Jump to content

Mikkel

826 views

Been doing some scenic work on The Stables. I wish I could settle on a fixed set of approaches for the surface textures, but I seem to be trying out different methods on every new layout :rolleyes:

 

 

IMG_20210125_100658106_HDR.jpg.ae149bd46b52f0053929728733fc1e72.jpg

 

The yards at Farthing tend to feature a cinders/ash/dirt mix for ballast, as seen in period photos. In the past I’ve used Polyfilla (handbuilt track) or DAS (RTR track). But I wanted a more textured look, so tried Chinchilla sand this time.

 

 

IMG_20210125_140523663_HDR.jpg.7aa47b080d0343149d8fd17952d5dd35.jpg

 

I say Chinchilla “sand” because that’s what was available here in Denmark. Not sure it’s the same as “dust”? Anyway, the fine grain meant that extra careful cleaning of the sleepers was needed, and even then I missed some. 

 

 

IMG_20210120_093637393_HDR.jpg.3bba5e4ed0ac1cc04b0947f2a0fdb7ac.jpg

 

Hmm. Once wetted and stuck down with a PVA mix it set nicely - but close-ups revealed an unsightly shine from the quartz.

 

 

IMG_20210131_125607262_HDR.jpg.d90dc134fb5077965dac1c278bc29c5e.jpg 

So I applied a couple of fairly thick coloured washes, dispensed as drops from a brush. The sleepers did need touching up afterwards. 

 

 

IMG_20210131_130803064_HDR.jpg.3f87ed18deca3d522408a5a4e3ded91c.jpg

 

Well, I got my texture and can live with the result, but I'm not completely happy. Next time I may try mixing in some grout or real ash.

 

 

IMG_20210129_085547451_HDR.jpg.4128a5537507fa08e6759409e93e6323.jpg

 
For the yard's ground texture I have previously used Polyfilla, but wanted more control so tried a base of DAS, rolled and cut to size. Bacon sandwich, anyone?

 

 

1631058784_IMG_20210203_092938207_HDR(1).jpg.dea43a46eabe1d7f17e2db3dfd86dddd.jpg

 
DAS on a PVA base, smoothed with a wet finger. 

 

 

696649192_IMG_20210205_124215139_HDR(1).jpg.9cd10dfb9fcabb3006c5ffd473a77cdf.jpg

 

Antarctic railway. The grey DAS I use dries up white. OK as a base, but a bit too smooth for what I wanted.

 

 

IMG_20200202_101134735.jpg.d983f18738a0921a54d12d3067b73ff5.jpg


So I experimented with terrain paste as used by the diorama and wargaming communities. Got some for my birthday.  I ended up using mostly the AK Terrains Light Earth. Although coarser than Vallejo Sand Paste, I found it takes paint better and dries up dead matt.

 

 

IMG_20210131_112748417_HDR.jpg.49bd6bda957b3d6352fb4536e69a4745.jpg

 
I think it's supposed to go on neat, but I found it could be thinned with water to control how coarse I wanted it. My best sable brush, not!

 

 

IMG_20210206_174652748.jpg.5caa30791bccb4e078ed57f2c5a44e03.jpg


Experiments showed it can be sanded down for more smoothness. Adds a bit of variation.

 

 

IMG_20200404_181009231_HDR.jpg.6a0955a6027f787c7f5e1a76c55e3849.jpg


In other areas I tried thinning the paste a lot, then stippling it on to add a slight gravel effect. The pastes would be an expensive solution if applied neat over large areas, but with thinning I think their potential increases.

 

 

IMG_20210427_083213395_HDR.jpg.839cef07e37c95b2a0a39a855c3a1dc8.jpg


The whole thing was lightly coloured with thin washes of Vallejo acrylics.

 

 

674929958_IMG_20210309_085105198_HDR(1).jpg.ec06615b3852d399a1b46ff9dc150b78.jpg


The layout has a slight embankment that separates the yards. This was treated to static grass.

 

 

1995756817_IMG_20210308_133334969_HDR(1).jpg.a1e76ef3b71fb6f6e92063fe898a9eef.jpg


I haven't tried static grass before, what a superb mess you can make! I don't have much hair left, so I wonder… :)

 

 

IMG_20210427_084217031_HDR.jpg.5d3bdba5b5ecded7b0fdc8484644ca37.jpg

 
Although it’s summer I wanted a subdued colour, so used Mini Natur 2mm and 4mm "Late Fall", and a bit of Woodland Scenics 4mm straw. The phone camera exaggerates the yellow, it’s a bit greener in reality.

