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Stone - Colour In The Real World. - The Prototype Photograph Archive. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Sun Mar 24th, 2013 03:10 am
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Mythocentric
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The idea for this thread came about after I’d built some small wooden huts and telegraph poles. It wasn’t until I got around to painting them that I realised that I had no idea what ‘colour’ creosote or for that matter bitumen, another wood preservative should be. Luckily for me, weathering supremo Martyn Welch came to the rescue with a 50/50 mix of Humbrol 33 Matt Black and Humbrol 186 Brown Bess lightly drybrushed with Humbrol 53 Gunmetal.
As an artist colour is very important to me and nothing bugs me more than to read an article which covers the building of a model, say for instance, a retaining wall in great detail, and ends with a description of the painting process (for many including me, the most important stage) being reduced to – “I then painted it stone colour!” Or wood/brick/metal/whatever material takes your fancy colour. A total cop-out which is no help to anyone.
Fortunately, the solution is right there outside your door. Every time we go out we are surrounded by an infinite variety of colours, materials and textures so why not use it? We can only achieve reality in our modelling by copying reality and that’s where these threads come in. The idea is to provide colour references for as wide a range of materials as possible, both natural and man-made, from a wide range of locations for everyone to use as a basis for their own colour choices.
Of course, while I can cover my own area of the north-west UK, there are also regional variations to deal with, plus of course locations in other parts of the world so please feel free to add your own photo’s and help build up a countywide source of reference for all! To assist you I’ll finish with a brief description of how and when I take my own photo’s. (Actually following them is optional! :roll:)
For colour reference photo’s I take all my shots within a couple of hours either side of noon when light is at its most ‘neutral’. This isn’t a hard and fast rule but avoid taking them early in the morning or later in the evening when the low sun can, and probably will, produce a strong colour cast. A lightly overcast day is better than a bright, sunny one which can cause strong glares on some materials and give false results. Also avoid shooting in deep shadow where possible. If you’re camera has an automatic white balance facility, use it. For preference I always carry an inexpensive ‘white-balance card’ (available from any photographic shop together with equally useful ‘grey’ cards) or make your own from a piece of matt white (or light grey) mounting card, and use this to set the exposure manually. That’s it! Nothing complicated! Unless you include the strange looks lurking down back alleyways can produce at times! Honest guv! I’m collecting colour references!
This thread deals with stone in all its many forms with threads to follow for other materials, including the natural world (Hence the title Green Stuff!) I look forward to your input!
A last legal note: All my photo's are free for reference but some scenes (examples from my art webpage) may have print or reproduction copyright in force. If you're in doubt please ask before you use them elsewhere. I'm not usually known for saying no! Of course, the rights of all contributors to be identified as the author of their respective work will be respected without exception.

 
Regards
 
Bill



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 Posted: Sun Mar 24th, 2013 11:31 pm
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Mythocentric
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PAVING

These shots are from a pedestrian area in Poulton-le-Sands, Morecambe and show granite and sandstone setts which were reclaimed from the streets after re-surfacing with tarmac.

Granite setts (cobbles) showing a nice variation in shades. In this case blue/grey. Depending on the source it also comes in a variety of browns and greens.


A close-up of the above. The worn surface comes from the passage of thousands of feet which also keep it surprisingly clean.


These setts from the same area are locally-quarried sandstone which varies from pale sand to a rich golden-brown which almost appears to glow in the evening sun. A prime example is the restored Midland Promenade station building just down the coast.


A final shot showing the contrast between the two stones.





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 Posted: Mon Mar 25th, 2013 03:25 am
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Mythocentric
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PAVING

More paved surfaces, this time from around Lancaster Castle. A much older form of construction dating back to medieval times.

This path crosses the apron in front of the castle. Note the irregular sizes of the setts in contrast to the uniformity found in later construction.


A closer view of the above showing some subtle variations in colour.


In contrast, the rest of the apron is surfaced in sea-washed rubble. The range of colour's and stone types matches that found on nearby beaches and probably indicates their original source. Note the concrete repair on an otherwise loose-laid surface.


Two shots of the road surface on Castle Hill showing an interesting mix of stone including sandstone, gritstone and granite. Again note the irregular size of the setts and the edge treatment.


A vital part of any road and yet all too often missed in modelling



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 Posted: Mon Mar 25th, 2013 02:53 pm
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mynnyddog
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Hi Bill,
these four photos are of random rubble stone walls and were taken in accordance with your guidelines. All were taken at a distance of approximately 3 feet from the walls. I've included one from each of the four principal directions the house faces so you can see the subtle effects of different weathering patterns. All the stone was quarried locally and the walls have been in place from sometime before 1863 (when the railway arrived). It's interesting to see how much colour variation you get within just one piece of stone.
regards
David
© David Meaden


South west


North west


North east


South east

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 Posted: Mon Mar 25th, 2013 11:52 pm
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Mythocentric
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Hi David and thank you for your excellent post. That's just what I'm looking for! I must admit I find stone a fascinating material both for its workability and its amazing richness of colour. As a keen natural historian (a.k.a. boring old g#t!) I sometimes wonder if anyone realises that the stone-built house they live in is built from something created many millions of years ago in the earths youth!

 

May I make one small point, which I should have made in the first post, and that is that contributors indicate the area the photos were taken to help build up a regional database.

