New to group, already have a question

Hello All-
I just discovered this group, looks like I'll be spending a lot of time
here...
I have one question regarding plaster casting. I am scratchbuilding my
HO structures and have made latex molds for brick but does anyone know
of any commercially available brick molds? I am more or less satisfied
with the results but there isn't much depth to the Plastruct sheets I
used as a master. My thought is that a mold made specifically for
plaster might have more relief to it. Any thoughts?
Thanks in advance,
Pat Shanahan
Chicago
Reply to
Pat Shanahan
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Pat Shanahan spake thus:
This is an area where I've been experimenting, albeit fitfully, for several years. I haven't come up with a good solution either, but here's what I've discovered along the way.
Most brick sheets are extremely disappointing, either in terms of brick size, depth, as you've pointed out, or just overall realism. Some of the worst is the ubiquitous Holgate & Reynolds stuff, which is much too small, and also is some weird plastic that's tough to glue.
The best brick sheets I've found so far come from the British Plasticard company. About a decade or more ago, I sent away for a sample pack of their stuff, and a few of the sheets were outstanding. I don't know exactly which ones they were, but you might try contacting them (some of the UK folks here should be able to help). They're scale sized and pretty realistic.
It's too bad that one can't get brick sheets which look like the brick walls on some of the plastic model lines, like DPM and even Walthers, which are incredibly realistic by comparison.
The last thing I tried, out of desperation, was making my own mold masters. Yes, this is truly an act of obsession, but you know what? it's actually doable, given enough patience. I cast a large flat slab of plaster, using the shallow plastic cover for a box of stationery supplies. I then cheated, by printing a brick pattern on my laser printer (from a Corel Draw illustration), then transferring it to the plaster by putting the face of the print against it and wetting the paper with acetone, which dissolved the toner and let enough of it transfer to the plaster to be visible. I then used the guidelines to position a metal ruler, guiding my scribe tool (a sharpened metal point). The long horizontal lines are easy, of course: it's the brick lines that are a pain in the ass.
The small sample I made actually made some pretty nice looking brick casts. I used the blue RTV stuff for the mold, then just cast plaster. (Suggestion: to eliminate the inevitable bubbles, wet the mold with rubbing alcohol first.)
Anyhow, I'd be interested to hear if anyone has come up with any other solutions to this problem.
Reply to
David Nebenzahl
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Welcome to the group, Pat! You might find something at Linka World:
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Bill Bill's Railroad Empire N Scale Model Railroad:
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History of N Scale:
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Railroad Books, Toys, and Trains:
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to 1,200 sites:
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Reply to
Bill
Thanks for the replies Bill & David. The Linka molds look clunky on the product pages but the gallery images look very good, I think I'll give them a try.
I've tried making my own molds twice this past weekend with poor results. Brush applied latex is too flexible and pourable plastic (Smooth-On) is too rigis. In addition, the plastic really heated up and warped the styrene I was using as a master. AARRGH!
Thanks for the help, I'll post my results if (and when) I get this right.
Pat Shanahan Chicago
Reply to
Pat Shanahan
Pat Shanahan spake thus:
For molds, you really ought to try the RTV (room-temperature vulcanizing) stuff. Once it sets, it's pretty impervious to just about anything, soft & flexible yet plenty rigid enough to cast large sections. Tap Plastics has it (probably several in Chicagoland).
Reply to
David Nebenzahl

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