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  • Kumar,

    Looks like a lot of work but the backdrop turned out nice and should look good on your diorama.

    Mike
    _________________________________________________

    Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. James Baldwin

    Comment


    • kumard
      kumard commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks Mike. I'm pleased with it so far and I am glad I put more effort into it than usual.

  • I printed out the temporary backdrop and stuck it loosely around the base of the diorama. I am about to start modeling and need it to help me to position elements such as the road. Although a high quality printed version is on its way to me I may still refine the backdrop further.

    The backdrop frame is built for the base to be moved into place when the modeling has been completed.



    The backdrop - although a poorly printed temporary version - really helps me see how thing are coming together. My printer is not particularly good - the colors are not accurate - and as I intended to 'bounce' many of the backdrop colors onto the model I need to have a higher quality picture put in its place. As mentioned above I have a printed version with more accurate colors being mailed to me. However I think I may make more changes to the backdrop so I'm not finished with it yet.



    I'll be starting on the road first. I will have to match the roadway fade which means modeling a sandy colored dirt(ish) road. That wasn't my original intention as I really wanted the road to be a grey asphalt. Nevertheless I like the sandy color and will build the road on the desktop and keep working at it until I get it right. I can take as long as I need to get the texture and color right. I'm in no hurry. Looks like I may have to move the road up a bit to match the height of the model road - an example of some of the changes I may still need to make.



    I may also move the mill a little over to the left as the whole scene seems a little unbalanced.



    The sky is a little too dark. I can swap it out for a lighter version taken from another picture if necessary but I'll wait until I get the printed version before making such big changes.

    I'll install the printed version in a couple of weeks - after the holiday.


    Modeling

    I glued the foam base to a piece of hardwood and first step is to build the road and the ditch alongside. I'm trying to figure out if I should stick the track onto a card base or just lay the track directly to the foam.



    Here's a birds eye view of most of the elements I need to build. I'm going to start with the road and the ditch. The carpark will be in asphalt. I also need to figure out what kind of track weathering I want to do.

    Thanks all.
    Last edited by kumard; 12-19-2021, 07:58 AM.
    https://thedepotonline.com/blog

    Comment


    • Kumard,

      I like how you are trying to coordinate everything as you move through construction. Your taking in the big picture.
      Color matching on computers is a PIT sometimes, in regards to what you see on the screen and what gets printed.

      Scott

      Comment


      • kumard
        kumard commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes that’s one of the nice things about working on a small build such as this - you have time to go the extra mile on certain features. The color matching with the backdrop worked nicely on The Trestle build I did a few years ago and I’m refining the process here.

    • I don't think I have ever seen so much thought and planning going into a diorama of this size. I'm sure it will be fantastic when it is done. No pressure there eh?

      Comment


      • kumard
        kumard commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you!

    • Just got back from Europe having been delayed a couple of weeks by Covid. It's great to be back at our house and our daily routine: I missed my various activities such as drumming and especially modeling.

      While we were away my printed backdrop arrived. I ordered two copies of the same print which at $15 per print is not cheap enough to print too many times. However I do intend to make changes to it so another couple of prints will be ordered for the final model. I intend to swap out the sky for a new sky with fewer colors - just white clouds on a clear blue sky. My theory is that fewer colors on the diorama make color matching easier and the final model more pleasing to look at. I also may move the mill over to the left so that the user has an unimpeded view of the works.

      I ordered two prints of the same backdrop. One for use on the diorama and one to work with on the bench for color matching the road, the grass and other elements so that the foreground blends nicely with the background.


      I did a loose fit of the backdrop before sticking it down. It came with a lower white border which needs to be removed. The road on the diorama needs to be matched with the position of the road on the backdrop. By doing this loose fitting I was able to mark the base with two lines to help me position the backdrop and the diorama road that still needs to be built.




      I used an Xacto knife to cut away the lower border. The base of the model needs to slide under the backdrop while allowing the backdrop to curl around the corners


      The backdrop has been stuck down. I used spray glue and it took a couple of attempts to get the positioning right. I used Elmers spray glue but may change the glue to another brand as I may need to reposition the print before it sticks too hard - something what was difficult to do with the Elmers glue.


      The diorama base needs to slide under the backdrop at the corners. I marked the curves on the base to make sure to not model over them. If I did that then the base would not slide so nicely. Another thing to note is that I don't yet know the height of the road and so I cannot yet match the road on the diorama to the road on the backdrop. Once the diorama road is finished I will have to reposition the backdrop road to make a better match - another reason that this backdrop is not the final version.

