Gnutley Grange, another pizza saga and the techniques used.

For discussion of the issues faced when building a model or layout - how to replicate wood, what glues to use, exactly how much weathering can a Gnat take, a good source of detailing accessories - you get the picture, I'm sure.

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Postby Steve Bennett » Thu Mar 29, 2007 11:12 pm

MOG wrote:How many different modelling tips/techniques are you planning on covering here Steve?? :lol:


:lol: Planning :?: I dont think that is built into this at all. If I get enough bits together something might just pop into the mind to tie them all together :lol:

I will confess, I had forgotten about doing the longer sleepers, just started a new "Round Tuit" list and they are on there :wink:
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And for the next project

Postby Steve Bennett » Thu Apr 05, 2007 1:25 pm

Not had much time for playing this week, but did manage to squeeze in a little project to keep things ticking over.

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Only a pile of firewood, but a nice attractive little feature that could find a home on many layouts. The best part is that it's free and very simple to make. I wrote about gathering and cutting the wood a while ago ( http://forum.gn15.info/viewtopic.php?t=2017 ) and now that the trees that I harvested the wood from are now flowering for the first time, I can tell you that the wood came from some young plum trees.

I like to make small pieces like this on the bench, rather than directly onto the layout, so a little bit about how I did this. Holding the pieces of wood in place while the glue is applied and allowed to set, is the most difficult part of this little project, but that is very simple. You just need some sort of fixture to hold them. Convenient for me was a reject wagon, but anything similar would do. I placed a small piece of card on the bottom to stick everything to, but this isnt really needed. It is simply a case of building up the pile, piece by piece, gluing as you go.

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Once you have built to the height you want, it is just a question of waiting for the glue to set. As I only wanted a small woodpile against a wall, I had to think of a way of making it look like it was supported. Originally I was going to use some bricks at either end, but this didnt look right done so small. Then the idea of using a couple of stakes of wood came to me, a bit more of the same wood used for the firewood were cut to size and then glued to the ends. I also added another piece of card to the underneath to help hold everything together. This will be covered by the ground surface eventually.

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So there you have it, one little project that would look at home in many settings. One final pic in situ against the side of the building.

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I do have something else lined up for the weekend, so hopefully, time permitting ......... :) .
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Postby michael » Thu Apr 05, 2007 2:37 pm

A nice small detail Steve, I like the way you have piled up the logs it looks just the way it is done over here I have even piled the logs between two trees my pile is in the round though, it is a bit more work splitting the big logs. :D
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Postby chris krupa » Fri Apr 06, 2007 9:35 am

Another way of accomplishing the same thing would be to drill a hole in the base of the two uprights and insert a pin into each. This could be metal or plastic. If metal is used, it can be superglued into place. If plastic is used, the best thing would be plastic cement.

Once the pin is glued into place in each upright (drying would be fast using either method), drill a corresponding hole into a base piece - the best thing would probably be thickish plastic sheet, say an eighth of an inch. Glue the uprights into position and allow to harden a bit. Stack your wood between the two uprights. If they displace slightly that wouldn't be a problem because the prototype would be unlikely to be vertical in all planes either.

This method would obviate all the pieces being wet at the same time.

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Postby Steve Bennett » Fri Apr 06, 2007 11:12 am

Useful tip Chris, thanks for that, it's good to get someone else's input and methods.
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Postby Rockley Bottom » Fri Apr 06, 2007 11:57 am

Hi Steve

Like the logs (and the clean look of your layout) I might use the idea in the adit (day hole) :P part of the layout with old pit props being used for making logs. Any idea of the type of tree you used as a starting point :?: :?:


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Postby Steve Bennett » Fri Apr 06, 2007 12:14 pm

Glad it is giving ideas Ralph, thats the point of this thread really, I will probably end up with too many bits to fit on a layout if I carry on at this rate :) .
I only found out the type of tree last week when they burst into flower for the first time. The wood is cut from a bunch of young Plum trees that have seeded themselves in my garden. They grow pretty quick when young, about 3 to 4 feet a year and nice and straight. I cut them back on a regular basis, harvesting them for modelling material most winters. They provide an endless supply, so I had better think of some more uses :) .
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Postby DCRfan » Fri Apr 06, 2007 12:50 pm

