaf foliage across the rear of the scene.

The tools and materials you need are basic. A can of brown spray paint, two grades of Woodland Scenics ballast, masking tape, a couple of plastic tubs, a spray bottle with water and basic glues. The rest is purely down to time and attention to detail.

Want to read more?

This is a premium article and requires an active Key Model World subscription.

Existing subscriber? Sign in now

No subscription?

Enjoy the following subscriber only benefits:

  • Unlimited access to all Key Model World content
  • Exclusive product reviews, latest news, builds and highly detailed layouts
  • Read 5,300 articles, in a fully searchable archive of modelling content growing daily!
  • Access to read the official Hornby Magazine and Airfix Model World online, brought to life with video and additional imagery
  • Access on any device- anywhere, anytime
  • Choose from our offers below