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The four phases of modeller's recovery

Mikkel

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I had a setback with my Dean Goods. I was spraying on some varnish in preparation for lining, when this happened:

 

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Orange peel - or something similar! 

 

There followed the usual process, so well described in Dr Mindbender’s insightful ”Coping with Failure in Railway Modelling: The Four Phases of Modeller’s Recovery” (Wild Swan, 2019):

 

Phase 1:  Despair (”Why me, Lord?”) 

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Phase 2:  Resentment (”Stupid model!”)

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Phase 3: Detachment (”It's only a model.”)

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Phase 4: Comeback (”Bring it on, orange peel!”)

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Moving from phase 1 to 4 can take hours or years, depending on circumstances. I have projects in the cupboard that seem permanently stuck at phase 2 (resentment)! 

 

In this case it went a bit faster. I was at stage 3 (detachment) and about to reach for a wagon kit when a sudden surge of inner strength (a.k.a whisky) prompted a search for "how to strip paint off a glued model".  The results suggested that a bath in IPA might do the trick. It did, with a little help from a tooth brush.

 

 

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Things are now more or less back on track. Due to the 'toothbrushing' and rubbing with Wet & Dry, the edges seem to have lost a little crispness in the process (this is styrene after all, not brass) but it's not too bad, and I'm just happy that the whole thing didn't fall apart. Re-painting is now underway. Phew!

 

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or you could have said - well, those old iron boilers probably looked like that anyway!

 

but it is a very familiar scenario, beautifully illustrated :)

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In my case the whisky is often the cause of the modelling catastrophes, not part of the solution...

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It looks excellent in the final photo. Have you found out  why the varnish went like that?

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14 minutes ago, Barry Ten said:

In my case the whisky is often the cause of the modelling catastrophes, not part of the solution...

 

Nope, in my experience it is nearly always me no matter who or what I try to blame things on.  :)

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Good recovery Mikkel!  Really irritating when it happens, I’ve never got to the bottom of why sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t.  Also why it decides to happen on the final coat of varnish, while everything before has gone smoothly!

 

The joys of railway modelling :)

 

BW

 

Dave

 

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Yep, been there. How much did this damn can of special varnish cost ? Ouch. 

 

Paints and varnishes have changed, I now have not a clue what I'm doing other than the trial and error method. Which works, but slows me down. I have a second test "model" on the go, usually a sheet of brass or a sheet of plasticard depending on whether its metal or plastic on the model. 

 

So primer on test model. if its ok , primer on real model . Then first coat on test , leave 24 hour at least , if ok apply to model.  I work it through, even applying some test transfers and at each stage do tests to see how I like it and if it reacts. At the varnish stage I try several, see which looks best and doesn't react. 

 

It is a long winded process, but given the price of paint and transfers I think its worth it. 

 

 

Anyway, see that Class 29 and the bus  I have just done? Slightly speckly varnish , but not bad and I think it will tone down in time. The varnish ? Lidl hairspray. I kid you not, its cheap, the nozzle never seems to clog up and given a few light mists over a number of days it forms a fairly tough coat. Ok, for a week afterwards the model has a perfume smell like one of those establishments I have heard about but never crossed the threshold of ( it wisnae me, must ha' been my twin brother ) but that goes away. 

 

Hope it all goes well this time Mikkel. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, MikeOxon said:

or you could have said - well, those old iron boilers probably looked like that anyway!

 

Interesting Mike, I didn't know that. But it was one of those situations where I just couldn't live with it. I knew I'd get annoyed every time I looked at the loco.

 

9 hours ago, Barry Ten said:

In my case the whisky is often the cause of the modelling catastrophes, not part of the solution...

 

Ha ha, I'm trying to picture that :). "Oops, got the cab on wrong way round, hic!"

 

9 hours ago, Charlie586 said:

Have you found out  why the varnish went like that?

 

It's possible that I was spraying from too far away, and so the droplets dried before hitting the model. But I don't recall being further away than usual, and it wasn't a particularly warm day either. Alternatively the varnish could have reacted with the Vallejo acrylics. I did test before on scrap card though, with no problems.

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9 hours ago, davefromacrossthepond said:

Nope, in my experience it is nearly always me no matter who or what I try to blame things on.  :)

 

Yep, agree with that! Although I'm a bit shocked to find how quickly my close-up eyesight is deteriorating at the moment. I can't decide whether to get glasses or just use it as an excuse...

