Building Time

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by trainwhiz20, Feb 24, 2005.

  1. trainwhiz20

    trainwhiz20 Member

    Okay, as you may know from my posts around The Gauge, I'm building some structures for my layout. All three arrived Parcel Post via USPS today! Wonderful Timing.

    They are:

    Walther's Cornerstone City Station
    Walther's Cornerstone Interstate Fuel & Oil Depot
    Pikestuff 17 Loading Dock

    This is the first time I've ever built anything in HO scale. I opened the Pikestuff loading dock, and de-sprued everything, just because it will be the easiest to build.

    Now, for the questions!

    - Do you think it will be easier to paint the structures beforehand? I don't have any aerosol cans, but I have some FolkArt acrylic paints, including Sterling Silver (for oil tanks), Champagne (for Oil Depot Office), and Black (Again, for Oil Depot Office).

    -Should I dilute the paints? If so, how and with what?

    -Any ideas on acrylic paint colors for use with the City Station? (I'm not modeling it after a prototype, FYI, just a fictional Santa Fe midwest station dubbed 'Black River'.)

    Any overall tips for assembly? I could use it!

    Thanks guys. Hope to hear from ya'll soon. As always, it's appreciated! :thumb:

  2. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    Well TW, I think it is best to paint a structure before installing it on a layout. Now to clarify, when you say beforehand do you mean while the parts are still separate? Some folks paint parts while they are still on the sprue. The acrylic paints are water based. I found that when using them to paint plastic, the paint must be full strength in order to bond. Once the first coat is on, then water diluted coats can be used. Now for colours, a good red brick colour is burnt sienna.
  3. trainwhiz20

    trainwhiz20 Member

    Thanks Matthyro.

    I'll pick up some Burnt Sienna next time. What about the roof? Black? Or is regular black too dark? ("Licorice" in FolkArt terms.)

    Oh, what FolkArt color would you recommend for the loading dock? (Concrete color-ish.) I would use, well, Floquil Concrete, but I don't have any on hand.

    I'll probably just end up painting the pieces while they're on the sprues, since I haven't started assembly.

    So, if I do one full-strength coat, how do I follow up? A water-diluted coat? How do I do that? (I know, Basics 101... *lol*)

    One thing I'm having a hard time getting over is how can I eliminate the brush strokes from appearing on the final building? I mean, I have to use a brush to apply the paints! :p

  4. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    TW, for brushing, get the best brush you can find. I use sable water colour brushes. They can be found at art supply stores like Michaels. The secret to a nice smooth coat is to use as few strokes as possible. It is over-brushing that causes problems. Now for water diluting, I have a watercolour palette that has a number of dished out areas. I put water in one dish and some colour in the dish next to it. Pick up some of the water with a brush and mix it into the colour. Then experiment with how much water and paint. The objective is to put a layer of the thinned paint over the base colour. Some of the base colour shows through. The thinned paint would be a different colour than the base. Say the base was black and the thinned burnt sienna. The burnt sienna would make the black look like it is getting rusty.
    Concrete could be any of the medium to light colour greys found in acrylic paint like Folkart.
    A wash of one over the other gives it a weathered look.
    Hope this helps.
    It takes a bit of experimenting to get the result you want.
    Another way to prepare the plastic for acrylic paints is to spray all the parts while on the sprue with an automotive primer. Grey is best. Test the spray on a piece of the plastic first to see it doesn't damage it.
  5. cabdriver

    cabdriver Member

    TW20, Hi on another thread. We had a similar experience as Robin. The first coat really needs to be full strength, even if it is the same color as the second coat. If you dillute the paint with water to start with it won't coat the plastic thoroughly. You can get around it by letting it dry then going back over the area with non-dilluted paint, but you're better off doing it the other way around. Once you have a base coat (undilluted), as Robin mentions, with a decent brush you can dillute the paint (not too much though) and get a very smooth surface on the object. We have done alot of model painting over the years (non-railroad) and have always maintained that a good brush is CRITICAL. While they may seem a bit more expensive to start, the're really not that much more and they last longer and they provide much better results all along the way!
  6. trainwhiz20

    trainwhiz20 Member

    Wow. Thanks again!

    Well, today I made tremendous progress. I got the loading dock completed (minus any paint job... haven't decided yet), and got about halfway done on the oil depot.

    I assembled all the oil storage tanks and painted them a metallic silver. Moving on, I basically painted each piece individually, and it's becoming a very time-consuming process. I mean, I spent 6 hours and I'm just past halfway done... Pipes, buildings, bases, who knows what. However, the results are worth it and it looks amazing so far! I'm so thrilled to see what the final product will look like.

    It's a great kit, very versatile.

    Pictures to come once I've completed it, but I have a Biology project this weekend and might not have time tomorrow.
  7. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Trainwhiz, re your question. Some parts are better painted before, others after. Examples of things better painted before are windows, if they're separate parts. Much easier that way as you don't have to be careful around the edges. If you plan to airbrush walls with separate windows, that should be done first too. Also, if you plan to light your stuctures you paint the interiors black - also done before.

