Monday, July 9, 2012

Track Ballast + 'Good Enough' Camera Tricks

Testing my aged-to-perfection matte medium and Highball Natural Lime-
stone ballast on small pieces of (expendable) transition track.

With power outages, college searches, graduation, big work projects, and all those other real-life distractions in the rear-view mirror, we're finally working on Dunes Junction again.

Track ballasting has begun. I started small because I have a massive gallon jar of matte medium thinned and prepped per the instructions in the Frary and Hayden scenery book, which is also something like six or seven years old.

I am using Highball #220 HO Natural Limestone ballast, which appears (to my eye, anyway) as good match for South Shore's ballast color and texture. Limestone, by the way, is in some abundance around Northwest Indiana because it is an ingredient in the manufacture of the region's leading production commodities, concrete and steel.
Like Jack Nicholson's Joker once said, 'It's hard to stay inside the lines'-- Here I am already putting ballast down on the layout. Hope my vintage matte medium works out!

I'm also using the Model Railroader magazine technique of ballasting between the rails first that I've previously mentioned. This technique goes somewhat more slowly than trying to get shoulders and between-the-rails at the same time--but it is much neater and gives much more control.

Meanwhile, I'm exploring the Anti-Motion Blur mode on my new Sony NEX-7 camera, which allowed me to take the two accompanying photos without busting out the tripod and remote control. In this mode, the camera apparently takes many exposures in rapid succession and then automagically processes them into a usable image. Not altogether happy about the depth of field, but it works. The photographic result is 'good enough', as Allen McClelland would have put it, at least good enough for this little old blog.

Stay tuned for more ballast progress . . .

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