Ballast and platforms down
Tonight was Girl's Night Out for Mrs A, so a great opportunity to get some more work done on my fiddle yard module.
On Friday I'd dyed a batch of chinchilla sand with a watery mix of Resene Sandcastle and Gravel colours and left it in the sun all day to dry, stirring occasionally so it didn't all clump together. After putting it through a tea strainer and a fine sieve to remove the larger lumps, I had a nice batch of grey ballast ready to use.
(Chinchilla sand is apparently a fine white sand that your pet chinchilla bathes in, easily found online or at any pet store. The great thing about it is that it very fine and uncoloured, and being a natural product it isn't all a uniform size, so it works very well for N scale scenery. I highly recommend getting some.)
Before I could ballast though I needed to affix the platforms. I made some careful measurements and then made up a spacing template on the computer. With one of these at each end I could easily ensure each platform was correctly centered between tracks.
I weighted everything down and then went off and made dinner.
In the past I've used 2L milk bottles filled with water; perhaps it's time I started saving them up again, because this is a little ridiculous!
After dinner I removed the weights and started spreading my ballast. Nothing special about my technique; just sprinkle and spread. I used a 50/50 mix of matte medium and water (+ couple of drops of detergent) through an eye dropper to fix the ballast in place.
After an hour or so I had most of it done. The drawing pins are holding the track in place so I've left them unglued for now. Tomorrow's job is to finish off the ballasting and start adding details.