Waton - N gauge challenge

Post pictures and information about your own personal model railway layout that is under construction. Keep members up-to-date with what you are doing and discuss problems that you are having.
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ElDavo
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Re: Waton - N gauge challenge

Postby ElDavo » Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:05 am

Eastern wrote:Quick question Dave - how do you apply your static grass? I have seen that the Noch grassmaster is quite spendy. In between are DIY applicators as well as the Noch 'puff-bottle'-not forgetting the static balloon trick :wink: Just really impressed at the results you are getting.


Your wish is my command. This is most definitely a case of "how I did it" rather than a definitive guide to how static grass should be used. I haven't used much of this stuff myself so I'm still experimenting/learning.

Those that know what they are doing would probably say you should use some kind of electrical device like the super effective and super expensive Noch Grassmaster or a cheapo ebay equivalent. The Grassmaster does do the absolute business and is the only way to do it if you want large areas of long meadow grass or crops. I'm working in 2mm here and only want some basic rough grass effect so I'll do it on the cheap.

Here's the starting point. The structure in this case is a very thin papier mache shell made from kitchen roll and diluted PVA. It has had a coat of neat PVA painted on top and bottom when dry to give it a plastic-like hard shell. The bright white has rather confused the camera here!

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Doesn't really matter what the surface is of course but here you can see my starting point. This is then given a good gloop of dark chocolate coating i.e. artists acrylics Burnt Umber or Raw Umber. This dries very quickly.

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Here are the tools I'm using, a Noch "puffer" bottle and an old caramel sauce bottle. The Noch bottle works extremely well and is not expensive. The sauce bottle has only one hole in the cap and works less well. I may try drilling more holes. I also use my fingers. You can get a reasonable effect by pinching the grass between finger and thumb and sprinkling it on. Doesn't get much cheaper than that!

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In my case I have the MiniNatur 4.5mm "winter" grass in the Noch bottle and MiniNatur 4.5mm "Spring" grass in the sauce bottle. The latter is very green!

Slop on a copious quantity of your favourite PVA glue.

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Give the puffer bottle a good shake, the stuff loves to clump together so you have to encourage it to separate out. Upend the bottle and "puff" gently by squeezing and inch or two away from the glue surface. The fibres will be forced into the glue even though you only squeeze gently. You can give it a good hefty squeeze but it doesn't seem to speed things up any.

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Initially it will look as though the fibres are all laying down in the glue but keep going building up the layers and you will start to see them standing up. If you look around the edges you will see they try to get away from the glue and naturally stick end on. Weird!

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Keep on going until you have covered they glue area and built up a reasonable depth. With the winter colour it is so pale that it doesn't seem to give a real coverage at all. It doesn't matter as you can always add to it later after it has dried by adding more glue and repeating. Also you will find the stuff goes everywhere! Sweep it up with a dry paintbrush or the like and flick or sprinkle it onto your glued area, all techniques are valid and it helps build up the depth.

Here's the area covered with the winter grass. I haven't attempted to completely cover the glue.

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Time to add some other colours, grassy areas are rarely all one colour. Out with the trusty sauce bottle and a few squirts of "spring" grass.

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More sweeping up ensues. I then tend to use my fingers to pat the grass down into the glue. This sounds like totally the wrong thing to do given that you have just gone to all this effort to get the stuff to stand up but when did you see an area of grass that was all the same length? I want an uneven finish and this stuff is pretty long for N gauge, a scale 2 1/2 feet in fact. Even after you have prodded it around there will still be grass standing up, honest.

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When the PVA is completely dry you can then give your new turf a gentle head massage with your finger tips then blow or sweep away any unstuck excess. You should find the grass is standing tall. Bare patches can be filled in and extra textures added. This is how the section looks close-up after the glue has dried and without any further work. Not too shabby really.

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Cheers
Dave (still sneezing grass fibres)

bluechang
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Re: Waton - N gauge challenge

Postby bluechang » Mon Jul 12, 2010 1:19 pm

Thanks for the detailed how to guide on how to lay the grass down - I didn't know how to go about doing it on my layout. Will keep probably copy it down somewhere to have it handy if thats ok?

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Eastern
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Re: Waton - N gauge challenge

Postby Eastern » Mon Jul 12, 2010 3:33 pm

Thanks for the excellent tutorial - really appreciate the step-by-step guide. I am going to give it a try :D
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Michael Thornberry
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Re: Waton - N gauge challenge

Postby Michael Thornberry » Mon Jul 12, 2010 5:12 pm

Hello Dave,
Many Thanks, mate, for that excellent "in-house Training Course". Is it possible that the same procedure could be used to represent growing/ripening fields of wheat and barley etc? If I "make all the same mistakes" as you did, will my grass look as good as yours :lol: Your Lay-out is looking very good,
Kind Regards,
Michael Thornberry.

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0121modeller
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Re: Waton - N gauge challenge

Postby 0121modeller » Mon Jul 12, 2010 5:42 pm

Michael Thornberry wrote:If I "make all the same mistakes" as you did, will my grass look as good as yours, Your Lay-out is looking very good,


I had to really think about that one :? :mrgreen:
Yes , it has to be said, the grass work applied here is excellent & the shows you how pics is a great tutorial :D

Cheers,
Dave.
Scratchbuilding 4mm scale JXA scrapwagons ; - viewtopic.php?f=6&t=37620
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ElDavo
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Re: Waton - N gauge challenge

Postby ElDavo » Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:46 pm

I seem to be working on several things at once at the moment and not altogether surprisingly some aren't turning out quite how I want them! One thing I'm playing with is the river at the far Western end of the layout. As usual this is not something I know a lot about but I thought I would just go for it using techniques I've seen elsewhere.

