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TRAINS1941
Engineer

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Posted - 05/11/2015 :  11:10:15 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hell Kris you hit this wall right on the head. Beautiful work.


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hon3_rr
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 05/11/2015 :  11:13:40 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks guys for the wonderful positive feedback. Still learning a lot from this build, even on some of the standard materials like styrene. I'll provide more information in my critique of the build. But for sure I've learned a couple of what not to do's, at least in the context of how I was trying to get things to work.

Getting ready to move on to the third wall, which will have some new challenges. I'm going to have to consider how to work with the window headers on this wall which have been carved way too thin. This wall will also have a block of foam for a out-building which is attached to the corner, so another chance to try the spackling on a seam.

Below are a couple of pictures of the 'footprint', but note that I've inverted the far wall to show the carved surface in the second picture.





The following picture shows the next wall to be addressed. Note that the wall has been carved and the two coats of Gesso applied. You can also see how I'm going to have some issues with the window headers as I got fascinated/lost with the carving process in trying to discover just how thin I could carve the balsa foam. The pillar of stone is going to be a bit of a challenge to color as the stones are really small.


The 'block' of balsa foam will be on the left side of the wall, and will be added towards of end of the actual wall construction. I'll probably cover the carving and coloring of the balsa foam block after this third wall is completed.

As always, comments to the good, bad and ugly are welcome.




-- KP --
Life is to short to build all of the models I want to.

Edited by - hon3_rr on 05/22/2015 6:59:39 PM

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hon3_rr
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 05/16/2015 :  2:53:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As always, thanks everyone for peeking in to see what I've been up to.

I will let everyone know that updating this thread will be a bit slow for the next couple of weeks as I need to get the paperwork done to enter 6 models into the judging for the AP stickers at the upcoming NMRA Regional Convention at the start of June. I will also be a NMRA AP judge, (guess I can't judge my own work however...) so I need to be working on getting ready to perform those functions. So if I disappear for a bit, you'll know why.

OK... now that the stodgy stuff is out of the way, let's talk about working with paint and balsa foam.

Painting Balsa Foam: Important Notes on Paint-Foam Interactions
I have discovered that priming and painting the foam **does not** seal the foam as one would expect. Even the use of acrylic Gesso and paints, which I would expect to dry with a moisture proof film does not seem to appear to occur.

Back on page 7 I posted the following picture showing how a painted wall looked after an application of Silverwood. I have been stating to do a 'touch-up' of the painted stones on both the completed walls so far. In reality, my so-called "touch-up" has been closer to a 're-do'. I made the assumption that in the process of coloring the stones prior to the Silverwood wash to color the mortar, that I was not allowing enough time for the paint to dry, and that the wash was simply removing the paint. This assumption turned out to be incorrect however.



With the third wall, I allowed a full 24 hours for the acrylic paint (craft paints) to dry prior to the application of the Silverwood wash to color the mortar. Further, I applied the wash carefully using only capillary action to pull the Silverwood into the mortar lines. I still ended up with virtually all of the color being lost from the stones. The balsa foam, even though primed with two coats of Gesso which had cured over several weeks, still acted like a sponge, soaking up the Silverwood (and in a test area, a A-I wash) into the entire wall body.

I have noted, but not commented, on the changes in the coloring of the painted stones over time. I've noted that the foam appears to continue to 'dry' and that that the colors of the stones becomes richer in hues/tones. Shadows in the stones and mortar where the Silverwood pooled also have taken on more 'depth'. It appears that it takes the foam about 4 weeks to 'dry' once the Silverwood has been applied.

With the above thoughts in my mind, I decided to try the old hair-dryer trick on this third wall after the Silverwood was applied to see if I could recover the 'lost' stone coloring. I applied a lot of heat and very long periods under the hair dryer, holding the dryer only about 1/4 of an inch from the foam surface. Remember, balsa foam is very heat resistant. I found that the foam never did get hot, and that in fact, it hardly warmed up. Also, my hopes of recovering the lost stone coloring found only minimal, and very poor, recovery of the coloring.

So.. what I have learned is that the procedure I've been using needs to be modified a bit. Mortar coloring needs to be the first step. To be determined is if there is some period of drying time necessary. I've also determined that the usual tricks used to create various weathering effects with a hair-dryer and washes will probably not work with balsa foam. Overall, if one is using a wash of any sort on the foam, one needs to consider how a 'sponge' would act with that wash. For sure, testing is paramount when coloring foam for the first few uses as the foam behaves in unexpected ways.


