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Downtown Deco Buildings - On Members Workbenches. - More Practical Help - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Fri Feb 20th, 2009 10:25 am
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GL
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HI All,

Sorry that I have not posted much lately but have been flat out building the Adams Avenue series of kits from Downtown Deco.  These are plaster kits, and quite different to plastic and wood.  Here are a couple:

















 

Here is one under construction:



All of the structures are lit, with shadow boxes, mostly  made from 3mm MDF.  I used the 'downstairs' shadow box as strenghtening on this one:



THis is the 'upstairs ' shadow box.



I will insert different coloured LED's as I think appropriate.  I run all my building LED's in 2 'globe' series, then parallel - all driven by a 5v source.

Here are some shots of what might be the final placemnt - although I am not sure:





Here are a couple of night shots:





I have a long way to go with the final detailing and making the roads etc, but this will give you an idea.  The theme is a run down edge of town area that abutts the tracks.

If you have any questions re painting or assembling, just let me know.  I am also trying to crack the code on using LED's in street lights by casting them into clear resin as in the following:



I haven't really sorted this one yet, but I will get there.  Currently the light'globe' is too big for HO scale, but I have just got some 1.8mm LED's and will try them.

I think I have got the building outside LED lights about right:



Just for interest here is a shot of the work bench:



and a couple of the layout:





 

Any questions, just let me know.

Cheers for now

Graham

 

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 Posted: Fri Feb 20th, 2009 11:47 am
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MikeC
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Hard to beat those, Graham! They look great. It's buildings like those that make me want more room for my layout.

One of these days I'll get around to using LEDs. 1.8mm sounds like a very good size. Some of those flashing 'neon' signs would go well too. I suspect you'll be having some :lol:

Mike

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 Posted: Fri Feb 20th, 2009 01:20 pm
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Alan
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Really good looking buildings Graham

I like how they look very real, it's because of the thickness of the plaster, and also your clever weathering, but very very nice, what type of paint do you use, and do you when finished varnish them.

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 Posted: Fri Feb 20th, 2009 04:57 pm
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henryparrot
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Very nice buildings Graham you have been very busy with those they look great.

It nice to see pics of your layout as a work in progress like you i have things placed all over it while you are working on it i am not into the putting everything away when you have finished working on something specific i tend just to have big clear ups when i feel its getting a bit cluttered.

cheers Brian

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 Posted: Fri Feb 20th, 2009 06:21 pm
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87 101
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Very nice buildings. Like the way you have the tracks across the door aswell. Dont think I have seen it done like that before. :thumbs

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 Posted: Sat Feb 21st, 2009 02:04 pm
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Chubber
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Very, interesting, thanks for posting. Those buildings look pretty heavy, a few of those and the average 2x1" and some 6mm ply would be sorely tested, I bet!



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 Posted: Sat Feb 21st, 2009 10:51 pm
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GL
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Hi all, thanks for the kind comments.

 The paints are artists acrylics - usually the cheapest I can find. Apple Barrel brand is good, as is Delta Ceramcoat. Delta I find particularly good - and they have one colour - Georgia Clay - which is 'just right'. It also is a great base -lightens and darkens well when mixed with others. The peaked roof structure was painted with a 50:50 Georgia Clay and Sandstone mix diluted about 20 or 30:1 with water to form a wash. (a one centimetre blob of each onto an old bread and butter plate, splash on some water from a dispenser bottle and mix)
The secret of painting plaster buildings is to undercoat them first. I use the cheapest spray paint (Oil based, not water soluble) that I can find. Cheap paint has a lower pigment to propellant ratio - a couple of coats 95% seals the plaster, but still allows a bit of the wash to seep in and increase the feeling of 'depth'. If you do not undercoat and seal, you have no real control of the process.

A dilute wash will stain the building, and subsequent applications deepen the colour. Like all model painting less is better. Use the widest brush you can (at least an inch - wider if possible) and liberally apply the wash using vertical strokes.

You will have to tidy up bits you have missed after the first application, and this usually results in a second coat being applied. Let it dry for a day then give it another wash with raw umber (again diluted 20 or so :1) to bring out the detail. After that it is up to you what you next apply. Sometimes I use a water and India ink wash to bring out more highlights.
If you really screw it up, you can usually remove most of the pigment by brushing with methylated spirits (again the reason to use an oil based undercoat).

I have found that acrylics are really hard on brushes. I have found that the Royal Langnickel brand of brushes stand up well. They make brushes specifically for acrylics, and their 'Golden Taklon' Value Pack of 4 (Shader 2,4,6,8) brushes sells for about $9 in Australia at the Spotlight haberdashery chain. I find myself constantly coming back to these chisel shaped brushes. The company is the Royal Brush Manufacturing Company and lists both UK and US addresses on the package, so they should be freely available. Wash them out thoroughly after each use - I squirt a little liquid hand soap onto the bristles and massage it in, then rinse again. I think that there is a little lanolin in the soap, but the brushes seem to like it. Reform the bristles by sucking them through your lips or with your finger tips. Small brushes are best done with the lips.

The inside of the windows are painted black - this hides a few problems! and then it's a matter of painting the freestone walls etc whatever colour you choose. The Down town Deco site has a gallery with ideas.

Finally you can give the whole structure a buff with OOO steel wool. This will remove some of the paint and let the white plaster show through. This must be done carefully. It is sort of dry brushing in reverse.

The signs are applied in the usual way. One trick with merging signs into brick walls is to colour scan the side of the building into corel draw, import a scan of the sign, place the sign over the brick wall, then use the transparency tool to make the sign about 80 percent transparent so the bricks begin to show through. Print this off, cut it out, sand thin and apply - it works a treat.

The large signs on the buildings were painted on using stencil supplied with the kits, then weathered down using steel wool and 'non-abrasive' abrasive pads made to clean coated cookware.

With respect to weight, I have never noticed the buildings to be too heavy. Out of interest I did weigh the Palace Hotel (the one with the City Power sign) and it weighed 650 grams (1 pound 7 oz). As my baseboard is half inch ply, this is not a problem for me.

Hope that answers a few of the queries.
Cheers for now
Graham

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 Posted: Sun Feb 22nd, 2009 06:23 pm
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Gwent Rail
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Hi Graham and thanks for the above post. It's probably one of the more informative posts I've seen on hints and tips for painting plaster buildings of this type, so I intend to transfer some of them to the "hints & tips" section.

I hope you don't mind, but to make it easier to do this I've edited your post giving each tip a seperate paragraph and also spell-checked the whole thing.

 Excellent advice, thanks for taking the time to post it. 

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 Posted: Sun Feb 22nd, 2009 07:52 pm
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georgejacksongenius
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Some very attractive and atmospheric buildings there,Graham.And I'd KILL for that amount of space to model in!!!

Cheers,John.B.:thumbs

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 Posted: Tue Feb 24th, 2009 02:14 am
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Neil Wood
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Those kits seem to be of simlar construction to the ones I've made from plasterboard.

 

Nice bit of space you have there for your layout.:cheers



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