21 February 2013

A kit of Parts

I've just finished cutting out the wall segments for a new project - the Station Building proper for Farnley Burton. It's a bit of an ambitious project being a much bigger building than previously modelled.

It's loosely based on the Model by Neville Reid of  West Worthing Station but I'm going to give it a Yorkshire twist and give it a stone finish and model the roof differently. I haven't as yet decide whether to put a 50s canopy on the front - I'll be modelling on the fly.

Construction will be the usual Foamex and windows made from my refined computer cut  signwriter's vinyl onto acetate sheet technique.

I imagine this is going to take some time - I mean - just look at all those windows!!!!

15 February 2013

A Shot in Daylight

Just a quick update on the little waiting room building I've been making from Foamex. Following the last post I realised on photographing that the paintwork on the guttering and doors was too vibrant (and indeed a very shoddy job), so I proceeded to rip the doors back out and start again.

It's still not as I'd want it, I think the lesson learned hear is that I need to invest in some decent paints - Emulsion and Artists Arcylic is great for painting stonework, but for delicate areas such as painted surfaces, it just doesn't cut the mustard.

I think I'm happy enough with it for a "viewed from a couple of feet away" distance, but it doesn't hold up to close up photography

Saying that, I'm pretty pleased with the way it looks in natural daylight, and as requested, here's a closer view of the stonework...

13 February 2013

The Further Adventures of Foamex....

...And the Perils of Painting Stonework

Ok, maybe not perils, but I had an awful lot of heartache over painting this one.

Continuing on from the experimentation with building stone walls and a tunnel portal purely from foamex, I decided to see what results I could get out of construcing a building out of the same material.

Following a quick experiment using 1mm foamex, I discovered that is was easy to scribe, and cutting windows out was a doddle, leaving a scale 3 inch recess behind which to mount the windows using the same technique as described in a previous post, only leaving "bleed" around the edges of the plastic so as to give a border to glue and fix.

The only issue with the 1mm stuff is it's rather flimsy when used as a wall, so a lot of internal bracing is required to give solidity. I also cut out a floor to give it more structure. the chimney walls were cut from 3mm foamex and laminated together to give extra thickness, then glued into place at the gable end, and in the middle. This added instant rigidity to the structure, which made scribing easier.

Yes, before you fall over in shock. I scribed the stonework onto the walls when the structure was glued together using an engineers set square to achieve true horizontals (well they would have been true, if I hadn't slipped with the screwdiver a couple of times)
Scribing went by my now usual method of using a scalpel to mark out the courses, then going over again with my honed screwdriver. It's this bit you really have to be careful with as the material has a slight grain, which if you haven't scribed a starter line first, the screwdriver tends to want to wander off-line. I wouldn't look too closely as the lines, but as I was aiming for a slightly rustic look to the building I'm not too over bothered, and I'm sure my 5 year old won't even notice. Unlike the DAS clay method, foamex is quite unforgiving when it comes to mistakes as you can't just fill over the mistake and rescribe when dry. You can to some extent carve out the error, giving the impression of extra relief, which I had to do in some cases.

Going round corners involved making sure in the first instant that the two joins were fairly square to start with, then gluing tightly with UHU, and sanding the joint when dry. Scribing carefully around the corners making sure the indent was apparent (helps to exaggerate with a scalpel) masks the join, and even more so when painted, so I was quite happy with this.

... Which leads me to the subtitle...

I was originally aiming to paint it with a light, clean stonework, but the mortar courses didn't show, and I was reluctant to go for a dark mortar ( I may try this with subsequent builds though), so after the first attempt, I went over with a dry brush, dirtying up the stonework with greys.

