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 New York Mill - Modeled in Balsa Foam

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
hon3_rr Posted - 01/03/2015 : 4:17:16 PM
This is a HO scale scratch build of the New York Mill located in Blackhawk, Colorado. The model will be built using plans from Michael Blazek. ( http://blazeksplan.com ) This build will focus on the use of balsa foam as a building material in HO scale.

For those interested, a few pictures (which one can zoom in for better views) and site plan of the mill can be viewed here:
http://gilpintram.com/newyorkmill.html
15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
hon3_rr Posted - 12/14/2019 : 5:13:05 PM
As always, thanks to all who took the time to comment, as well as to those who just dropped by to see what this week's novel has to say.

Chimney Runoff Stains: (Continued)

Prior to starting this description, let me please note that this is how I created the effect and the products/techniques employed. This is by no means the only process or products which may be utilized. My main goal in this description is to describe in detail the use of various techniques to emulate weathering, and to demonstrate techniques which will take advantage of the properties of layering color, translucent colors and the wicking properties of paper in the chimney water-runoff path.

To add a bit more physical weathering and increase the wicking property of paper in the water runoff path, I first roughed up the lower edges of the roofing paper, and in the process, provided a lighter tone of the paper surface in the water runoff path.

1) Using an extra-fine emery board and #240 grit sandpaper, lightly sand the lower edges of the rolled roofing using only upwards (towards the roof-peak) strokes to create a fine tearing and lifting of the roofing paper edges.
2) Using a standard emery board, which has been cut to match the width of the chimney base, lightly sand the water runoff path below the chimney. Sand the entire length of the runoff path from the chimney base to the bottom edge of the roof.





The water runoff path below the chimney. The light sanding representing physical wear will also assist in later applications of solvent to better wick the coloring pigments through the paper in addition to providing a lighter background shade of roofing material in the runoff path.

3) Using a 6" steel ruler, hold the ruler on edge against the chimney side, with most of the ruler blade extending down the roof. Draw a very light pencil line the length of the desired dark opaque soot line. Draw the pencil line on the inside (toward the chimney's center) of the ruler. Remember that these lines do not extend the entire length of the chimney unless the chimney is close to the bottom edge of the roof.
4) Follow the above steps to create a second line parallel to the width of the chimney, using the opposite side of the chimney to hold the ruler against. When marking the second line remember that the two dark soot lines will not be of equal length, so make your marks accordingly. I was unable to capture any picture of these marks due to my pencil marks are too light.

In the following steps, make sure to unload the paint brush prior to application by lightly touching the brush tip to a paper towel or rag.