 

 

 

119558746_IMG_20210427_084350959_HDR(2).jpg.6131c1978961424f65d2e6eaab8778b1.jpg

 

Edwardian photos suggests that grass was fairly carefully controlled in yards back then, so I resisted the urge to apply it in patches everywhere.

 

 

IMG_20210425_131032901_HDR.jpg.98d5d42099fffe52bee2e932b5769f69.jpg


Lastly I tried working over the whole area with pigments. It helped blend things together. Note to self: This is MIG Light European Earth (P415), now rebranded as Abteilung 502 Light European Earth (2260). Also a bit of Vallejo Pigments Light Yellow Ochre (73.102).

 

 

1014329290_IMG_20210427_084330551_HDR(1)(1).jpg.f1eed7c96f268f92c78e8566c31ce65f.jpg

 
I suppose there’s an un-intended seaside look to it. Shades of Neil’s Shell Island layout. I wish!

 

 

IMG_20210427_092335487_HDR.jpg.3d008f82641a479fc080ae486c4b2aa3.jpg


Where it’s at. Now onward with the trees.
 

Edited by Mikkel

  • Like 22
  • Informative/Useful 4
  • Interesting/Thought-provoking 1
  • Craftsmanship/clever 22
  • Round of applause 1

28 Comments


Recommended Comments



Mikkel

 

this layout used Chincilla sand however I coloured it first using cheap black water colour in a jam jar and then  left it to dry a couple of days in the jar before putting the lid on and shaking to split the clumps up

20200418_161132.jpg

 

 

Nick B

  • Like 1
  • Informative/Useful 5
  • Craftsmanship/clever 2
Link to comment

Brilliant, yet again.  If it is summer the grass is likely to be more brown than green in the yard as it is likely to be fairly dry, unless of course they wash the yard.

  • Agree 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
  • RMweb Gold
28 minutes ago, nick_bastable said:

Mikkel

 

this layout used Chincilla sand however I coloured it first using cheap black water colour in a jam jar and then  left it to dry a couple of days in the jar before putting the lid on and shaking to split the clumps up

20200418_161132.jpg

 

 

Nick B

 

Thanks Nick, that's useful info! I did wonder whether my ballast is too light. I suppose it also depends on the colour of the earth and dust around it.

 

6 minutes ago, ChrisN said:

Brilliant, yet again.  If it is summer the grass is likely to be more brown than green in the yard as it is likely to be fairly dry, unless of course they wash the yard.

 

Many thanks Chris. In that case they don't wash the yard! :)  I like subdued colours on layouts, although I am probably taking it a bit far. At least the trees will be a bit more green once they're done.

 

  • Like 1
  • Agree 1
Link to comment
Schooner

Posted (edited)

Entertaining, educational and informative. Thank you!

 

Certainly makes me feel better about having a large bag of chinchilla dust, a couple packs of DAS, and various ground texture paints and scatters waiting for me at home! I thought I was being indecisive* but it's great seeing them all put to use. Options aplenty.

 

On colour - I'm always surprised how light railway yards look in early photographs. They must've been kept clean very actively: compare to canal wharves and the presence of horses is definitely more noticeable...! There is a hint of beach, but strong overtones of West Wiltshire :) 

 

 

*but now I'm just not sure...

Edited by Schooner
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment

Has a 'Shell Island' feel to me, your choice of materials is interesting especially the AK Terrain. As I was given some, I tend to use artists chalks rather than Mig powders, suppose I should try them some day.

 

Looks great.

 

Martyn

  • Like 1
  • Interesting/Thought-provoking 1
Link to comment

I do like those very sparse scenes that you show - remind me of that wonderful layout 'Little Point'.  Great examples of 'less is more'

 

Interesting to see how you tackle ballast - not done any myself for ages but ideas to bear in mind.

 

Mike

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
  • RMweb Gold
8 hours ago, Schooner said:

Entertaining, educational and informative. Thank you!

 

Certainly makes me feel better about having a large bag of chinchilla dust, a couple packs of DAS, and various ground texture paints and scatters waiting for me at home! I thought I was being indecisive* but it's great seeing them all put to use. Options aplenty.

