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Plastikard Modelling - Low Relief Shop - Scratchbuilding. - More Practical Help - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Sun Oct 14th, 2007 09:19 pm
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Perry
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Always on the look-out for interesting buildings to model, I checked some books containing old photographs of the town where I live. I discovered pictures of a building which is currently being 'restored', although there wasn't too much of the original building left last time I looked! It seems that these premises, which I can recall housing several different businesses over the past 30 years, used to be a printing shop. It had a bay window (sadly no longer in existence) beneath which was a hatch which admitted light and air to the printing presses in the cellar. The front of the building was festooned with signs and should make an interesting model.

I decided to model it in low-relief, the whole model being only about 25mm deep. Fortunately for me, the bay window and entrance to the premises is on a gable end, so the lack of a full roof won't be so noticeable.

I can't show the picture I am working from here in case I breach the publisher's copyright, but I will post pictures of the model as it progresses. Here is the first one:

Simple plans were drawn up from the photograph allowing approximate measurements to be calculated - pretty much the same way I did the Great Eastern Signal Box.

The basic structure is made out of 40 thou. plastikard. The end walls, which are not shown in this photograph, are supported and strengthened internally with small triangular pices of plastikard.

To be continued....

Perry                                                                                                                                                                  B                      



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 Posted: Sun Oct 14th, 2007 09:20 pm
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Perry
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OK. Part 2:

The most 'fiddly' part of this model was always going to be the bay window, so I thought I would get this out of the way early on. That way, if it didn't work, I wouldn't have to scrap loads of other work too. Cunning, eh?

The window itself was made from three small pieces of clear plastikard. The glazing bars were made the same way I did the signal box windows; PVC tape stuck down lightly onto a sheet of glass, then cut to width with a sharp knife and a steel rule. By trial and error, and a little judicious trimming, I got the window to be a snug fit.

Before fixing it in place, I painted the interior of the window space matt black. I used a scrap of plastikard set at a slight angle in the bottom of the window space to provide a shop display base. This was painted matt green. Don't forget; ALWAYS use matt colours on model buildings, even if the prototype has gloss paint. Gloss model paint always looks way too shiny.

The display base and the back wall were 'decorated' with small scraps of various coloured paper, folded into different shapes. Some of these were 'doodled on' with different colour inks, just to give the impression of printed matter on display.

The window was then fixed in place with 5-minute epoxy adhesive applied with the tip of a wooden cocktail stick. The double thickness plastikard roof was added and also stuck to the top edge of the window with epoxy. The inside of the roof was left plain white. It can't be seen anyway, so there's no point in messing about with it. The heavy windowsill of the prototype was simulated with a piece of scrap plastikard cut to size and again secured with epoxy glue.

The whole unit has now been set aside to cure thoroughly before any further work is carried out.






One of the side walls can be seen in this picture. It is only half-an-inch wide (12mm) so including the bay window, the building will only be 1 inch (25mm) deep when complete.

To be continued....

Perry



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 Posted: Sun Oct 14th, 2007 09:21 pm
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Perry
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The windows and door were constructed from plastikard and fitted, along with the steps, using similar techniques to those used on the Signal Box. The curtains at the attic window are scraps of tissue paper held in place with PVA adhesive. I tried to make the steps look as though they have had a lot of use over many years by rounding the edges and putting a very slight depression in ech step where feet would most often tread. They still need a bit more work with weathering, etc.

I left the brick cladding until fairly late on for a reason; the prototype is a seriously old building that has had bits repaired, knocked down, rebuilt, etc., etc., throughout it's long life. I could have clad the whole building before starting on the window frames, etc, but it would have ended up looking far too 'tidy' and new. I wanted my brickwork to look as though it was made up of lots of different 'bits'. To that end, that's exactly what I did. I used some old scraps of brick plastikard and cut them to fit, leaving bits uneven, out of line and with gaps. The brickwork has yet to be painted but I will incorporate all the 'distressed' brickwork into the painting.

None of this model has been built using 'new' materials. It has all been made from offcuts and scraps that I save in an old plastic ice cream container when I am modelling. The are probably still enough offcuts left to build at least one other low-relief model without having to cut into any of the new stuff. Just going a bit 'green' and recycling; something modellers have been doing for centuries. :wink:





There is still plenty to do such as the roof, guttering, drainpipes, signs, more painting, etc., but I'll stop here for today.

To be continued...

Perry



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 Posted: Sun Oct 14th, 2007 09:22 pm
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Perry
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Work has continued on the low-relief model.

I have sorted out the roof and guttering. Bargeboards have been added from microstrip. I put dummy floors in, using scrap plastikard, added a back wall from the same source and painted the interior matt black. The roof tiles are from a moulded pantile-type sheet of plastic that I acquired many moons ago and was languishing in the scraps box. The rough ridge tiles were built up over a plastic former using model filler. This was later shaped and smoothed before cutting tiles into it. They look nice and crumbly, as on the prototype. The walls have had a coat of paint but now need to dry thoroughly before I try to put a wash over it to bring out the cement courses. I added some paper strips to represent lead flashing where the two flat roofs meet the walls. The window frames also got a coat of 'mucky white'. I painted them white to start with but it looked too stark. I tend not to use pure colours straight out of the tin. I prefer to put two or three colours into a small pallet (milk bottle top), often the main colour along with black and white, then I mix the colours as I go, on the brush. I don't want them to be well mixed and all the same tone throughout. I try to paint with, if you like, 'variegated' paint. This shows up as slightly darker or lighter areas even within the same brush stroke and stops things looking plain and bland. At least I think it does!






Unfortunately the subtleties of the variation of colour on the window frames do not show up well in these images, partly due to having to set the white balance of the camera to compensate for the tungsten lighting.






There is still a lot than can be done to this model apart from the obvious painting to finish off. Downpipes from the gutters and notice-boards appear on the actual building and may well be incorporated into the model.

Perry



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 Posted: Sun Oct 14th, 2007 09:23 pm
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Perry
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Having painted the brickwork all over with a flat coat of brick red, I allowed that to dry overnight. It is essential that it is completely dry before the next step.

I mixed up some matt white with a tiny (and I mean TINY) touch of black, just to take the brightness off, then thinned it about 50/50 with enamel thinners. This mixture was then brushed quickly over the surface of the brickwork, working on a small area at a time. It is important that this wash is not allowed to dry. Next, with a piece of paper towel, I rubbed gently to remove most of the white paint from the surface of the bricks. Some will remain between the bricks and hopefully gives the impression of mortar.

Again, after this had dried, various shades of the original brick red colour are dry-brushed over the tops of the bricks, just to bring the colour back a little. Odd bricks were then picked out in different shades, trying to make the brickwork look old.

A downpipe was fixed to the gutter on the left-hand side of the building after painting it first.

Three signs were made up on the computer, printed out on ordinary paper and cut out, before spraying them with three coats of cheap hair lacquer. They were fixed in place on the model with PVA adhesive.









The low-relief printer's shop is now considered complete. There is always more that can be done, but this is only to be a background model so there probably isn't any point in taking the detailing any further.

I hope you have enjoyed this little foray into low-relief modelling as much as I have.

Cheers,

Perry                                                                                                                                                            ✓        B



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 Posted: Mon Oct 15th, 2007 01:24 pm
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Tony
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Great detail and feel to that Perry.

Although as you say it's intended as a background model it would hold its own next to many kit built foreground structures I've seen!

Great work.

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 Posted: Mon Oct 15th, 2007 01:31 pm
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MikeC
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Excellent, Perry. I still want it :D

Mike

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