Need some guidance

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by ezdays, Apr 3, 2003.

  1. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    In between starting to lay some tracks on my fist time N scale, Im trying to put together some structures. I've got an assortment of structure kits, all of which are going to require a lot of work over and above assembly, but I'm sure I'm not telling you anything new:rolleyes:. I'm finding out that "molded in four colors" means that the doors, windows, trim and siding all match, the roof and base match, the window glass is another color and I can't find the fourth color, but it doesn't matter. None will be acceptable as is:eek: I've read book chapters and articles on weathering, but few give tips on painting. Does anyone have any techniques they would like to share to make the job easirer and more realistic so it doesn't look like they were painted by a two-year old?

    For example, I have a few houses that I'd like to paint the siding one color and the trim and shutters a different color. Or, I have a RR buiding that has cross slats of wood, just like an Engish pub and I'd like to paint the slats and widow trim a different color then the background. Any suggestions? Other than "use a steady hand and a good magnifying lamp", or "forget it, it can't happen in N scale". fortunately I've been able to clean off most of my attempts so far. Experimenting is fun, cleaning off mistakes gets old quickly.


  2. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    You are painting BEFORE assembly (when possible, DPM windows are molded in and can't be painted before hand for example) aren't you? Also what part of the country are you modeling? For example here in southern appalacia if it's wood it was white, if it's brick it was red or brown :D . I use cheap spray cans of paint from the local hardware store or auto parts house. Look for primers as they dry fast and they are flats.
  3. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    OK, you hit on the problem. If I had separate windows that would be easy and I would paint before assembly. But let's talk about the DPM with everything molded one color, or the Bachmans that are basically the same. Molded windows, frames, shutters, trim, doors, all the same color plastic molded together. Painting each one individually has got to be a bear, and getting a straigh line on a piece of trim or keeping within the window frame is just about impossible. that's my question, or should I go to a different kit manufacturer where everything is separate and can be pre-painted, or do I struggle with what I have and can use? You read the box and it says nothing about how things are inside until you take the shrink wrap off, well, excpt for DPM, which comes in a bag.:D

    What part of the country? Well, I have a little bit of victorian, and some mid 1900's, all of which can be found today in the Arizona high country and other older Arizona towns including Wickenburg, where I live. The Bachman passenger station kit I have is almost an exact replica of the Santa Fe one here in downtown Wickenburg. Verne know the one. It is painted yellow and brown with a Green roof. I don't know if that's its original color but I'm going to do some reseach. I'm just concerned about how to paint it with everything molded together out of the box.

  4. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    I'm afraid there is no easy way (that I know of) when everything is molded together. A small brush and a steady hand! :eek: :D
  5. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Rats.............:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

    Any reccommendations of who makes better kits that aren't that way?

  6. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    You might try doing a little masking. Would it work to paint your building the color you want, and then after the paint has had plenty of time to dry, to mask it tightly around window frames, trim, doors, etc., and then paint those pieces?
  7. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Dunno Russ, masking something that small is a chore. What I'm trying right now is to paint the window trim first, then paint the rest second. It may be easier to get a straight paint edge if I do the top most surface last; and that's the problem, getting a straight edge where the two colors come together. Since I have little experience doing this, I thought perhaps that this was a common problem and others before me had found an easy solution.

    On a couple of these, they have divided light windows and the mutton bars between the panes are unrealistically thick. I can see now why some retailers are selling these kits at bargin basement prices.:p

  8. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

  9. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way


    Thanks for the link. It is difficult to get to read every thread in every section here. I tend to spend too much time looking at all the great pics,:) :) and wind up not getting much else done.

    I would wonder if the liquid latex would pull the paint off of any surface that had already been painted. I'm also thinking that if I can get a straight line with the liquid latex, I should be able to do the same with the paint:D but I guess if I do screw up, the latex would be more forgiving and easier to undo.

    I'll give it a try since I'm in the experimenting stage right now anyway.

    D:cool: N
  10. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Hi Don,
    If you aren't using a magnifying lamp,
    I recommend one!

