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German Model Railway in H0


Ballasting Trix C track

I am building a modular layout to bring with me to exhibitions. I think an exhibition layout is a great way for my trains to get some exercise and for me to meet other model railway fans. The layout is built using Trix C track, because I really like this track and I think it is easy to work with.

My class 146 is testing the catenary on the newly ballasted track.

The slope of the track bed on the C track is a bit on the high angle, so I ballasted the sides of the track to make it look more realistic. For this purpose I used the Noch gray ballast (Noch #95640).

Before ballasting I also gave the track some weathering using a Vallejo gray wash (Vallejo #76.517). This brings out the texture of the stone in the plastic ballast, and really helps blending the plastic and stone ballast. Especially if you drybrush the finished result like I did.

Update: I later found out that Pewter Patina Finish from Woodland Scenics (Woodland Scenics #M126) gives a better result than the Vallejo wash. I will use that from now on.

Foam brushes are your best friend when ballasting track.

I use a foam brush to create the slope of the track bed. Using a foam brush makes things a lot easier, because it has a pointy end which happens to be the same angle as the track bed I am going for. You can buy a foam brush in almost any hardware store.

Push the ballast in place using the foam brush.

I simply push the ballast up against the track until I am satisfied with the result. I make sure that I do not get any ballast on top of the track bed. I only need to get the slope right.

Tip: Even if you do not use C track, the foam brush will help you a lot when ballasting!

When I am done I glue it all down using Scenic Cement (#Woodland Scenics S191).

Scenic Cement from Woodland Scenics is simply the best glue for ballasting.

When the glue has dried, it is time to blend everything together. I drybrush the ties and ballast with Noch Ivory colour (Noch #61191). This blends the plastic ballast with the stone ballast. I think the result is pretty amazing and I am very satisfied.

Here are some pictures of the final result.

The "holes" in the ballast is where the catenary masts will go. I have left this space open to make it easier to install the masts. After I am done I can always come back in and fix the ballast.

From normal viewing angles I do not think you will notice that this is in fact C track.

Because the ballast is not on top of the track bed, I will have smooth running conditions for my trains.

If you are using C track from either Märklin or Trix you should give this technique a try. I think you will be happy with the result!

Happy modeling!

Service Update For Märklin Mobile Station 2

Märklin Mobile Station 2

Märklin has released a service update for the Mobile Station 2 (this concerns the Trix Mobile Station 2 as well). The update fixes an issue with the speed regulation that controls the accelleration and deacceleration of locomotives. The issue causes the train to jump in speed when turning the speed up, down or changing direction.

You can download the update through the Central Station 2 connected to the internet.

Simply update the Central Station 2 software from the internet, and you will receive the new software for your Mobile Station 2. The Central Station 2 will then update the Mobile Station 2s that you connect to it.

If you have a Mobile Station 2 with the new software, it can update other Mobile Station 2s as well by connecting both of them to a railbox (Märklin #60113).

Happy modelling!