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Mortar in stone/brick work

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Mortar in stone/brick work
Posted by banjobenne1 on Thursday, November 03, 2016 9:11 PM
Hello I am modeling in HO scale. When I am building a structure with plastic masonry walls I want to have something like mortar in between the stone/brick work (sbw). I am using a power that looks good when first applied, but when I hit it with dull or gloss coat the mortar washes out. I would use gloss coat when I need to apply decals on top of the sbw. I would use dull coat after everything (decals,weathering) is done. I need something that will stay put in the sbw. Thank you for any help you might offer.
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Posted by doctorwayne on Friday, November 04, 2016 12:53 AM

I used pre-mixed drywall mud for mortar.  It comes in various-size tubs, so I'd suggest getting a small one if you want to try it.
I usually paint the structure first to get the brick or stone colours I want, and this also kills the sheen on the plastic.  Don't install the doors and windows until the mortar work is completed.  Once the mortar is in place, you can decal right over it, and in most cases, won't need to glosscoat prior to decaling.  You will need to apply clear matte finish after decal work, though.
Application of the mortar is easy:  I simply stretch a clean rag over my finger tips, dip into the drywall compound, and rub it into the brick - don't worry about neatness, but do make sure to work it in around raised details, such as window sills and lintels - such details should have been painted appropriate colours when the brick or stone was painted.
The compounded will dry quickly, but allow it to do so before proceeding to the next step - you can, if necessary, delay the next step, too, as it won't cause any harm.
When the mortar has dried, use another clean rag to wipe off the excess on the face of the bricks or stones - this step is best done outside, as it creates a fair amount of dust.  Shake-out the rag frequently.  The brick colour will be toned-down somewhat by the residue left from the mortar removal.  If you wish to add more weathering, airbrushed paint, chalk or pastels, or water based washes all work well.  If using the latter, don't over-brush - it's better to let the wash simply wash down the wall to the bottom, where you can wick-off the accumulated excess using a paper towel.
I will add some photos tomorrow to illustrate the process, as photobucket is currently down for maintenance.

Wayne

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Posted by wjstix on Friday, November 04, 2016 5:01 PM

I kinda do the opposite of most folks. I spray the building walls a mortar color, like gray or tan, then use an art marker to color the raised bricks. The art marker is stiff enough you can pass it along the bricks and color them without the color getting between the bricks, leaving the mortar gray or tan.

Here's an example:

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/m/mrr-layouts/2289595.aspx

You can leave the...well, whatever you call the parts above and below the window openings...in the mortar color. I usually then add the windows and any detail parts and spray with flat finish, then add window glazing.

 

Stix
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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, November 04, 2016 7:32 PM

Stix:

Made your link clickable:

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/m/mrr-layouts/2289595.aspx

The mortar lines look very good. Personally I find that some techniques leave too much mortar stain on the bricks. Any decent brick layer would never have allowed any mortor on the face of a brick. I have a Walthers transfer depot that I applied gray paint to the brick surface and then tried to remove the paint on the bricks. The result was a bunch of cloudy brick. I think I'll give your technique a try to see if I can brighten up the brick.

Dave

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Posted by dknelson on Saturday, November 05, 2016 10:22 AM

banjobenne1
I am using a power [sic....presuambly "powder"] that looks good when first applied, but when I hit it with dull or gloss coat the mortar washes out.  

Remember that for powders/chalks to adhere, Dullcode needs to be sprayed on FIRST to give the plastic some "tooth" that holds the powder in place.  Then more DullCote or other fixitive.  Which yes often does wash away some powder.  It can be a multi step process.

One old method that still does render good results is the sort of white shoe polish meant for reviving "tennis shoes" - as we used to call them.  You apply it to the wall then when it is nearly or totally dry, you lightly rub away in such a way that the surface of the brick is rubbed not the indented mortar lines.

Dave Nelson

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Posted by BigDaddy on Saturday, November 05, 2016 5:45 PM

wjstix
I kinda do the opposite of most folks. I spray the building walls a mortar color, like gray or tan, then use an art marker to color the raised bricks. The art marker is stiff enough you can pass it along the bricks and color them without the color getting between the bricks, leaving the mortar gray or tan.

Stix, outstanding.  Read your post and tried it.  I had a chimney in primer gray sitting on the work bench and dry brushed it with MM Rust. 

