Brick in a Bottle

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by 2-8-2, May 14, 2006.

  1. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

    I need bricks!

    I'm having some difficulty finding a color for painting bricks. It seems like everything I try is either too red or too brown. I'm sure that I could concoct my own brick color by mixing paint, but I'd like to avoid that if possible. If I ran out of paint mid-building, it would be hard to try and match the color.

    What does everyone use for brick colors?
  2. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    terra cotta with red or brown mixed in , and a slight diferance in shade in brick is ok look at older brick buildings you will find diferent shades of brick in the same building .also there is blond brick.
  3. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    I usually mix my own. Bricks usually aren't that consistant in color anyway, then when you weather them that changes everything anyhow.

    But, if you're looking for a standard color, Wal-Mart has a "Barn Red" in acrylic that is a good place to start. Like Jim though, I add some yellows, even a bit of blue and frequently black and/or white to get the look I want. Sometimes I've not mixed the paint too good just to get a streaked or inconsistant effect. I don't want every brick building to look the same.
  4. zedob

    zedob Member

    I usually start with a boxcar red base then add a drop or two of whatever I think might give the desired effect. Sometimes I hit it, sometimes I don't, but since bricks come in all kinds of colors, I've never really been wrong and accept the results. Like ez says, the weathering will change everything.

    Here's a few samples of brick buildings and thier color variations. The last building has to have been designed by a MRRer. BArely big enough for a desk and chair and right next to the tracks.

    Attached Files:

  5. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    aslo on some old buildings the street side will be of a diferent brick than the sides and back not see as often by public.also some will have a stone on street side.

    nice pics Zedob are they local to your area?
  6. zedob

    zedob Member

    Hi Jim. Yes, I took those pics in North Hampton, MA, which is not to far from where I live. New England has some of the best examples of trick brick masonry work that I have ever seen. I don't think there are two of the same cornices on any buildings and are definitely a tribute to the mason's trade.

    I also have to give praise to the DPM people for their great downtown building models. Without them, I think most of our brick building models would be rather plain.

    Another tidbit of info. I always thought that the stone window lintels were rather ornate for stone on some of the windows until it dawned on me that some weren't stone at all, but cast iron. Notice the rust stains on the window on the left.

    Attached Files:

  7. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    nice to have referance buildings around:) just noticed on the one pic you posted the one that says stockfeed (top right)the windows on the second and third flood appear to be cut in later as there is no lintel above the window.thought for bashing on brick kits. also think DPM are a great kit for the $.
  8. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    When a building is large and I'm concerned about running out of paint I use paint right out of the jar. Same goes if I'm going to be painting part now and part later. Boxcar Red and Oxide Red are both excellent colours right out of the bottle. When future colour matching is not a concern I like to use a mix of Engine Black and Daylight Red. It gives your buildings variety, and that's what you want.

    I often add spackle "mortar" to my brick which lightens things up somewhat, especially from a couple feet away.

    Here's a couple buildings showing the effect of the spackle technique.

    (1) Black + Daylight Red

    (2) Boxcar Red

    Don't forget, sometimes bricks were painted. It's neat to have a couple buildings like that too.

  9. zedob

    zedob Member

    That's one of the reasons I moved here. Railroads and cool brick buildings(only a MRRer).

    I was actually trying to get some pics of the tracks when I happened to see the building and noticed right off that the windows had been cut at a later date and thought about the same thing for a model. It could also be done if there is a window already cast into the building's wall just by masking off the bricks directly around the window, do the lettering on the wall, then remove the masking and treat those bricks like plain brick. Worth a try. I might even have a DPM side wall with a window to test it out.
  10. zedob

    zedob Member

    Hi Spitfire, You are the master of window dressing:thumb: . I'm beginning to believe that your buildings have more detail in than out.:D

    I love the conduit on the factory wall:thumb: . Not to many people model that kind of details.

