Assembly and painting laser cut buildings, what's the best way???

Discussion in 'Wooden products' started by Keith M, May 2, 2021.

  1. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    Most of us have a particular modelling 'Forte', but I'm the first to admit that the 'Artistic' side is not mine! As a result, as I've begun the assembly of the L-cut SR signal box, I'm in need of advice on how to go about it with regard to painting, specifically the brickwork. Obviously I don't want to flood the 'mortar courses' with brick coloured paint and I will be using a grey primer on the whole of the walls which would represent said mortar and form a base coat for it, but how do I go about painting the brickwork itself without the tedious process of painting each brick individually since doing that may result in my losing the will to live! I'd though of using a pad of cloth dipped then wiped of excess paint and using this to 'dab' on the brick coloured paint, is this feasible?
    Glazing the windows is not mentioned in the instructions but for the window frames, which are formed from 2 parts, an inside and an outside, I have already white primer sprayed these 'on the fret' and my intention is to sandwich a clear plastic between the inner and outers, gluing together using canopy glue, then finally gluing into the walls after they have been finished.......is this a sensible idea? As I have a few models to do, I want to get this right but as I've not built laser cut stuff before, all advice would be appreciated.
    Keith.
     
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  2. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

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    Hi Keith

    I'd be tempted to go the otherway, and spray the walls with red oxide primer. This will seal the surface, allow for individual bricks to be picked out, then apply a mortar wash, wiped off when almost dry. It will tone down the redishness of the red oxide and should give a good overall effect.

    Steve Fay has built quite a few of the Laser cut buildings, so may be worth a re-read of his threads, i'll try and find the threads and post up later.

    Paul
     
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  3. York Paul

    York Paul Staff Member Moderator

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    Now this is a bit of an art and like in art there are many ways to address process which will lead to several interpretations all of which best suit the respective modeller's desired objective, the thing to remember with laser cut surfaces is that the ply or MDF needs to be moisture proofed... so the base paint must act as a barrier to prevent warping and distortion (your garage layout will be subject to temperature fluctuations as you factored that principle in when you built the ply baseboards Keith). So a spray can gloss of either cream or grey laid down first on both sides is a must for your garage layout... leave off the edge corners as you need the PVA to "grab" when making the bond, next add a thin grip coat of grey primer over the base gloss coat (worry none that the cement pointing gets covered as you can pick that out with a dilute turpsy pour of suitable colour later on after the bricks have been painted), the main thing to watch for is NOT to flood the cement pointing lines with too much paint.

    I find bricks can be painted with either dry brushing blocks of similar colour tones in small areas or airbrushing sections of wall using a pallet of say three or four colours... the choice is very much yours and which works best for you. Things like capturing the effect of lime effervescence, damp discolouration around drain pipes and the odd brick replacement can all be picked out as embellishments once you are satisfied with the overall brick painting effect, next you need to seal the finish with a flat clear varnish in order to preserve your artwork from the next stage of process which is to pour in the cement pointing tones.

    Now make a dilute mix of colour to a weak consistency with turps and using a pipette as applicator drop this medium onto one side of the building only ... the turps will search out all the low spot areas (the cement pointing indents) until the medium needs another drop to boost up the colour, then let this dry before turning to work on the next side and of course if the colour over-spills or marrs the bricks you can wipe back with a lint free rag since the varnish layer you applied previously will do its job of protection.

    Finally the whole work can be sealed with a flat varnish for protection and the glazing added, or if you want dirty windows and are using a water base varnish you can gently wipe the glazing with a cotton bud to remove some varnish flash over from the glazing panes. Remember the process described will also work with plastic lamination brick effect as well.
     
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  4. York Paul

    York Paul Staff Member Moderator

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    I was just going to say Steve did some brilliant stuff and has described his technique in detail, Gary R (the Wizard of Oztralia :tophat:) also works in a similar way and has been a significant help with advice in my own efforts particularly when advising on the use of Vallejo paints.
     
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  5. York Paul

    York Paul Staff Member Moderator

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    My apologies if it seems I'm bombing your thread with Leek station pictures but I thought it might help showing the results of process described previously, this example is done on Plasticard and uses a mixture of oil (Railmatch enamel) and water (Vallejo acrylic) paints sealed between coats with flat varnish. So the cement pointing process is just the same principle if using acrylic paint... just spin it down with water instead of turps. :thumbup:


    [​IMG]


    Note the delapidating roofline with its bodge repairs above guttering and around the chimney apron... all this affects shows the effect of discolouration on brickwork caused through neglect... obviously I'm modelling a station in its final few years prior to closure and need to capture the feel and spirit of decay setting in.


    [​IMG]



    Since I'm modelling buildings constructed from either Ashlar Sandstone or Staffordshire Brindle brick I don't really work with laser cut MDF since I'm looking for bespoke architecture to NSR style and that differs greatly from mainstream laser cut kits which tend to be either LNER or GW influenced. constructing either scratch models like mine or laser cut buildings still follows the same principle ensuring 90 degree corners are set with the appropriate glues and strengthening gussets added if needed on larger or delicate structures such as this chimney stack. I'd imagine MDF is more tolerant when handling finished buildings.


