A really well scaled blend that accurately reflects prototype size and is eminently suitable for 2mm scale (N Scale) modelling.
If you did not grow up with steam, visited an active steam shed or have not researched widely in relation to the steam era, then it is hard to really appreciate just how dark, dirty and gloomy things were around steam locomotives and their facilities.
Coal is black and smaller bits of coal, muck and dust was dropped everywhere.
Oiling of steam locos used a “total loss” system so that oil was used before it was then just dripped away, often mixed with steam and hot, mucky water. Washing out of locos took all of the ash and clinker away, washing it into the environment… and of course smog, soot, and the grungy particles in the smoke were constantly “airbrushed” onto the buildings and anything else in the area… especially the ground areas.
Accordingly, the predominant colours of this ballast are quite dark, just as the real world was… so, our Steam Era ballast represents ballast that has been laid for some time and subject to the muck, brake dust, rust, weather and other “industrial effluences” that were inevitably deposited as trains pass.
Although dark, it is not an unrelieved blackness. It is, once again, a complex blend based on lots of checking and it now closely matches our research.
As with the brown and grey mixes, consistency matters so grain size was checked with a vernier before packing. Because of the nature of heavily used areas around steam, we added slightly more fines to this mix as well.
This blend has one more special feature… a “special double colouring” that you can use that will change the final result to blend transitions to suit a specific area on your layout, or your preferences…
Use in combination with other Legacy Ballast for transitional areas and weather with powders or paint as appropriate for realism.