I didn't like this though, as it just looked like I'd gone over a light sandy colour with grey, so, on to attempt 3. This involved mixing some muddy browns and dry brushing over the top. The results looked pretty good, but again, I wasn't quite happy. I then went over again with a mix of greys, and now it started to stand out, the brown undercoat helped mix with the greys creating a quite effective grubby stone colour. It wasn't quite the effect I was initially after, but created quite a striking effect especially when set against the pale mortar colour. Some of this was darkened when going through the numerous coats, so I used a tip I'd picked up on another blog somewhere and mixed up a watery mortar colour (The trusty B&Q Sandstone) and added a droplet of washing up liquid. Then loading the mix onto a brush, I dropped the wet mix very lightly into the mortar courses, and the paint just runs into the gaps- bingo!
If you're not careful though, it does leave a light blob where you touched the paint onto the model. I wanted a slight lime streak effect though, so this was a bit of a happy accident.

Guttering was scratch built using Geoff's excellent guttering technique, using 1mm foamex instead of styrene, but a reasonable result was achieved.
I have to admit to cheating with the downpipe though. I was going to scratch build one, until I realised that the wire I was going to use was too thin. Then I found an old Hornby plastic kit I'd been given, which upon investigation was missing some vital parts, namely walls and floor!, but what it did have was some useful drainpipes, which I duly painted and put to good use.

It's not quite finished yet, but I was eager to get it photographed.

What I intend to do still is add flashing round the chimney and weather the roof and doors a little, oh and add some chimney pots.

07 February 2013

Another Tunnel

Well yes, I need to work on my blog titles, but here it is, another Tunnel.. Tunnel Mk 2 as it were...
I'd posted the images from the previous post on one of the model railway forums I belong to, whereby someone contacted me saying they loved the tunnel and could I make them one?
Wahey! thought I, a commission!
Alas, turns out they couldn't afford to pay me to make a tunnel, but being the helpful sort I am, I agreed to a compromise and said I would draw up an making the edging stones for him to build up his own tunnel.

It was in doing this that I realised that I'd made my previous edging stones way too small, and there were far too many of them, so looking back at the prototypes, I redrew the portal opening in Adobe Illustrator and set about making Tunnel Part II - the revenge...

On getting a more acceptable outline drawing, I pasted underneath the outline an image of some Random Ashlar Stone walling and then printed it out onto a self adhesive sheet of paper (normal paper and pritt stick works just as well), sticking it to a sheet of 5mm foamex, then cut out the tunnel aperture and basic structure. Following this I proceded to follow the mortar lines with a scalpel, peeling the printed paper off as I went along

Using a scalpel, all the mortar lines are painstakingly scribed through the print, to reveal the outline once the print is peeled off the Foamex.
Stones worked over with screwdriver blade, scratching little details into individual stones as I go. The edging stones are left purposefully flat to give the appearance of dressed stone.

Once all the lines had been cut into the Foamex, I then proceeded to go over the lines with a honed down chisel screwdriver blade to open up the mortar courses, exaggerating somewhat the actual scale, but making the stones appear chunkier. Using the screwdriver had the added bonus of embossing the foamex, thus making the stones appear less flat.

Once carving was complete, I was left with something like this - the abutments made up of two strips of 3mm foamex sandwiched together.

Capping ledges and a parapet wall were added next before gluing in a representative section of tunnel lining, made from a 1mm sheet of foamex, carved directly with the aforementioned screwdriver. I cut a secondary tunnel base with the oval shape drawn 1mm in from the outer, so that once glued together, the tunnel lining had a lip to bind on to.
It was all glued together with UHU all purpose glue and braced to prevent the lining pinging away and left to dry.

The undercoat. Serves 2 purposes - gives the top coat greys something to bind to, and acts as a mortar colour 
Upon drying, the whole lot was given a coat of B&Q's Sandstone matt emulsion, before being treated to varying mixes of grey brown and greys to reach what I think is a quite believable weathered Yorkshire Stone colour. The photo doesn't quite do it justice as it's a lot more grey in appearance in natural light.

The finished article complete with truck for scale. Looks a lot more brown in this light