Bricks and mortar joints

Discussion in 'Tips & Tricks' started by TrainNut, Nov 11, 2007.

  1. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    Everybody has their own method but this is mine and I thought this could benefeit others as well...

    The kit...
    Cornerstone N scale Santa Fe-style brick depot

    Tools needed...
    1 toothbrush
    1 Scarlett red colored pencil
    1 Permapaque opaque pigment marker

    I've tried many different methods but this one seems to be the easiest to "undo" if you mess up and need to try again.

    First, you need the kit with bricks and since this one has been sitting under my layout for quite some time, let's rip off the plastic and give it a go...


    Next, you need the supplies as mentioned above.


    The next three pictues may look a little strange but that's because I used the macro setting on my camera looking through a lit magnifying glass:eek: (hey! I said it was N scale:mrgreen:).

    This is what the shiny, plastic, brown, brick wall looks like before any applications of any kind...


    Now, take the white opaque pigment marker and color in all the mortar joints. I found this took several applications (2-4) to achieve the level of white desired. The nice part about this step is the opaque marker is water soluble and if your not happy with the results, simply scrub off the white, with the toothbrush, under water and start over.


    Finally, take the colored pencil and evenly color the bricks to the depth of red that you prefer. It helps to have a hard color pencil as softer ones tended to fill in the mortar joints. Inevitably, some red coloring will end up in the joints and that is what the toothbrush is for. Once you have finished applying the color, take the toothbrush and clean out the mortar joints for a nice clean look.


    There you have it!... quick and easy bricks. Once the model is completed, I will come back and apply weathering as well as spray the entire structure with an application of dull cote to remove any glossy finishes that may remain.
  2. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    that looks fantastic. I think I will try that next time!

  3. w8jy

    w8jy Member

    That really looks great. It looks like a bit of work, but the end result sure justifies it. Thanks for the tip.
  4. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    That's just the thing, once you get the hang of it, it's easy! To do one piece the size of the one in the last picture above takes as little as 5 minutes and most of that is waiting for the pigment to dry. If you line up all your pieces assembly line style, you can knock out an entire building in nothing flat!
  5. jesso

    jesso Member

    So, is the white marker a fairly sharp point and then you just press hard so that the felt pushes into the mortar lines? And then do you color it brick by brick, or is it you just keep coloring and pencil stays above the lines?
  6. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    The marker is kind of like a sharpy but a little softer. On one end it has a... what do you call it... swedge tip(?) for broad swaths and the other end is pointy like the end of a normal marker. You really don't have to push it into the mortar lines at all as the color seeps down into them all on its own. If you use a colored pencil with a hard enough lead(?), the color stays on top where it is supposed to and very little intrudes on the mortar lines. As far as coloring it brick by brick... well yes and no. It all has to be colored but it is kind of like coloring a picture with crayons... you've got a big space that needs to be filled in and so you just start coloring them all evenly. As long as your colored lead is hard enough, you can color over the top of the mortar lines without messing them up. What little does get into the mortar lines (colored shavings), you brush back out with the toothbrush.
  7. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    How do you use the toothbrush to clean out the mortar lines without taking the colour off the bricks?
  8. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    As you can tell from looking at the toothbrush, it does take some of the red color back off but so far, excessive removal has not been a problem. It does not take much to clean the unwanted red out of the mortar joints other than 3-4 swipes back and forth with the toothbrush and your done. If that becomes a problem, shade the bricks a little darker before brushing, don't brush so hard, or re apply more color until your shade has been obtained. Simply blowing on the wall may also remove the excess shavings however, it seems that the toothbrush actually helps even and blend the colors ever so slightly.
  9. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    I will have to play with this , I have allways spraypainted the wall with a grey, and then drybrushed the brick color, but it is tricky and timeconsuming

    Bill Nelson
  10. Sawdust

    Sawdust Member

    The brick wall looks great especially being N scale. My method is to take the brick wall first & wash it to get rid of the moulding release residue. I mix a watered down solution of my mortar color ( water based acrylics ) & flood the wall with it making sure all the mortar lines are filled. Keep this wall panel level while drying & sometimes I have to tilt it back & forth to keep the paint distributed equally or I get too much on one end of the wall. After drying I take a dampened cotton rag ( white t shirt works great ) held tight around a finger & wipe the brick faces off. This as most things takes a little practice but if you mess up just wash the whole wall section under warm soapy water, dry & start all over. Jim

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