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Mara Harbor


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​I have been working with styrene since the 1960's, a very useful material however it has some tenancy to curl when laminated particularly when different thickness are used. Can I suggest that the laminations are built up on a thin aluminium sheet especially if the doors are in the open position.


I noticed that you used a thin sheet of styrene on the open doors with thicker laminate strips, these will warp with time. Also when using MEK or any other type of solvent weld on Styrene make sure the room is well ventilated or use a simple fume hood. I made one up out of thin ply with a fan mounted on the exit end and some cooker hood flexible ducting which I poke through a open window. The whole thing is clamped to a frame mounted on the rear of the bench. It is not pretty but it will save your life. I also use this hood when spray painting models not only for the removal of fumes but also to keep dust from the newly painted surfaces.


i had a friend who died of liver cancer caused by use of solvents in a non-ventilated workshop so let there be a warning.



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I do like to explore new mediums. Done wood, paper and now a bit styreen and I like it ! For now I'm finished with building most steel sliding doors, regular doors and window frames. Ditched them in the spraybooth and give them a fresh coat of primer. They will be finished with acrylics and all these fancy military paints I have. Been working on a couple of details like bollards and exhaust thingies on a roof. Dunno if the bollard looks a bit too modern for my era but I'm quit happy with the result and even might try to cast them in resin..











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  • 4 weeks later...
After my visit on friday to Intermodellbau Dortmund Germany I came home with 2 pretty handy tools. RPtoolz punch and die sets. With the saturday scheduled for drinking beer with friends I tried them out today. Building joint plates for my wharf. Small piece of rectangular styrene I punched 2mm washers and 1,25 mm boltheads with these tools and glued them together. Still a shitload to be done but I'm pretty happy with the result already..







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  • 2 months later...
Been a long time that I did some work on the layout. For one of the newer stuctures on the wharf of Mara Harbor I tried another approach. This time no stains to start with but from the beginning various coats of acrylics. Started with spraypainting all the seams black followed by a light coat of white primer to highlight the middle of the planking. After that a overall coat with a sandcolored primer.Varios planks spraypainted using a indexcard with a concrete color followed with a dark grey wash. Handpainted, highlights with several other woodlike colors followed by another wash of dark grey.As this building will have an heavily chipped off white color I do like the dark tone the wood has right now. I think it adds more contrast to a building placed in the background of the layout and it will atrack the eye that way..





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If you are having headache issues with MEK, have you tried Ambroid pro-weld or Tenax7r instead. methylene chloride iirc and far less smelly in use. I also find it thinner than MEK if using a pin applicator.

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Maybe I'll try that Andrew.


Slow progress on the Verne Niner Fresh Fruits buildings, spend a lazy sunday painting and playing with the airbrush. Adapted the Chuck Doan technique for weathered and peeling paint planks a long time ago and I did want to try something different. That's why I started painting wood like it's a styrene based building. Finishing the weathered woods I added a couple of coats of AMMO heavy chipping fluid to the walls of the building. Let it dry for a short time and gave it a coat of aged white. It's like the hairspray technique. After the aged white has dried wet the surface with clean tap water and start chipping with a brush.
Used the same technique on the doors with the difference that I used scratches effects from AMMO for this one, just to get smaller chips and scratches. But first I did paint all the doors with several thin layers of different rust tones, very thinned paint, splatter with a brush and so on. After that three light coats of the scratches effects followed by a coat of faded light green. Tap water and a brush for chipping and scratches. For the windows I rely on the old chipping technique with different colors of rust colored acrylic paints, they are to fragile for the chipping technique with the AMMO fluids..
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Well time for more, added the roof to the staircase tower, finaly. Just plain paper grey Canson MIteintes coated with a couple of thin coats dark grey acrylic primer with the airbrush. Made a small mistake and added Ammo African dust to all the seams tossing the bottle. One complete mess. Toss the lid they already warned me often..big luck for me I work on a big A2 sketchblok, so only the paper soaked. Back to business, added this nature effect to all the seams and feathered it with odourless thinner. After that I went through my pigment collection and picked a few, Europe Dust, Industrial City Dirt, Factory Grey and Dark Mud all from Mig Productions. Placed, feathered, moved finaly touched down with odourless thinner blown dry with just the air from the airbrush. That's where the double action comes in handy. On the sloped roof I painted a couple of streaking effects before I went over with pigments. Pigments also had a light streaking motion. Finaly I speckles on some dark earthtone wash and a light dust wash wich I feathered with a damp brush and gave a streaking motion on the sloped roof.











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Thanks !


Well, let's make a decent post again. Maybe it's easier to link to the blog but you all deserve it to have it posted here. First as described in the blog I struggled with these smokestacks on the building. Is there a reason for it ? Well figured that there could be a boiler inside that uses a good pair of stacks. Gives me a reason for more piping from one to another building and maybe somekinda oiltank somewhere along or besides on top of the building..started rusting the and glued it to the roof. Added a touch of color by painting peeled paint with a fine tipped brush followed by a overall rust wash..
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  • 1 month later...
Ughe ughe ughe, needs some dusting here...


Started on some additional weathering of one of the buildings on Mara Harbor. Couple of Ammo streaking grimes used. Still think I can do more and add more grain or something..Still a couple of weeks to go before the Birmingham show..







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  • 2 weeks later...
Inbetween modelrailroadshows, production and other things still manage to work a bit on Mara Harbor. Need some things finished before I leave for Birmingham UK with the layout. So started on the roof of this build. Styrene with cartboard underneat and some .5 x.75 Evergreen strips glued on. After masking the I airbrushed a first layer of tracksprimer followed by a lighter rust primer from Ammo by Mig in irregular patterns to represent a base layer of rust. Let it dry now for at least 24 hours to think about the next steps. With removing the masking tape I took some parts of the paint on the windows with it.  They where my first job ever in styrene and I have some adherance issues. Hopefully they are soved now, cleaned the styrene before the paintjob with 98% alcohol.









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More rusting roofs. On this lazy Sunday inbetween some footbal matches and the Formula 1, pity Max didn't finish, I worked a bit on the rusted roof of one of the biggest warehouses in Mara Harbor. After the 2 tone primer coats I started with this so called mapping technique using a couple of Ammo by Mig rust tones. Dark rust, medium rust and light rust. Mapping whats that would a couple of non military modelers ask. Well it's very thin acrylic paint added in irregular abtract paterns in several colors. Finished it of with the splatter technique using a flat brush and a toothpick. After a short drying time I added some light coats of Ammo by Mig scratches effects followed by a light grey base from the same brand. I wanted some contrast between the rust and the original roof color. After a short drying time I started working on the surface with a flat brush and tap water. Let it dry now for a day before adding some coats with rusty enamel tones, dust and other dirt.













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Leaving for the Warley show in Birmingham in 3 weeks I still have some unfinished things, Working on some detail thingies, figure painting and some additional weathering of the buildings. Can't say for shure I will be completely finished but it starts to look ok to me..











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This looks absolutely superb, your application of colours is perfect. But, and please take this as purely constructive comment, the buildings do not look 'planted'. Are they removable for transit? If permanent, a little dust or flock glued in to fill the gaps would make a world of difference.

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