5) Create a very thin dark soot line following the pencil marks. These lines are drawn from the chimney base down. To create this line, I used a 50:50 mix of Vallejo Dark Rubber and water. A #2 synthetic fan brush, held vertical so as to follow the thin pencil line, was used with light stippling strokes to place small dots of paint along the pencil line.
6) While the above paint is still wet, a 20/0 liner brush was used to create the dark soot lines. The brush was lightly loaded with the Dark Rubber paint mix and then drawn over the top of the dots, creating a line which is lightly uneven along it's edges. Remember to try to keep this line as thin as possible. Allow these lines to air dry for a few minutes. (approx. 5 minutes)
7) A 1/4-inch wide synthetic shader was then used to create the dark soot 'tongue' just below the chimney base. The brush was dipped into clear ETOH to fully load the brush, then lightly unloaded on a paper towel. The brush was then lightly loaded with the dark rubber mix. After again lightly unloading the brush, the dark soot coloring was applied using stippling strokes. Keep the paint fluid between the center of the dark soot lines. This dark soot colored area should be about 1/4 of the height of the chimney.
8) Using the well cleaned 1/4 inch shader and only clear ETOH, lightly unload the brush of excess ETOH. Use a stippling motion to apply the ETOH to the parallel dark soot lines. The ETOH will cause the soot paint to flair/soak into the roofing paper. Two or three brush loads of ETOH may be needed to completely cover the dark soot lines.
9) Wile the roof runoff is still damp, follow the same basic process again with a Light Rubber wash, starting with the fan brush, then liner brush, followed by the shader and ending with a small amount of ETOH applied to blend the colors. The wash was a 1:10 mix, Vallejo Light Rubber to water.
10) With the roof still damp, apply two thin lines of the Dark Rubber mix, following where the thin pencil dark soot lines were. Use the liner brush to create freehand straight lines.
11) Dip a soft bristle round #6 brush into clear ETOH and then into the Light Rubber wash. Lightly unload the brush and then apply then wash along the edge/eave bracing of the roof edge. (NOTE: This step may not be required/apply if the chimney is not close to the edge of the roof.) Use a rolling of the bristles/brush, applying the paint wash from the bottom to the top. This will create a lightly faded roof edge simulating where large volumes of runoff may have followed the roof edge. This technique may also be used if one wants to show where the roof fascia edge is located under the roofing material.
12) With the roof still damp from the prior steps, use the liner brush to apply a thin line of Payne's Grey watercolor. This is laid down directly over/on top of the dark grey soot line. Note that the colors will fade/blend as the paper roofing material dries. Note that you want to use the overall technique described in the above steps without allowing the roof to fully dry. Due to the use of acrylics, it is required that the acrylics remain wet. Once the acrylics dry, the paint is 'set' and additional blending of added paint layers becomes difficult.
13) Using a similar layering of color process, apply light lines of dark soot and wide runoff paths down walls and/or lower roofs which are directly below the chimneys runoff path. Follow these paths with a flooding of water and/or ETOH to dilute/fade the applied coloring. If a metal roof is below the chimney runoff path, make sure to use the liner brush to apply a fairly strong line of dark soot in the metal seams between roofing sections. A rolling motion of the brush against the underside of the metal seams may help provide a very very thin soot line. Flood with clear ETOH as needed to achieve the desired effect.
14) If needed, use a thin wash of Stone Grey watercolor (1:40 PH Martins to water). This wash is applied using a soft bristle #6 watercolor brush to apply the wash to the vertical wall surfaces. This will further lighten and fade any earlier applied coloring. The wash is applied with the wall held vertical, allowing the wash to run from the top of the wall to the wall base. Use a rag or paper towel to encourage excess wash to clear the wall surface. A light flooding of the area may be used to reduce the fading.

Notice that a translucent colored wash is used in this coloring/weathering process in the final steps. A translucent wash is one of the easiest ways to blend colors in my experience.





quartergauger48 Posted - 12/10/2019 : 3:50:03 PM
Hi ya Kris', so nice to see you at the bench again... Goes without saying' excellent work and explanation of how the excellent work is accomplished'... Best wishes to you and yours for the holiday season'... [;-xmas]
hon3_rr Posted - 12/08/2019 : 2:30:52 PM
Chimney Runoff Stains:

Most modelers would apply a thin black wash at the foot of the chimney and then pull the wash down the roof to represent the roof staining from the water runoff. This is a more than acceptable technique to represent the runoff stain, but I often wonder if there is a better technique which would make the stain appear more realistic to the viewers eye. Let's not forget, the roof is usually the first part of a structure viewers notice.

When one considers the real life runoff stain, you will note that the stain is composed of a dense base opaque material (soot) and a lighter, more translucent stain produced by the lime-water and lighter soot/grime material. This second compound has a much greater translucent quality than main dark soot runoff.

Now consider our coloring mediums used to replicate the runoff. Paint is usually opaque. We usually thin the paint into a wash, thus placing more distance between the paint pigment particles. Also, the general grind of the paint pigment comes into play. Different qualities of paint will often have different sized pigment grinds, with the 'craft' paints having a larger pigment particle grind than then higher quality model paints, which have a finer pigment grind. In addition, the quality of the pigments and binders also come into play. The end result is higher quality paints, like Vallejo Model Colors, have better coverage due to the number and quality of paint pigment particles in a given area. This results in a thinner layer of paint film to produce an opaque covering.

Most ink and watercolor hues have a property of being translucent when compared to paints. The issue here is that the pigment has been diffused into the solvent, and the volume of solvent makes the medium harder to control during application.

Suffice it to say, I could go into additional detail, but I'm sure you understand the essence of my ramblings.

I believe that a larger percentage of readers feel that this discussion is unnecessary, and in fact, is way overboard, to the extreme. And I totally agree... except for the contest modeler and layout modeler who has just a few highly detailed/weathered forefront models to assist in providing the illusion of highly detailed models throughout the entire layout.