      The corners are effectively hidden by the curve in the backdrop.
      The diorama as it currently stands. All good so far, no major hiccups and time to start modeling. I will also start tinkering with the backdrop this week probably starting by swapping out the sky.
      Last edited by kumard; 01-19-2022, 12:18 PM.
      https://thedepotonline.com/blog

      Comment


      • Kumard,

        Been waiting for your next post. Glad nothing too bad happened. Hope you enjoyed your trip.
        The backdrop is coming along nicely.

        Scott

        Comment


        • Comment


          • So at last I have started some actual modeling. I decided to begin by creating the sandy gravel road that has to match the roadway on the backdrop. I'm applying my rules that I stated in an earlier post: build away from the model, experiment as much as needed, discard failures and apply successes. Once I have the materials and technique figured out I should also have a final roadway built on the work bench that I can just move to the diorama for final gluing. Well that is the theory but let's see how I get on trying to stick to my rules!

            In order to build the road I needed to get organized. First stop was my materials shelf to grab whatever I needed in the way of ground cover (of the right colors and textures) that would allow me to model the road accurately. I need to get the materials shelf better organized and I am looking at buying standardized glass jars to hold all the materials for easy viewing and access. I use mostly natural materials gathered on my adventures. I photograph abandoned and out-of-service railroads in the Bay Area. I intend to keep collecting materials and will carry glass jars and a trowel wherever I may roam. Materials collected this way will be labeled by the location eg Petaluma Sand, San Rafael powder.


            I spent a little time experimenting with various mixtures of Woodland Scenics Foam putty plus various light colored sands and gravel. This is merely to create a base onto which more textures and colors will be added


            I continued to match the mixture with the spare copy of the backdrop. The photograph shows more orange or yellow. I'll add that either by adding paint to the mix or staining the roadway at a later point.


            I added some orange paint to the mix to get the color match a little closer. Although I made the sandy mix a bit more orange I think it would be bette to apply the orange color once the roadway has been created and the mix has dried.


            I spread the mix onto a piece of cloth and compared it with the photo. Close enough I thought and so now time to actually build the road using this combination of materials.


            Before beginning the road I decided to find some examples of sandy gravel roads that I could work from. I found a bunch online and sent them to my local Walgreens for printing. Working from photographs was another of my rules - I've made too many mistakes leading to bad modeling when trying to model from memory.


            I went back to the diorama base to figure out the measurements for the road. I decided to build the roadway on top of a piece of spare card. The top of the roadway has to match the top of the rails as I don't want an incline from road to rail. However I don't yet know what the height of the track is but whatever it maybe I will raise the roadway height using additional layers of card. I also added a curve in the upper left of the card to make sure it cleared the backdrop.


            I built a small jig using doorway soundproofing tape. I will pour the sandy mix into this and wait for it to dry. It usually takes a couple of days.


            I poured the sandy mix into the jig, leveled it off as much as needed, and left it to dry for a couple of days.


            Once try it was time to pull up the roadbed. As anticipated the card beneath became warped due to the moisture in the sandy mix. When I tried to straighten it I created a crack along the width of the road.


            I used some left over sand that I had stored in a water tight jar to fill the cracks. I'm letting the road dry for a couple more days before I start on the surface weathering.


            Road weathering next.

            Thanks all.
            Last edited by kumard; 01-24-2022, 07:52 AM.
            https://thedepotonline.com/blog

            Comment


            • Kumard,

              Nice shelving and organization. Good idea, collecting sample and labeling them.

              The road looks good so far, nice technique.

              Scott

              Comment


              • kumard
                kumard commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks Scott!

            • I've been out of modeling action this week due to work folks occupying my modeling room. They are currently installing my kitchen units. The plumber finishes today or tomorrow so hopefully I'll be back in action in a couple of days. I thought I would do a quick update as I already had made some progress on the diorama since my last post and had some pictures to show you.

              Kitchen

              The units came from Ikea. They are from the KNOXHULT modular range - pretty cheap for kitchen units - the whole lot including sink and faucet came to around $800. I have a pal of mine helping me to assemble and fit them and they came together very easily and so far look pretty good. The kitchen storage area will allow me to finally store a bunch of tools that have been laying around in the open. This will leave me more space to actually build a layout - something I'm starting the planning on soon. Sink, faucet, fan, and handles still to be installed and fitted but we should be done this week.


              The new storage will allow me to hide away all my tools that had been currently out in the open. I store many of the smaller tools, some supplies and materials in these takeout boxes (collected and cleaned from my local Chinese takeout restaurant). The surface will hold my spray booth - a fan outlet has still to be opened in the wall - and I'm intending to purchase a 3D printer and a cheap laser cutting machine that will also live on the worktop.


