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 Startin' from Scratch
 Structures on th LP&N RR, vol.4

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
sgtbob Posted - 06/14/2017 : 2:10:19 PM
Here are the starting addresses of volumes 1, 2, and 3

15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
sgtbob Posted - 02/16/2020 : 2:58:35 PM
Bruce, Greg, Mike, Dave, and ate, thanks for your comments.

Pete. yes, the stone walls on that PA German Barn are of Balsa foam as is the entire main
building in my Dickens Christmas dio. I'm sure there are others but this old brain is not
coming up with them

PLNT Line Posted - 02/16/2020 : 1:52:55 PM

Wonderful work as usual!

Have you used balsa foam on some of your other buildings?

Guff Posted - 02/16/2020 : 1:19:51 PM
Michael Hohn Posted - 02/16/2020 : 10:54:20 AM
Bob, you achieved an Incredibly realistic color and texture. I think you might have convinced several of us of the merits of balsa foam.
Ensign Posted - 02/16/2020 : 09:30:08 AM
Bob, your foam dabbed on foam method worked well.
Nice to see Charlie again, it's been awhile.

Dutchman Posted - 02/16/2020 : 09:10:29 AM
I really like the color that you've achieved on the 'stones', Bob. I ordered a couple of sheets of Balsa Foam to play around with.

sgtbob Posted - 02/16/2020 : 08:32:01 AM
Bill, What an Eagle eye!!!!!

Yes, you are right. I had changed the door frame and in the process I pulled a bit of the stone
with it. It has since been touched up but not before you pointed it out to the world. You and Charlie belong to the same union.


Bill Gill Posted - 02/16/2020 : 08:12:19 AM
Looking good, Bob! Nice stone color and texture.
Do you think Charlie may be looking at what appears to be a bit of raw balsa foam peeking out just above the top of the door frame?
sgtbob Posted - 02/16/2020 : 05:49:46 AM
Thanks Carl.

Now to get on with a little painting. Here are my "paint brushes", two little pieces of
soft foam rubber. I wet them with paint and wiped out most of it and painted the stones
with a sort of stamping motion, trying not to get paint down into the mortar lines.

I like the stones in this area that have a lot of brown in them but you can do the same with
blacks and grays. I first mixed up a light tan the color of the paint on the one brush shown
(mostly white with a bit of brown and a smaller bit of black) and used that to paint
All of the stones.

Then I added more brown to my mix and randomly went over the stones leaving some
tan showing. As that dried I mixed more brown into the paint and again stamped around
randomly. I did that several more times adding more dark brown each time.

When that dried I used a small regular paintbrush and white paint to carefully touch
all the areas of mortar that I had let paint get into.

I knew I couldn't get too far without Charlie stopping by to supervise. I used basswood
strips, grained with course sandpaper and stained with an alcohol-ink mix to make the
doors and window.

Carl B Posted - 02/15/2020 : 09:17:36 AM
Excellent work Bob.
sgtbob Posted - 02/15/2020 : 06:01:01 AM
When I took this photo the springhouse had two coats of white gesso applied, I will add one
more coat. The gesso does two things here. It provides a nice surface for painting and it also
make a hard shell for the soft balsa foam.
In this case it will also be the color of the mortar, it could be tinted to any color you want.


Bill Gill Posted - 02/14/2020 : 3:19:53 PM
Come to think about it, a nice little diorama of cutting and hauling ice blocks would be interesting. Sgtbob
Bob, I have a collection of broken pieces of thick glass, from the bottoms of pub glasses and similar stuff cleaned offsidewalks while walking our dog.
Even though there is no reason or room for ice to be visible on the C&V RR, my plan is to someday see if I can chip/sand pieces to look like blocks of ice.
I like the look of glass ice a lot more than most of the acrylic ice blocks sold in packets.
And I think a mix of some clear glass "hard ice" along with some slightly milky looking acrylic blocks could be very convincing...if the C&V only had an ice house.
Ensign Posted - 02/14/2020 : 11:56:46 AM
Bob, your stonework looks terrific!

sgtbob Posted - 02/14/2020 : 11:32:01 AM
Mike, Bruce, and Pete, thanks for your comments.

Pete - The ice stuff has really nothing to do with this build but I am extremely interested
in the history of that era. I have read a lot about the ice trade but not that book, THANKS

Come to think about it, a nice little diorama of cutting and hauling ice blocks would be interesting.

I am old enough to remember the "ice man" delivering ice blocks to homes for use in
"ice boxes", a pre-electric invention.

Orionvp17 Posted - 02/14/2020 : 10:52:35 AM
Very nice SBS, Bob! Thanks! I've had balsa foam "in the stash and on the list" for quite awhile now, and need to actually get on with things. Thanks for the encouragement!

If you're interested in ice, which I think belongs in ponds, rinks and drinks, have a look at Gavin Weightman's book "The Frozen Water Trade" https://www.harpercollins.com/9780007102860/the-frozen-water-trade/

This is a fascinating saga of the ice industry, which, as Bill noted, included shipping the stuff to India and making money on it....

in Michigan

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