Author Topic: Scenery smack down  (Read 1977 times)

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Erik W

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Scenery smack down
« on: April 03, 2007, 08:51:34 PM »
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Well, I've moved on to the scenery stage of the layout.  I've been dragging my feet a bit since I haven't made it this far before.  I'm having ground foam issues.  I can't even describe my first results.  It was that horrible!  How do you guys:
 
A.  Keep the ground foam from beading when spraying with "wet water"?
B.  What is your wet water mix/ ratio?
C.  Keep the ground foam from moving when you apply your matte medium (or other glue) solution?

I feel like it's my first day of class . . . and the bully just beat me up!

Any help or suggestions are much appreciated.

Erik
My D&RGW layout  . . . and other stuff
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Zox

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Re: Scenery smack down
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2007, 10:08:08 PM »
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Well, here's my take, but it's probably not exactly what you were looking for... :)

A. I don't spray anything. I paint a good layer of dirt color (for central Illinois, this is dark gray) on the ground, and shake the ground foam over the wet paint. The paint acts as an adhesive.

B. 0% wetting agent, 0% water. 100% interior latex house paint, low-gloss. Mis-mixes are cheap, and often available in earth tones.

C. Once the paint's dry, the foam isn't going anywhere. Even if you re-wet it.
Rob M., a.k.a. Zox
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wm3798

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Re: Scenery smack down
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2007, 10:30:54 PM »
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I don't pre-spray ground foam.  I've found that brushing on my base color first, then sprinkling some ground foam into the wet paint gives you some "tooth" for additional layers of foam to cling to.



Usually this is enough to "cover the ground".  Then trees etc. go on.  In areas where thicker applications are needed, I use an Elmer's Glue bottle with some matte medium, water and rubbing alcohol in it (50/40/10) and just dribble it onto the loose ground foam.  Some of the foam will move about, but generally it soaks right up, and gives you a damp base on which to sprinkle more ground foam.

Remember, when in doubt, add more ground foam!!

Lee
Route of the Alpha Jets

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

Sokramiketes

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Re: Scenery smack down
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2007, 11:43:35 PM »
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You'll end up using more glue overall if you don't pre-wet...

Wet water is too much work to mix. :P  Since I moved to alcohol for ballasting, I've just been using that to pre-wet scenery as well.  Alcohol has very little surface tension, and shouldn't move the ground foam at all.  I just fill up an empty Elmers bottle with alcohol and apply it like an eyedropper.
Mike

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wm3798

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Re: Scenery smack down
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2007, 07:42:15 AM »
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You don't use any glue if you have wet paint for the base...

Lee
Route of the Alpha Jets

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

Sokramiketes

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Re: Scenery smack down
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2007, 07:52:42 AM »
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You don't use any glue if you have wet paint for the base...

Lee

Ok, so that works for the first layer.  It sounded like you didn't use any additional wetting for the additional layers, saying that there was enough tooth for subsequent layers to stick to without wetting. 

I use paint for the first layer too.  But that's only a skim coat of blended green fine turf.  The rest of the layers I wet with alcohol prior to saoking with glue, so that I use less glue and don't run the risk of turning everything glossy, white, or lose the texture because the elmers builds up.
Mike

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justTRAINcRaZy

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Re: Scenery smack down
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2007, 09:06:14 AM »
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For the first layer, I cover the area with a thin coat of 50/50 glue/water mix. Sprinkle on the fine ground foam. Then mist with alcohol in a spray bottle, spraying horizontally at first until the foam becomes moist. Followed by another coat of the glue /water mix.

KB


wm3798

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Re: Scenery smack down
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2007, 09:38:20 AM »
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Now that I think of it, maybe your main problem is using the spray bottle...  In addition to shooting the wet water out, you're also pushing a bunch of air under pressure, which is going to push your lightweight foam around as much or more than it wets it.  The eye-dropper/glue bottle approach will definitely help.

Ground foam by it's nature is absorbant, so it doesn't take much glue mixture to go a long way.

Lee
Route of the Alpha Jets

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Scenery smack down
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2007, 10:38:44 AM »
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Sorry I haven't replied yet.

I use a combination of all of these techniques.

First I do the paint thing, but sometimes that ends up getting dried out before I go to work. In that case, I just squirt some regular white glue onto the layout and spread it out with an acid brush. I sometimes hit this with some water in a spray bottle just to get it to spread more easily.

I then apply my first coat of ground cover: dirt.

Dirt can be very difficult to get to stay where you put it, so by gluing it first I get a really good "stick". I then come back and brush off any that hasn't stuck and reclaim it for future use. This gives me a nice thin coat to build on top of.

For grass areas, I then sprinkle groundfoam (more sparsely than you think you need, btw) on. I then spray this all down with the wet water. The trick to this is to make sure NOT to spray directly onto it, but to spray above the area you're working on and let it fall onto the layout. This way none of the air propelling the water blows your scenery around. Instead, it falls gently on the ground like a spring rain... ;D

Next up I soak this with the glue/water mixture. I mix this up to about the consistency of half and half, or maybe closer to whole milk. This gets liberally applied using an old white glue bottle. I take extra care with this though so it doesn't cause erosion.

I then let it dry, and apply the follow on layer, whatever that will be.

I use a similar technique on my forest floors, but I'm even MORE gentle with the ground leaves, since they REALLY like to blow around and or float.


Erik W

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Re: Scenery smack down
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2007, 12:16:15 PM »
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Hey Guys,

Thanks for all the input.  After critiquing my attempt last night I'd say that:

1.  I put the ground foam on too thick.
2.  Had a "wet water" mix that was mostly water and not enough wet.
3.  Sprayed the wetting agent too directly at the ground foam.
4.  And lastly, applied my glue mix when the ground foam wasn't wet enough.

I'll give the wet paint method a try for the initial layer. 

I've been building scale models since I was a kid.  This is my first ever attempt at scenery.  For some reason I thought I'd just intuitively know all the techniques . . . kind of like my one attempt at snow boarding after a life time of skiing . . . both wound up with the same results!

Erik

P.S - Didn't want to ask about this over on the Atlas board as some of the "successful" results I've seen over there equal my failed attempt. ;)
My D&RGW layout  . . . and other stuff
http://s178.photobucket.com/albums/w243/drgw55/

wm3798

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Re: Scenery smack down
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2007, 05:15:27 PM »
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Ask Tom Mann about his scenery experiments.  He's a brilliant modeler and weather-er, but he went through a lot of fits and starts to get where he is now with scenery.  The trick is to keep slugging away at it.
Lee
Route of the Alpha Jets

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net