*thomas*

Track Ballast - Ideas needed

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Hi all

 

I'am building a large diorama with a station and warehouse. I have about 14 ft of track which I would like to give some more depth than just putting it on baseplates.

Do you guys/girls have any ideas on how I can achieve this?

 

Thanks

 

Thomas

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Up front: I am not an expert in building Lego trains, but the first thing that came into my mind was putting it on a causeway. That's also a nice opportunity to put some vegetation along the track. Of course on a diorama of that size it is going to use up quite a lot of pieces. Especially if you want to achieve a decent amount of detailing. Giving it an internal structure made of technic beams should make it nicely sturdy though.

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There are some great resources out there for this question. Just about every LUG has their own standard for track ballast. While I am not a part of any LUG...yet. I think the track ballast by PennLUG is some of the best I have encountered. It is both realistic, and seems quite sturdy. Very rich in detail. Depending on the scope of your project you might want to check out their layouts. I know you can find them on Flickr... Unfortunately I do not have a link right off hand. They use a standard close to the MILS discussed on www.l-gauge.org. Also, Brick Model Railroader will probably have good resources on this too.

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Thanks for the input guys.

 

@Duq I spent quite some time browsing flickr, google and pinterest, but nothing really did it for me... I might be fussy, I don't know.

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This is how I ballast my layout. The light bluish gray ballast is for a double mainline, while the dark bluish gray is intended for yards. It can be done with Me Models track as well as LEGO Power Functions and 9V track, as long as you have the parts to cover up the dark bley.

Me Models vs Power Functions Ballast

Dark Bluish Grey Ballast

LEGO Track Ballast Example

Ballast Example

 

On 8/6/2017 at 8:30 AM, Duq said:

Have you heard of 'Search' and 'Google'?

Google search won't show you everything. If he hadn't made this topic, I would have never bothered uploading pictures of my track in the first place.

Edited by Aaron

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I use single stud plates and tiles of differing shapes, with lbg/dbg colors mixed about 50/50. Seems to produce satisfying results.

Edited by ProvenceTristram

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This is how are tracks were ballasted in our diorama for Legoworld 2018 in Utrecht. It's the same principle as Aaron uses but different colours. Prepare to empty your wallet on Bricklink, because this is very, very parts intensive.

44532349725_0e490dcd31_c.jpg

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16 hours ago, alois said:

This is how are tracks were ballasted in our diorama for Legoworld 2018 in Utrecht. It's the same principle as Aaron uses but different colours. Prepare to empty your wallet on Bricklink, because this is very, very parts intensive.

44532349725_0e490dcd31_c.jpg

This is "simple" yet effective.  I also really love how you added standing water with the sand green. 

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How often is custom ballast used in conjunction with regular baseplates such as roads, and how do you adjust the elevation for trackside structures such as official station sets, or cargo handling facilities? Also, is there a guideline somewhere when preparing elements for use in construction of how much you need per standard piece of track?

Edited by Elana-chan

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6 hours ago, Elana-chan said:

How often is custom ballast used in conjunction with regular baseplates such as roads, and how do you adjust the elevation for trackside structures such as official station sets, or cargo handling facilities? Also, is there a guideline somewhere when preparing elements for use in construction of how much you need per standard piece of track?

Usually when ballasting track there is also a custom road solution in place. 

The two more popular systems in which to do this are MILS and Moduverse.

The MILS standard is what my LUG and many US based LUGs seem to use. It is a baseplate + 1 brick + 1 plate. It is big money but it allows for a lot of terrain variation. 

Moduverse is not something I am familiar with but from what I remember it does not us a base plate and is 2 bricks + 1 plate for the ground level.

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In recent years, in HispaLUG we have developed several MILS modules with solutions for track ballast...

Móduls MILS 16x32 - Via Única

This is the base option that we use in our meetings... From here you can decorate and improve your tracks...

21 base via doble v-tvc22 base via doble amb pas a nivell v-tvc

 

You see more solutions in this album Flickr...

https://flic.kr/s/aHsks5aAMe

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On 1/10/2019 at 2:37 AM, Elana-chan said:

How often is custom ballast used in conjunction with regular baseplates such as roads, and how do you adjust the elevation for trackside structures such as official station sets, or cargo handling facilities? Also, is there a guideline somewhere when preparing elements for use in construction of how much you need per standard piece of track?

If your referring to the old ramp style stations you can raise them by plates under the plate connections then tiles under the non plate.   Interesting enough the sloped 8w roof tiles are 3 plates tall  and work great under the old station plates to continue the ramp. 

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The LNUR layout uses a plate/tile height above regular base plates and many, many tubs of 1x1 round tiles in bley for ballasting one the track is in place. Must be a pain to clear up after shows though!

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On 1/10/2019 at 3:46 PM, supertruper1988 said:

Usually when ballasting track there is also a custom road solution in place. 

The two more popular systems in which to do this are MILS and Moduverse.

The MILS standard is what my LUG and many US based LUGs seem to use. It is a baseplate + 1 brick + 1 plate. It is big money but it allows for a lot of terrain variation. 

Moduverse is not something I am familiar with but from what I remember it does not us a base plate and is 2 bricks + 1 plate for the ground level.

The Moduverse standard is 2 bricks = 1 bottom plate + 1 brick & 1 plate in the middle + 1 top plate (usually 16x16 plates but “floating” baseplates could be used).

1 additional tile/plate is only needed if combined with removable track sections.

Thus, Moduverse is slightly more parts intensive than MILS but provides a few building advantages without being that much more expensive (no baseplates needed). A topic for another discussion 😁

Edited by dtomsen

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On 1/15/2019 at 3:10 PM, Matt Dawson said:

The LNUR layout uses a plate/tile height above regular base plates and many, many tubs of 1x1 round tiles in bley for ballasting one the track is in place. Must be a pain to clear up after shows though!

I'd recommend a vacuum cleaner to clear up after shows. :grin:

Actually I'm using a small vacuum cleaner very often to move small bricks from one box to another. 

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