    Also, you might be able to apply the latex,
    then trim it to the desired masking lines.
    Just a thought....
  11. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    We have a buch of magnifying lamps that we used in our business Having done electronic assembly, I am used to working with small parts, but I never had to paint a door that is only 1/2" high before and keep within the lines:D

    But yeah, that's what I was thinking, put down the latex and trim it with an xacto knife. A whole lot easier than trying to clean up a sloppy paint job.

    I'll let you all know how that works.

  12. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    Liquid latex doesn't pull paint anywhere near as badly as masking tape can. Also, There's nothing like an air brush for painting. I will ocasionally use a small brush if the amount of masking needed for airbrushing is *excessive.

    * excessive, is a relative term, meaning; I've already done that twice, and I'll be ----ed if I'll do it again. :D :D
  13. TR-Flyer

    TR-Flyer Member

    Remember, only the flat front face needs to be painted the trim color. Most building trim is not painted on the "side" of the trim where it meets the siding. If you're a fanatic like me, you might not paint YOUR house like this, but 80% of all others are painted this way.

    Also, how about trying paint markers for trim? I've never done this, any one out there ever try it? Or paint the trim first, mask the front face, spray the rest and then strip the latex off the face.
    Might be easier that striping the whole area around the opening.

    Hope that helps.
  14. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Keep the ideas coming. I am trying some of these suggestions as I get them, others I'm going to have to wait until I get the liquid latex.
    Yeah, one of the things I was concerned about was painting the "sides", not so much the trim as the shutters. Even a non-fanatic would paint the whole shutter, not just the front. Well, they may skip the back, but only if they are nailed in place.:rolleyes: But ya know, at N scale, I can stand a foot away and I can't tell if the sides are painted or not. :D

  15. TR-Flyer

    TR-Flyer Member


    <at N scale, I can stand a foot away and I can't tell if the sides are painted or not>

    With my eyes, without glasses i can tell from 4-inches away where all the rivits are located. With glasses, i can see the shutter at 12-inches, and then it all starts to blur at 3-feet. At five feet it all looks great!

  16. pcentral

    pcentral Member

    Hi Don,
    I have often thought about using the paint markers myself, just haven't tried it yet. I do have 3 suggestions for you to try though. First is to get a very small brush. I don't remember what it's called, but you want one that looks like it only has a few bristles about a 1/8" long. Second is a toothpick to paint those tight little spots with. My wife made the Nike swoosh on the front shirt pocket of a O gauge person. The last idea would be to get some thin brass (or whatever) sheet stock and hold it against the trim to be painted. Sort of a versatile paint mask. Steve
  17. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Hey Steve, thanks. The toothpick idea is worth trying. I'm already using brushes down in the 000 range, I think 0000 is the smallest available size. I tried the paint marker, and the paint kinda bead up meaning I need to put some kind of primer on first, like maybe matte medium. I've also tried regular felt tip pens, and they work but the colored ones I've tried are too transparent. I'll try the primer/paint pen thing and let everybody know how that works out.

    There's a lot of good ideas here, telling me that there is no real "tried and true method" for doing this; just whatever seems to work for the person doing it, and what level of perfection they are shooting for.

  18. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Problem solved

    I figured a way around having to paint the details on this building. As you can see, I hired a guy that was small enought to get close in and do the details. We decided that as long as he was there, he should just go ahead a paint the whole house. As you can see, he's already started.:D :D :D :D There is a bucket of paint on the tarp, but it's hard to see. I still have a ways to go with my camera work.:rolleyes:


    Attached Files:

  19. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    Now you are getting somewhere! :D :D :D
  20. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    There is an old modelers trick that I have used with good results. Take a brush (large or small depending) and paint a thin coat of Vasoline on the areas that you don't want painted. Then spray away. After the paint is thoroughly dried take a soft cloth or Q-Tip and wipe the Vasoline and the paint on it away. Do the same thing in reverse for the small details. Coat the area around them and wipe it off after it has dried. The real trick is waiting for the paint to be completely dry.

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