-- KP --
Life is to short to build all of the models I want to.

Edited by - hon3_rr on 05/16/2015 3:57:35 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 7088 Go to Top of Page

hon3_rr
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 05/19/2015 :  10:03:33 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As always, thanks everyone for peeking-in and the comments. It's appreciated.

Below is a picture of the wall now that it's been repainted with the earlier wall to compare with. Also note that the left side of the wall has a bit more mortar than stones and has not been fully carved. That's due to the fact that the stone room extension will sit up against this wall.



I do have a question for those who are following along.

-- Does anyone want to see how the wall was colored with the individual colors applied to the stones?? --

I took pictures of each color after it was applied to the wall to provide a feel for the volume of stones being colored and to give a feeling of what the wall looks like as it is being colored. I did this as when I was considering modeling stone walls (in plaster/hydrocal) one of the items which kept me from attempting to model walls was the process of coloring the carved casting. I thought that if even one person was interested then it was time well spent. Carving the foam is so easy that I for sure don't want anyone to not try working with the foam for fear of trying to color the carved foam. So... Please feel free to speak-up if you are interested in seeing a series of pictures of how the wall looked after each coloring step.

Window Headers:
I next decided to address the individual windows in the wall. As noted earlier, I was side tracked in the carving process and ended up carving the window headers to about a scale 2 inches thick. I did have a couple of windows where I goofed, mainly with the #11 knife point, and tore up the thin foam. You can see in the above picture that the tops of the windows are pretty ragged, so I decided to use a scale 4x6 to make the headers, keeping the top of the wood header about a scale 2 inches under top of the wall.

(102) Grain and color 4x6 stock using the same procedures as on other strip wood stock.
(103) Cut the headers to length. I used the plans to obtain the header length and transferred the length from the plans to the strip wood using a drafting compass.
(104) Using a Chopper II, I cut four lengths of headers from the stock 4x6.
(105) Lid stain with a light A-I the ends of each header.
(106) Using a motor tool and a small bit the width of the header, I carved out the area for the wood header. I carved the slots deep enough for the headers to be flush with the stone face.

You can see below in the close-up pictures how there are some gaps, particularly with the depth of the window and how the headers fit into the foam.




The picture below shows the carved foam block which will become the stone room extension. I carved a door in the west face (opposite side) of the block. The opening was carved to accommodate a Grandt Line Durango Station Door with Frame & Transom #5013.

Note that the block covers a large section of the left end of the wall.



I then added a piece of foam to the left end of the wall to make the wall the same length as the opposing wall, which is shown immediately above the wall. When I had originally cut the wall pieces I incorrectly thought that the stone extension would become incorporated into the wall, and in the process the left end of the wall would be cut to size, thus the lack of stone carving.



The following picture shows the stone extension in place over the newly extended wall. Note that this picture was taken prior to the west face of the stone extension being carved with the stone facing and door inset.



You may have noted the different dimensions in the window openings. I originally planned on resolving this issue at this point in the build with scratch built framing for the windows using the same sizes of wood and correcting each opening as I constructed the framing. I changed my mind and decided to use Laser-Art Four Pane Windows, 2.5 x 3.5 scale foot, Part #BRA 727. I decided that the four pane window would look better than my envisioned two pane.

Remember, the window opening on the Polar Star pictured earlier show a wood frame set back some distance from the wall face, on all faces of the window opening. This framing would be done with 2x6 strip wood, and follow the design as used on earlier windows.

(106) Using an additional 4x4 with the window sash placed against the wood header, the bottom of of the window opening was marked. Then again using the window sash and 4x4 centered under the header, the sides of the opening were marked.
(107) I used a #17 X-acto blade to mark the sides and bottom of the right window.
(108) Using a T-square, the bottom of the remaining windows were marked with the #17 blade. This was done to insure that the windows appear to be consistent in height across the wall.
(109) The window and 4x4 were then placed centered under the remaining headers and the sides were marked.
(110) The window openings were then carved to be consistent sized openings. This carving left the window openings with both bare foam and partial black walls.
(111) The inside of the openings were carved to show mortar lines matching the surrounding stone.
(112) Gesso was then applied to the openings to prime the exposed foam and seal the rough edges of colored Gesso.

The following picture shows the resized window openings with Gesso applied. While I had the Gesso open, I went ahead and primed the stone extension block also.



Thanks for reading. More later.


-- KP --
Life is to short to build all of the models I want to.

Edited by - hon3_rr on 05/20/2015 10:12:20 AM

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TRAINS1941
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 05/20/2015 :  11:04:35 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Always good to see an update from you Kris.

