Author Topic: Changing Scenery - what would you suggest?  (Read 10125 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Philip H

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 7328
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +442
    • Layout Progress Blog
Changing Scenery - what would you suggest?
« on: March 08, 2010, 09:06:05 AM »
0
With my landforms coming along nicely I'm starting to think about ground cover in N scale.  I've been reading a lot of Pelle Sojeborg recently, and really like how he uses dirt under ground foam for texture (even in mid-west and suburban scenes).  But he works in HO and I work in N, so my question to the peanut gallery:  have you ever used "dirt" under your ground foam?  If so, what brand and size?

Now let the ranting begin!
Philip H.
Chief Everything Officer
Baton Rouge Southern RR - Mount Rainier Division.

"Yes there are somethings that are "off;" but hey, so what." ~ Wyatt

"I'm trying to have less cranial rectal inversion with this." - Ed K.

"There's more to MRR life than the Wheezy & Nowheresville." C855B

wm3798

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 12853
  • Gender: Male
  • I like models. She likes antiques. Perfect!
  • Respect: +1147
    • Western Maryland Railway Western Lines
Re: Changing Scenery - what would you suggest?
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2010, 09:20:20 AM »
0
We should inquire as to what season you'll be modeling.  I assume that since you're doing the sunny southland, it will be perpetually summer...

Check out Ed's website for his ground cover technique.  Despite the fact that he is doing a winter scene, the creative application of a blender and some lawn implements might be interesting...

Lee
Route of the Alpha Jets

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

Philip H

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 7328
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +442
    • Layout Progress Blog
Re: Changing Scenery - what would you suggest?
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2010, 09:37:59 AM »
0
I'm actually aiming for a wet spring look - which is common, and usually leads to a wet hurricane season look!
Philip H.
Chief Everything Officer
Baton Rouge Southern RR - Mount Rainier Division.

"Yes there are somethings that are "off;" but hey, so what." ~ Wyatt

"I'm trying to have less cranial rectal inversion with this." - Ed K.

"There's more to MRR life than the Wheezy & Nowheresville." C855B

Ed Kapuscinski

  • Global Moderator
  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 17596
  • Respect: +1991
    • Conrail 1285
Re: Changing Scenery - what would you suggest?
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2010, 09:57:32 AM »
0
I want to write a long treatise here, but might have to go do some work in the middle.

I have many thoughts about dirt under ground cover.

My father brought me up right, teaching me that ground cover is not to be taken lightly. He collects dirt from the various regions he's trying to model (because Lancaster Soil looks a lot different than Pittsburgh area soil) and uses that, on top of painted landforms. He then uses ground foam (more sparingly) on top.

I too started doing this, but have lately been changing my take on it. While this approach gets you "technically" correct scenes, I don't think it completely does the job (sorry Dad!). This is because of a number of reasons.

1. Glue changes dirt colors. When you apply the glue solution, it often ends up darkening up what you're working with quite a bit.

2. In order for dirt not to look like gravel, you have to find stuff that's really fine. We did this, finding fine dirt, drying and sifting it. But it's still often too chunky. Also, by having your "dirt" granules too large, you end up having to make your "gravel" granules larger to make gravel and dirt distinctive, at which point your gravel looks too big (looking like ballast, which then has to be bigger...).

I've lately thought of three new approaches. One of which I'm going to do on the upcoming MG modules. Haven't decided which yet.

One answer is to use a slightly textured paint without a dirt layer. I have a gallon of mis-mixed Ralph Lauren "suede" stuff that works great in this capacity. I wish it were slightly darker though. It's visible in this pic: http://ed.kapuscinski.net/gallery2/v/AptDoor/DSCF5796_001.jpg.html

The other answer is to try and use concrete pigments. I've yet to find any, but I've heard it's something worth exploring.

The third approach, and one which is in place in the foreground of these photos (http://picasaweb.google.com/ed.kapuscinski/ApartmentLayout#5040410630580591986) but that I'm going to expand the use of, is to simply do what I've been doing, but changing the application process. Currently I paint on a layer of glue, then sprinkle the dirt on, then glue it down again from the top. I believe, if I modify this process to include a brushing of the dirt after it's been applied on top of the glue, I may end up only with "dust" left in the dirt, and this might just work.

Anyway, that's my thoughts on dirt. What else you want to hear about? Leaf litter? That's a topic for another post, but remember, WORK FROM PHOTOS!
« Last Edit: March 08, 2010, 09:59:57 AM by Ed Kapuscinski »

up1950s

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 8866
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +690
Re: Changing Scenery - what would you suggest?
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2010, 09:57:48 AM »
0
I'm actually aiming for a wet spring look - which is common, and usually leads to a wet hurricane season look!

Then EVERYTHING would get a coat of hi-gloss , trains too . I don't think I ever saw puddles modeled .

DKS

  • The Pitt
  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 11078
  • Your choice for ANAL...
  • Respect: +1640
    • DKS Home
Re: Changing Scenery - what would you suggest?
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2010, 10:45:56 AM »
0
I don't think I ever saw puddles modeled .

Funny you mentioned this. My first "serious" layout (circa 1970) I modeled as being some time after a rainstorm. So there were puddles everywhere. Sorry I don't have any photos other than this old thing. You can sort of make out some puddles from the darker areas between the houses under construction and the road, near the upper left area in the image. Of course, the modeling is atrocious; it's the thought that counts.



BTW, I used Duco cement to make the puddles. I just put blobs of the glue on the layout, and when they dried applied a little more since it shrinks.
"Life's a piece of sh!t when you look at it."
                                       —Monty Python

DKS

  • The Pitt
  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 11078
  • Your choice for ANAL...
  • Respect: +1640
    • DKS Home
Re: Changing Scenery - what would you suggest?
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2010, 10:49:22 AM »
0
1. Glue changes dirt colors. When you apply the glue solution, it often ends up darkening up what you're working with quite a bit.

