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FINALLY- next steps ?ballast?

1280 Views 9 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  MichaelE
I've got ALL the track running and ALL the turnouts working. I'm sure if I put a big steamer on it it will still need a bit of fiddling, but I AM THERE!!!! I can run trains!!!!

So I'm looking at scenery. Some of my track is on the level (foam board over door). Much/most of it is going up, down, elevated etc.

I'm struggling a bit with exactly what I want where, but I'm making some progress on that too. Sorted out when I got a Kato turntable to replace the Bachmann one that I had. It takes up lots of space, but I think I'll love it.

The one end of the train is to be Los Angeles (the Daylight is, I think, the most beautiful train ever made). The other is going to be part of Germany/Poland in WW2. Just cause, well I like those trains too, and in both cases the trains were an important part of the story. That part I'm going to do in blacks/whites/grays and a bit of browns. Dark clouds.

I just realized that I'm going to be in LA in 3 weeks, so I can take the pictures for the background 'in person' rather than trying to download something on the net. I think I'll go near to where the SP yard was and take pics of the mountains/ocean from a nearby elevated location.

So my question is- ballast. The guy at the train store said that the very last thing you do is ballast. I don't think there ever will be a last thing I do- I don't want it done, i 'like building it more. My track is down where I want it. For now. It works. What do you think? Could I ballast it now, then work around it? It looks easy to touchup if I needed to, and I could focus on some of the trackside details once I get all the feeder wires etc hidden away. And the silicone caulking that is under many parts (to fiddle an incline this or that way, just a quarter of an inch or so), It would be nice to see the end of that.

So can I ballast now? Or should I wait. Im not planning on plaster mountains (did that with my son 15 years ago, it was fine but never felt solid to me). Foam carved. So at least it won't be plaster itself getting on the tracks. Something else.

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I have stationary decoders

that all my turnouts are wired to. Do they have the capacitor discharge units built into them? (NCE and Digitrax).
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