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Paper or Plastic? - Materials & Tools. - More Practical Help - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Fri Aug 24th, 2012 03:27 pm
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GreenBoy
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No - I am not practising for a job on a check out!
I was wondering what people prefer to model in - paper, plastic, plaster, lolly sticks etc. 
And importantly why?
I know we have some excellent card modelers on this site, and over on RMWeb (is that a swear word here?) there is a guy modeling the whole of Manchester picadilly in plasticard including some awesome viaducts.
What are the pros and cons of each.
Not looking to start a fight or even a heated debate, just looking for information.



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 Posted: Fri Aug 24th, 2012 03:37 pm
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Petermac
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I used to prefer plastic GB but I've switched to card recently - for buildings that is........:roll:

Plastic is easy to glue but larger sheets tend to warp very easily.  It's also quite expensive.


Probably the main reason for my starting to use card were the excellent offerings from Scalescenes.  Then, slowly, I began to see some advantages over plastic.  Now, the only disadvantages I can think of are that it's not an "instant bond", it's only 2D and, for me, it's the very devil to get a decent bend in it without any kinks.

For scenery (landform), it's some form of plaster for me every time - over wire netting. :cheers

All the materials you mention have their place and I suspect, most are used by everyone from time to time.

I remember seeing a write-up on RMWeb (I think) about a guy doing resin castings for a model of York station.  Knowing the station well, I can tell you he was doing a pretty good job. :thumbs



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 Posted: Fri Aug 24th, 2012 04:32 pm
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GreenBoy
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I used to Cast buildings in resin for my fathers war gaming business, and figures in white metal so I know the benefits of resin - once you have the master to make a cast from. There are a few tricks to getting really good mouldings which can also be applied to plaster castings as well.

I have to say I prefer my buildings to have some texture, but scalescenes are awesom buildings Which has revitalised card building as I remember having met calf and super quick when I was a kid which haven't really changed much.

thanks for your thoughts Peter.



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 Posted: Fri Aug 24th, 2012 04:46 pm
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Same as Peter, I used to model in plastic, but am getting used to card and beginning to prefer it. I've got a plastic station kit which I'll make up soon and compare them side by side.
As far as landscaping goes, I haven't done any for years (my layout is still in the head stage)



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 Posted: Sat Aug 25th, 2012 01:50 am
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I only model in plastic but have seen very fine work in cardboard.
The definition (and longevity) provided by plastic is important to me.
In any case, even cardboard users would have to resort to plastic or metal if they want to populate their layouts.



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 Posted: Sat Aug 25th, 2012 08:11 am
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Every material has its uses. As long as the correct material is used for a particular use, everything should be fine.

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 Posted: Sat Aug 25th, 2012 08:24 am
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col.stephens
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I have also switched to card modelling, again, due to John Wiffen's Scalescenes models.  The printed brick finishes are far superior to the embossed plastic efforts where every brick stands proud of the mortar.  Worse still in 2mm scale where every brick is just a raised 'blob'.

Peter.  I find that Roket Card Glue gives instant grab for card.  Expensive but useful.

Terry

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 Posted: Sat Aug 25th, 2012 09:05 am
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Just to add another to the mix - I like to use scribed DAS clay for many tasks. Although it is usually mixed with plastic and card for some of the details.

At the end of the day I guess it's a matter of whichever material I feel is best suited to the task in hand. Much of my stuff is a mixture of two or even all three materials.

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 Posted: Sat Aug 25th, 2012 11:06 am
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Petermac
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It's the "expensive" bit that puts me off Rocket glue Terry ........  I use PVA but also, a "Fine Tip" applicator :

http://www.finetip.co.uk/

A fantastic little gadget that I simply wouldn't be without.

I've been very impressed with some of the Das clay effects Bod but I'm not sure I'd have the patience to use it much.  A bit like the "Linka" system I have   http://www.linkaworld.com/index.htm:  It's good but very slow.



