This is ordinary sand from the childrens playground. First I filled a bucket with water and filled the sand into it and stired round and round to clean the sand from small branches and leaf. This will float up to the surface while the sand will sink to the bottom. Then I let it all dry up well. After a few days I had the sand run through a fine masked wire cloth to separate the smallest grains. It's Z scale...

To get the colour right, I stired in a dash of brown paint mixed up with water. 

First the tracks have been glued to the surface. then the dry sand is formed with a dry paintbrush. 
Gluing the sand

Here is a very importent tool. The pipette. It is used to aply the glue to the sand.

I have purchased it at the local pharmacy 



First I fill a spray can with water. Then I ad som dishwashing liquid to the water. This is to spray the sand with before applying the glue.

Now it is time for the glue. I have used ordinary white glue. The type of glue I use for wood. Not sure what it is called in english.

The glue must be mixed up with water to make it thinner. I have used one part glue and 2 parts water.


First the sand must be sprayed with the water which contains dishwashing liquid. This is to prevent the glue to stay on top of the sand instead of mix into the sand. The dishwashing liquid makes the grains slippery....

Now it's time to apply the glue. The pipette is a good tool for this job. It's imortent to use plentiful of glue.

Do not be afraid when it all looks white and messy... It will be just perfect when it has dryed up.

The sand may move a litle when the water is applyed with the spray can. That can easyli be fixed by gently touching it with the fingertips before it dryes up. It will take some hours before it is all dry.

Remember to wipe off the glue from the top of the rails before it dryes. Be carefull to not wipe off the sand.

This is the first layout I have aplyed my own ballast to.

I would not have been able to get this nice result without all the help and tips from other Modelrailroaders I have met on the internet. Thank you all!


Ballasting turnouts:

If this is not done carefully, the expression "Sand in the machinery" gets a new meaning....

It is very importent to avoid to get sand in betwen the two ties which suround the rod to the mechanism.

It is also very imortant that the rails can move freely without being hindered by grains on top of the ties.

Last, it is very importent to keep the magnets that move the turnouts free from water. Do not use the spray can on the turnouts. Use the pipette to apply the water carefully.

This is not easy.... I used two to three houres on each turnout!

The pin was used to remove grains from the fine mechanism.

 Painting of the rails

This takes time... But it is really paying off, because the rails look so much better when it is done

I have also painted the ties with the same colour. 

It is absolutely best to do this before applying the ballast.