East of the Blue Ridge

Chronicles of an On30 quarry railroad

February 2015

Returned Ballast

It has taken a long time for me to get tired of looking at my incomplete trackwork.


Most of my turnouts have been waiting a long time to have the copper clad crossties and throwbars painted.


My first few attempts at painting copper were unsuccessful due to the paint not sticking. A thorough search of my paint supplies turned up these Floquil paint markers. They came in a set called “structure weathering.” Colors included Weathered Concrete, Roof Brown, and Weathered Black.


The Floquil markers did an excellent job of coloring the copper. Since the markers are no longer available and I wasn’t sure it they would last once primed, I went ahead and painted all the copper crossties and throwbars on the layout. Hopefully I will have the opportunity to use them again before they dry up.


After the paint dried on the copper crossties, I ballasted the turnouts. This limestone ballast was crushed and screened for me by Gene Browning. Years ago I gave the ballast away after getting all my track laid, completely forgetting that I still had all the turnouts yet to do. I felt like an idiot having to go back and ask for my ballast back. It had been given away a few more times, but it miraculously found its way back to me. I mixed some sand and HO scale cinders in the limestone ballast and spread it very thin, sprayed it with a mixture of water and rubbing alcohol, then a mixture of water and matte medium.