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 Posted: Sat Aug 25th, 2012 12:28 pm
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Sometimes I too am amazed at the quality of the work done with DAS scribing, but more frequently I am not, as having sought to produce a more realistic model some practitioners still inscribe mortar lines that a scale sized guinea-pig could hide in.

I use paper and card, but I am not so hidebound as to ignore the benefits of plastics, such as the availablity of fine sections, rods and strips or its ability to take scribed detail. 

'Anita's Sticky PVA' glue makes an almost instant bond with most card. I prefer to use a material that is in plentiful economic supply so that in the event of a coc&-up all I have to do is eat more Corno-Flakos to realise my next supply!

Doug



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 Posted: Sun Aug 26th, 2012 06:02 am
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dooferdog wrote:
some practitioners still inscribe mortar lines that a scale sized guinea-pig could hide in.

:mutley

I suppose it depends on how delicate your tool is.

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 Posted: Sun Aug 26th, 2012 06:31 am
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col.stephens
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On the subject of glues, Model Rail magazine did quite an extensive test of thirty four different adhesives in the August 2010 edition.  Quite interesting if you can get hold of a copy.
Terry

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 Posted: Sun Aug 26th, 2012 06:45 am
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A few structures on my layout are a mix of plastic and card. It all depends on the circumstance of the model. For example, the remote coal loader has a Plastruct I beam legs and handrails, whilst the hopper/chute box is card. Whereas my signal box has a card base and Evergreen styrene clapboard walls, Peco tiled roof, Titchey windows etc.

All my landscaping is plaster over the 'dreaded' carved styrofoam. This method allows me to build up layers of plaster for creating textured surfaces, ie in cuttings. All my larger retaining walls are cast plaster with those scribed 'guinea pig' motor lines. I find I can colour the plaster with a few washes to get the desired tone of brick or stone easier than using printed card , embosed plastic or embosed card.

Cheers, Gary.



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 Posted: Sun Aug 26th, 2012 12:15 pm
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col.stephens
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I think that it's fair to say, whether you use card or plastic to represent, say bricks or stone, mixing them is a no,no.  Nothing looks as bad as plastic and card buildings alongside each other.  Choose your medium for a particular layout and stick to it I say.
Terry

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 Posted: Wed Aug 29th, 2012 03:16 am
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jim s-w
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I use whatever os best for the job in hand. Foamboard, card, plastic, brass etc. I dont really use the printed stuff as while it looks grea in pictures (where its presented in 2D) it looks too flat in real life.

HTH

Jim



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 Posted: Wed Aug 29th, 2012 04:08 am
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col.stephens
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I have to disagree with you there Jim.  In real life, brickwork does look flat.  Stand thirty or forty yards away from a brick building and you will not see the slight indentation of the mortar joints.  We often view our model buildings further away, in scale distance, so why would we expect to see anything other than a flat surface? 

Terry 

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 Posted: Wed Aug 29th, 2012 01:05 pm
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jim s-w
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Hi terry

And when the bricks are 100 years old, rounded by errosion and most of the motars gone? Its not what i 'expect' to see its what i 'do' see.

You might getaway with it in N but in 4mm scale not only do you need the textures of bricks you also need the textures of things like concrete etc

See rule 1 in my sig :)

Cheers

Jim



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 Posted: Thu Aug 30th, 2012 05:37 pm
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col.stephens
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Sorry Jim, I'm still not convinced taking into account the scale distances from which we are viewing our models.  Maybe we should agree to disagree.  Incidentally, there was a very good article recently in either Hornby Magazine or Model Rail (I can't remember which) on producing concrete using a spray can of 'suede' paint.  Well worth a look if you haven't already seen it.
Regards,
Terry

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 Posted: Fri Aug 31st, 2012 03:16 am
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jim s-w
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Hi Terry

The distance that affects real world also affects models :)

Been advocating suede paint for years, see below :)





Cheers

Jim



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 Posted: Fri Aug 31st, 2012 06:49 am
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jim s-w wrote:


Cheers

Jim


Jim.....you have been warned before about posting pictures of real roads at 0600 on a Sunday morning and dropping in those obviously fake model room backscenes....Stop it!   :)

 

Doug



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