              Diorama

              On my previous post I mentioned that I had started modeling and showed some progress on the roadway. I also decided to get started with the trackwork. I've been mulling over the track issue. I have always hand-laid track - I prefer the look of it as well as the ability to weather more realistically and design the layout of the track in a more prototypical way. However I also have seen some commercial track being used to create realistic looking layouts with weathering, landscaping and track configurations being as good as a layout of hand-laid track. As such I thought I should at least - with minimum outlay of time or expense - give it a go. I decided to compromise and make the main line from a piece of Micro Engineering flex-track while hand-laying the team track.

              Instead of sticking the track down onto the bare foam surface I decided to just lay some strips of cardboard onto which I will glue the trackwork. My weights were perfect for holding the strips in place. The weights can be bought in various configurations from Ebay or Amazon - search under 'calibration weights'. Over time they have proved themselves to be one of my most used and most useful tools.


              I started track-laying with the team track. This is going to be hand-laid. I used basswood tie strips (from Fast Tracks: https://www.handlaidtrack.com/) cut to different lengths. I also left gaps in the arrangement in order to add in balsa wood ties which will be considerably weathered compared to the basswood strips. Most old and poorly maintained road beds have the odd tie that has nearly fully rotted or split and I want to model a variety of these using balsa wood.


              Both strips of track have now been stuck down. the track and the road will act as a starting point for the diorama. I can base most of the other elements in relation to these two elements - the relative heights, colors, spaces, textures, contrasts etc. The will act as a kind of 'creative anchor' for creek, bridge, parking area and platform which have yet to come. Once some of the other elements have been put in place I will begin the weathering, landscaping and ballasting of the trackbed.


              Alongside the roadway will be a creek. The access to the parking area will have a small bridge over this creek. I used a foam cutter to cut away the creek bed. This is the first time I have used extruded foam (a Luke Towan idea) and I'm really enjoying the ease of doing the kind of landscaping that it allows. The fumes are toxic so I put on a mask and used my spray booth with a powered vent to do the work.


              So this is the point I am up to and once the kitchen units are completed and the works folks out of my way I'll be able to continue on. Hopefully I'll have more progress to report on next weekend.


              Thanks all!
              https://thedepotonline.com/blog

              Comment


              • Nice and interesting progress, Kumard. I like the way you've curved the corners of your backdrop. It will look much better than angled corners in photographs.

                George
                The sky is not my limit, it's my playground.

                Comment


                • kumard
                  kumard commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thanks George. Yes the curves are essential for seamless corners. As you mentioned they will look good in photographs. On the Trestle diorama I did a few years ago the whole backdrop was curved and it meant that you could shoot from a variety angles and not see any corners.

              • Kumard,

                Cabinets look good! I think you have the best looking train work area. The diorama is coming along nicely.
                I like what you are doing with the ties. Thanks for sharing tools and their uses as well.

                Scott

                Comment


                • kumard
                  kumard commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thanks Scott.

                  I find a tidy well organized work area essential. I can't seem to think straight if the work space is too messy.

              • Kumar,

                Your work area and diorama are both progressing well and looking nice. Sort of a contrast between a neat and clean workspace and messy, irregular ties.

                Those Chinese restaurant take-away containers are very useful. Looks like your local restaurant must consider you a good customer. I also find the plastic containers for wet Swiffer pads to be very useful, as well as the plastic containers for Cascade dish washer "Actionpacs" for storing bulk scenery materials such as ballast and dirt.

                Mike
                _________________________________________________

                Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. James Baldwin

                Comment


                • kumard
                  kumard commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thanks Michael.

                  I'm working more on the ties this week so you will see how the trackwork and track weathering develops from this starting point.

                  As far as the Chinese containers go, We use them in the house as tupperware. I grabbed as many as I could from our kitchen but actually went online and ordered from Amazon a whole bunch more. They were super cheap about $25 for 50 quantity. I'm alway looking for cheap ways to store materials. I'll take a look at your recommendations (Swiffer pad containers etc) and see if I can find a use for them.

              • Comment


                • I just found out that my work folks won't be returning till next week. I tidied up the room and will start modeling in the morning. Here are a few pictures of where I am at.

                  I returned the planning elements to the diorama. It's really nice seeing the model come together. The planning elements help spot issues in advance. For example I see that I dug the creek bed a little to deep and wide - no matter as I'm intending to build a bridge between the roadway and the parking area and will fill in the creek as needed.


                  It's hard to tell how big the diorama is. It is quite small: 20"x10" but the small area to model means that you can really spend time on detailing.


                  I'm currently building the road, the crossing and the trackwork. I'll start building some sort of bridge next and then the car park and platform area.


                  The backdrop really helps set the scene.

                  Thanks all!
                  https://thedepotonline.com/blog

                  Comment

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