Learning to Love Ballasting
The good news about 'being at the ballasting stage' is that I'm not at the stage shown in the photos above or below! Nope! The layout is wired and we're down to the scenery portion of our hobby.
I also learned an important thing about ballasting that I know I've read a dozen times, but somehow interpreted and applied incorrectly. We've all heard that you need to 'wet' your ballast with some mixture of water and dish soap...this is to help the glue actually flow into and around the ballast instead of 'balling' up on the surface. For whatever dumb reason, I always interpreted this as combining the water, soap, and glue in one mixture, but its actually two separate applications! Duh! I have to say, the wet water applied to the ballast before dropping the diluted glue onto it makes a huge difference. I really need to pay better attention.
What I will have - when its finished - is a decent sized passenger terminal so I have a place to park my Thalys and other passenger trains. On the other side of the terminal, near the turnouts, is a small two track engine servicing area so I have a place to park locomotives no longer in use. You can pretty much picture the Baden-Baden passenger station that will go in the foreground at the stub ends of these tracks. Of course, more urban environments and streets in from of the station as well.
So the layout progress rolls on....I'm actually looking forward to the next stage...scenery is one of the enjoyable parts, and I even built my own 'static grass' applicator from an electric fly swatter to do some fancy flocking work. Woohoo!