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Making Something New Look Old...

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  • Member since
    November 2002
  • From: Findlay, Ohio
  • 438 posts
Making Something New Look Old...
Posted by danmerkel on Wednesday, August 2, 2023 9:12 PM

I recently purchased a couple of the Walthers Merchants Row kits. They look like simple to assemble kits that should make nice-looking buildings but I want them to look old and dilapadated. I want to depict an old, run down section of town with some of the businesses that would eventually settle there. You know, bars, liquor stores, etc.

I'll likely have some boarded up windows, some lousy looking paint and some faded signs. Does anyone else have any suggestions to make something new look old?

Thanks!

dlm

  • Member since
    June 2008
  • 108 posts
Posted by PennsyLou on Wednesday, August 2, 2023 9:41 PM

For brick buildings, I like to first give the brick a wash with india ink in alcohol solution (2 teaspoonfuls in 1 pint 70% isopropyl), then apply morter like Robert's Brick Morter (not sure if this stuff is still available - when it dries you just wipe away the excess, you can leave more or less to give a chalky surface to represent older brick).  After painting the other details (window frames etc.) give another wash overall of the alcohol stain.  Cut out old signs - sand the paper as thin as you can then apply to the brick with white glue.  You can lightly sand the surface, apply some alcohol stain etc. to make the sign look really faded.  As a final touch I like to do a light drybrush with some antique white to bring out highlights like window frames.

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 21,331 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Thursday, August 3, 2023 2:22 PM

I like these kits.  In particular, I like the deep grooving between the bricks, which makes it easier to get a good mortar effect between them.

For an older look, select a couple of dull primer colors like rust brown or rust red.  On these kits, the shops look like they are in different buildings joined together, so I do a lot of paint-mask-paint to get that separation.  Some Dul-Coat or other flat spray helps, too.

I like making and using decals.  I just have an inkjet printer.  It's simple to download an image and print it on inkjet decal paper, then let it dry and seal it so the ink doesn't run.  I also seal decals after they're set.

Some kits come with big windows.  I find these are great for rudimentary interior details.  Again, I use my printer for wall panels and floors, and put walls in to separate the shops and upstairs rooms, as some won't be illuminated.

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

  • Member since
    February 2008
  • 2,314 posts
Posted by kasskaboose on Thursday, August 3, 2023 3:00 PM

GO with DullCote.  The clear spray will remove the shiny plastic look.  Afterward, do some weathering. You might consider looking at realistic images of buildings to see how to replicate reality.  Mixing different techniques also is a great weathering techniques.

  • Member since
    February 2004
  • From: Central Ohio
  • 567 posts
Posted by basementdweller on Thursday, August 3, 2023 9:17 PM

You can add some details such as a gutter hanging off, lots of wires and various disconnected electric meters etc. 

Also add barrels and general junk in the rear or side if that can be seen. 
For painting, in addition to weathering you can have some old colors showing through the paint. 

  • Member since
    May 2019
  • 1,314 posts
Posted by BEAUSABRE on Thursday, August 3, 2023 10:56 PM

It's easy. Given my modeling skills, ALL my buildings come out looking old and decrepit

  • Member since
    September 2014
  • From: 10,430’ (3,179 m)
  • 2,277 posts
Posted by jjdamnit on Sunday, August 6, 2023 2:43 PM

Hello All,

MisterBeasley
For an older look, select a couple of dull primer colors like rust brown or rust red.

I kitbashed two (2) Walther's "Northern Light and Power Powerhouse" kits into one large building.

Despite being the same kits the colors of the batches of plastic used for the brick walls didn't match.

I used "rattle can" red primer for a uniform color to the wall panels.

The primer also has a matt finish so no DullCote necessary.

basementdweller
...in addition to weathering you can have some old colors showing through the paint.

One modeler was advised to paint all his structures flat black and then paint them his color(s) of choice.

The reasoning for this was even if the color(s) didn't cover opaquely the flat black background would not be a distraction.

Another suggestion was to use salt between the base coat and the final coat. (This technique is also used in horizontal concrete to impress a pattern in the finished concrete.)

Salt is sprinkled over the base coat in an uneven fashion- -even in clumps. For HO table salt works well for this effect.

A finish coat/color is then applied and allowed to dry.

Then the salt is brushed off to reveal the base coat underneath in an uneven manner- -like peeling paint/rust spots. 

Ink washes and weathering powders then can be applied for further effect.

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 21,331 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Sunday, August 6, 2023 4:30 PM

Thanks for the salt tip.  I've done something similar with rubber cement brushed on either real clapboard walls or the plastic ones.  It can result in an excellent peeling paint surface.

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

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