Love the progress so far looking forward to more. Oh thanks for the how to's they always get put in a folder just in case I need to refer to them.



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hon3_rr
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 05/21/2015 :  8:46:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Jerry for the comment and to all who have dropped by.

Some modeling thoughts and something which I should have posted earlier.

The Stone Extension:
I wanted the stone extension section of the build to appear as if it had been added to the structure in a different time window than when the stone walls were created, but not be real different from the rest of the structure.

So, how might one indicate that the stone extension was an add-on, but still appear as construction at about the same time period using the same materials?
--The use of different sized stones is one way to indicate a different construction time period.
--The use of different color hues or mix of colors on the stones would indicate stones from a possible different location source.
--A different style of mortar and how the stones are set could indicate that a different set of stone masons created the extension.
--A color difference in the mortar would also portray a potential different building period.

I decided that I wanted the stones to appear to be from the same general source, so the coloring and coloring mix will be kept about the same, or at least as close as I can eye-ball it.

By using a very subtle change in color tones (A tone is produced by the mixture of a color with gray) I may be able to indicate that the stones came from a near-by, but not necessarily the same source. This could also indicate that the stone extension was constructed at a different time than the main structure, but would still strongly blend with the overall structure.

To produce a different tone in the mortar, I applied a single coat of Gesso to the carved block representing the stone extension. When this had dried a day, I applied a wash of Silverwood. This wash turned the block grey. The Silverwood wash was allowed to dry for another day and then a second coat of Gesso was applied to the block.

To further indicate that the extension was added at a different time to the structure, the block was also carved using more of a dental pick and less of the #11 blade, the reverse of the carving process used on the main walls.

I decided that now was a good opportunity to address the window openings that I had destroyed when practicing carving the foam very thin, and then further mangled while installing the wooden headers over the windows.

The picture below shows how I used a scrap piece of foam sanded to size to act as a plug in the window opening.


I then used some light-weight spackle to fill the holes from the top edge of the wall. I also tried to trowel the spackle so that there was about a scale 2" layer of spackle covering the top side of the wood header which I could later score and color to represent stone.



The stone extension block after a single application of Gesso and Silverwood wash.


This is the stone extension block after being primed with the second application of Gesso and prior to the final Silverwood wash.


Since it is overcast today, I took the stone extension block and main wall which it will be attached to for pictures. The idea was to try to show some of the true colors. I'll let you decide if I achieved my objectives or not as far as the stone extension coloring being about the same as the wall.



I decided to once again try to show the wonderful stone textures I'm obtaining with the balsa foam. Again, I could never obtain this level of texture in plaster/hydrocal, and quite frankly, I've not seen this level of stone texture from any commercial vendor.



Well, that's it for now. Thanks for dropping in and as always, comments to the good, bad and ugly are always welcome.


-- KP --
Life is to short to build all of the models I want to.

Edited by - hon3_rr on 05/22/2015 7:03:32 PM

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TRAINS1941
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 05/21/2015 :  9:44:03 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mission accomplished. Great job.


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deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 05/21/2015 :  10:09:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You can get grey gesso (Bob Ross Line, and I think Liquitex). I've used that instead of white gesso when I wanted a darker mortar color, where I then colored the stones (but not the mortar gesso) with sponges.

I really like the idea of 'stone color set-off'. On my long dormant (plaster) CM Roundhouse, I started coloring some of the stones to represent a different stone, particularly the archways and pliasters, to get a "Richardson Romanesque" effect. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richardsonian_Romanesque )

dave


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

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Carl B
Fireman

Premium Member

Posted - 05/21/2015 :  10:20:48 PM  Show Profile  Visit Carl B's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Kris- Just went through the whole thread- amazing stuff here!

Well done!




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hon3_rr
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 05/21/2015 :  10:36:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Jerry, Dave and Carl for the comments.

I just edited the earlier post with a picture I forgot to include which shows the stone extension block after a single coat of Gesso and Silverwood wash. The block was so dark grey that I decided to go for a second application of both to keep the underlying base tone a bit closer to the earlier experiences. So, Dave, it does fall in line color wise with what you referenced. Your reference is a great thought for those who want some other options, and I concur that your use of the colored Gesso would be a good choice for mortar.

Carl, thanks for the comment. Hope that you found something of value to use in your modeling. Please visit often as I'm hoping to test and add a few other ideas in the near future.


-- KP --
Life is to short to build all of the models I want to.