 

Regards

 

Bill



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 Posted: Wed Mar 27th, 2013 09:35 am
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mynnyddog
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Hi Bill,
yes sometimes it's hard to think that these stones were once at the bottom of a muddy swamp, especially when you are trying to drill into it!
The location is Llanbrynmair, in mid Wales.
regards
David

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 Posted: Fri Mar 29th, 2013 04:07 am
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Mythocentric
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PAVING

Nothing says northern England more than granite setts. This hard-wearing material was once widespread throughout the area and can still be found on occasions. Colour depended on the source quarry, but the most common was green, followed by blueish-green and, as in this example, brown. This is the approach road to Lancaster Station and it says a lot for the material that it is still the preferred surface after so many years of service.
Easily replicated with plain bond brickwork in your chosen scale. An excellent method of replicating the 'wet-look' of granite is to allow your initial paint layer to dry completely then dry-brush the surface with satin varnish to which a few drops of the appropriate colour has been added. For example: 2/3 drops of colour to a 14ml tin of Humbrol Satin varnish. This gives a subtle but convincing sheen to the surface:












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 Posted: Mon Apr 1st, 2013 07:01 am
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Mythocentric
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PAVING

Examples of stone paving is becoming hard to find in places. These shots come from a side road in Poulton-le-Sands, Morecambe:

A general view along the pavement. Of interest are the difference in sizes of the slabs (flags) which is a far cry from the regular appearance normally found in model form:


Of interest here is the alternative treatment of the road edging which differs from the usual setts laid at right-angles. The road which was cobbled has been resurfaced leaving the edging in the form of stone flags below the curbs in place. Note also the lichen and moss staining in the top right-hand corner.


Finally a shot of the paving which has been repaired with concrete slabs, the stones eventual replacement.



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 Posted: Mon Apr 1st, 2013 07:39 am
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Mythocentric
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WALLS

Two photos of the sandstone walls of the restored Morecambe Promenade station, showing how attractive this material can be when its clean!




By contrast this is the front wall of a property further along the coast at Poulton. The same material with heavy weathering:




The next two photos are of the transition from house wall to yard boundary wall which is of rubble construction. Of particular note is the treatment of the quoins. A sharp contrast from the neat appearance of its model form. Note also the red mortar:




I couldn't resist including this photo. These are the remnants of a row of fisherman's cottages, built in Poulton and dating from before Morecambe even existed. They now serve as a boundary wall for the brick built offices beyond. Standing in a back alley, they serve as a quiet reminder that not everything gets swept away in the rush to modernise! I'm impressed by the way natures slowly reclaiming her own!



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 Posted: Thu Apr 4th, 2013 05:29 am
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Mythocentric
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A few shots from a recent visit to Lancaster. The first is a mid-afternoon, general view down Castle Hill which shows some nice colour variations between the stone buildings:


Three close-up views of the walling. Of interest in the first view is the size of the blocks used in the construction which continues up to the door lintel, after which the building, a cottage, is finished in more conventional fashion:






Two shots of the wing wall of one of the bridges (the northern-most) over Lancaster Station. Note also the facing of the platform (platform 6 which once played host to the Green Ayre electric sets!). That really is red brick under the grime!:




A last shot of cottages on Castle Hill dating from c1750. The doors from step to lintel measure just 5 feet. Definitely not a standard fitting:



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 Posted: Thu Apr 4th, 2013 08:46 am
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Ken
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Excellent photos, thank you for taking so much trouble.

Ken



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 Posted: Thu Apr 4th, 2013 09:58 am
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Barneybuffer
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Mythocentric, Great shot of the old house (last photo) in your most recent post, loads of character. If only I had the skills to build a model of that one. Keep the photo's coming though.



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 Posted: Thu Apr 4th, 2013 11:23 pm
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Mythocentric
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Hello Ken and Ron and thank you.

Ken: Its no trouble at all. Just me and my camera on my frequent walkabouts. As I mentioned in the first post, colour is very important to me as an artist and anything I can do to help us all achieve greater realism in our pastime is worth any small effort. Hopefully we can build the thread up into a country-wide reference source between us so please feel free to add your own contributions. They would all be welcome!

Ron: It is a cracker of a building isn't it? I've knocked a few times, the left-hand side is occupied, trying to get permission to measure them up, but no luck so far. In fact the whole area is full of charm with buildings ranging from grandiose to humble standing shoulder to shoulder, like these cottages. There's another row of cottages on the other side of the castle which occupies a triangular plot in the junction of two lanes! Just for contrast this is the building next door which was a Health Care Dispensary for the Poor 1785-1833. Who says charity doesn't pay!


As for building it. Get stuck in! I personally believe that anyone can do anything they turn their mind to. All you have to do is make a start, and if I can do it, I'm pretty sure you can. Anyway if you get stuck there are plenty of good people on here who'd be happy to help out! Now, I think those walls would look just about right in Slater's 2mm course stone.....

Regards

Bill

Footnote: Completely off topic but Castle Hill is the route by which the Pendle Witches arrived at the castle for their imprisonment and trial. Sad to say, they took the same route on the way to their executions on the other side of Lancaster!



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 Posted: Wed Apr 10th, 2013 02:03 am
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Mythocentric
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WALLS
Four photos of rubble wall construction which make an interesting comparison with David's (mynnyddog) photos in Post 4.

At one end the wall forms a boundary for a small church and field in Poulton, near Morecambe. Of interest are the spider webs and profuse moss:





Further along, on the other side of the field the wall becomes the boundary of a small, private housing estate and has been mortared/rendered in this rather slap-dash fashion by the builders:




Further along still and the wall has been reduced in height, capped in concrete and is already falling apart. It’s topped by a high, wooden fence. A sorry indictment of modern construction methods on a wall which has stood since the early 1800’s:





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