 

7 hours ago, wenlock said:

 Also why it decides to happen on the final coat of varnish, while everything before has gone smoothly!

 

That's the most annoying part. I wonder what professional painters do to try and avoid it. It must be a major cost (in terms of time) to them if they have to start over on a model.

 

6 hours ago, Dave John said:

I have a second test "model" on the go, usually a sheet of brass or a sheet of plasticard depending on whether its metal or plastic on the model.

 

The varnish was Plasti-kote, a brand I'm normally a fan of (the nozzles work well). I had tested it before, but not a methodically as you. Must be more rigorous!

 

6 hours ago, Dave John said:

Lidl hairspray. I kid you not, its cheap, the nozzle never seems to clog up and given a few light mists over a number of days it forms a fairly tough coat.

 

Hmm, well there's a Lidl just around the corner. I have heard about hairspray but it's a slightly scary thought! :)

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Hi Mikkel,

I feel your pain, I think we've all suffered with orange peel effect at some point (and like everyone else I have no idea what causes it).  I'm pleased that the model hasn't suffered any real long term damage, but it does look like the chimney has become slightly detached in the last photo - there is a visible gap between flare and smokebox that doesn't appear in the "before" photo (but it is the other side of the model).

 

I look forward to seeing the finished model - Dean Goods are among my favourite locos, especially round top firebox ones :-)

 

Ian

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rather than having a second model on the go to trial your paint, varnish, etc., use a beer can. 

 

If it's full at the beginning, and you get a successful outcome, you can open it to celebrate. 

 

If unsuccessful, well, open it to commiserate. 

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20 hours ago, Ian Smith said:

it does look like the chimney has become slightly detached in the last photo

 

Thanks for pointing that out Ian. The chimney hasn't actually become detached but it was never a perfect fit on that side of the firebox. I had smoothed it out with a bit of filler but the IPA has probably taken it off, and I hadn't noticed. Not sure what can be done about it now, will see.

 

 

18 hours ago, Simond said:

rather than having a second model on the go to trial your paint, varnish, etc., use a beer can. 

 

I like your thinking!  It wouldn't be the same surface in this case, as the model is mostly Evergreen polystyrene. I'll still have the beer though :)

 

 

16 hours ago, Northroader said:

India Pale Ale can do that? 

 

You can't tell from the photo, but I used a Thai takeaway container for the IPA bath, lid and all. The gift that keeps on giving.

Edited by Mikkel
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I've been reading up on various modelling threads about orange peel effect. It's one of those topics where you can get two directly opposing bits of advice within the same thread. My notes:

 

The most common explanation does seem to be that orange peel is the result of paint drying before it has time to flow and "self level" (i.e. poor coalescence).  Suggested causes:

 

* spraying too far away

* spraying at an angle

* low air pressure

* poor nozzle

* applying too little paint, meaning it won't flow on the surface

* high temperature causing the droplets to dry out before they can flow

* using fans etc to dry the subject

* improper drying time "causing subsequent coats to lose solvents to the dry coat"

* premature evaporation of thinner

* wrong thinner

* too little thinner

* poor mixing of paint and thinner

 

Take your pick!

 

In my case, "spraying at an angle" may have been an issue. I had stupidly fixed the handrail before painting, so had to angle the spraycan to spray beneath it (not entirely succesfully either, as the photo shows). One schoolboy error leads to the next ...:pardon:

Edited by Mikkel
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5 hours ago, Mikkel said:

The chimney hasn't actually become detached but it was never a perfect fit on that side of the firebox.

Just as well it might be loose, if that's where it is... ;)

 

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"I was at stage 3 (detachment) and about to reach for a wagon kit" - I've reached that point with too many wagons, resulting in being locked in a vicious circle from which there can seem to be no escape.

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4 hours ago, Regularity said:

Just as well it might be loose, if that's where it is... ;)

 

 

Well... :D

 

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Source: http://www.douglas-self.com/MUSEUM/LOCOLOCO/chimney/chimney.htm

 

 

3 hours ago, Compound2632 said:

"I was at stage 3 (detachment) and about to reach for a wagon kit" - I've reached that point with too many wagons, resulting in being locked in a vicious circle from which there can seem to be no escape.

 

I can think of vicious circles worse than that :). But maybe some coaches to go with the 1P? It's something I've been wondering about myself, as a change from all the green, chocolate and cream stuff.

