Author Topic: Woodland Scenics vs Highball  (Read 4456 times)

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kelleywpns

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Woodland Scenics vs Highball
« on: May 02, 2013, 05:27:35 PM »
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I've used Woodland Scenics Ballast in the past (fine grade) with no issues.  I noted the price difference (increase) if I chose to use Highball.  For anyone that has used both products, is there much of a difference between the two to justify the extra cost?

Thanks for your time.

Mike
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MichaelWinicki

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Re: Woodland Scenics vs Highball
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2013, 05:32:54 PM »
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Woodland Scenics is made out of crushed walnut shells.

Highball is made out of real rock.

Both can give very good results, but the real rock has less tendancy to "float" if you're not careful.

Some have reported that Highball needs to be shifted before you use it, but I haven't and have been very pleased with the results...




wazzou

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Re: Woodland Scenics vs Highball
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2013, 09:04:46 PM »
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Though your query did not include Arizona Rock & Minerals, it has been my go to ballast since I developed disdain for WS.  I have no experience with Highball.
Bryan

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Zox

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Re: Woodland Scenics vs Highball
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2013, 09:32:40 PM »
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And just to provide a counterpoint, I haven't experienced the "floating" issue with Woodland Scenics. That's because I usually apply glue full-strength and then "stomp" the ballast down into the glue, instead of using the more common "sprinkle the ballast on dry, then hose the layout down with watery glue" technique.  :)
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nkalanaga

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Re: Woodland Scenics vs Highball
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2013, 01:48:32 AM »
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My experience with Highball is limited, as they weren't easy to find where I shopped, and didn't seem to have the colors I needed.  However, I have used their grays and coal for scenery material, and it seems to work about like the AR&M.  That's not surprising, as they're both real rock, so basically fine sand.  The packages I have, all well over 20 years old, say they are real limestone, so if one needs limestone ballast, I'd say it should work fine.  It glues well, if thoroughly wetted, and doesn't float nearly as badly as WS.

I used WS, many years ago, and found the best use for it was to use the fine "iron ore" color for pine cones...

Rob:  I've seen the "hose it down with glue" method described, but have never used it, due to the probably disastrous results.  I can just see a layout after spraying it with glue...especially when one has cats.

I spray the ballast with "wet" water, made by adding a little dish detergent, in a spray bottle.  A plant mister from the garden store gives a nice, gentle, even spray.  Then, after the ballast is wet, I add the diluted glue by dropping it from an Elmer's bottle, one drop at a time, until the ballast is saturated.  No mess, and the glue goes only where I want it.  For scenery I use sand and other natural "stuff", and the same method, except that I often open the bottle a little more, putting the glue down as a gentle stream.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2013, 01:53:29 AM by nkalanaga »
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casmmr

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Re: Woodland Scenics vs Highball
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2013, 06:27:15 AM »
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I am a fan of WS.  I have never had ballast float on me.  I will brush on full strength white glue on the sides of the track, sprinkle on the ballast, let it dry.  Then I will sprinkle on additional ballast including between the rails.  After brushing the area between the rails to even the ballast with the ties, I mist wet water on the track and then drop the 50/50 mix of white glue and water on the ballast.  I use the same method for applying the scenery products, grasses, etc., on every where else.  The 2 or 3 applications make for depth of scenery.  Everyone must find what works for them and then use that method.

HuskerN

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Re: Woodland Scenics vs Highball
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2013, 08:02:43 AM »
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I like Highball, and have used it on my past two layouts:

Here is WS on the Rocky Mt. Sub:  (mix of grey and buff)


Highball N scale ballast - grey


Highball HO scale, but screened and using about 50% of smallest particles (equal mix of grey, dark grey, and limestone)


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davefoxx

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Re: Woodland Scenics vs Highball
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2013, 08:11:01 AM »
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What are you guys using to sift the ballast to ensure you're getting the right size?  I plan on using Highball on my layout.

My experience with WS is that it did float on me.  Yes, I sprayed down the ballast with wet water before dribbling on the adhesive.  I was annoyed by having to scrape the ballast off of the sides of the rail, risking scratching the paint off of the web of the rail.  The end result looked good to me, but I disliked the extra step necessary due to floating.



Hope this helps,
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DKS

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Re: Woodland Scenics vs Highball
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2013, 08:52:03 AM »
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I've used most all of the brands cited at one point or another, and have been able to keep "floaters" to a minimum by applying straight rubbing alcohol to the ballast first. Used to spray it on, now I just dribble it on along the rail with an eyedropper. Then I dribble on 50-50 white glue and water.

I used to use WS, but now I use miniTec, which is similar to Arizona.



This yard has a mix of WS and Highball, IIRC...

« Last Edit: May 03, 2013, 08:54:08 AM by David K. Smith »
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Ian MacMillan

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Re: Woodland Scenics vs Highball
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2013, 09:07:47 AM »
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I am a big fan of Smith & Son (available though Scenic Express) as it is reall rock. I wet my ballast with rubbing alcohol and it does not even come close to floating. I have not used WS in about 17 years and its been worth it.

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rogergperkins

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Re: Woodland Scenics vs Highball
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2013, 09:09:55 AM »
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If your point is price, check the sand for sand art in a craft store.
It is much less expensive that products sold as ballast in the hobby store.
I used some for a rural gravel road and was delighted with the appearance.

PS: I do not ballast my track after I ruined a locomotive gears when a grain of ballast was sucked in.  :?

kelticsylk

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Re: Woodland Scenics vs Highball
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2013, 12:17:24 PM »
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Woodland Scenics is made out of crushed walnut shells.

Highball is made out of real rock.

Made me laugh. I have pounds of the Woodland Scenics. Never realized I was paying good money for "phoney" rock.

With all the crushed limestone laying around here for free I may change suppliers  :)

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Woodland Scenics vs Highball
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2013, 03:09:09 PM »
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I used sanded grout here:



I'm pretty happy with it.

seusscaboose

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Re: Woodland Scenics vs Highball
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2013, 03:14:44 PM »
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Ian... do you still get S&S via SE?

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Re: Woodland Scenics vs Highball
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2013, 04:26:02 PM »
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Ian... do you still get S&S via SE?

EP

Yeah but its under the Scenic Express name now.
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