Please remember this is a 'Sandbox' build, thus experimenting with ideas, materials and techniques is one of the primary goals of this build.

In reviewing pictures of soot runoff stains, I noticed a pattern of the taller, thinner or the stovepipe style of chimney has a V-shaped runoff stain. Wider based chimneys tend to exhibit an H-shaped runoff pattern. The V-shaped stain has a wider, downward tapering center dark soot stain pattern. Wider chimneys have two very thin, long dark soot stains flanked by the more the translucent-gray staining. There is also an area just below the base of the chimney which has the light grime soot staining.

I need to create dark soot stain lines parallel to the width of the chimney foot. These soot lines are also over a wider, more translucent soot stain, inside and outside of the dark soot runoff path. In addition, there also needs to be a translucent grim stain, in the shape of a tongue, about a third of the height of chimney, under the chimney base.

I'm currently working on a technique which may produce the desired effect...
Michael Hohn Posted - 12/08/2019 : 10:17:32 AM
Yes, very useful instructions and the results are very realistic.
TRAINS1941 Posted - 12/08/2019 : 09:02:56 AM
Kris you nailed this.

What a great way to seal a chimney down and have the tar seal look so realistic.
A reference for sure on how to do it.

Excellent work as usual.
hon3_rr Posted - 12/08/2019 : 03:22:19 AM
Mounting and Final Weathering of the Chimneys

Materials:
A) 2-part 5-minute epoxy
B) Vallejo Model Color Dark Grey #70-994 or Black Grey #70-862
C) Dust (finely powered clay soil, light tan hue) http://www.rustall.com/main.html
D) Acid Brush 1/2 inch wide https://www.micromark.com/48-Disposable-Brushes?gclid=CjwKCAiAuK3vBRBOEiwA1IMhuggzi30JmZB5i5vjItwhIpBEYCVQRGui0ywGcMGilyuoXiUlQ3RWnhoCXP8QAvD_BwE
E) Liquid Leading (optional) https://plaidonline.com/products/gallery-glass-liquid-leading-black-2-oz
F) Extra-Fine Emory Board (Emory board for baby fingernails.)
G) Standard Emory Board
H) #240 grit Sandpaper
I) Vallejo Panzer Aces Dark Rubber #306 https://www.michtoy.com/michtoy_search_product.php?Vendor_ID=Vallejo&Series=Vallejo%20Panzer%20Aces%20Paint&view_mode=thumbnails
J) Vallejo Panzer Aces Light Rubber #305https://www.michtoy.com/michtoy_search_product.php?Vendor_ID=Vallejo&Series=Vallejo%20Panzer%20Aces%20Paint&view_mode=thumbnails
K) Dr. PH Martins Synchromatic Transparent Watercolor Payne's Grey #19 (NOTE: This is not a lightfast artist material. Substitute a professional tube watercolor product, like Windsor Newton, and use diluted pigment for a lightfast medium.) https://www.docmartins.com/collections/synchromatic-transparent-bottles
L) Dr. PH Martins Synchromatic Transparent Watercolor Stone Grey #31. (Reference above note for Dr. PH Martins Synchromatic Transparent Watercolors.)
M) Fan Brush #2 Synthetic (I use a Silverwhite) https://www.thebrushguys.com/cgi-bin/sc-v4/proddisp.pl?client=firesaleguys&catid=2&PRID=1625
N) 1/4 inch Shader Brush - Soft bristle (I use Pro Art Shader #8.) https://www.amazon.com/PRO-ART-Piece-Brush-Shader/dp/B0027AAJLQ/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=pro-art+shader+brush&qid=1576353071&s=arts-crafts&sr=1-2
O) Round #6 Synthetic Brush (I used an Artist Loft #6) https://www.michaels.com/white-synthetic-brushes-fundamentals-by-artists-loft/10122057.html
P) Liner Brush 20/0 https://www.jerrysartarama.com/micro-mini-brushes?gclid=Cj0KCQiArdLvBRCrARIsAGhB_szzvMVXwRn6V4hnKf8JUovl-sQ1H0tqegQNOr8mv6GAwQhd9W6a97caAhwCEALw_wcB

Mounting the Chimneys:

The mounting of the chimneys to the main roof followed basic steps of gluing the castings into place.
1) Test fit, again, the castings to the roof angle to insure the roof angle and the base of the castings match with the castings 90 degree vertical on all sides.
2) Lightly mark the castings footprint locations on the roof.
3) Mix-up a small amount of 5-minute epoxy, adding one or two drops of the dark grey Vallejo paint to the mix. (Start with just one drop of paint and add the second only if necessary.) Add the paint prior to mixing the epoxy. Epoxy is used in this application due to the weight of the metal castings and the reflective property of the epoxy when dried. The thick mixture also contributes to the ability to form a tar seam around the base of the casting(s).
4) Add a small amount of mixed epoxy to the base of the chimney. Lightly touch and rotate the chimney on a scrap piece of wood or heavy paper, fully spreading the epoxy across the underside of the casting base. Also remove any large excess of epoxy prior to placement on the roof.
5) Place the casting on the roof with a light rocking motion to press excess epoxy from under the casting, forming a tar seal around the base of the casting. If needed, tease the epoxy to form a uniform sized bead tar seal around the entire casting foot.
6) With the epoxy tar seal still tacky, but partially cured, lightly apply a light dusting of 'Dust' to the tar seal using a stippling motion. Use a cheap disposable brush (acid brush) for the dusting application. NOTE: If needed, apply Liquid Leading to form the tar seal and then apply the Dust prior to the Liquid Leading drying. Blow the excess dust from the chimney and allow the tar seal to fully dry.
7) When the epoxy has fully dried, lightly brush the tar seam and roof to remove any excess Dust using a soft brush. (I used a soft drafting brush.) Make sure to use a soft brush and only strokes from roof peak down. Note that weathering powders and/or soft pastels are not used to weather the tar seal. This is due to the difficulty in fully removing excess powder from the roof.

Mounted chimneys on the mill's roof.





Pennman Posted - 12/04/2019 : 10:50:46 PM
Hi Kris,

Reading through your continued tutorial has sparked my interest in this great thread again. It's nice to have you posting again.
You always provide informative material.
On another subject, I haven't forgotten your questions to me and I will address those soon.
Glad to see you here.

Rich
railman28 Posted - 12/04/2019 : 5:02:24 PM
Thanks for the information. The Chimneys look good. Nice to see this tread continue. Since you lost some window glazing perhaps you can model some broken planes?

Bob
Bernd Posted - 12/04/2019 : 08:13:42 AM
Kris,

Surfed through a few earlier pages to look at your wall making techniques. Quite well described. Going to have to try your method sometime in the future.

Those chimneys look great. Nice SBS on them. Going to have to go back over this build thread to see what more I can learn.

Bernd
TRAINS1941 Posted - 12/04/2019 : 12:03:29 AM
Wonderful to see you back at the bench and working on this favorite again.

Now on to the chimneys love the color and weathering you achieved.

Thanks for a great tutorial on how to do this.

For me your rurorials are so precise and so well written.

I'm sure there are many modelers learning a lot of new skills from your work. Thanks.

Ensign Posted - 12/03/2019 : 9:19:03 PM
Kris, nice to see this thread back up, and you working on it once again!
Also nice to read that many modellers have witnessed the durability of "Balsa Foam" from you intentionally dropping it from waist height.
You must have had some surprised looks from your audience watching your demonstration.
Your latest demonstration regarding painting chimneys, has given you outstanding results!

Greg Shinnie
hon3_rr Posted - 12/03/2019 : 8:07:57 PM
I first want to acknowledge that there has been a protracted period which I have not formally worked on this project, but I have placed this build back on my desk, so let's get this structure/diorama completed. I will note however, that this structure, even though not complete, has been to multiple railroad shows, clinics and some NMRA Division meetings where the structure has been passed around and handled extensively. In addition, the structure has been intentionally dropped repeatedly from waist level to show the durability of Balsa Foam. The only real damage the structure has experienced is a couple of glass window sheets have fallen out of the clerestory windows. I have not been able to effect repairs due to how I attached and weathered the clerestory.

Chimney Castings

The Blazek plans http://blazeksplan.com show two (2) brick chimneys mounted in the mill's main roof. The following is how the chimney castings were colored and mounted to the mill's main roof.