 

On colour - I'm always surprised how light railway yards look in early photographs. They must've been kept clean very actively: compare to canal wharves and the presence of horses is definitely more noticeable...! There is a hint of beach, but strong overtones of West Wiltshire :) 

 

 

*but now I'm just not sure...

 

Thanks Schooner, yes options aplenty, I hope you find something that works for you (I haven't quite yet!). 

 

I agree about the light look of early yards. Photos of them inspired the light look here, and also keeping in mind that colours tend to fade when viewed from a distance. But the challenge is that when you're "cropping" a yard scene as much as I am, you lose the wider context and colour diversity, and so the overall impression can become almost desert- or beach-like. Well that's my excuse at least :)

 

8 hours ago, Regularity said:

Could you mix up Das with the chinchilla dust/powder?

 

Maybe! I haven't tried yet. You would have to colour the Chinchilla sand first, if it has the quartz look that mine did. For ballast, you would still be left with the time-consuming job of laying the DAS/sand mix between the sleepers. I find that a very tedious aspect of the DAS ballasting method. Pouring on some Chincilla sand and brushing it between the sleepers is a lot quicker. Maybe with some tile grout mixed in, next time.

 

6 hours ago, MikeOxon said:

I do like those very sparse scenes that you show - remind me of that wonderful layout 'Little Point'.  Great examples of 'less is more'

 

Interesting to see how you tackle ballast - not done any myself for ages but ideas to bear in mind.

 

Mike

 

Hi Mike, yes I agree completely about Little Point. Another of Neil's superb layouts (he also did Shell Island). I intend to keep the simple uncluttered look at the back of the layout. I find that a single horse drawn wagon placed in an open expanse can be as effective as putting a structure there. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
  • RMweb Gold
Mikkel

Posted (edited)

8 hours ago, mullie said:

Has a 'Shell Island' feel to me, your choice of materials is interesting especially the AK Terrain. As I was given some, I tend to use artists chalks rather than Mig powders, suppose I should try them some day.

 

Looks great.

 

Martyn

 

Thanks Martyn. I only have experience with that one tin of AK Terrain, but I really like it. On a couple of the other Farthing layouts I've gone for the very smooth look, as nicely illustrated by 28xx in this post:

 

On 16/08/2015 at 09:54, 28XX said:

The "well trodden" look I'm after.post-5868-0-93572700-1439711626.jpg

 

...but I found it can look a bit too smooth in close-ups (in my rendering of it, that is), and I was inspired by Kevin's superb yard texture as seen here: 

 

On 28/12/2019 at 13:02, KNP said:

CG2.jpg.4f1443cb433ae028c8a46a441383b2af.jpg

 

CG3.jpg.84cd66231331d5adbdf2016bf22ad3fa.jpg

 

 

I haven't achieved that yet, but the AK Terrains Light Earth seems a good start.

 

Edited by Mikkel
  • Like 2
Link to comment

Looks very good and interesting to see the difference in textures.  
You might like to try a couple of things that Gordon Gravett uses for surfaces;  ground white pepper on a bed of gloss paint or putting your chinchilla sand in the end of a pair of tights and shaking though. It sieves out the larger particles.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
  • Informative/Useful 1
Link to comment

Very atmospheric as ever Mikkel. It certainly does look like summer when ash yards did go a much lighter colour as they got well dried out. 

 

Schooner is right about yards tending to look lighter in early photos, though I think many of the photos would have been taken in good summer weather given that photographic  equipment at the time wouldn't be good in wet dark winter weather. 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 1
  • Agree 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
  • RMweb Gold

Masterful, as ever, Mikkel. I think that the use of any type of sand will produce shiny places where the light catches one face of a grain. In the instances where I have used sand (not very many, so far) I have planned to use a matt paint or varnish over the top.

 

The various manufacturers' textured pastes are all very well but, as you point out, can be expensive for larger areas. My approach so far has been to use silver sand laid on PVA and then treated with pigments, but that gives a coarser finish than yours.

 

Nice to see that you still have some MIG pigments. I am amazed at how long they last.

 

I am daring to say that I disagree with your very first comment in this post. Even if you do find a set of materials and techniques that allow you to achieve the perfect result, I think that you should still try out new versions just to see if perfection can be surpassed. That's the excuse I give myself for buying something new and trying it out!

 

I continue to be inspired by what you produce and the way that you produce it.

  • Like 3
  • Agree 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Schooner

Posted (edited)

3 hours ago, Mikkel said:

Kevin's superb yard texture

 

I'm sure he'll be along shortly to confirm either way, but I think that excellent texture is based on Tremendus Earth Powder, painted etc to (equally excellent) taste.