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Saturday, November 05, 2016 8:28 PM

I also use drywall compound.  Still, I find it difficult to get good mortar lines.  I have no more plans for brick buildings, but I might try the marker technique.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by doctorwayne on Sunday, November 06, 2016 1:01 AM

The marker technique does look good. Thumbs UpThumbs Up

As promised, some photos...

This modified Revell structure was airbrushed with Floquil Reefer Orange, then given the drywall mud treatment.  That was followed by a couple of washes of well-thinned Pollyscale paint:

This modified Walthers factory was also painted Reefer Orange...

After the paint had cured, the brickwork was masked, and the remainder of the structure painted a concrete colour...

When that had cured, the drywall mud was added to the brick...

...and then, once dry, was wiped off...

This one came out a lot lighter than I wanted, but it was to get some fairly heavy weathering, so I wasn't too concerned:

However, I'm not too nuts about the way it turned out...

This one, to be situated in the same general neighbourhood, was done the same:

...and, after weathering, I like the way it turned out better:

Here's another kitbash, this time a stone building.  After the walls were assembled, I airbrushed the entire structure a suitable stone colour, then used a brush to add different shades to random stones.  After the paint had cured, I tested the mortar on the portion of the wall which would be covered by the loading dock (just in case it didn't look too good).  Here it is covered in the drywall compound:

...and, after drying, wiped clean:

...followed by some light weathering:

Satisfied with the results, the entire building was done in the same manner:

...then the loading dock built:

...followed by windows and doors, plus decals and details...

...and, of course, a roof and smokestack:

Wayne

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Posted by TBat55 on Sunday, November 06, 2016 3:57 AM
Lightweight spackle is the easiest way I've found.

Terry

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Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, November 06, 2016 5:22 AM

BigDaddy

 

 
wjstix
I kinda do the opposite of most folks. I spray the building walls a mortar color, like gray or tan, then use an art marker to color the raised bricks. The art marker is stiff enough you can pass it along the bricks and color them without the color getting between the bricks, leaving the mortar gray or tan.

 

Stix, outstanding.  Read your post and tried it.  I had a chimney in primer gray sitting on the work bench and dry brushed it with MM Rust. 

 

Henry, that looks terrific.  What do you mean by "dry brushed" it?  Did you use an art marker?

Rich

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Posted by BigDaddy on Sunday, November 06, 2016 6:45 AM

richhotrain
What do you mean by "dry brushed" it?

Dry brushing is a useful weathering technique where you get some paint on the brush, wipe most of it off on a scrape piece of paper and then paint with it.  In the case of the chimney, I had to go over some bricks 3 or 4 times to get coverage.   Too much paint and you will fill the mortar lines.

I've used dilute washes of white paint in the past.  While  it looks OK and gives a faded look to the brick, not all city brick looks faded, it looks dark and dirty. 

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

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Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, November 06, 2016 8:35 AM

BigDaddy
 
 
richhotrain
What do you mean by "dry brushed" it?

I've used dilute washes of white paint in the past.  While  it looks OK and gives a faded look to the brick, not all city brick looks faded, it looks dark and dirty. 

 

Thanks, Henry

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, November 06, 2016 8:47 AM

Henry:

The chimney looks really good!

Dave

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Posted by Paul D on Sunday, November 06, 2016 2:03 PM

I struggled for a long time trying to get mortaring done to my satisfaction. Finally succeeded with drywall mud. My paint palate is a cheap plastic ice cube tray cut down to 6 wells, and in one of them, I mix a dab the size of an M&M with 2 or 3 medicine droppers of water until it’s about as thin as milk, then, with a bare finger, dip & smear. It being thin, it settles nicely into the joints well below the surface of the brick. I can let it dry, but usually wipe it before then with a dried out baby-wipe wrapped tightly around a block eraser. Wipes work well because they’re soft, non-abrasive, and strong. Paper towels used to grind the red paint off my brickwork. In tight corners, I use cosmetic type swab things I get at a Sally’s Beauty Supply, which has a number of handy shapes & sizes, and Sally’s is everywhere.

 
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Posted by banjobenne1 on Thursday, June 28, 2018 9:28 PM

So lets say I try your method, next I want apply decals on the wall, so I must spray the surface with gloss coat, apply the decal with sovent, and lastly spray with dull coat. Seems like many opportunities for the mortar to run. 

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