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5 minutes ago, Mikkel said:

 

There are some very disturbing images on that site... I'm particularly perturbed by the Prussian solution to crew complaints about smoke obscuring vision, which seems to be to pipe smoke directly to the cab.

 

It's untrue that square chimneys were a purely Belgian thing - they're apparently absolutely standard on Danish engines:

 

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6 minutes ago, Mikkel said:

But maybe some coaches to go with the 1P? It's something I've been wondering about myself, as a change from all the green stuff.

 

Ah, well now. If the Midland-liveried version is in the condition of the 1532 Class engine in the publicity photo Bachmann have been using, i.e. c. 1908/9, it's spot on for the rake of Ratio Bain arc-roof suburban carriages I've had for many years. The snag is that rake has one of each carriage but research shows that the four-coach rakes used in the Birmingham area had either a full first and two of the 6-compartment brake thirds, or a composite and two of the 4-compartment brake thirds. On the other hand, if I want to backdate to c. 1902, my Birmingham area local should be formed of 6-wheelers - two each of third and brake third, sandwiching a 30 ft 4-compartment first. I'm still puzzling out how best to cobble one of those together from my stock of Slaters parts...

 

But if it's red carriages you hanker for, the Great Western did do the right thing during the last decade before Grouping.

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13 hours ago, Compound2632 said:

But if it's red carriages you hanker for, the Great Western did do the right thing during the last decade before Grouping.

 

Yes, and those are examples of a project stuck at stage 2.  This slip coach is OK though.

 

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But I have a dream of a Midland 1P with suitable coaches passing through Farthing, maybe via the MSWJR. Not sure about the running rights though!

 

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No through working of Midland engines onto the M&SWJR, though I suppose a Midland engine could have been hired in a time of locomotive shortage. Of course there could be a through coach from Birmingham - a 48 ft clerestory composite to D508, I'd say. Perhaps there was originally some Midland money behind the North & South?

Edited by Compound2632
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28 minutes ago, Regularity said:

Distinctly Beyer, Peacock, other than the chimney...

 

Beyer, Peacock did build a number of 0-6-0s for the Egyptian Government in the 1860s - generally in pairs. An example is illustrated here (third photo) but does not have the raised firebox.

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13 hours ago, Compound2632 said:

 Perhaps there was originally some Midland money behind the North & South?

 

Now there's an idea. The original ambitions of the N&S were similar to those of the DN&SR (connect the North/Midlands to the coast), and the MR might have wanted to be in on that - not necessarily to help it achieve its ambition, but to control it and perhaps ensure that it didn't achieve its ambition. Eventually the GWR got worried and took over, perhaps even with LSWR support behind the scenes... 

 

I found a thread were you discuss the D508 coaches, useful, thanks. 

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When that sort of thing happens so close to completion. Well, it just rots yer socks!

 

For times like those I invested in a small ultrasonic bath unit from ebay. Use the IPA as per usual and the magic of the machine will do the rest without undue scrubbing and the danger of harm to details.

 

Mark

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I'm away from home, but if I'm remembering rightly, and belatedly, in his book on painting and lining, Ian Rathbone says that you can sometimes fix the orange peel problem by immediately straying the model with pure thinners, which softens the paint layer and encourages the dips and bumps to flatten out. I've run into ye olde orange peel often enough that I'll give it a go next time.

Edited by Barry Ten
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8 hours ago, eagleeyemark said:

For times like those I invested in a small ultrasonic bath unit from ebay. Use the IPA as per usual and the magic of the machine will do the rest without undue scrubbing and the danger of harm to details.

 

Interesting Mark, I had a look and can see that they exist in all shapes and sizes. Below is one at 58£. It's one of those difficult purchases where you first have to convince yourself that you will fail again :)

 

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8 hours ago, Barry Ten said:

I'm away from home, but if I'm remembering rightly, and belatedly, in his book on painting and lining, Ian Rathbone says that you can sometimes fix the orange peel problem by immediately straying the model with pure thinners, which softens the paint layer and encourages the dips and bumps to flatten out. I've run into ye olde orange peel often enough that I'll give it a go next time.

 

Thanks Al, it's comforting to know that even Ian Rathbone has experience with orange peel! I dont' have a permanent spraying set-up at present, so this came out of a can and spraying thinners isn't an option just now. Might be in the future though.

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