Country: USA | Posts: 7088 Go to Top of Page

hon3_rr
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 05/24/2015 :  3:27:38 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, it's a weekend and time for an update.

I first of all went back to address my issue with the wall lengths being incorrect as pictured earlier. I decided to start prepping the angled wall which had been completed earlier. I decided that I'm probably going to try to mate the corners with 45 degree angles. Since I'm not exactly sure of the wall length required, I decided to go long and than any extra carved wall can be used later as a retaining wall when I get to the scenery section of the diorama.

Once I had this wall section glued together, I went back and added spackle to the joint.

The pictures below show the added balsa foam to the angled wall with just the glue joint and after the spackle has been added.




I have also completed the third wall. This wall was completed following the general methods as outlined earlier.

Door and Windows:
(113) The openings were repainted with the Charcoal craft paint.
(114) The large window over the sliding door opening was first lined with the 2x6 frame.
(115) 2x2 strip wood stock was colored off-white to match the general color hues of the headers. All end cuts were lid stained with a light A-I wash.
(116) Window glazing was cut and placed into the opening. The glazing material was cut over-sized as I was able to slip the glazing behind the 2x6 frame lining the opening.
(117) Colored 2x2 stock was then cut to complete the sash frame for the top and bottom of the window opening. All ends were lid stained once fit had been determined. These were glued to the glazing using Aleene's Tacky.
I had planned on scratch building the windows and having just two panes in the windows. After review, I decided that a four pane window would look better following the drawings Blazek's drawings. This also provided an opportunity to test a different window material other than the styrene castings produced by Grandt Line and others as well as determine how mounting and gluing may work in the foam. I opted to use Branch-Line Trains Laser-Art windows. I chose the 2.5 x 3 foot Four Pane Window, #BRA-727. The other four smaller window openings were addressed point using only the 4 pane sash from the Laser-Art product.
(118) During the framing of the window openings, careful attention was given to make sure that the sash would fit correctly within window framimg. 2x6 colored stock was used to frame the openings. The header and sill framing were added first. All end cuts were lid stained using a light A-I wash after fitting but prior to gluing the parts in place.
(119) After the glue had dried, the sides of the window were framed, again paying close attention to the fitting of the four pane sash. Lid staining was again applied to a ends prior to gluing in place.
(120) The sash components of the Laser-Art windows were colored using a off-white acrylic paint and a #1 soft round brush. Allow to cure dry.
(121) 3M Scotchcal Marking Film #8520 backing material was used for glass. The film was cut over sized in relation to the four pane sash.
(122) The backing material was removed from the individual sash components allowing the adhesive to be exposed. The sash was then attached to the Marking Film.
(123) Using a new #11 blade, the excess film was removed from the sash using multiple light cuts.
(124) The sashes were then edge glued into place within the window opening frames. Care was used as the individual sash parts were teased into place using a scrap 12x12 strip wood piece. Fine tip tweezers were used to pull the sash forward where/when needed. Wood glue was used to edge glue the sashes into place.
(125) The sliding door moves in the opposite direction (right) instead of the left. Keeping this in mind, the door was constructed using the same method as earlier. No window was placed in this door however.
(126) I used the same size of colored styrene strips for form the roller hanger brackets attached to the wall as before.
(127) Smaller pieces of colored styrene were used to create the door hanger assembly as I did not want the 'mass' which was produced with the earlier door hanger assembly. I wanted this door to not look as industrial heavy as the earlier door.
(128) The door was glued into place using a scrap piece of 12x12 strip wood to brace the door as I had carved an opening for the door. This scrap wood was painted Charcoal prior to gluing into place. Note that I also did not add the bluffer blocks as on the earlier door, and this door sits flush against the stone wall face.
(129) Spackle was used to fill in any gaps around the window or door rock work making sure to keep the excess spackle out of any mortar lines.
(130) Once dried, the spackle was touched up with a diluted Silverwood wash applied with a 5/0 liner. This made the spackle appear to be mortar blended well with the surrounding mortar.
(131) The door handle and other metal parts on the doors were touched-up with a wash of Rust-All applied using a random stippling motion. A light wash of Rust-All was applied below the door hanger assembly plates and door handle plate and run down the door to indicate rusting.

The overall wall is shown below.


Close-up of the scratch built door, door hanger assembly, 2-pane window and the 4-pane window with the Laser-Art sash.


A close-up of the remaining small windows in the wall. Note how the spackle applied earlier to the top edge of the wall, above the wooden headers, now appears to represent mortar/rock.


