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Author Previous Topic: A small expansion to my layout. Topic Next Topic: SL&N construction blog
Page: of 23

paulbrockatsf
Fireman

Posted - 02/07/2004 :  1:41:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

At the risk of getting too far off subject, I think the main reason for a sectional is portability, i.e. moving it. I know I have more moves ahead of me, so mine needs to be portable. Mark, I will keep your suggestions in mind. Thanks for the tips.

Paul



Country: USA | Posts: 3581 Go to Top of Page

DryFork
Section Hand

Posted - 02/19/2004 :  06:18:26 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by paulbrockatsf


Welcome Mark!!

I would like to see your progress photos.

Although I model the west, I have 8' of modules modeling Thurmond, WV. I am planning on building 8' more. I would like to see more of your WV backdrop & layout.

Paul



I guess I'll start the progress shots of my layout with this overview of the layout room from a few years back. This is the first section of the backdrop I painted. Everything was done over at least once, and some parts were redone 4 or 5 times. This is where I settled on techniques and colors and composition. Two large sections of the backdrop remain to be painted at this point. Each section took about half as long to complete as the section before it.






Country: USA | Posts: 66 Go to Top of Page

DryFork
Section Hand

Posted - 02/20/2004 :  06:56:11 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Turning to the right from the previous shot, this shows how the backdrop stops at the window, then continues on the other side. The incomplete section of the backdrop shows the sky blue with clouds in the top half, and white primer on the bottom half of the Masonite.

The blue paint I chose for my sky is Ultramarine blue. It is extremely vivid and bright, which I felt I needed in order for the sky tones to hold their own in the yellow casted incandescent lighting of my train room.

The primer is Kilz primer applied with a roller and allowed to completely dry. The sky is a mixture of white and Ultramarine blue acrylic paint. The sky is painted on quickly with a 4 inch brush. Initially, a big batch of thin, pale blue paint was mixed (about a quart). This was quickly applied over the entire sky area with long, horizontal strokes. Then some more ultramarine was squirted into the mix, and this was painted as a second coat over the top 2/3 of the sky area before the first coat had a chance to completely dry. Then more ultramarine was squirted into the mix, and that was used on the top 1/3 of the sky. The imperfections in the gradation from light sky near the horizon to dark sky above are not very noticeable, and actually look like high, thin clouds.






Edited by - DryFork on 02/23/2004 06:46:13 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 66 Go to Top of Page

MikeC
Administrator

Premium Member


Posted - 02/20/2004 :  09:48:46 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi, Mark,

I'm following this with a great deal of interest because I'm (finally!) in the final stages of track planning for the next phase of benchwork. Once that's finished, I'll be ready to start thinking about the backdrop for that area. So your postings and photos are very timely for me!




Country: USA | Posts: 21584 Go to Top of Page

DryFork
Section Hand

Posted - 02/21/2004 :  08:49:42 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mike-

Glad to here that this is practical information for you, maybe on how NOT to do a few things, anyway!

Continuing around the room to the right, this is a similar viewpoint to my initial backdrop posting from 02/06/04.

A word about ultramarine Blue acrylic paint - it is powerful stuff. It takes very little to turn white paint into blue paint.

The clouds are Krylon flat white and pewter spray paint. I started with white. Holding the can upright and between 8 to 15 inches from the backdrop, I would press the nozzle, and as soon as paint began to spray, I would quickly flick my wrist out and up, making an exaggerated "smile", slash or check mark. As white spray paint coverage would begin to build up in any particular area, I would come back to that spot and do the same technique with a little pewter paint, and then go over that again very lightly with more white.

This cloud technique is what Bill Henderson demonstrates on the Keller video of the Coal Belt.

Only about 3% of the spray paint actually makes it to the backdrop. The balance becomes white dust falling on everything in the area. I put a box fan in the window, pulling the air out of the train room at full throttle, and still had quite a bit of paint dust to clean up.






Edited by - DryFork on 02/23/2004 06:47:37 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 66 Go to Top of Page

DryFork
Section Hand

Posted - 02/22/2004 :  06:42:08 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The sectional benchwork is extended beyond the first window. Only then do I decide that the backdrop needs to cover the windows.

I cut (2) luan panels, primed them, and nailed them over the windows. Then I painted sky and clouds on them.

Keeping the paint mixtures and procedures simple helped me match what I had done before.








Country: USA | Posts: 66 Go to Top of Page

teejay
Fireman



Posted - 02/22/2004 :  1:45:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'd like a few opinions here before I go any further with my backdrop at one end of the layout . I had wanted it to be a sunrise but my first effort was laughable to say the least . This is the only scenery part of the layout as the rest will be industrial . I might try the sunrise in the industrial section but that is another story .
Disregarding the lower blue areas which will become darker green and more detailed trees , does the background work ? It is supposed to be a misty morning .

THANKS , TERRY





Does it need to be ' mistier ' ??



Country: Canada | Posts: 5853 Go to Top of Page

MP Rich
Fireman



Posted - 02/22/2004 :  2:45:58 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Not to me. I think you have the misty morning going pretty well with what you have. When I scroll so that it almost fills the screen it kind of makes you want to close your eyes a little. That type of morning feel. I never was a morning guy. Sleeping in is the better choice!! Really does do what you were aiming for here from my view. Richard


Country: USA | Posts: 1762 Go to Top of Page

teejay
Fireman



Posted - 02/22/2004 :  5:01:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Richard , I'm certainly pating attention to what you say , since you , Mike ,Mark and some of the others know your way around backdrops as evidenced by the pics you have posted previously . This is the first backdrop I've ever tried .I was all set to go on the old layout but we sold the house , moved and I'm starting over .
What I am trying to do here , and tell me if I'm off track , is to define the valley more .I'm concerned about the transition to 3 dimentional at the front of the backdrop as I will have mostly a rock facing ...not flat against the backdrop but contoured for a more believable transition .I'm trying to force the perspective to show a lot of country on the backdrop . What I've done in these next pics ( don't know if it noticable ) is to mist the valley a little more to define it .Personally I don't think it looks too bad but then I'm blind in one eye and can't see out of the other .