    I've never used the spackling technique. Is it simply spackling, or specifically model brick mortar stuff?
  11. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Thanks Zedob. The spackle is the wall-filler stuff, similar to joint compound. I slather it all over a brick wall and then scrape it off with scrap styrene pieces. Warning - that is the time-consuming part, especially around details like window sills. Quite often it dries in these little corners before I can get to it, so then I carefully use a knife blade.
    Despite this part being picky, I really like what it does to a brick wall. And by covering and scraping, you actually leave a little bit of residue, which tones down the colour nicely.

  12. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

    Thanks for the replies, guys!

    Boxcar Red, Oxide Red, Engine Black/Daylight Red mix...good stuff, Spitfire. This is what I was looking for, a starting point. To me, those colors all look too brown to be brick, so I eliminated them from my search completely. I was leaning towards ATSF Mineral Red, which just didn't look right either.

    For things like this, I'm glad we have The Gauge. This thread saved me a lot of headache and time. It's good to be able to bounce ideas around "on paper" before making a mistake. Airbrushing isn't my strong suit, so I wanted to be headed down the right track before I got started. Thanks again!
  13. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    That's great 2-8-2!!! :thumb:

    You mentioned air-brushing..... I rarely use it for brick. I have used it, and I found that the even colouring is actually too even -- making the bricks look somehow modern. I guess bricks now are a more uniform colour than in the olden days. If you look at some old buildings, many bricks are almost black in colour, and there are lots of different shades of brick.
    Now I'm not patient enough to start painting individual bricks, but i like how brushing, as opposed to air-brushing, gives a slightly uneven colour. It looks a bit funny at first, but once you do the spackle, to brick out the mortar lines, it looks good. I don't try to make it uneven by the way, that would be too much.

  14. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    While reading this thread I had a thought (caution, could be hazardous to your health :D ). What if you mixed small amounts of slightly different brick colors and using small pieces of sponge, dip the sponge in one color, wring out most of the paint and color splotches here and there on the building. Then do the same with another color and so on until the building is completely covered. Weathering should soften abrupt color changes and you would get a nicely random color scheme. You would probably need to wear rubber gloves, or maybe just use a paint brush.
    This is just an idea, I haven't tried it but I thought I'd toss it out here to see what everybody thought of it.
  15. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

    I'm glad this thread took a turn into techniques discussion...because that was going to be my next question.

    Spitfire: I've been reading an MRR book about structure building and detailing, and was leaning towards the airbrush method. The author suggests painting the brick a uniform color, then going back with a brush and painting individual bricks with different shades to create the look of actual brick. If using a brush yields similar results without all the extra work, then I'm all for it.

    Pitchwife: I thought about that method as well. My mom used to stencil quite a bit, and has sponges and "dabbers" that would work great for what you describe. She painted her walls with a feather duster, which wouldn't leave such an uneven finish with multiple colors. I'll give it a try and post some results.
  16. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Any variation of boxcar red works well, but, surprisingly, so does Floquil reefer orange. This first building is done with the orange, then an application of drywall "mud" , and a very light weathering of grey applied with an airbrush. To apply the drywall compound (I use the ready-mixed variety) I put it on with a rag over my fingertip: there's no need to be neat. When it's dry, I rub off the excess with a soft, clean rag. Some of the residue clings in the pores of the paint, toning down the colour. I don't bother to apply a clear sealer afterwards.


    This structure is also orange with drywall "mortar", but the mortar has been tinted with Polly Scale grey paint. I then applied a grey wash of Polly Scale paint, followed by a light dusting of airbrushed dirt colour near the foundation.


    This one is either boxcar red or zinc oxide, with the mortar application and no additional weathering.


    Same colour, with no mortar application, but a very heavy application of near-black Polly Scale washes.


    Here's another orange one, this one with drywall mortar, a light wash of grey Polly Scale, followed by a light overspray of a similar grey.


  17. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

    Great pics and examples, Wayne!

    For some reason, I always get insanely jealous when I see your layout. :)

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