Prepare and color the castings:
Materials:
A) Model Masterpieces Ltd. D&RG Durango Chimney #308 (2 castings)
B) Drill handle and 1/16th inch bit
C) Toothpicks
D) Flat file for metal
E) Rust-Oleum Automotive Primer - Gray
F) Vallejo Model Color Burnt Cad #70814
G) Vallejo Model Color Flat Brown #70984
H) Vallejo Model Color Black-Red #70859
I) Light A-I wash (1 tsp non-waterproof black ink per pint Isopropyl Alcohol 91% (ETOH))
J) Tensocrom Lifecolor Smoke #208
K) CC Crow Pre-Mixed Brick Mortar Mix http://www.builders-in-scale.com/bis/parts-weather.html (or) Acrylic Gesso and a dark black toned pastel powder.
L) Soft pastel stick Schemike Neutral Gray #098075
M) 220 grit sandpaper
N) Acrylic Airbrush Liquid Medium (optional)
O) Rust-All product clear matte medium.

The Model Masterpieces Durango brick chimney #308 is a soft metal casting. These castings are a close match for the chimneys shown on the plans. The castings provide the roof with a larger short chimney and provide a 'heavy' appearance.

1) Clean the castings of flash using a #11 knife and dental probe/scraper. Make sure to smooth and/or re-carve the casting seam as needed.
2) Drill a 1/16th inch hole in the bottom of the casting. This hole will have a toothpick press-fitted which will provide a handle for holding the casting during painting.
3) Fit the chimneys to the mill roof, filing the bottom of the casting to fit the mill roof's slope. Make sure the chimneys are vertical on all four sides.
4) Lightly scrub the chimney castings with soap and a toothbrush to remove any excess metal filings and grease. Soak the chimney castings in ETOH overnight to complete the removal of all grease. I actually soaked my castings for a full week.
5) After inserting the toothpick handles, prime the castings with Rust-Olum Auto Primer (grey) from a rattle can. Allow the primed castings to dry for a full day.
6) Paint all brick surfaces with Vallejo Burnt Cad. using a semi-dry brush technique. Hold the casting at a pronounced angle to the brush, and using lightly pressured strokes, apply paint to all the brick surfaces. When properly done, only the brick faces will be painted leaving the gray primer showing in the mortar lines. Using a #2 flat brush with short synthetic hair will make the process of painting just the brick faces easier to accomplish.


Chimneys showing the semi-dry brushed brick faces colored red and the gray primer mortar lines.

7) Using a #1 sable round or liner, recolor individual bricks at random. This additional recoloring of some of the individual brick faces with the same red color will color the bricks so the bricks will appear slightly different in hue when dry. I colored approximately 15% of the bricks individually in this step.
8) I then picked out a few bricks on each chimney side to color with Vallejo Flat Brown.
9) Color a few more individual bricks on each chimney side with Vallejo Black-Red.
10) Finally, pick out a couple of bricks on each chimney face to color with Vallejo Model Color Cork Brown. Allow your castings to cure dry, at least couple of days is recommended. Note that the castings need to 'cure' dry, not just 'touch' dry, otherwise you will have various paints smeared and exposed primer in the next step(s). Do not be concerned that your brick castings look like a sick leopard at this point. Some of the strong color differences will diminish in the drying process and the remaining strong color differences will be blended/resolved in the next steps.


Castings after individual bricks have been painted with the various colors. Note the majority of bricks are only colored in the previous step. Note also that only the face of the individually colored bricks are painted, keeping the paint out of the mortar lines.

11) Submerge the castings into a mixed light A-I wash. Give a light stir and remove the casting. Lightly tap the casting on a paper towel to remove excess stain. Set aside to dry.
12) Add a 'primer' coat of soot to the inside of the chimney castings. I used Tensocrom Lifecolor Smoke. An alternative to the Tensocrom product would be to use an acrylic black paint with a dusting of black or soot weathering powder/pastel over the damp acrylic paint. Set the castings aside to dry.

I still was not satisfied with the look of the chimney castings. The very fine mortar lines between the bricks were too dark in color and the chimney's still looked like they were getting over a case of chicken-pox. The brick surfaces did not have the light gull-gray 'wash' look of weathered brick.


Castings after A-I wash dip. Note the dark mortar lines and lack of 'grayish' surface of the bricks which defines older used brick.