Well, that's it for now. Currently working on the final touches of the door in the stone extension and I'll post that information tomorrow. Till then, questions, comments and thoughts are welcome.


-- KP --
Life is to short to build all of the models I want to.

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TRAINS1941
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 05/24/2015 :  5:11:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Kris this coming together nicely. And I must agree the stonework is some of the best I've seen.

The stone themselves and the coloring is just so realistic.



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Ray Dunakin
Fireman



Posted - 05/24/2015 :  9:44:49 PM  Show Profile  Visit Ray Dunakin's Homepage  Reply with Quote
This is going to be quite an impressive structure!


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hon3_rr
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 05/26/2015 :  1:27:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just a quick update on the stone extension and wall extension.

The wall extension with the additional foam was pictured earlier. Again, this is way too long for the final wall length needed, but the stone colored foam will be used on the scenery when putting together the different ground contours.

Below is the wall extension with the first coat of Gesso and spackle on various stones/mortar seams to eliminate the joint between the two pieces of foam. You can see in the lower part of the picture where I had to do a bit of touch-up carving to remove the joint seam. Also note how the very thin film of spackle lightly sealed the foam. The Gesso shows whiter where the spackle film was left on the foam.

I will be adding a second coat of Gesso prior to the Silverwood wash and coloring the stones.


Stone Extension Door:
The stone extension structure has a door on one side. As noted earlier, I had intended on using a Grandt Line Durango Station door for this opening. After working the casting, I did not like the look of the casting in the carved opening. I thus scratch-built the door.
(132) As the door opening has already been framed, I only needed to cut to length the colored 2x4's used to create the door. These 2x4's were placed in the opening as the stock was cut.
(133) All ends were lid stained using a light A-I wash.
(134) The door planks were then spot glued into place in the carved opening.
(135) Header and footer door bracing was cut from stock 2x4 to fit.
(136) All ends were lid stained using a light A-I wash.
(137)) The header and footer bracing was glued into place making sure that the wood was horizontal to the stone wall face.
(138) Cross bracing for the door was cut from stock 2x4.
(139)All ends were lid stained using a light A-I wash.
(140) The cross bracing was glued into place on the door.
(141) A small piece (1/8th of an inch) of 2x4 was cut from the stock for a door knob plate.
(142) The door knob plate was dipped in a light A-I wash on the tip of a #11 blade.
(143) Door knob plate was glued into place on the door.
(144) The indent were the #11 blade was stuck into the wood for the A-I bath was lightly reamed out using the rotation of a #11 blade.
(145) About 1/64 inch of a tip of toothpick was cut from the end of a toothpick. Roll the toothpick under the knife blade to get a clean cut.
(146) The pointed end of the toothpick was then glued into the reamed hole in the door handle plate.
(147) The door handle plate was then painted an old gold color using a number 0 synthetic liner. I used a Vallejo paint, sticking the brush into the bottle tip to fill the brush with paint.
(148) The handle (tip of the toothpick) was painted using a Silver paint.
(149) 2x4 strip styrene stock was spray painted with Rustolum 'Rust' colored primer.
(150) 2x4 styrene colored stock was used to face the header and footer horizontal bracing on the door. These plates were attached to the wooden header/footer 2x4's using Aleene's Tacky.
(151) The styrene 'metal' plates were colored with Rust-All using a stipping motion and a small soft round.
(152) After cure drying, the plates were colored using the 'bluing' wash which is part of the Rust-All weathering package.
(153) Spackle was used to fill the space above the framing header. I did not fill the spaces between the stones and wood frames on the vertical sides of the opening as the stones coloring was carried below the framing.
(154) A diluted wash of Silverwood was applied with a 4/0 round to the spackle above the door. This colored the spackle to match the surrounding mortar.
(155) All of the wood components of the door were given a wash of diluted Silverwood, with extra wash being applied below the footer.

Below is the completed door opening prior to the Silverwood wash applied in steps #154 and #155.




-- KP --
Life is to short to build all of the models I want to.

Country: USA | Posts: 7088 Go to Top of Page

railman28
Fireman



Posted - 05/26/2015 :  2:42:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Kris,
I just caught up on your tread. I waited tell I had time to read and absorb the information you are sharing.
Thank you for sharing all this. It must be a lot of work. The results you're getting are excellent. The stone coloring looks very good and interesting. I'm also enjoying the window and door builds and how you're using a verity of details on them. I know your following a prototype closely bug the result is still wonderful. The extension does look newer and built by different hands but yes, using stone from the same source.
All of this is very helpful.


It's Only Make Believe

Bob Harris

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