new to the forum and need alot of help

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by trains1972, Sep 1, 2004.

  1. trains1972

    trains1972 Member

    I am new to this forum. I have an n-scale layout that is 12' x 11'. There is a double main line each main line has about 84' of track. I have been working on it with my 2 sons for about 2 months now on scenery. In the past my layouts did not have scenery on them. I desided to put scenery or try scenery on this layout. We started with a mountian and tunnels made from ceiling tiles and newspaper covered with paper towels soaked in watered down paster. We are trying to finish the first part of the layout 2 more sections left to work on. Nothing is painted right now. I went down to the hobby shop to get advice on how to paint the mountain. If I followed their advice I would have to go get a loan from the bank. I do not have modeling equipment like air brushes, compressors, regulators, I have a utility knife and paint brushes. They told me that I needed the air brush set to paint the mountain. I went down there hoping to get paints to complete the first section of my layout, but ended up coming home empty handed and discouraged. I need help with what kind of paint to use, what colors to mix to get a redish gray rock that are found in the western USA, my layout is going to have snow on it but some of the rocks are vertical and would not have snow on them. There is a river bed that needs to be painted. Here are some pictures of the mountain and the river bed. I could not get it in one picture it is too large the first section is 4'x12'. Thanks for any help or information that you can give me.
  2. Jodam

    Jodam Member

    Only the dreaded red x's here
  3. NYC-BKO

    NYC-BKO Member

    You do not need an airbrush set up to do this. Regular household wall paint and a brush will work for you base coats, I'm not a scenery expert but there are many talented modelers ( artists ) here that can help you out. Give them time to answer your questions!

    BTW nice layout!!!:thumb:
  4. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    Looks good trains!! And welcome. :wave:

    I can confirm that what you were told is a load of codswallop. Forget everything they said.

    What I do? Get some cheap artist acrylic (water based) paints. $3 a tub (about a beer glass sized tub). or $1 for a toothpaste sized tube. I actually get 1/2 teaspoon and mix it with the plaster, and colour the first layer of plaster a dirt/rock colour. That way, if it chips or cracks a little, you don't get big white bits poking through your painted surface. Get "earthy" colours like red oxide, burnt umber, raw sienna, yellow ochre etc. Those sorta colours, and some black too.

    If I have coloured the plaster first (which you can still do, just add another layer), I then water the acrylic paint right down. I mean really really down. I mean 1/4 teaspoon to a large glass of water. (This is called a "wash"). Once the paster is mostly set. (just lightly damp to the touch), I then get a elcheapo 1" brush (50c each), and dip liberally in the "wash" and dab it all over the paster, and let it run down the paster and "puddle" in the crevices and cracks. Start with the darker colours first (a red oxide, or burnt umber), then some yellow ochre or whatever, letting each "wash" dry back to the "lightly damp" stage. Be as rough and ready as you like with this step. Finish up with a "wash" of black. This will then look like weathered old rocks. That's all your rocks done for about $10 at the most on a layout that big. Next, when it's all properly dried out, paint it with white wood glue, and shake on your ground cover (grass etc), and spray with water form one of those misting water spray bottles, or an empty kitchen cleaner spray bottle. You can buy the ground cover commercially, or make your own. Just chuck some backyard leaves and clippings in the food processor/blender and "Churn", or you can dye your own colours using sawdust from somewhere.

    Some pics of what I did (on my old layout).

    And it ends up like this an old thread of mine and this thread too.

    Attached Files:

  5. trains1972

    trains1972 Member

    Thanks Woodie. That sounds a lot better then what the hobbyshop was saying.
  6. Gavin171

    Gavin171 New Member

    just add water

    Woodie got in before me i was half way typing you something when Aol decided to shut down this morning on my computor but his gave much better advice than i could have , I use Acrylic for everything' scenery, weathering locos & wagons, track the lot and all done with a brush' big bottles from hobby shops & toy shops kids ones are great and cheap anything you find in the garage all those half tins can always be used for something, the only thing i would suggest you spend some money on is a good set of water colour brushes just keep em clean there last you a life time, acrylic drys dam quick but with a bit of experiance that can be an advantage you can get a lot of effects just useing your finger a sponge you name it, it's a cheap and an easy medium to work with as woodie said washes' loads of water to start with just biuld up the affect you want step by step as you get more experianced you'll know what mix is best! scene looks great good luck ;;this truck was all done with acrylic useing a flat half inch brush a bit of spit and my finger, my new layout is just in the plannig stage at the moment so no pics yet but this shows you what can be done.