Clearly some medium representing mortar was called for. As I could not find my pre-mixed scale mortar mix product from CC Crow http://www.builders-in-scale.com/bis/parts-weather.html I decided to try a different blending of mediums to capture the effect I wanted. I chose to try a bit of finely powdered pastel mixed with a bit of acrylic gesso. Note that one **would not** want to use a weathering powder in this application as the adhesive in the weathering powder could make too much of the powder adhere to the brick facing and/or make the removal of the colored weathering powder difficult. With a soft pastel, only a damp rag and light touch would be required to remove excess pastel powder from the brick surfaces.

13) Using a #2 1/4 inch synthetic hair flat brush, I used a couple (2-3) full brush loads of acrylic gesso as the base. To the gesso, I added about 1/8th teaspoon of Schemike Neutral Gray soft pastel #098075. I sanded the pastel into a powder with 220 grit sandpaper prior to adding the pastel to the acrylic gesso. The gesso and pastel powder were mixed well to create a light gull gray color.
14) I added two (2) drops of acrylic airbrush medium to the pastel-gesso mix for a added bit of binder. This would be an optional step/addition.
15) The chimney castings were coated with the pastel-gesso mix. All four sides of the chimney were brushed using light brush pressure and moving the brush in both vertical and horizontal directions (not circular brush strokes). Use a minimal amount of brush strokes as excessive strokes will remove the brick coloring, especially affecting the sharp brick edges of the casting(s).
16) Using a damp (clear water) folded/wadded paper towel corners, lightly wipe away the excess pastel-gesso mix from the castings. This should expose the large brick surfaces and their coloring.
17) Allow the castings to air dry about 5-10 minutes. The castings will obtain a light gray wash effect as the castings dry.
18) Quickly dip the castings into a liquid clear matte medium. I used the Rust-All product clear matte medium. You may use a similar product, but avoid solvent based mediums such as Dull-Coat. Just dip and remove the castings. Do not let the colored casting sit in the clear matte medium. Allow the castings to cure dry.
19) Using Lifecolor Smoke paint, flood the interior of the chimney opening and floor with the paint. I used a 1/4 inch synthetic flat brush with a rolling motion of the brush to color the interior opening of the chimney. Pull the brush over the sharp chimney opening edges, removing excess paint from the brush and a excess deposit of paint on the interior top edge of the opening.
20) Remove most of the remaining paint from the brush by rinsing the brush in clear water 3 or 4 times, wiping the brush on a pad between rinses.
21) Load the brush with clear water and lightly tap the brush on a rag to unload excess. Lightly pull the brush across the top edges of the chimney openings to deposit a bit of excess a water on the outside of the chimney. Use your thumb or finger to lightly pull the excess water partly down the chimney sides. Blend the bit of excess smoke paint onto the chimney sides. Put the chimneys aside to dry. NOTE: If you get excess water all the way down the chimney, let it remain. Do not remove excess water/paint from the base of the chimney. This will produce a bit of pronounced weathering/soot around the chimney base.


Chimneys showing a more weathered brick with the mortar lines a more appropriate hue.
hon3_rr Posted - 12/13/2017 : 2:44:22 PM
Added to 'References' on page 1, Steam piping scratch built under Mill Details the following link:
http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=42339
hon3_rr Posted - 10/03/2017 : 2:49:12 PM
As I didn't have any 7x9x16 pine ties available (Kappler KP00SS16-HO ties http://kapplerusa.com/y2k/p-ho-ties.htm ) I used HO 8x8 strips cut to length for my ties.
hon3_rr Posted - 10/03/2017 : 1:48:03 PM
Not a lot of pictures to post now, but I'm redoing the construction of the bridge stringers and tie deck. I didn't follow the construction instructions and attached the ties to both the inside and outside stringers thinking that I could modify the construction later. Isn't going to work, thus the redo. I will use the existing deck at a later time for a open deck bridge.

For the replacement bridge, I'm using the same weathering and coloring techniques described earlier.

I also updated the reference section at the beginning of the thread with a bridge reference which may be of value to some modelers in all scales. http://kettlevalleymodelrailway.blogspot.com/2016/01/bridge-details.html

Also, NMRA members need to reference the bridge construction specification sheet on the NMRA site. Lots of good info.

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