Thats a great stack of firewood and the bark has just the right texture but the building has no fireplace :twisted: Is there going to be a steam loco or a tiny carriage steam heating boiler :?:
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Postby Steve Bennett » Fri Apr 06, 2007 1:14 pm

DCRfan wrote:Thats a great stack of firewood and the bark has just the right texture but the building has no fireplace :twisted: Is there going to be a steam loco or a tiny carriage steam heating boiler :?:


You werent supposed to spot that :) . I am thinking of a small stove to go in the building, not got that far yet though :) .
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Postby andrew milner » Fri Apr 06, 2007 6:10 pm

How about a chiminea(?) or 'fire pit' as senn in all the best garden centres nowadays :D
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Postby Jim Snee » Fri Apr 06, 2007 8:12 pm

Hi Steve

If you want an upright iron stove, the one in my factory was made from the starter for a strip light. Also Straws from drinks cartons are good for the bent type of stove pipe.

Oh - I also used some card - naturally.

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Postby Steve Bennett » Fri Apr 06, 2007 8:37 pm

Jim Snee wrote:If you want an upright iron stove, the one in my factory was made from the starter for a strip light. Also Straws from drinks cartons are good for the bent type of stove pipe.

Oh - I also used some card - naturally.


Thanks Jim, might just give that a go, I have a whole load of dead starters around the place, been collecting them for years. No shortage of bendy drinking straws either. I never would have guessed thats what you used, will have to examine the photo's more closely. I knew I should have picked up 2 of those kettles :wink: .
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Postby DCRfan » Fri Apr 06, 2007 10:03 pm

You need to think of including a smell generator. A pot of Plum Gnutney slowly bubbling on the stove ....mmmmmm :lol:

You would have a huge crowd and probably a few dogs slavating in front of your stand. :wink:
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Postby Steve Bennett » Fri Apr 06, 2007 10:14 pm

DCRfan wrote:You need to think of including a smell generator. A pot of Plum Gnutney slowly bubbling on the stove ....mmmmmm :lol:

You would have a huge crowd and probably a few dogs slavating in front of your stand. :wink:


:lol: :lol: :lol:
One problem with that idea, I would have to smell it all day :wink: it wouldnt just be the dogs drooling :) .
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Postby DCRfan » Sat Apr 07, 2007 2:16 am

Steve Bennett wrote: :lol: :lol: :lol:
One problem with that idea, I would have to smell it all day :wink: it wouldnt just be the dogs drooling :) .


Good point. I didn't think of that and wearing a peg on your nose all day has its pitfalls :wink:
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Cracked it

Postby Steve Bennett » Sun Apr 08, 2007 2:57 pm

Hope you are not too fed up with these stone troughs yet :) , they have proved ideal for playing around with different coatings. I have been trying to get a formula which comes close to the Greenscenes textured paint, and think I have now come close. One of the drawbacks of the Greenscenes stuff, apart from availability worldwide, is that it does have a coarser texture than is needed for all applications, so i have been working on doing something finer. I will let you guys judge, here's a pic with the Greenscenes coating on the left and my effort on the right.

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These are slightly bigger than the ones I did before. As I have been doing so many, trying different coatings, making up the boxes became a bit of a chore. So I raided my collection of reject wagon bodies. Getting the coatings to stick to resin worked surprisingly well and they are incredibly strong once set, I stood on these two with all my weight and it didnt even mark them, not sure I would recommend it though. Below you will see that I first coated the resin in a slurry of paint, pva glue and a bit of fine grit, to give the coating something to stick to, it worked perfectly.

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More on this later, still need to take some more pics of the next project which carries on from this.
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Postby More_Cats_Than_Sense » Sun Apr 08, 2007 4:30 pm

That last picture has a look of rust breaking through :D
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Postby andrew milner » Mon Apr 09, 2007 9:50 am

Barry, just thinking the very same then scrolled down to your comment :D
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Postby Steve Bennett » Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:16 am

More_Cats_Than_Sense wrote:That last picture has a look of rust breaking through :D


You are right, might give it a go painted up as rust at some stage. Once the base is applied like this, it would be fairly simple to give it a rust finish with washes of colour. The grit is Chichilla dust that i use as ballast a lot of the time. It has a nice fine texture, the particles are smaller than most sand type materials. It is also slightly absorbant, so it sucks in some of the glue/paint mixture, attaching it very firmly.
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Postby Steve Bennett » Mon Apr 09, 2007 12:52 pm

Time for something a bit different, but continuing the experiments with the textured paint. As I made up a batch, I had better use it up :) . Dont get too excited, this was just a little play to see what could be done, the finished item could be used on many layouts though, how about a tree stump. Note the photo's are a bit cruel here, they are much larger than life size, thats my excuse anyway :) .