 

I've got a couple little bags of that too... :whistle:

Edited by Schooner
  • Like 2
Link to comment

Beautifully done and very useful account about the techniques used.  Absolutely love that last photo.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
  • RMweb Gold
Mikkel

Posted (edited)

21 hours ago, ullypug said:

Looks very good and interesting to see the difference in textures.  
You might like to try a couple of things that Gordon Gravett uses for surfaces;  ground white pepper on a bed of gloss paint or putting your chinchilla sand in the end of a pair of tights and shaking though. It sieves out the larger particles.

 

Thanks for the tips Andrew! Those methods sound like a lot of fun - I just hope you're not pulling my leg :D. They're too good to let pass anyway, will put them on my to do list. I really must order Gordon Gravett's book, I keep forgetting.

 

 

20 hours ago, Dave John said:

Very atmospheric as ever Mikkel. It certainly does look like summer when ash yards did go a much lighter colour as they got well dried out. 

 

Schooner is right about yards tending to look lighter in early photos, though I think many of the photos would have been taken in good summer weather given that photographic  equipment at the time wouldn't be good in wet dark winter weather. 

 

Thanks Dave. I hadn't really considered the seasonal effect on ash. And gravel too. Good point about the summertime photos. I can only think of one distinctly wintery photo of a GWR goods yard. Ice on the tarp!

 

 

19 hours ago, Mick Bonwick said:

Masterful, as ever, Mikkel. I think that the use of any type of sand will produce shiny places where the light catches one face of a grain. In the instances where I have used sand (not very many, so far) I have planned to use a matt paint or varnish over the top.

 

The various manufacturers' textured pastes are all very well but, as you point out, can be expensive for larger areas. My approach so far has been to use silver sand laid on PVA and then treated with pigments, but that gives a coarser finish than yours.

 

Nice to see that you still have some MIG pigments. I am amazed at how long they last.

 

I am daring to say that I disagree with your very first comment in this post. Even if you do find a set of materials and techniques that allow you to achieve the perfect result, I think that you should still try out new versions just to see if perfection can be surpassed. That's the excuse I give myself for buying something new and trying it out!

 

I continue to be inspired by what you produce and the way that you produce it.

 

Many thanks Mick. As we've talked about in your blog, the MIG pigments are great. It took a while before I started thinking of them for other purposes than weathering stock. 

 

Totally agree about experimenting with new methods. And buying new stuff :spiteful:. It's just that all the Farthing layouts are supposed to show the same overall station, so it would be nice to have a uniform look across them. I have a hope to combine them all some day. But the pigments could help even out the differences, I think.

 

Edited by Mikkel
  • Like 1
  • Friendly/supportive 1
Link to comment
  • RMweb Gold
Mikkel

Posted (edited)

19 hours ago, Schooner said:

I'm sure he'll be along shortly to confirm either way, but I think that excellent texture is based on Tremendus Earth Powder, painted etc to (equally excellent) taste.

 

I've got a couple little bags of that too... :whistle:

 

Ah right, yes, I see that Kevin explained it in the thread. I think ANTB Rob uses the Treemendus powder too. Sounds like you have a treasure trove of scenic stuff! 

 

 

8 hours ago, PaternosterRow said:

Beautifully done and very useful account about the techniques used.  Absolutely love that last photo.

 

Thanks Mike. The last photo is my favourite view. Be prepared to see it again :D. The only problem is that I have to sit closer when operating the traverser. 

 

Edited by Mikkel
  • Like 1
Link to comment
  • RMweb Gold
On 30/04/2021 at 09:27, ullypug said:

You might like to try a couple of things that Gordon Gravett uses for surfaces;  ground white pepper on a bed of gloss paint or putting your chinchilla sand in the end of a pair of tights and shaking though. It sieves out the larger particles.

 

Today's purchases. My wife doesn't wear tights but these were just £3. If the white pepper doesn't work it goes on the food :)

 

IMG_20210502_195255879_HDR.jpg.5a9131969825368543dae217dc85ebc0.jpg

 

 

The Pendon Paper also arrived, and it occurs to me that seeing these light groundcovers in past magazine articles about Pendon may have influenced my preference for very light yards.  Note also the stable block! 