    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    I forgot to add that I use acrylic paints rather than enamels, but if the process is similar then that's fine. All my buildings will be clear flat varnish sealed due to the moisture levels in the garage, so no use of papers for scenic or buildings, hence my use of laser cut stuff. Items like platform side brickwork will be Plasticard facings glued onto 3.6mm ply base, likewise platform paving surfaces. Some of the platforms have already been made up but as I've not yet decided on a station building the main base area is undecided. Many thanks for guidance given, now I need to sort colours for Southern region building timber paintwork.:thumbup:
    Keith.
     
  7. Wolseley

    Wolseley Full Member

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    If you do decide to use a wash as part of the treatment for the brickwork, a word of warning. I tried that with a laser cut wood kit of a building and used a bit too much water, and the wood warped slightly when it dried.
     
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  8. York Paul

    York Paul Staff Member Moderator

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    Good point made there Wolseley which is another good reason to base coat MDF with a suitable waterproof paint first then apply the matte "grab" coat which will take all the subsequent painted layers and washes.
     
  9. Rosspop

    Rosspop Full Member

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    Hope this helps...

    But un primed laser cut kits will warp over time as they will absorb moisture.

    I tend to prime using halfords rattle can acrylics

    DSC05113.JPG

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    I find that Halfords products don`t swamp it all in uncontrolled paint.

    Then I proceed with airbrushing with enamel paint and then hand paint brickwork where necessary.
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    I found southern railway building stone gave a good mortar mix which I painted on and wiped off.

    DSC05152.JPG

    DSC05195.JPG
     
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  10. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    I also use Grey or White primer initially, clear varnish to seal and yours certainly look the business Rosspop. I've bought in some half round plastic for the guttering and round for downpipes for extra detail. I didn't find what I wanted in terms of station buildings in the L-Cut range so looked a bit further and found a suitable candidate from 'Laser cut railway models', their 'Medium Station' at £42 which should give me what I'm looking for though some additions may be needed. Ordered Bank holiday Monday, delivered Thursday so good service too.

    IMG_2127.JPG
     
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  11. Rosspop

    Rosspop Full Member

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    I like the look of the L-cut range Keith (the shed is Intentio) I`m considering getting a set of the L cut to use as removable buildings on my planned outdoors layout..................... I`ve been thinking about Resin building kits but no-one does a decent GWR`ish station building in that medium.
     
  12. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    I don't intend my buildings to be permanently fixed to the baseboards in the garage, My method will be to fix a wood block to the size of internal dimensions of each building to the baseboard in the appropriate position to locate them, removing them to storage during cold and damp months. Although each building will be clear varnish sealed, I'm not taking any chances with dampness, and I won't bother with internal lighting in the buildings as I won't be doing any running in the dark hours.
    The L-Cut range has good comprehensive instructions (5 A4 sides in the case of the signal box), but the 'Laser cut railway models' Medium Station instructions are rather basic and cursory, 1 A4 side including photo's so previous construction experience is helpful although they are quite solid in construction.
    Keith.
     
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  13. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

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    I found this youtube video, it may be of help



    Paul

    PS I love his hand painted backscene - you can tell he's an artist by trade
     
  14. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

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    Congrats to RossPop on pick of the week, a beautifully painted model.
     
  15. Rosspop

    Rosspop Full Member

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    Thanks very much folks......

    Here`s a few more Intentio kit builds for you to peruse......... using the same methods.

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    Plus a RailModels permanent way hut..............

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  16. Gary

    Gary Wants more time for modelling.... Staff Member Administrator

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    I have the Laser Cut Model Railway Models small station building. Great kit to put together. I also have their Goods Shed, which I haven't started yet but will get there eventually...

     
  17. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    Love the 'Tin Tabernacle' Rosspop, still the odd real ones around in Scotland, though not necessarily being used for what they were originally built for.
    I've just ordered a few more laser cut models including the Laser Cut Railway Models 'Small Station building' that Gary has. I have a few modifications to do on the Northlight roofed engine shed to complete it, Medium station, goods shed and water tower are complete, must get around to posting a few pics.
    Keith.
     
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  18. Rosspop

    Rosspop Full Member

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    I really enjoy making laser cut building kits, it`s a hobby in itself. Not sure that corrugated card has the right profile but so far Intentios kit is the most realistic pagoda shape so far.

    DSC05476.JPG
     
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  19. Steve Fay

    Steve Fay Full Member

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    06C36D13-5532-4176-B829-220B3C75CFAC.jpeg 62FFE940-47E3-4F18-A637-606D3C3A9A75.jpeg I have a painting guide on the Intentio web site, here’s one of their signal box kits and the same method on Slaters plasticard
     
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  20. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

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    Some beautiful modelling guys

    Paul
     

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