    Attached Files:

  7. rcwatkins

    rcwatkins Member

    Hello there looks like you already got a nice layout.
  8. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    If you like this mountain, it was done, like others have said, with latex paint & a 2" brush. After painting I just sprinkled on "lichen" to give a 3D effect. :)

    The pint colors that were used were: Light Brown, Green & a Middle Brown. :)

  9. trains1972

    trains1972 Member

    The mountains and the car do look nice. I think I will use the acrylic paints and the colors that Woodie mentioned. They looks just as good as the layouts I seen that were painted with an air brush. I am going to order the stuff through the mail I am not going back to the hobbyshop. I went there to get advice big mistake.
    Thanks for the help
  10. Freelancer

    Freelancer Member

    I am no expert at scenery, in fact I have just starting to experiment with scenery on this small little "diarama," if you want to call it that. I was taught that the best thing to resemble dirt is....well... dirt of course! It looks great and it is cheap, ok it is free, and you can't beat free! :D

    Like I said, this was an experiment, so it is quite ruff. (Hmm... I guess everything I do is an experiment then LOL) Anywho, after the plaster cloth had dried for a couple days I spray painted it with green spray paint. I used spray paint because that is what I had laying around, instead of spray paint you will probably want to use a dirt colored latex paint. While the paint was still wet, I used a spoon and sprinkled the dirt on top of it and used the paint as a sort of glue. (I had to use a sifter to get rid of all the large dirt clauds first) I then sprayed it with water that had a bit of dish soap in it, I added more dirt until I was some what happy with what I had. Then I sprayed it with diluted white glue and let it dry. After it was dry I added more dirt and sprayed more water and glue on it, I then added the rocks and small amounts of ground foam and sprayed them down too. I now have a sceniced card board box. :D

    I have yet to add trees and other vegitation, and when I do my layout I will add some fine ground foam to give it a greener look. (Which I was going for in the first place, but it came out more desert looking and not green) Hope this helps!


    Attached Files:

  11. jmarksbery

    jmarksbery Active Member

    :wave: Hi Trains1972 and welcome home to the Gauge. Woodie has given you good advice above and if you stick with it your mts. (which already look great) will come out fine. I don't know of many that uses an airbrush for all the scenery but do as you wish. I have 2 airbrushs I have never used (for modeling) the old brush does just fine. If you have more questions please ask away as that is what we are all about, modelers helping modelers. Keep us posted of your progress. :thumb: Jim
  12. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Most modelers use brushes for scenery, and use the air brush for locomotives, rolling stock, or other models.
  13. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

    You don't really have to special order that stuff. Just go to a Michaels or Wal-Mart for the paints and the cheap brushes. If you need the "artist" quality brush Michaels would be good for that also. I picked up a package of 10 miscellaneous sized brushes from Michaels for less than $5.00.

    I use a 1", 2" and 4" for "stippling" the plaster to give it a rough look and use a lot of the techniques mentioned hear to add depth and the foliage.

    Just have fun.
  14. trains1972

    trains1972 Member

    I compare prices online and try to find the cheapest price. I don't drive and wal-mart is hard to get to and I don't know where there is a Michaels around here. I found that ordering the stuff is cheaper in the long run. The hobby shops charge almost double for engines and cars. The other stores probably do the same. Plus there is always the chance that the stores are sold out and end up wasting a day by going there.
  15. trains1972

    trains1972 Member

    I have an other question about painting the mountain. What would be the best way to put trees on a mountain? I was thinking about putting them on after the mountain is painted so they don't get in the way. Then put on the ground cover which would be snow for my layout. I don't have trees yet, who makes the best trees for n-scale layouts? Is there a way to make my own trees? The only trees I seen had leaves on them since I am doing a winter scene I would have to pull the leaves off.
  16. DT1967

    DT1967 New Member

    Try search of this website and it should pull numerous threads about making trees. Also ask in the scatchin & bashin forum because there are many accomplished modelers there.

    Good luck,

  17. Lightbender

    Lightbender Member

    I have an airbrush but for scenery I prefer to spray with a trigger bottle such as an old Windex spray filled with very thin spray quality acrylics.
  18. trains1972

    trains1972 Member

    I got the first color on the mountain. I put the plaster mix which turned the paint more gray then brown. Then I went over it again with the same color and no plaster. Here is pictures of the first color what do you think. thank you for the help.

  19. they look better already
  20. trains1972

    trains1972 Member

    I finished half of the mountain. I might add some more of the yellow and the red. I have to see what it looks like after it dries.Tomorrow I will start on the the other half. The far end of the second picture. Here are the pictures.

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