Hi all, I've been doing some slicing on the night shifts and come up with a good model of one of the stations on our line. Now I wouldn't say it was perfectly to scale as it was made from the card that comes as the backing to many a lined note pad that we have at work, but it was sound for the job.
Now the model is almost complete, I wish to paint it. As this is something new to me I want to get it right first time. I have done some tests on spare bits using water colours, and surprise, all warped. I even tried coating it in Halfords white primer, which stayed ok, till the colours were added, and again, it curled.
Any suggestions on to how to paint the building without it warping and looking like a cast off from Chesterfield's crooked spire workshops ! ?? I would still prefer to prime it first if this is still a good idea ?
Shellac is the shells of some insect dissolved in alcohol. Really! It's water proof, so you can paint with acrylic or latex water-based paints. Shellac is used in woodworking to seal knots and such, and in a complicated technique to get a high shine (made more or less obsolete by urethane paints), which I watched my grandfather use many decades ago. In the Olden Days, Before Plastic, when people did a lot of card modelling with Bristol board and similar brands, shellacking the card before or after assembly was a routine step.
If you search on "card modelling modeling" (it's best to use to both spellings), you'll find a couple of sites that will answer all your questions and more. There's a thriving world-wide card-modelling fraternity, with a surprising number of free models available for download, as well as ones for purchase. Some of the latter are extremely elaborate, to put it mildly. :-)
All automotive primers are solvent based paints, with additives to make them "grab" the metal, and usually with mineral pigments to provide an even cover. They vary in colour because the finish coats are translucent, so that light reflected off the primer coat underneath them will affect the way the colour looks. Being solvent based, they are water proof. You can paint over them with acrylic paints.
BTW, I don't use "model paints" for buildings. Too expensive. The acrylic "craft paints" are cheaper, and their matte versions are very matte indeed, just what you want on a building.
As a general rule, avoid solvent paints as much as possible. That includes Humbrol enamels. Solvents are organic compunds that do nasty things to your liver, lungs, kidneys, and brain. The damage they do is cumulative. You really need them only for painting metal.
As a woodworker, I can tell you that "waterproof" is not quite right. Shellac is quite resistant to water vapor exchange, in fact it's one of the best finishes for this purpose, but it's pretty poor at repelling liquid water.
The older the shellac, and the higher the wax content, the less water repellent it is.
I don't know if it's available in the UK, but in the US there is a "SealCoat" brand put out by Zinsser that is a one pound cut of dewaxed blond shellac. Without mixing the stuff yourself, that's about as good as you could want.
It's available here in quart and gallon cans and as a spray can. The spray can would be the best for coating card without warping it. It dries almost instantly.
I've been making a few attempts at card buildings that I've put together on the computer and printed - I can't say I'm 100% happy with the detail I'm getting with my printer, but it is just about acceptable, but I'm getting a warping problem by using PVA to double up the card. I'm printing onto 160gsm card as that's about the limit my printer will feed.
Has anyone got any suggestions for an alternative glue that would not be so 'wet', or should I try gluing onto plasticcard?
What about printing on paper and sticking that to a thicker card? Possibly using something like spray mount? (I've used picture mounting board which cuts quite nicely, with a sharp blade). What's the benefits of actually using what you print, can't you just use your drawing to mark out on thicker card?
What I've been trying to do is create my building on the computer, so that what I print out resembles a Metcalf / Super Quick kit sheet, however my printer can't handle card heavier than 160gsm - so I've been doing an inner & outer and gluing them together to get both the stiffness and double sided detail. It works quite well with a little planning, and it's easy enough to print out trials in grayscale on a laser printer to experiment with and prove the dimensions. The only problem I've had is that the moisture of PVA causes the double card to warp sometimes, especially on larger parts. Spray mount is a good idea, as even the thinnest application of PVA is far more than is needed! Thanks, I'll give that a try on the next one I attempt.
I've recently used latex contact cement on paper and card. At first the paper or card curls, but as the cement dries, it flattens out nicely. It's just a little tricky to line up the parts correctly. Um, did I say a little tricky? Revise that: you need patience and good eye-hand co-ordination. It also helps to have at least one straight edge, so you can offer up one part to the other along that edge, and v-e-e-ry carefully lower it into position.
Certainly PVA (white glue) is not the answer for card modelling, as it causes warpage. I've started to use Uhu which seems to work o.k. (no warpage) but probably costs more than other adhesives. And you do have to line up things quickly, but perhaps not as quickly as with contact adhesive. Regards, Bill.
I have used a laser to print up a shaded image of the building side which I then used water colour paint to tint. This wrinkles the paper but if you put your sheet between two sheets of brown paper and iron it you get a flat sheet again. I built the building carcass from mounting card, about 1.5mm thick - Lovely stuff to work with. I used Uhu to attach the printed and tinted sheets to the body, this worked but the pong was a bit strong. My first attempts failed because I had not made the building exactly right, lather I make the printed sheets larger than planned to allow for errors. For brick I used burnt sienna and burnt something else. Cut stone comes out well, although you need to know the colour of the stone in the area being modelled.
get spray adhesive - we designers use it all the time for mounting presentations .... available from art/craft suppliers - it will fix the problem I believe - also weights on top of glued stuff helps a lot
Finally, the type of source material/printer/paper are all critical factors when doing stuff like this - I get photographic results 100% of the time using a Canon inkjet and High resolution paper. I have two printers .... one I use for just about everything and an older one I use only for thick stock - It has a "hand pass through" that can take .5 mm stock. The Canon BJC 8200 was state of the art in its day and much sought after because of its paper handling capabilities - the later one, a Canon i965 does the print-to-CD thing and uses the same ink as the other so it was a great buy. It is much sought after by those who make their own DVD/CD for obvious reasons. Both are 6 colour printers of exceptional quality and compatible ink cartridges are available VERY cheaply - I pay AU$7 per against AU$30 per for Canon product, which is EXACTLY the same......
In the UK I imagine either of these models would be available second-hand. You just have to make sure the print head isn't damaged. Paperwise, I don't know how to recommend except to say I use inktek products with great results.
Hope this is at least a little helpful
BTW - Canon has just released yet another new printer range - beware, they run "chipped" ink cartridges that prevent refilling - I will NEVER buy one!
As you've possibly grasped by now, soft pulpboard such as you've used is obliging stuff but doesn't have robust self-stiffness of the kind expected from mount board (picture framer's offcuts) or the like.
Many buildings deteriorate because card is vulnerable to moisture effects, whether paint-induced or atmospheric. Accordingly any building bigger than a p-way hut ought really to factor in stiffeners of balsa, modelling ramin, foamboard (and even that's a bit iffy), thin ply or MDF. Card is terrific for built-up stonework or scribing on brickwork, but is limited. It ought to be the visible layer of a composite. I suggest gluing stiffeners inside your buildings, both to walls and as partitions/braces, then trying again. Priming is not perhaps that necessary - a primer is adding quite a lot of moisture plus it seals the surface so moisture thereafter goes in on the uncoated side so still makes it warp. Watercolour to bring up brickwork is OK as long as you have an expectation that any grey that shows through is legitimate, as mortar or grime.
If i were making station buildings I'd get MDF offcuts, get the fretsaw out, glue securely with PVA including wood fillets in all corners and coat the carcase with softer materials thereafter as required. If making something with lots of windows (eg: warehouse) consider using perspex as your base layer.
I've been lurking here whilst the discussions on card modelling were ongoing. I'm interested in trying out this hobby. Can anyone tell me where I can down-load patterns that would enable me to try out a few models. I'm interested in buildings for a double O set-up. Many thanks.
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