On previous layouts and dioramas I have been using Woodland Scenics Fine Ballast for my track, and I have been satisfied with the result. But this time I wanted to test something else. Perhaps if I could find something even finer, and looking just a little bit more like real rock.

I remembered reading, on David K Smith’s Z scale web site, about a German firm selling good looking ballast: minitec. I contacted tehm and they were nice enough to send me some samples.

I also found another German firm, Asoa Modellbahnzubehör, that seemd to offer nice N scale ballast. So I ordered some gray ballast from them.

Thus equipped with a number of ballast samples I ballasted some of my track, so I should be able to do some comparisons. Here is the result

Use the following link to open a larger, high resolution, version of the same photo.

From left to right you can see
– Woodland Scenics Fine Ballast, Gray Blend, #B1393
– ASOA, Granitschotter, N Scale, #1609
– minitec, Standard-Schotter Phonolith N, #0311
– minitec, Gleisschotter Phonolit N, #0011
– minitec, Gleisschotter Phonolit H0, #0021

The ASOA ballast is not bad at all, but does not really measure up when compared to the others. It has partly dissolved, and does no longer constitute single rocks.

The two minitec N scale samples are nearly identical. If I understood the minitec German-spoken web site correctly, one of them has the correct scale size rocks (Gleisschotter) while the other (Standard-Schotter) follows a German modelling standard (AGN) and uses slightly larger rocks, for better visual appearance. But the difference is not really visible.

The HO ballast is just thrown in for comparison, since the people att minitec sent me a sample.

I like the minitec N scale ballast the best, and will probably be using one of those.