 

IMG_20210502_200506556_HDR.jpg.4036fa7faae98c19bfa5f23a0c5861b5.jpg

 

  • Like 5
  • Agree 1
Link to comment
1 hour ago, Mikkel said:

Today's purchases. My wife doesn't wear tights but these were just £3. If the white pepper doesn't work it goes on the food


and if the tights don’t work, what are they going on?

 

:)

  • Interesting/Thought-provoking 2
  • Funny 1
Link to comment
3 hours ago, Mikkel said:

 

Today's purchases. My wife doesn't wear tights but these were just £3. If the white pepper doesn't work it goes on the food :)

 

Excellent! Best of luck.
oh and you can also use the other leg of the tights over the end of W vacuum cleaner nozzle on static grass to capture any loose fibres. You’ll be surprised how much you can reclaim. Makes the grass stand up too.

  • Informative/Useful 2
  • Interesting/Thought-provoking 1
Link to comment

Do please remember that sieving and pouncing chinchilla dust is not done whilst wear the tights (whether that be you wearing them or anyone else).

  • Funny 1
Link to comment

I love the word "Strompebukser" .

 

It must be said Mikkel that your english is faultless and that my danish is very limited. However, due to our interests in railways my knowledge of danish is improving, all sorts of useful information we learn from this wonderful hobby..... 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
  • RMweb Gold

Very funny, all :) 

 

Dave, are you sure railway modelling is a good basis for learning another language, by the looks of it you could end up with a Pythonesque vocabulary!

 

20 hours ago, ullypug said:

Excellent! Best of luck.
oh and you can also use the other leg of the tights over the end of W vacuum cleaner nozzle on static grass to capture any loose fibres. You’ll be surprised how much you can reclaim. Makes the grass stand up too.

 

Ah yes, I remember seeing that done. Very handy solution as I have noticed that the static grass does tend to capture every single speck of dirt on the layout.

  • Like 2
Link to comment

Hi Mikkel,

 

A very interesting post.  You create a totally absorbing sense of time and place.

 

One thing, and I know how much of a detail man you are so you'll probably appreciate this/go bonkers trying to figure it out, but of course horses produce an imprint on their environment.  Have you considered that the ground around the tracks would likely be marked and rutted with shunting and delivery horse hoof prints?  Take a walk around the periphery of a stable block and you will find (depending on the time of day) manure/straw/bedding and dubious stains in various corners and crevices too!

 

Also, may I heartily congratulate you on your sense of colour scale and tone.  So important to get this right.  It's an art.

 

From my neck of the woods, I attach a scan for your interest of a photo of Mr Arthur Challis, coal and coke merchant, with his horse and coal delivery cart.  Most probably taken in Alexandra Road, Wimbledon in 1905, which is the year his business was established.  He was successful enough to be ordering a brand new coal wagon "No.20" from Charles Roberts in 1931.   In the background is a poster with the letters "PSA", which was the "Pleasant Sunday Afternoon" Society, a semi-religious movement set up to encourage men not to spend their Sunday afternoon in the pub.

 

All best,


Matt

 

 

CHALLIS photograph of coal cart horse and merchant Wimbledon c1905 720dpi.pdf

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
  • Informative/Useful 2
Link to comment
  • RMweb Gold
Mikkel

Posted (edited)

Many thanks Matt! 

 

You have a good point regarding the horses' imprint on their surroundings. I am currently adding some strategically positioned manure, so that should help a bit.

 

I hadn't considered  their hoof marks, though. It may be too late for this layout, as they should perhaps be imprinted while the groundcover is still wet. Will give it some thought.

 

Good idea to add some straw. I like a relatively uncluttered look, but a lot can be indicated with a few bits in the right place. A proper manure pit will be built on the adjoining module that I am planning.

 

I very much like that photo of Arthur Challis. I'm afraid coal merchants have been a bit marginalised at Farthing so far. Even the single coal trolley present has been shamelessly re-purposed!

 

image.png.d63672ab3de60cf0e52a6b7eedbbb8e6.png

 

But I have a vague plan to build a whole layout/module just for coal merchants.  There is a very tempting and modellable photo in GWR Goods Services 2A, showing Slough's extension mileage yard. It includes two grounded vans and a grounded coach + lots of coal bins. Great stuff.  

 

Edited by Mikkel
  • Like 8
Link to comment

Something else to think about are the various quarry dusts that Attwood Aggregates sell

link

  • Agree 1
  • Thanks 1
  • Informative/Useful 2
Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.