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Author Previous Topic: Pot Topper: How I use it in scenery construction Topic Next Topic: Electrical Requirements
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Premium Member

Posted - 01/16/2007 :  2:08:29 PM  Show Profile  Visit LVN's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Ah just saw that Victor was the man. Maybe he could do a thread????

Chris Lyon

Country: Canada | Posts: 5293 Go to Top of Page

Tyson Rayles

Premium Member

Posted - 01/16/2007 :  2:50:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
"The other fix might be to scrape off all the scenic stuff and just paint the end of the styrofoam a fascia color"

Works for me Tim.
I agree with John on keeping this thread going. The number of pages in a thread has no bearing on downloading when on dail-up. The amount and size of pics in a post or page do, however so far you seem to be hitting a good balance there so I don't see a problem.
Your pasture like everything else you are doing Tim is excellent!

Country: USA | Posts: 13002 Go to Top of Page

Tim Kerkhoff

Posted - 01/16/2007 :  2:52:53 PM  Show Profile  Send Tim Kerkhoff a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote

Thanks for the inquiry, I won't be that much help on the subject but I will share what I know. Victor on the other hand could possibly do a tutorial. Victor is not a model railroader, although he does enjoy painting backdrops. His cloud work is really extrodinary in my opinion and when I watch him paint them, it is effortless. I will ask Victor next time I see him, as I know there has been several request.

I will share a couple things that he and I do that might give you some insight on his method. First and foremost everything is talked about from where the sun is in the sky to how high up the backdrop the clouds will be painted. Every backdrop that is painted goes through this ritual of "where do you want the main viewing impact to take place" "how do I want the sky blended between scenes etc." "what time of day is it" "what type of clouds do I want" These are just a few of the questions that we have come up with over the years. As simple as some of these questions are they play a very important role in how the backdrop gets painted.
For example the sun/cloud scene is something I have seen in my mind for years, as we asked all the questions we made some changes to my original vision and came up with a better overall scene IMO. We spent more time talking than he did painting on that scene. He painted the sun/cloud scene and sky in 3-4 hours, then came later and painted the land part in another 2-3 hours. Believe me when I say Victor has a wonderful talent, but I know that he would agree that most of the work is in the planning what we really want as the final backdrop. Off my soapbox.

When he paints the clouds he uses a flat brush that is approx 1" wide, however I have seen him use 3" brush to block in the main clouds as well. I cannot tell you how he holds the brush or the stroke he uses as that is like watching a race car driver and learning how to drive myself. From my recollection he uses Titatanium white, but mixes it with the backdrop blue and grays or black. When you look closely there are a number of colors in the clouds. When he is done with this step they look like clouds I could paint. The next step is with the airbrush and that is when the clouds really pop out, this is where he is focused on the direction of the sun and the time of day. He seems to use circler motions and shorter strokes with the airbrush. The best way to describe what he is doing is, he is painting higlights and undertones to the clouds. You still see the blocked in clouds, but the edges and sometimes the middles have higlights or undertones added.
These are the cumulus type clouds. The cirrus clouds are all painted with an airbrush. I hope this makes some sense, I have watched Victor paint a lot of clouds over the years and it appears to me that he is using the same method today as he used back then.
One more thing that I have learned working with Victor. He always tell me that knowing when to stop is a large part of painting backdrops. To much detail and you lose the effect we are trying to create of vastness and distance.
Like I said, I am not a backdrop painter and do not want to be. But it has been a wonderful adventure getting to work with a good guy like Victor.

Country: USA | Posts: 5879 Go to Top of Page

Tim Kerkhoff

Posted - 01/16/2007 :  3:01:52 PM  Show Profile  Send Tim Kerkhoff a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks John and Tyson, I will keep this thread going. I have said this before, but I enjoy looking at other modelers photos, and more is better than one or two IMO. Most of the time it answers a number of questions I might have for the modeler that is posting in the first place. If I get to posting to many photos, please let me know, as its not my wish to make it a pain for someone to download pictures. I will have to say I went overboard on these last post, but Al was right when he could feel my excitment. It has been 7-8 months since I have ran trains on the layout, and it felt great and I wanted to share.

Stay tuned....signal building is coming up next.

Country: USA | Posts: 5879 Go to Top of Page

Mike Hamer

Posted - 01/16/2007 :  6:30:14 PM  Show Profile  Visit Mike Hamer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Tim, congratulations on getting the trains on the roll again...what a thrill it must've been for you to watch them traverse your phenomenal scenery in front of those amazing backdrops. Thanks for the quick tutorial on how you and Victor work. The synergy involved bleeds from your pics! Top quality!

Mike Hamer
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Country: | Posts: 11492 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 01/16/2007 :  8:07:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Actually your pictures seem to load reasonably quickly.
I checked and found that you use 692 by 465 pixels.
It is the larger pictures that give me problems.
It is like there is a wall for size and once the size crosses the wall my computer will not load them all.

John Bagley
Modeling the Alaska Railroad in HO in Wildwood Georgia.

Edited by - Bbags on 01/16/2007 8:13:08 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 13315 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 01/16/2007 :  9:13:31 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is the first I have seen of this thread and I was blown away by your fantastic groundcover and scenery. It looks as natural as can be. I will have to go through this entire thread to see your methods and materials. Beautiful modeling!!!

