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Island Platform Ticket Office/Waiting Room - Scratchbuilding. - More Practical Help - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Sat Nov 10th, 2007 01:52 pm
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MikeC
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Bob it's just my hit and miss approach with powdered pastels. I like to vary things a bit. The plasticard is more even than that.

Mike

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 Posted: Sat Nov 10th, 2007 01:57 pm
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Robert
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It might be hit and miss to you Mike but the effect is excellent.



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 Posted: Sat Nov 10th, 2007 08:56 pm
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sparky
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its as good if not better than many pro jobs well done mike :D



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 Posted: Sun Nov 11th, 2007 05:55 am
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MikeC
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Thankyou Bob and Reg.

Here's how I coloured my chimney. I hope it gives a good idea of how I went about doing the walls. The methods I used are identical. Please remember that everything here constitutes a 'what-I-did', and I know darned well that I don't know everything. Far from it!

First up, here's the chimney alongside some Slater's Plastikard Stonework sheet. The chimney is built up over a block of balsa wood, with 1mm thick styrene for a capping, and a bit of ballpoint pen ink refill tube as the pot. The ink tube was filed a bit rough to accept paint better.
Just to show the effect you can get with pastels, I've rubbed some pastel dust onto part of the unpainted card, and sprayed it with my magic spray :shock: [photo following]


To start colouring the chimney [and walls] I mixed black acrylic paint with some mid-toned blue, which is an opaque colour. It produces a semi-opaque and grimy dark grey which I love. I slapped it all over the stonework.


Then I rubbed the excess paint away with my fingers. Paint sure is good at hiding flaws :lol:


I mixed some black and red oxide acrylics to make a dirty terracotta colour and painted the chimney pot with it, as well as working some into the still-wet bluish-black. Then I carefully painted blue-black onto the flat top of the chimney around the base of the pot.


I wiped away any overly thick patches and set it aside to dry.
I used a blade to scrape some pastels into a pile of dust. I used white and a mild yellow that if it was paint I would have named Naples Yellow. I mixed the two dusts together with a dry brush.


When the paint was thoroughly dry I dipped a finger into the dust and wiped it onto the chimney, exactly as I did on the walls. It wasn't so easy to be hit and miss on such a small surface, and I doubt that really matters in this case. The dust will not adhere permanently.


I rubbed my fingers over it which smoothed things a lot, and the dust lightened the dark surface of the stonework nicely. I figured, rightly or wrongly, that close to the 'business end' of the chimney, the stonework and mortar would tend to be darker, so I rubbed it back more thoroughly there, and I used a small brush to remove excess.


Loose crumbs were brushed away, then the magic spray was used - artists fixative. It must be sprayed from a distance or it blasts the pastel dust away, as I found out to my dismay. Keep it about 12ins away from your work, and lay your work flat. I had to do the four sides one at a time. If it DOES remove the dust, you can quickly add more dust to the wet spray. It dries fast with a matt finish. Follow safety directions, including avoiding breathing the vapours etc.


The pastel dust is now fairly well anchored, but it should be handled as little as possible. It can always be renewed, of course.


As I said, my walls were done exactly the same way, with the same colours. When I painted the walls I worked at getting them more blue-black down low than they are up higher, where a touch more of the red oxide + black colour is apparent.

The fixative spray will frost your glazing I used it before adding the glazing. I wouldn't be surprised if cheap hairspray would work just as well, but I'm all out of it :) Dullcote would do the job too, but it also frosts glazing.

I hope that illustrates what I did. If I left any gaps, please let me know.

Mike

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 Posted: Sun Nov 11th, 2007 06:29 am
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MikeC
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I don't know if this will help anyone, but on the off chance it does, and with the same disclaimers as my previous post, here goes.
For really fine work I use cheap, but good quality 'rigger' or 'liner' brushes. I don't like the short brushes hobby shops tend to offer. With a bit of practice, the longer rigger style brushes are far more effective and manoeuvreable, in my opinion. The one in this photo is a size 2 liner by Art Basics. Francheville make nice ones too. The bristles, if you can call them that, are made of Taklon and are very fine and soft. When new they are white.They cost only about $4. A size 0 would be even better for the job in this photo. The window dividing frame that I'm painting is 0.59mm wide.
To help steady a shaky hand I like to press a finger from my left hand against the ferrule of the brush. It's surprising how accurate you can be if you do this, and with a quality brush such as that the paint flows just as it should.
My wife took the pic.



Eventually the building will be bedded down into the platform surface. Signs, door knobs, a poster or two, barge boards and plumbing to do too. Very happy with it so far. I know it has flaws, but it's been rewarding.

Mike

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 Posted: Sun Nov 11th, 2007 07:13 am
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Bob K
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Thanks Mike, a very clear idea of what you did. It is a method which I have not tried before, but the effect on your stonework is remarkable. Certainly this is one to store away for future projects.