    Example of things better painted after assembly are buildings where the walls and windows are a single casting. You can brush or airbrush the walls, then go in and pick out the details and paint the windows after that.

    Now, I'm assuming styrene here. If you're working with wood, they must be painted before, as the any white glue on the surface will make paint unable to adhere. Same goes for ACC.

    Resin kits, different story. You have to use ACC, but sticking 2 painted surfaces together does not give a good bond. So paint after.

    Hope this helps. Have fun with your new models!!!!

  8. trainwhiz20

    trainwhiz20 Member

    Thanks guys.

    I finally finished the oil depot! Hoorah. Only took the whole weekend...:rolleyes:

    It looks good, so of course, PICTURES!!!


    Here's the tanks. Painted with a metallic color, but not weathered 100%. I painted the pipes individually, and that was an excruciating task. It took a few coats. You can see the newly ballasted track and nearby landscaping too.


    This is the actual office. Rust streaks on the roof, rotting paint, black-wash coating, worn-out deck, etc. Remember, I'm using simple weathering techniques... Oil drums and signs still have to be added, but I'm not sure how to do the decals.


    Here's a closer view of the dock and tanks. The roof still has to be glued onto the platform. The worker is talking to a truck, which, well, just isn't there yet.;)
    Also a good view of the pipes. I like how it looks with the ground pipes having ballast underneath. Exhast pipes also need to be added to the horizontal tanks. I need to create a dirt road leading up to the platform, and I still need to figure out how to create that aspalt road... *lol*

    Well, what do you think? My first, real, HO structure! (The loading dock doesn't count, it wasn't that diffucult...)

  9. J&A_RR

    J&A_RR Member

    looks great trainwhiz.....!! Will be cool to see all the activity you will have going on in that scene. Also the weathering looks good. I like the office, looks great.
    keep up the good work.
  10. Bikerpete

    Bikerpete Member

    Looks good! Painting pipes with a brush can be a pain but your's turned out fine.

  11. cabdriver

    cabdriver Member

    TW20, looks awesome! Congrats on the first model -- doesn't look like the first! What kind of ballast did you use underneath your structure?

    -- Cabdriver
  12. trainwhiz20

    trainwhiz20 Member

    Oops. Sorry for the double post. :oops:
  13. trainwhiz20

    trainwhiz20 Member

    Wow! Gracias for the comments. :thumb:

    Cabdriver... I used the same ballast I used for track, WS Fine Light Gray ballast. It really looks natural under the pipes, and makes a smooth transition from the roadbed to the loading-rig thingie.


    (You guys have any tips for applying decals to the office building? They come on this paper... and I guess you have to soak it in water to remove the paper backing? Then use some decal adhesive or something? Maybe... I dunno. Otherwise, I'll just hold off on some of the finer details. )

    Guess what... next week I get to tackle the FUN project... the City Station!!!*lol*
  14. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    Nice work TW
  15. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Congrats on your first structure Trainwhiz - it looks great!! :thumb:

  16. Chessie6459

    Chessie6459 Gauge Oldtimer

    Nice Work you have there trainwhiz :thumb: :thumb:
  17. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Great work on a nice kit! I've always liked that one and have often been tempted to buy it. Looks good on your layout. As for the decals, I'll let some one who has actually used structure kit decals answer definitively, but the decals I apply to locomotives do soak briefly in water, are placed on a paper towel for a minute, are slid onto the model's surface (instructions might advise using a decal setting product to prep the surface first, and then after application, are set with a solution like Walther's Solvaset that helps it fit into minute little spaces and around tiny details like rivets, etc.

    Nicely done!
  18. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

    Great work! The silver turned out really nice. If you are working on a brick building though it would probably be easier if you spray paint the brick first. I picked up two cheap colors at Wal-Mart :Red oxide primer and Kalki. Both make good brick colors and will speed your building time up. I just painting a Design preservation building in the red Oxide and it looks very convincing.
  19. revandy

    revandy Member

    April's issue of Model Railroader has a great "How To" article on Asphalt roads and parking lots. It helped me out a lot. Just an idea you may want to look at.
    Rev. Andy
  20. trainwhiz20

    trainwhiz20 Member

    Thanks for all the responses guys.

    As to the brick on the station... I don't have an airbrush, so I guess I'll just hand-paint it like I did this structure. Thanks for the tips on colors. Done.

    Yes, revandy, I noticed the article in MR! I thought "It couldn't have come at a better time!". I might do a concrete road, with a dotted white line down the middle... (it is the 50s) I've already got my list for the hobby shop. :thumb: (Which won't be for another week or so, and includes the decal primer and stryene for roads...)

    I'll be sure to keep you guys updated!


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