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Help! realistic brick in N-scale

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Help! realistic brick in N-scale
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 8:30 PM
I have assembled several DPM buildings in N-scale. I am having problems painting them to give a realistic brick appearance. I have tried painting them brick and then trying to flow gray paint (mortar) into the lines. The mortar is very faint, and the wash dulls the brick color. I have also tried painting the walls grey and then dry brushing the brick color on. To keep the color out of the mortar joints, the brush has to be very dry and it takes forever to build up the color and even then the joints look too wide. Anybody got any suggestions? Be very specific as to types of paints and consistency. Thanks (I've got nine of these buildings to do)
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 12:30 PM
Try Robert's Brick & Mortar. 4 oz washable white liquid for $11.00 including shipping.

Robert's Products
PO Box 27057
Milwaukee Wisconsin 53227
Answering machine only. 414-422-1371

It works-no mess-no guess work
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, February 22, 2003 1:29 AM
One of my other hobbies is "rock polishing". When I empty out the tumbler drum, I have a slurry that, depending on the stones, has several different shades that when used for mortar on model structures looks GREAT! Heck, maybe I should start bottling the stuff for sale. I recently did a Walthers warehouse kit using this stuff, and I couldn't believe how "real" the brickwork looks. If anyone wants to try some of this stuff, E-mail me at buford6126@aol.com
I'll send a small jar "gratis", providing you cover shipping. (probably a couple bucks). I pre-paint the brick with a suitable color flat paint
then when paint is good and dry, bru***his stuff on and let it dry. Then, I take a DRY paper towel, and gently expose the brick. At this stage you can simulate different effects, such as repairs to the brick, etc. A light spray of Dull-coat finishes it.
Todd C.
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Posted by timwatson on Saturday, March 8, 2003 9:22 PM
OK now I too am curious as to how to accompli***his. I have JUST tried the John Pryke technique that uses the alcohol/water/paint mixture. I didn't use the polly scale paint like he did I used the modelflex brand paint instead which is what my DPM model was painted with. I am skeptical of a small place that I can't even get online to checkout (like suggested in this thread).

I had varying success with the John P. technique sometime it would work and sometimes it would bleed out. Basically this is where the paint dried out of the mortar grooves giving the whoel model a whitewash look. I would like some N scalers to give up some top secret info. Either tell how to make the John P. technique work more uniformly OR give us another technique.
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, March 8, 2003 11:32 PM
Tim, the reason you you can't checkout my small place online, is it does not exist. I am not in the marketplace at all. I just thought I would offer advice, and a few samples to anyone interested in trying this method. As I write this, I have a batch of Agates and Obsidion churning away in the basement. As I said earlier, the slurry from the tumbler works great for simulating mortar lines in brick. I just thought that if a few folks tried this stuff out and were pleased with the results (as I am), that I might someday market the stuff. But, no pressure here, I'll just keep my secret to myself.
If you are still skeptical, I can suggest a similar mixture you can make at home yourself. Go to a lawn&garden center and get a box of hydrated lime. This is just basically dust from grinding limestone. Dissolve some in water and add a drop of detergent to break the surface tension. Apply to your brickwork and let dry. Take a dry paper towel and expose the "bricks". When you are satisfied with the effect, a light spray of "Dull-Coat" will fix it.
Todd C.
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  • From: US
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Posted by timwatson on Monday, March 10, 2003 1:58 PM
Homemade MORTAR paste nice idea. First off will the lime breakdown water based paints (Modelflex and or polly Scale)? Also I wasn't speaking of the slurry idea as the place I couldn't visit. I was talking about the "Mikes Mortar wash" available only by mail (sight unseen).

Your offer for free slurry was actually very cool of you. One I am actually considering if I can't get some form of paint to work. I have gotten acryllic paint and alcohol and water and detergent to work but it is taking ALOT of work to achive the "right" look and it still isn't very UNIFORM.
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Posted by timwatson on Monday, March 10, 2003 2:00 PM
Oops I meant Robert's Brick & Mortar wash not Mike's.
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, March 12, 2003 3:49 AM
Well, as far as paint goes, I use readily available (and cheap!) Automotive primer. The dark brown color is REAL close to "brick". A little shading here and there with earth toned chalks will really give a proper look. You should do this step first, and "fix" it with Dull-Coat before doing the mortar. I don't have any experience in using water based paints for this type of project, so I really can't say much on that. By the way, if you want to try out that limestone dust method, I would suggest you add some sort of yellowish/brown pigment. Pure lime will give you bright white mortar, unless you are modeling a freshly built structure, you'll want to tone it down a bit. That's what is so neat about my rock tumbler slurry. There are microscopic particles of different rocks in the mix. Actually, it IS "scale" mortar..
I'll send you a small jar of it to try on one condition. After you have tried it, I want you to reply to me if you were satisfied with the results or not. I'll enclose step by step instructions on how to use it.
If you give me a few days, I'll get a picture of a structure I did with this stuff. I can't post it on this site, but contact me on the net at buford6126@aol.com

Todd C.
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  • From: Milwaukee WI (Fox Point)
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Posted by dknelson on Wednesday, March 12, 2003 8:29 AM
Somehow I always end up sounding like the oldest model railroader geezer in America but .... back in the days when modelers tended to improvise from household products rather than buy a commercial product intended for the purpose (which is often the same product) one technique was to use white liquid shoe polish. Brush in on the brick then wipe it off with a flat sponge on the assumption that it would stay in the cracks. Some dullcoat probably would preserve the effect.
By the way -- take a look at a commericial brick building from a distance. In many instances one does NOT notice the mortar and in fact I think most model railroad bricks are not only too large but too separated. Brick houses often use a very bright mortar for the effect but factories and warehouses and depots are often different and the mortar is darker
The same with wood sided freight cars in plastic. The grooves are too deep and too wide -- a scale hand could fit between the pieces of siding. I guess what I am saying is, don't over do the effect.
Dave Nelson

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