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Retaining Walls and Urban Viaducts - help needed


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First of all, if this is in the wrong section, I apologise! So if it is, mods, feel free to move the topic.  

 

Gents, I have a few queries. I want to build retaining walls for my layout, but I'm stuck for choice, and I want some advice. I'd like a combination of relatively easy to assemble, yet quite realistic. I wouldn't rule out using card kits, but I'd like something with preferably quite good relief. Can anybody give their experiences on using Superquick or Scalescenes please? I must say I really like the look of the Wills one (SS52), but I can't find any photo's of how it looks when new out of the box, as I presume the photo they use to market it is once it's been painted, detailed and weathered. Also, can anyone provide me with their experience of using the Ratio, or International Models one's too? 

 

As for viaducts, I'd like it if someone could give me advice on which, if any ready to plant manufacturer does a convincing urban viaduct, or on how to get the best out of the various kit ones. I realise these are all really broad questions, but I'd be grateful for any help at all as i'm going round in circles trying to choose which one(s) to go for! Thanks in advance. 

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I've just made a couple of feet of retaining wall for an N gauge layout using Scalescenes weathered brick sheets. Whilst ok, (IMHO) nothing beats the relief of embossed plastic or plaster. I like the ease of working with paper and card and having sealed the printed sheets with light passes of a matt varnish or inkject fixative, they take take weathering powders well. It's just the lack of relief especially evident with regard to mortar courses that bugs me. There's not much choice of embossed brick sheet in N, hence why I used paper and card, but in 4mm or above, I would go for embossed plastic, plaster or resin every time.

From memory, the Wills material is a semi-shiny red straight from ther packet but this is easily remedied with some colour washes.

Pete.

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I've just made a couple of feet of retaining wall for an N gauge layout using Scalescenes weathered brick sheets. Whilst ok, (IMHO) nothing beats the relief of embossed plastic or plaster. I like the ease of working with paper and card and having sealed the printed sheets with light passes of a matt varnish or inkject fixative, they take take weathering powders well. It's just the lack of relief especially evident with regard to mortar courses that bugs me. There's not much choice of embossed brick sheet in N, hence why I used paper and card, but in 4mm or above, I would go for embossed plastic, plaster or resin every time.

From memory, the Wills material is a semi-shiny red straight from ther packet but this is easily remedied with some colour washes.

Pete.

Thanks for your input Lifeboatman. If I may ask, could you possibly point me to what sort of products to use for the colour washes? I haven't a clue when it comes to the amount of/what paint products are out there! Looks like I'll be going for the Wills kit as I suspected...

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Thanks for your input Lifeboatman. If I may ask, could you possibly point me to what sort of products to use for the colour washes? I haven't a clue when it comes to the amount of/what paint products are out there! Looks like I'll be going for the Wills kit as I suspected...

 

With plastic, I always give a base coat of grey or red oxide spray primer. I'm a fan of acrylics but there's no reason not to use enamel. I usually brush on 2 coats of the nearest brick colour I have (Humbrol 70 Acrylic was what I remember using), and then when thoroughly dry, I'll wash the whole surface with a diluted mortar colour, wiping off the excess leaving most of the paint settled into the mortar course. If you have a large area to do in one go, I find that by adding the tiniest drop of washing up liquid to the diluted paint, it will run into the mortar course easily and you can work quicker. Again, when dry, individual bricks can be picked out in a slightly darker or lighter colour. I usually use Humbrol white, smoke and rust weathering powders applied with vertical strokes as a finishing touch.

There's no right or wrong way to do this. In fact, there are so many different ways to do this, it depends on what method suits you best. For example I've heard that some people achieve great results painting the whole brick surface in a mortar colour and then using blunt artists pastel pencils to colour the brick. I believe a popular shade is burnt umber. The bluntness of the pencil only colours the surface and stops the colour getting into the mortar relief.

Arm yourself with a couple of scrap embossed brick sheets, a selection of paints, kitchen roll, cotton buds etc and just experiment. Put a CD on! I can think of worse ways to spend an hour. Good luck!

 

Edit: with regard to ready-to-plant urban viaducts, I always thought the Skaledale 3 arch looked pretty good. I believe they also do a low relief version.

post-17811-0-77016600-1393194926.jpg

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NXEA,

Was having same dilemma myself until yesterday at Glasgow show. Close examination of the better layouts revealed their retaining walls were built with wills embossed plastic which prompted a tour of all traders buying up said product. I'm not meaning a kit per se, wills supply packs with 4 embossed sheets and I'm planning to butcher and bodge them into retaining walls.

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Thanks for your help gents. I think I'll be going down the wood with the Wills scenic route. I'd have purchased a Skaledale viaduct in a heartbeat, but I need it more than single track as it needs to take a station platform too, and there will be some curved sections. The reason I originally asked about retaining walls is that I was considering going down the safe route. However, a railway on a viaduct in South London will look better to me. Plus I'm a new modeller, and I should probably side step the obvious route each time in order to build up my skills in all honesty! It's a learning curve after all. I must admit I'm nervous when it comes to the idea of painting it as I have no artistic talent whatsoever!  :O  

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I must admit I'm nervous when it comes to the idea of painting it as I have no artistic talent whatsoever!  :O  

 

Aha! You've worked out why I like acrylics... Neither have I, so if it all goes pear-shaped, I can usually scrub it all off and start again!

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Retaining walls, as opposed to those just built to keep the railway above ground at a certain level, as one finds with arches and viaducts, tend to be built at aslight angle (known as "batter")

 

Yeah, a retaining wall always looks better with a bit of batter. I tend to struggle with those. I remember a thread on here a while back featuring this. I'll see if I can find it and edit the post to include a link.

 

Edit: This was it. Might have known it would be by Chubber... structure modelling anyone would be proud of...

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/40546-retaining-walls-for-a-raised-car-parking-area/

If I could get even close to that level of detail, I'd be using card and paper all the time.

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I have ruminated on this subject for some time, and have come to the conclusion that I will use some of these products (2mm and 4mm are available) and just cut bits of plain wall to make the tops of the arched sections look more realistic -

 

http://www.internationalmodels.net/acatalog/Main_Catalogue_Index_Retaining_Walls_40.html

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