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Paint my structures?

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  • Member since
    October, 2016
  • 10 posts
Paint my structures?
Posted by doublereefed on Monday, July 24, 2017 12:23 AM

I have built a shelf layout that I have been operating for a year or so. I cut down many Walthers structure kits to create my industries. For instance, I cut down a grain elevator so it is only one set of cylinders wide. Another transload facility had the back end cut at an angle to fit. I cut down a car float kit. I cut a factory structure at an angle to fit, and also cut down a flat-ish backdrop building. My coaling tower has been cut down. 

I'm stuck though. I don't really want to paint these things... and the buildings have only been assembled up to the point where they need to start being painted to finish the assembly. I would also like to have them all match in terms of artistic applicaiton of weathering, etc.  

Is there anybody out there that would paint and finish the assembly for me? If so, I would want to see some photos of your work, and maybe a few references, and of course what you would charge.

This probably makes the the worst of the worst in terms of checkbook modeling, and having a Walthersville layout, but cest la vie! I like operating my track plan, I'm very interested in landscaping the layout. I have big plans for my backdrop.  I just am completely dead in the water (brain freeze) on painting these bulidings and it's holding up all the rest of my progress.

Embarrassing photo of my barren layout attached. However! It operates like a champ! 

HO Switching Layout

Thoughts?

Thanks,

-Richard

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • From: California
  • 3,992 posts
Posted by DSchmitt on Monday, July 24, 2017 8:14 AM

It is really not hard to paint strucures. I suggest you do it yourself.  You could probablry get acceptable (or better) results using rattle cans for most of the painting and it wouls be quick and easy. Try it, you might find you like it. 

I tried to sell my two cents worth, but no one would give me a plug nickel for it.

I don't have a leg to stand on.

  • Member since
    December, 2015
  • 2,238 posts
Posted by BigDaddy on Monday, July 24, 2017 10:09 AM

doublereefed
the buildings have only been assembled up to the point where they need to start being painted to finish the assembly

That could mean different things to different people.  I can't speak for the professional model builder, but I suspect it may not be worth their time in terms of what you would be willing to pay.

I prefer rattle cans because it's quick and easy (remember the paint comes out fast and thick) but I also airbrush if the color is one that I don't have in a can. 

If you want different colored window frames and they are already assembled, then you have to spend a lot of time taping.  Tamiya makes the best tape, because it doesn't pull the underlying paint off easily and has a more watertight edge.  That sort of work lends itself more to an airbrush. 

I find airbrushing rewarding.  I'm also painting a wall, not a skull on someone's $30,000 Harley Davidson so weathering covers any screwups and my hands are much steadier than David Popp's.  It's a stress free part of the hobby.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

  • Member since
    December, 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 17,381 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Monday, July 24, 2017 10:24 AM

I, too, am a rattle can guy and I've discovered over the years that I really enjoy painting and detailing structure models.  (No, I do not do them for others, just myself.)  Scenery-building brings out my artistic side that I never knew I had.

You can do this.  Pick up a few cans of Rustoleum primer from the hardware store and get a big cardboard box to use as a paint booth.  I do mine outdoors, or in the garage with the doors open in bad weather.  For touch-ups like window frames and doors, get a few containers of craft paint from a craft store and a couple of small brushes.

These are done with a rattle can and craft paint, nothing fancy:

There are some roof details and fire escapes from Walthers, but there's nothing difficult here.  If you can build a layout that operates well, as you say, it's nothing you can't do.

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

  • Member since
    January, 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
  • 7,643 posts
Posted by doctorwayne on Monday, July 24, 2017 11:37 AM

MisterBeasley
...These are done with a rattle can and craft paint, nothing fancy:...

Nice looking work, MisterB.  Thumbs UpThumbs Up

I agree with what's been said, even though I prefer to work with an airbrush.  You may be pleasantly surprised if you give the painting job a try, and it's a good first step towards weathering things, too.

Wayne

  • Member since
    November, 2013
  • 60 posts
Posted by Drumguy on Monday, July 24, 2017 8:30 PM

Painting structures isn't like painting model cars or airplanes: it's very forgiving. In fact, some "slop" factor can actually improve the results. You can do a fairly rough and simplified paint job and it will look pretty good from a foot away. If you want it to look spectacular in an up-close photo, that's an entirely different ballgame, and maybe time to call--and pay--the pros. Structure kits may not be dirt cheap, but for the most part the time investment to build on is not that high. Find something on sale, build it, browse these forums or publications for techniques, and throw some paint at the thing. It's really a lot of fun.

  • Member since
    December, 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 17,381 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Monday, July 24, 2017 9:15 PM

Yes.  I see a structure kit as the beginning, a raw template for a model.  By choosing the colors and detailing, I make it a truly unique building for my layout, one like no other anywhere in the world.  I typically expect to spend a month on a structure from the time I open the box until it's ready for my layout.  Four walls and a roof ends up with illumination, a rudimentary interior and things outside to make it look like a place where people actually live or work.

No, it's not fast and easy, but I love doing this.

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

  • Member since
    October, 2016
  • 10 posts
Posted by doublereefed on Thursday, July 27, 2017 2:26 PM
OK! I'm properly motivated now. Thanks for all the great comments. I think I'll start out with the rattle can approach... but as long as I'm painting I may as well learn how to use the airbrush tools. Best, -Richard
  • Member since
    December, 2008
  • From: In the heart of Georgia
  • 2,287 posts
Posted by Doughless on Thursday, July 27, 2017 2:42 PM

For structures, rattle cans work fine.  Various brands of flat white, light gray, or light tan provide a good color for the body and some variation.  Generally, lighter colors look better for buildings than darker colors. Details can be any color.

For brick buildings, rattle can red primer, which is actually more of a brownish brick-red, is a popular choice.

- Douglas

  • Member since
    January, 2014
  • 423 posts
Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Thursday, July 27, 2017 2:42 PM

There are many 'Built-and-Ready' structures available. Assembled and painted. Just take them out of the plastic box and plop them on the layout. Not to everyone's taste, but a viable option.

There are also many kits that are molded in three or four colors coming to the marketplace. Walls one color, window trim another, eaves a third, and roof a fourth. Minimal painting required. Personally, I plan to try out a few of these.

Painting is not my strong suit, either. Hang in there.

Robert

LINK to SNSR Blog

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