We are often asked which ballast product to use on a railroad.  Woodland Scenics recommends their Fine product for N and Z, Medium grade for HO and S and Course for O and G.

Many experienced modelers use Fine for HO.  What is the correct answer?

Using Woodland Scenics products in Fine, Medium or Coarse grades the reference shows the approximate prototype size for that scale.

For example: Woodland Scenics “Fine” ballast would be rock sizes .9 to 2.9” and “Medium” would be rock sizes 2.9 to 4.3”.

Norfolk Southern specifies #3 ballast which is 1 to 2.5” for main (this would be “Fine”) and #5 ballast for sidings which is 3/8 to 1.5” (no product for this!).

So.  HO – use Fine. O – use Medium for Mains and Fine for sidings, G – Use Course for Mains and Medium for sidings if you want it to look “prototype”.