Country: USA | Posts: 1283 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 01/16/2007 :  9:27:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Tim, I will never tire of telling you how great your layout looks in those pics. Your talents, combined with the talents of Victor on the backdrop are in my opinion, the best I've seen! You are creating a masterpiece!

Now your getting into my next passion; signaling! As I think I mentioned to you this summer, that is a project I'm just breaking ground in at a friends layout. I'll be watching your every move on this one!


Country: USA | Posts: 13728 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 01/16/2007 :  9:32:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well I went back through almost all of your thread just looking at the pics and I'm even more blown away then before. The sky is the best I've seen, the water is great and I love the way your roads and paths have such subtle variations of color and shading. It really pays to look at all the different areas on this forum which is something I'm just learning. Fantastic!!!!

Country: USA | Posts: 1283 Go to Top of Page

Tim Kerkhoff

Posted - 01/16/2007 :  11:06:31 PM  Show Profile  Send Tim Kerkhoff a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
John, I have found that it is a good size to display scenery photos. I would think that the size of the file would dictate the load time, not the height and width. However, I can understand if the photos are to wide that could cause a problem. The computer I work from is a wide screen, so I am spoiled, but I always try to post so it will fit on the regular screens. If anyone is having problem with the load time because of width or height it can be easily fixed. Thanks John for the input.

Mark, I worked on signal heads tonight and installing them into mast. Are you interested in seeing pictures of this kind of thing, or was you more interested in the installation into the layout? I can take pics as I go along if you or others are interested. It is a tedious process but I am bound and determined to make a lot of progress.

Kevin, Thanks for the nice comments and I hope you follow along. I enjoy your modeling as well, and have been following your thread since you have started up again.

Country: USA | Posts: 5879 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 01/16/2007 :  11:53:20 PM  Show Profile  Visit AVRR-PA's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi, Tim -- I would definitely be interested in more information about building signals. If you can spare the time to take photo's and post them, that would be great.


Country: USA | Posts: 5005 Go to Top of Page

Crew Chief

Posted - 01/17/2007 :  12:22:57 AM  Show Profile  Send Dreamweaver a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Tim, It has been a pleasure watching this thread and watching a Master Modeler at work I would also suggest keeping this thread going, but either way I know you have a lot more area to do so keep the good stuff coming.

Mike J

Country: USA | Posts: 864 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 01/17/2007 :  5:57:45 PM  Show Profile  Visit LVN's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the painting tips Tim. Hope you can get victor out to show a blow by blow of how to. The info you gave me makes me want to get the old air brush out and give it a try. Maybe on a piece of maisonite first:)

Were there any problems with overspray?? I always seem to have that problem when working with thinned paint.

Chris Lyon

Edited by - LVN on 01/17/2007 5:59:33 PM

Country: Canada | Posts: 5293 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 01/17/2007 :  6:53:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Tim, I probably have the slowest dial-up connection here. Sometimes I have a beard before everything loads...but it really doesn't matter. The pics are all worth the wait.

Please keep this going. No matter how slow the progress you might make, it's worth the wait.

In memory of Mike Chambers

Country: USA | Posts: 2972 Go to Top of Page

Tim Kerkhoff

Posted - 01/17/2007 :  9:48:14 PM  Show Profile  Send Tim Kerkhoff a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks everyone, I have been working on bridge signals. Some of them will go on the catilever bridges and signal bridges I am building.

All the signals for the most part are made of brass. I like the brass as its rugged and when operators accidently bump them, they won't fall apart. Once built they are easier to install as well.

The very first task was to design what I wanted and where the signals go on the layout. This is a whole topic in itself and I will be happy to discuss this if people are interested. But for now I will show you a couple of drawings I made to build the signals. I find when scrachtbuilding anything its much easier to have a good drawing and its worth the time spent.

The first picture shows what I call a type 15 bridge signal. I use numbers for all the bridge type signals and letters for the mast signals. This signal is a SA type (searchlight) the top head is 3 color LED and the bottom head is a Red marker led.

Here is a picture of a type L mast signal. It has triple hooded UP style signal head. The mounting is a bit unsual, but it does follow the prototype.

Next up is the brass mast with ladder, foot mount, and finial installed. My suggestion is to use a jig when making brass components as it makes life so much easier. The wiring holes have been drilled and reamed out to elminate burrs.

Close up of the foot and ladder attached.

Here are the two heads that will be installed on this mast. Notice the marker hood is smaller, as it should be.

This is a picture of the back of the signal head. Its also made of brass and then once the LED is wired and installed, putty is used to fill up the square hole. Then painted a flat black. I made a few of these but then decided to have ISS make the heads for me. This is an economical solution instead of having the whole signal custom built by a vendor.

I don't paint the mast until the heads are semi installed. I am not certain this is the fastest but at least the paint should not be scratched up because of trying to wiring them later. Getting the wires down the mast can be time consuming but with the right tweezers, plenty of light its not to bad.

Both heads have now had their wires ran down the mast tube and that is where I stop, until I get the mast painted.

The one design idea with the ISS signal head I really like is the pipe is a press fit into the mast bracket. This allows you to position the head in a rotated direction if desired. But the greatest part is the ease of removal in case a LED would burn out. I would highly recommend this feature.

Thats it for tonight, let me know what you think. Is it too much description or do you see areas of improvment.

Chris, Yes the overspray is an issue, I cover everything up with some real cheap visaqueen.

Country: USA | Posts: 5879 Go to Top of Page
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