The riverbed has been given a blast of raw umber brown colour as a base. It has then had some odd bits of texture fixed with PVA. These are a mixture of Chinchilla grit and finely crushed garden soil. I want a sort of muddy effect near the edges with odd bits of stony/gravel bits around the bridge piers and other places based on what I can make out from Google Earth shots of the river to the West of Water Orton. Areas of this have then been given a wash of browny/green colour.

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This has now had it's first coat of PVA glue to hopefully give a representation of water. We shall see if this white mess turns into anything useful!

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Cheers
Dave

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ElDavo
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Re: Waton - N gauge challenge

Postby ElDavo » Thu Jul 15, 2010 9:39 am

Well the first coating of PVA has dried and it's nice and shiny and clear but highlights the fact that several more coats will be required.

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Cheers
Dave

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Bufferstop
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Re: Waton - N gauge challenge

Postby Bufferstop » Thu Jul 15, 2010 1:13 pm

Dave
It's starting to look like the river I know. Don't forget the odd bike and shopping trolley!
John W (bufferstop)
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
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ste234
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Re: Waton - N gauge challenge

Postby ste234 » Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:48 pm

Looks good Dave, might try the pva idea for my canal, seems to do the trick!
Ste
'Springfield', N gauge Modern Era Layout

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ElDavo
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Re: Waton - N gauge challenge

Postby ElDavo » Sun Jul 18, 2010 3:39 pm

I seem to be having a week where things aren't going quite according to plan (assuming I had a plan). The river was coming on quite nicely until the 5th coat of PVA which for some reason appears to want to stay cloudy! All I can do is leave it a few days and hope it clears. Maybe I've added the layers too quickly.

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I've also been tinkering with a signal gantry and that has rather gone awry but that is a whole other story. For a break I spent a few hours knocking up a GWR style platelayers hut in 4mm for someone else and then, as I was sort of in the mood for building buildings, I started roughing out the Waton station building. In this shot it looks rather large and stark white.

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It's actually pretty small but there are other bits to add to it, including a tricky looking stairway, before I can clad it in some sort of brick textures. I'm pushed for space width-wise on the platform so have had to compress the building to get something to fit. Hopefully I can give the feel of the rather complicated Water Orton structure even after squeezing it. Time will tell.

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Cheers
Dave

barkfast
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Re: Waton - N gauge challenge

Postby barkfast » Mon Jul 19, 2010 4:07 am

Hey Dave

Your layout is a real inspiration. :D

I've burrowed your idea of curved backscene for my layout.

I have seen PVA used as water on an exhibition layout, and the result was great. Just not sure on how long the gloss look would last..

Look forward to seeing to seeing this layout in an upcoming edition of Model Rail :mrgreen:

Great stuff
Terry

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Bufferstop
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Re: Waton - N gauge challenge

Postby Bufferstop » Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:58 am

ste234 wrote:Looks good Dave, might try the pva idea for my canal, seems to do the trick!
Ste

Canal water is usually very still. I've used four layers of OHP transparency on top of the painted base. Each one having succedingly less khaki spray along the edges. Looks good, but totally defeats my attempts to photograph the effect. It generates multiple reflections if not fastened down too hard and being a bit squashy gives the impression of a swell ahead of the waterline narrowboat standing on it.
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
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fratton
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Re: Waton - N gauge challenge

Postby fratton » Mon Jul 19, 2010 4:26 pm

a truely inspiring work in progress, and a great step by step for the grass,

for those thinking that the noch puffer bottle might be too pricey for what it is, the mrs threw one in with my stocking fillers at christmas and she said it was only a couple of quid,

Guagemaster make them under licence from noch but also sell the noch ones on the other side of the shop, i wasnt sure quite what to do with it but now i know exactly what i will be doing,

thankyou,

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ElDavo
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Re: Waton - N gauge challenge

Postby ElDavo » Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:40 am

Two steps forward and one back seems to be the theme. Still that's significantly better then one forward and two back! Yesterday all 4 boards were assembled together again to see where things have got to, mainly as I had a couple of visitors who wanted to see what's what. There are still some large areas where I have yet to finally decide what I am going to model.

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I had convinced myself that I was not making progress and was stalled but comparing the shot above to the last time the boards were all assembled, on the 16th of June, it's actually quite clear a lot has been done. In fact just over a month ago boards 3 and 4 had no ground shape at all and the track was unpainted and unballasted. The comparison has somewhat improved my mood!

The basic core shape of the station building is now complete as I have added the stairway down to the platform and also a strange extra lump on the rear of the building on the far (platform 2) side. It needs some tidying up but then the major work will be in creating and fitting printed textures to it and adding architectural details which the decrepit prototye is covered in. I suspect this may be rather a lot of work to get something convincing and so I may duck the issue for a while and create some simpler structures for elsewhere on the layout.

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The river saga continues unfortunately. I've left it alone for a couple of days and the milkiness in the PVA has not gone away. In fact if anything it has got worse not better. I'm investigating some remedial actions and have just tackled it with some fairly aggresive paint thinners which looks to be capable of softening it. I'll leave it a bit again to see if it improves after softening and if not then I'll probably apply more and try to remove at least the last layer.

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Onward...

Cheers
Dave

bigbob
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Re: Waton - N gauge challenge

Postby bigbob » Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:24 pm

Some cracking modelling there Dave and some good little tips which you probably take for granted but help us beginners no end!! Good to see you`re not to proud to post the bits you`re not happy with and haven`t turned out as well as you hoped (water!) but will be interesting to see how you fix it so we can all learn a bit!! :D :D

Top stuff mate.

Bob
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