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It's not a stupid question if you don't know the answer!

Ballasting is a case of where there are any number of options, so you pays you're money and takes you're choice.

Assuming you're using loose ballast the 'traditional' method is to pin the track down without any glue. Brush the dry ballast onto the track and tidy it up. Spray the ballast with water with a spot of detergent in it. For this you need a fine spray, usual advice is to use a plant spray, but I find a cooking oil spray can (its an aerosol can you pump up by hand) does a better job as it has a finer spray.

Once the ballast is wet, run in watered down PVA glue using an eye dropper or similar. The usual mix recommended ranges from 10 - 1 to 4 - 1, I suggest you experiment, In my experience it varies depending on the glue. The C+L webstite suggests using Copydex rather than PVA

After the glue has set you can remove the track pins (optional). Be careful round points as its easy to glue them up (I know!!).

An alternative method is to lay the track on a glue bed then brush on the ballast. I've never tried this way, the only disadvantage I can think of is you then have a limited time to get the track aligned and ballasted. This seems to be the method recommended in British Railway Modelling's latest DVD.

I would say any method that works is right, but its usually a long boring job.

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