Random thought... I've found that applying thicker glue, then sprinkling on the ground cover over top, and vacuuming the excess, helps prevent the darkening effect. I've also found that chalk powders can help correct the color and add a nice "dry as dust" effect.
"Life's a piece of sh!t when you look at it."
                                       —Monty Python

tom mann

  • Administrator
  • Crew
  • *****
  • Posts: 10642
  • Representing The Railwire on The Railwire
  • Respect: +698
    • http://www.chicagoswitching.com
Re: Changing Scenery - what would you suggest?
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2010, 10:50:38 AM »
0
1. Glue changes dirt colors. When you apply the glue solution, it often ends up darkening up what you're working with quite a bit.

Random thought... I've found that applying thicker glue, then sprinkling on the ground cover over top, and vacuuming the excess, helps prevent the darkening effect. I've also found that chalk powders can help correct the color and add a nice "dry as dust" effect.

That's what I've been doing, and it works well.

Philip H

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 7328
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +442
    • Layout Progress Blog
Re: Changing Scenery - what would you suggest?
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2010, 11:16:23 AM »
0
Duco cement - my dad used to make us glue all sorts of stuff with that - but only outside on the carport!  Is it still available?

As to  "west spring" I meant the vegetation colors would be wet spring like - various medium to dark greens.  Things actually brown up in the summer in Baton Rouge - until the hurricane passes or the 3:30PM thunderstorm comes.

And Ed - its my home town.  Pictures galore!
Philip H.
Chief Everything Officer
Baton Rouge Southern RR - Mount Rainier Division.

"Yes there are somethings that are "off;" but hey, so what." ~ Wyatt

"I'm trying to have less cranial rectal inversion with this." - Ed K.

"There's more to MRR life than the Wheezy & Nowheresville." C855B

MichaelWinicki

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1987
  • Respect: +83
Re: Changing Scenery - what would you suggest?
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2010, 11:31:26 AM »
0
With my landforms coming along nicely I'm starting to think about ground cover in N scale.  I've been reading a lot of Pelle Sojeborg recently, and really like how he uses dirt under ground foam for texture (even in mid-west and suburban scenes).  But he works in HO and I work in N, so my question to the peanut gallery:  have you ever used "dirt" under your ground foam?  If so, what brand and size?

Now let the ranting begin!

I've traveled somewhat the same path you are...

I also like the ideas that Sojeborg put forth concerning real dirt, and I played around with that for a little while using the real stuff– The problem is I thought the stuff had too much texture for N-scale.

Then thinking about it I realized that truly "in-scale" dirt for N, would be incredibly small.

I shifted gears and took a hand-full of our local surface dirt to Sherwin Williams and got a paint match.

I'll say that I'm very pleased at this point with the paint representing the "dirt" on my layout. 

There are of course many places where the "dirt" will not be seen, but in those others, where the ground turf is more sparse– I like the look.

Ed Kapuscinski

  • Global Moderator
  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 17596
  • Respect: +1991
    • Conrail 1285
Re: Changing Scenery - what would you suggest?
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2010, 12:15:40 PM »
0
1. Glue changes dirt colors. When you apply the glue solution, it often ends up darkening up what you're working with quite a bit.

Random thought... I've found that applying thicker glue, then sprinkling on the ground cover over top, and vacuuming the excess, helps prevent the darkening effect. I've also found that chalk powders can help correct the color and add a nice "dry as dust" effect.

That's what I've been doing, and it works well.

That's pretty much where I ended up with the "brushing" method. Brushing it lets you reuse it easier, although I DID just see a min-vac for $5 last night. I might check into that.

Philip H

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 7328
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +442
    • Layout Progress Blog
Re: Changing Scenery - what would you suggest?
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2010, 12:37:01 PM »
0
I have thought about the texture paint route - quarts are not that expensive and would probably get me what I'm after.
Philip H.
Chief Everything Officer
Baton Rouge Southern RR - Mount Rainier Division.

"Yes there are somethings that are "off;" but hey, so what." ~ Wyatt

"I'm trying to have less cranial rectal inversion with this." - Ed K.

"There's more to MRR life than the Wheezy & Nowheresville." C855B

MichaelWinicki

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1987
  • Respect: +83
Re: Changing Scenery - what would you suggest?
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2010, 12:57:17 PM »
0
Applying a thin layer of Sculptamold would also give some texture to your surface. 

Then use your "dirt" colored paint.

Bob Bufkin

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 6396
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +42
Re: Changing Scenery - what would you suggest?
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2010, 12:59:45 PM »
0
I'm kinda leary about using any kind of outside yard material on the layout.  What's in the dirt.  Any chance of termites getting in, any other bugs, etc. which can cause problems down the road.

DKS

  • The Pitt
  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 11078
  • Your choice for ANAL...
  • Respect: +1640
    • DKS Home
Re: Changing Scenery - what would you suggest?
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2010, 01:00:03 PM »
0
Duco cement... Is it still available?

Absolutely.

http://www.dickblick.com/products/duco-cement/

I'm kinda leary about using any kind of outside yard material on the layout.  What's in the dirt.  Any chance of termites getting in, any other bugs, etc. which can cause problems down the road.

The recommendation is to bake the dirt. Just stick it in the oven for an hour or so at around 300 F. It'll kill anything.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2010, 01:03:11 PM by David K. Smith »
"Life's a piece of sh!t when you look at it."
                                       —Monty Python