What's intriguing about working in a scale you're not used to is that it highlights weaknesses in your modeling. It's a similar effect of enlarging a photograph of your smaller scale modeling and realizing some areas you've modeled aren't so great when you zoom in. Such is the case for my modeling in this larger scale. While many of the same HO techniques can be used, some modification is required. In making the wide boards for the structures siding (actual width is 1.35" wide") more grain and distressing of the wood was required. As I continue with this project I'm noticing that more and more, far more layering of detailing and weathering are required. So that's a challenge, but no doubt it will help my HO modeling to rise above my usual techniques. It's a learning vacation from HO.
Wednesday, August 3, 2016
Every now and then I like to work in a different scale - while 99% of my modeling lives in HO scale, it's interesting and challenging to work in another scale like O, or bigger. I'm off and on with a side project that is 1 1/2" =1" . It's a series of background flats more or less, mostly just fronts with some sides. The model in the pics below is 18" wide.
Posted by Fos Scale Models Blog at 2:56 PM
Monday, July 18, 2016
There are dozens of methods for modeling water, and there's always a new way to try. Recently we've been using a few new materials. They can be used individually or together for different effects.
In the past, I've used GE silicon for waves. It's applied in a bead from the tube, then shaped into a wave form with a popsicle stick. This works well, but the GE silicon drys with a frosty clear look. Fortunately there is a different version GE Crystal Clear - and it dries as such, making for a better look. Again we apply it in a bead against our shoreline and rocks.
If you're looking for some medium size waves, you'll have to let the silicon dry and add a second layer. If your'e looking for even larger waves, at that point you'll have to cut out an acetate former. Cut it to the shape and size of your wave and glue it in place with some Mod Podge. Once it's dry apply a coat of Mod Podge to it, maybe even a few coats. Then add the silicon to the base of the wave to give it some body.
Another product that can be used for wave making is Golden Glass Bead Gel. This is a clear gel base mixed with tiny glass beads. When applied with a brush to your shoreline and against rocks, it looks like a very refreshing, frothy wave. You can leave it as is or apply some Mod Podge or silicon to it once it dries.
Posted by Fos Scale Models Blog at 4:42 PM
Thursday, July 7, 2016
The next step is to craft the main masses or anchors; in this case the anchor is the main mill structure. This is followed by all the ins and outs - the details that we encounter along the way from left to right. Some are used as traditional elements to connect one structure to another. To give the mass of the mill some scale, and at the same time connect it to the neighboring structure, the fire escape was created. The steps give it scale, as the eye recognizes immediately the size of a step. Then the overlap where the fire escape borrows some air rights of the neighboring roof connects it in a way behind just butting them together.
Now we modeled this part of the kit on a hill, but it can easily be modeled flat, just leave the hill out. We simply created a concrete foundation using the rigid foam used for the scenery base.
So if you plan on building this kit, explore as many different layout options as you can.
The kit is selling quickly, so please don't miss out on this Limited Run - only 150 will be made.
Posted by Fos Scale Models Blog at 3:58 PM
Sunday, July 3, 2016
In the case above you can see that a section of rock was finished to near completion, and then another section was added. So another advantage is that you can start and stop your work as needed. You can go back to it in an hour, or a month - which ever. Blending the new with the old is easy; when you carve the new stuff carry over some of the original lines and masses. Continue cracks and fractures into the new plaster. Once it's dry and ready to be colored, just reuse the same pallet of coloring you used before and seamlessly blend it together. This is where dry brushing helps a lot, overlap some of the old and new and the viewer will never know where you started and stopped.
I'll post pics of the finished area soon.
Posted by Fos Scale Models Blog at 2:21 PM
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
It's easy to plant a structure so that it looks like it's actually sitting on a foundation that's buried in the ground. Firstly, it helps to use real dirt as a ground cover. Dirt can be applied as you would ballast; spray with alcohol, then apply with a ear syringe, white glue mixed with water (50:50).Most structures and kits should shave some kind of foundation. It can be as simple as 1/16" mat board, or wood trim of varying heights of 1/8" to 1/4", painted a concrete color. You can also use stone.
What we want is for the dirt to go right up to the foundation wall. You could plant the structure than add the dirt, but it's difficult. Mainly, you'll have to shield the the structure while you apply and secure the dirt. Instead, trace out the footprint of the structure. Than, tape off the area on your base with masking tape.
Now you can safely add the dirt, soaking it with alcohol , then your glue/ water mixture. You can remove the tape immediately, leaving behind a clean surface for your structure.
And, while your dirt application is still wet, glue down your structure. Now the structure can settle into the dirt with a natural look.
Posted by Fos Scale Models Blog at 4:09 PM
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Dirt is secured to your scene the same way ballast is. I first paint the area black, while that's wet I sprinkle on dirt. This helps with a first wave of securing it to the surface, and lessens the chance of seeing white show through your scenery. Then, apply some water with white glue, with an ear syringe or spray bottle and let dry.
Where dirt is visible, mainly dirt roads and lots, it can be made even better by sanding it with a fine grit sand paper (150 grit). Once dry, sand the section where vehicles and/ or people would wear down a path. Once that's done, try dry brushing the dirt with white paint, very lightly. Both sanding and dry brushing will add layers of depth - and scale to your scene. By sanding the dirt, you create two varieties of dirt - high dirt and worn dirt. Dry brushing highlights and blends in all the texture. This is all part of what I refer to as Layering - creating as many layers of what exists in the real world as possible; the more layers, the more your eyes are fooled into what is real or not.
Posted by Fos Scale Models Blog at 7:50 PM
Sunday, June 19, 2016
Copper as a building material isn't used often, but instead shows up in small details like gutters and flashing. It's a rare sight in larger building elements as it was and is a costly choice when cheaper galvanized steel or wood could be used. So, for larger assemblies like the cornice above, I'd recommend using it sparsely and allow it as a stand out element in a scene. However copper flashing is seen often and can be used more often.
To model copper for flashing, it's a matter of painting paper. Try these steps:
1. Use a thin black paper.
2. Color the paper either with either a copper metallic paint, or use a Sharpie metallic marker, copper colored.
3. Find some mint colored acrylic paint, mix it with a bit of white paint. Apply the paint as if you were dry brushing; you don't want to cover the copper color entirely.
4. Apply another application, this time use the mint color without the white. This will give the copper a few degrees of patina. Dry brush this with a litter hand than before.
For modeling larger architectural elements like the cornice above, use the same technique above, with a few changes.
1.For one thing you can't use black paper, so paint the element a flat black first. Black acrylic gesso works great for this, as it provides a nice matte finish that takes color very well like primer.
2. Now paint the element as you did the flashing above.
3. The other difference is that this is a large structural element, taking on additional weathering beyond the copper patina. Add a layer of soot or grime by doing one or two things; apply a wash of alcohol and india ink and dab on some dark brown weathering powder. This will help it blend in with the rest of your weathered building.
Give it a try.
The cornice in the photo above is a piece from our 2016 Limited Run kit, due out this fall. Check back for more sneak peeks into this upcoming kit.
Posted by Fos Scale Models Blog at 6:37 AM