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The thinking here is not just to use the method for a stump, the same techniques could be used to produce the flare at the base of a tree, something that is often lacking when natural material is used to create trees on a layout.

The material used as the basis here was a short length of twig, cut from a Willow tree. I liked the bark texture and colour, not that you see that when finished :) . This piece is about 10mm diameter and 25mm long. If I had known it was going to come out so well, I think I would have used a thicker material, maybe next time. This is how uninspiring it was to start with.

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This was simply glued to a scrap of card, then thoughts turned to forming the roots which gives a tree the flare at the base. For this, I used a cheap substitute for Blu-tac, though white in colour, this adhesive putty should be the same as the brand leader, but it's not very sticky, so it has been relagated to jobs like this. It is very quick and easy to shape and prod into place, using a craft knife and the handle of a small paintbrush. The fact that it doesnt set hard, doesnt matter for this job. Plasticine, Das, Milliput and the like, can be used in much the same way.

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Next step was to cover the putty and provide a base for the textured paint to stick to. This was done with a mixture of PVA, emulsion/latex paint and a bit of Chinchilla dust (fine sand would also work), mixed into a thin slurry. This was then brushed over the base of the stump. I did add a touch of black poster paint to the mix so it showed up better in the pics, but this is not needed.

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This only took a few minutes to dry as it was applied quite thinly, it is just a key for the next coating. The textured paint is what will add body to this and rather than the smooth coating that I used on the trough earlier in the tread, I wanted a rougher texture, so added in some more Chinchilla dust (a very versatile material, but fine sand can be used instead). This was then brushed over the entire base, but leaving the cut top of the stump showing. I know I should have two cuts on a cut down tree, but that will have to wait till next time :) .

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Once the coating is dry (about 30 minutes), time to add some colour. Nothing very difficult here. With the exception of the cut top, the whole thing was given a thin wash of burnt umber poster paint, then before that was dry, a little thin black applied around the base to create the shadows. Looks pretty awful at this stage I know.

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Finally, a bit of ground foam to finish it off. A bit basic, but for this it didnt seem worth going to town on the foliage. Adding some tall grasses, ferns, ivy and the like, will have to wait till it goes on a layout.

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So thats it :) . This was quick and easy to make, even taking into account, I was learning as I went. I suppose, excluding drying time, the whole thing took less than 30 minuted to make, next time will be a lot quicker, now I know how to do it.
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Postby michael » Mon Apr 09, 2007 5:05 pm

Great little tutorial Steve, these are the sorts of things that we read about, so it is good to see the series of the progression of how it is done.
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Postby Steve Bennett » Mon Apr 09, 2007 5:26 pm

michael wrote:Great little tutorial Steve, these are the sorts of things that we read about, so it is good to see the series of the progression of how it is done.


Thanks Michael. You have touched on what I'm trying to do here, getting back to basics. This is the kind of thing that seems to be missing from the modelling magazines these days, they seem to be filled with glossy pictures of completed layouts, with only a brief write up on how things were done (if you are lucky). I'm learning here too, most of this is experimental for me, new materials, techniques and the like. No real failures yet, but you will get to see them too :) .
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Postby AndyA » Mon Apr 09, 2007 5:39 pm

Thanks, Steve, I shall save that up for when I get time to have a go at the seaweed on the (now somewhat abbreviated) mussel farm. Looks like this has all sorts of potential applications.

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Postby Steve Bennett » Tue Apr 10, 2007 6:58 pm

AndyA wrote:Thanks, Steve, I shall save that up for when I get time to have a go at the seaweed on the (now somewhat abbreviated) mussel farm. Looks like this has all sorts of potential applications.


How about for mussels as well :wink:

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Postby Jim Snee » Tue Apr 10, 2007 9:43 pm

Hi Steve

More great model ideas and more inspiration.

What is sometimes surprising is seeing posts like these and thinking:

"I know how to do that, why haven't I used it to...?"

TTFN

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