Thanks again

Bob(K)

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 Posted: Sun Nov 11th, 2007 01:28 pm
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phill
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Well i reckon you and Perry are twins, you both produce outstanding work on what you both do. Well done.
Phill

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 Posted: Sun Nov 11th, 2007 01:54 pm
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Robert
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Very nice work Mike, clearly explained. I think your description of colouring/weathering plastikard should have a separate thread in the Scratchbuilding section under it's own heading, as well as staying as part of this thread of course. Now I can copy and paste it for you but that means it will have my name in the listing as the originator so I would prefer that you did it. Sorry to ask even more of you but it's the kind of information that needs extra coverage. If you don't have the time let me know.



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 Posted: Sun Nov 11th, 2007 02:53 pm
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Perry
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Very nice, Mike. Thanks for the clear description of how you did it.

I have never used acrylics for painting models although I have used them in other contexts. I always found that unless the acrylic colours were mixed with some 'matt medium' they always dried to a sheen - perhaps not an actual gloss, but certainly shinier than I would want on a building, for instance.

Do you use a matt medium or is there some other way of obtaining a matt finish when using them?

Perry



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 Posted: Sun Nov 11th, 2007 03:39 pm
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Robert
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I think Mike uses a matt fixative Pery.



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 Posted: Sun Nov 11th, 2007 08:48 pm
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MikeC
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Glad it was useful - I'll transfer it some time soon.

Yes the matt fixative takes care of any sheen. The pastels help too.

Mike

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 Posted: Sun Nov 11th, 2007 09:54 pm
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Robert
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Cheers Mike, whenever you can fit it in, no rush.



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 Posted: Tue Nov 13th, 2007 12:52 am
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MikeC
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The roof has been fitted with slates individually cut from a piece of junk mail that was not too thin, not too thick. Each slate was attached with PVA and then the entire roof was sealed all over with more PVA, before being painted with dryish acrylics to avoid any warping. Powdered grey pastel was then rubbed onto the slates. I haven't sprayed it with fixative, I'll wait and see how it holds up. The chimney is now glued in place.
Now it's a matter of more detailing, such as plumbing and gables or bargeboards - whatever you call them. The platform will be widened at the rear to better accommodate this building, the signal box and bridge.



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 Posted: Tue Nov 13th, 2007 06:22 am
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Bob K
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Mike

The building looks superb. From such tentative beginnings you have produced a little gem. Now you have got the bug (no pun intended Jeff) I look forward to seeing more!

Bob(K)

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 Posted: Tue Nov 13th, 2007 08:02 am
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Robert
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That roof is really impressive Mike. I know you said individual slates but does that mean each little slate or in strips? They also look from the picture that they may be of different sizes, or is that just the camera angle? Whatever it is they certainly look the part.



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 Posted: Tue Nov 13th, 2007 08:58 am
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Ken
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Really tremendous! The overall realism is remarkable particularly the textures and colouring. (I'm thinking: how will I ever come up to that when I start my scratchbuilding - if I wasn't me - if you see what I mean - I'd be giving up now!!!!!).
Ken.



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 Posted: Tue Nov 13th, 2007 11:12 am
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MikeC
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Thankyou very much Bob, Bob and Ken for commenting so positively - it makes it all worthwhile!

Bob in answer to your question about the slates - every single slate was cut out of paper and applied individually - no strips were used. It was tedious and painfully slow work. Inevitably the sizes vary. Well I guess it's inevitable considering the way I work. I made absolutely sure that slate joins were straddled by the next layer, and had to stop to customise at times by cutting one to size. I realise that many buildings have slates of even sizes, but I have found examples that don't. I probably would've preferred them to be even but it's really only noticeable in close-up.

The ridge capping was made from photocopying paper, two pieces laminated together for a bit more strength. It was coloured by our printer, and scored and occasionally lined with paint as well. I rubbed grey and brown pastel dust over it, and touched up the cut edges with brown paint.

As for the texturing, it's really easy with plastikard, and it's fun to experiment with finishes and colours. I was afraid the roof would warp with acrylic paint onto paper, but I think the PVA must have sealed it pretty well.


Mike

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 Posted: Tue Nov 13th, 2007 12:43 pm
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Robert
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Thanks for the information Mike. I don't think that a modern type roof with exactly the same size tiles would have had anywhere near the same effect as you have achieved. However tedius the tiling task may have been the end result certainly justifies your time and effort.



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 Posted: Tue Nov 13th, 2007 01:26 pm
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Wayne Williams
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MikeC
Truly remarkable Mike! If someone looked at the finished picture they would have no clue how it was built. You've definitely set a higher standard for scratchbuilding :(

Wayne

PS: Yes that is a SAD Emoticon, only because now my "standard" has been raised before I even reached the old one. :roll: :roll:



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 Posted: Wed Nov 14th, 2007 12:54 am
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MikeC
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:D Thanks Wayne. If I can get a building to stand up without falling apart, anyone can.

In case anyone's wondering, yes I DO realise the joins between end and side walls are not good :cry: I might have a crack at filling them a bit with clay or similar, and I'm hopeful that downpipes will go a long way towards hiding them.

Mike

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