I know it's hard for you to get a feel with split pictures and all .

TERRY



Country: Canada | Posts: 5853 Go to Top of Page

DryFork
Section Hand

Posted - 02/22/2004 :  10:03:38 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Terry-

The shots of your backdrop look great. Interesting idea to try to give the scene an early morning look. Are you going to pick up that theme with lighting? Not only does the backdrop look like morning, but it looks like morning in mid to late September, which is when the valleys and riverbottoms fill with ground fog in Virginia.

Your backdrop brought to mind an article on backdrop painting by Tom Beaton that ran in the Mar/Apr 1990 Narrow Gauge & Shortline Gazette, which was a CLASSIC issue (Julian Cavelier's work caboose, Whitcomb narrow gauge diesel plans, first installment of Ticket to Tincup series, etc etc)

In the article, Tom Beaton refers to backdrop painting clinics given by Don Wheat. Maybe you could do a search for articles written by him. I think you would find Tom and Don's techniques for painting backdrops and building transitions from the backdrop into the 3-D scenery informative, and very in keeping with the style of your own work.

If you have trouble scaring up a copy of the Mar/Apr 1990 Gazette, I could send you photocopys of the backdrop article.

Keep up the good work, and keep us posted on progress.




Country: USA | Posts: 66 Go to Top of Page

teejay
Fireman



Posted - 02/22/2004 :  11:02:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the replies Mark and Richard , I appreciate the feedback especially from you guys . You both do fine scenery .
My overall theme is one that must blend in to a steel mill setting , not the brightest and shiniest place to work in terms of outward appearance .I wanted either morning or late afternoon and am happy with my early morn choice ...so far .my effort to have a sunrise failed although I may try again at the other end , possibly having the sun rise beyond the bascule bridge .It's just that my east has now become my west , no big deal .
Getting the colours right in the sunrise proved to be a problem .There is much less yellow than one would think ...more creamy than anything . Anyhow I didn't have the right paint colours to pull it off .
I'm not altering lighting , Mark , as the room is not bright to begin with , and I have fluorescent with no dimmer switch .
I'll take you up on your offer regarding the Gazette as they don't even have current issues around here much less access to 14 year old ones .What is easiest , faxing ? I'm at 519-948-2568 which is my work fax .

Thanks , guys .
TERRY



Country: Canada | Posts: 5853 Go to Top of Page

bpate
Fireman



Posted - 02/22/2004 :  11:18:01 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Terry, I think you have done a great job with the backdrop and have achieved a nice misty look. To me it reminds of how the mist lifts up into the sky at the day heats up. My guess is it is about one hour after sunrise.

You might want to paint over the date however!



Country: Australia | Posts: 3090 Go to Top of Page

MP Rich
Fireman



Posted - 02/23/2004 :  12:04:49 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I can see the added mist when I scroll up and down and it does help the effect. You really give me more credit than is warrented for backdrops work. My cat used to think what I did was great but she died a few years back! I sure never thought of myself as an artist but some of it did come out okay for me. One trick for transition from back to front that you might try alittle of would be adding some foreground type treetops or branches. I think it works good if not overdone. Like weathering it probably is better to do too little than too much. What I worked in was some tops of trees sticking up from behind something, hills, buildings,etc. that are close enough to see some more of the fine branch details. If you use just the tip of a 1/2 inch wide brush held vertical to the surface and just dabbed to let the brush tips make some small branches, it seemed to add another layer to what the mind thinks is there. Use almost a dry brush with a bit different color from the rest and see what it does for you. I like just the ends of a few treetops or branches here and there. Evergreens seem to be what I get the most from this method. Richard


Country: USA | Posts: 1762 Go to Top of Page

paulbrockatsf
Fireman

Posted - 02/23/2004 :  01:40:45 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Mark & Terry,

I think your backdrops look good. I am very interested in this subject. I have seen very few good looking backdrops. Most do not want to spend the time. Keep the info coming.

Paul



Country: USA | Posts: 3581 Go to Top of Page

DryFork
Section Hand

Posted - 02/23/2004 :  06:44:00 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I collected slides I have taken over the years that contained the colors and compositions I wanted on my backdrop



I scanned them, and while I had them open in Adobe Photoshop, I converted them to index color, with a custom palette of no more than 20 colors or so. Photoshop analysed the image, and spit out 20 colors that are "average" colors in that particular image. I could then print out the palette of those average colors, and use it as a guide to buy artist's acrylic paints.



These are the paint colors I use for backdrops:


Titanium White
Cerulean Blue
Thalo Blue
Ultramarine Blue
Cadmium Yellow Medium
Bronze Yellow
Yellow Oxide
Burnt Siena
Olive Green
Chromium Oxide Green
Hooker Green
Raw Umber
Burnt Umber
Red Oxide
Naphthol Crimson
Cadmium Red Medium
Neutral Gray No 4 and 5
Acra Violet
Deep Violet
Mars Black

There is definitely no bright violet in the palette of average colors, but I use a lot of violet paint on the backdrop. I used very little black paint only on the areas that represented close distances. I used violet as a substitute for black to give the backdrop more "distance" and depth.





Country: USA | Posts: 66 Go to Top of Page
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