Track Infill

For the APA box layout I want the track to be buried in sand, with just the rails visible.

To build up the ground level I painted PVA (white glue) between the sleepers (ties) and filled the gaps with Polyfilla (Spackle).

Tools of choice here are a modified lolly stick to smooth the Polyfilla and a Swiss Army Knife to remove any excess filler from the inside of the rails.

Finally I weathered the sleepers, added a rust colour to the rails and painted the infill a light brown.

This is nerve-racking stuff. I’ve just brought some brand new points (switches) that operate perfectly and I’m spreading glue, filler and paint all around them !

Luckily I seem to have got away with it – the points still work.

I’m not sure about that brown colour though. Something more ‘sandy’ is needed.


  1. Looking good, Steve. What do you plan to do around the pointwork? I’m wondering because I’ve buried the plain track on Caravanserai in sand but the points rather stand out. I’m working up the courage to glue sand between the pointwork sleepers then paint the tops to match.


    • Hi Chris
      I think I’m going to take a similar approach to you. I’m planning to add sand between the sleepers, and then weather the sleepers so they look like aged wood. Presumably they’d have to keep the sand away from the switch blades or they wouldn’t be able to change the point…. well that’s my excuse 🙂
      In reality I don’t fancy spreading too much sand around the points !


      • Thanks. I’m glad we’re on the same page. I’ve got a screwdriver with a notch in the blade so I can scrape the top and inside edge of the rails -very necessary with the sand. Also I’ve discovered I was a bit to liberal with the rust paint and I’m still finding places were it’s affecting electrical pickup.


      • I like the screwdriver idea – I’ll use that.
        I haven’t tested the electrics or the running yet. I thought I’d finish ‘making a mess’ and then ‘sort it out’ afterwards 🙂


  2. Seems we are several with the same fear 😋

    I use to paint black under the switches and then add as little sand as possible around it and nothing in it close to the frog and blades.



    • I think a Swiss Army knife is an underrated modelling tool. I use mine for so many things, even smoothing 3D printed loco bodies 🙂
      Strange we have exactly the same modified ice cream stick… It works well for me… and I enjoy eating Magnums too 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.