Painting your own back scenes

Having a problem making your model railway layout look real. Post questions and share the results of your model railway scenery here.
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tornado64
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Painting your own back scenes

Postby tornado64 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 6:18 pm

this thread may be slow to get going but eventualy i hope to cover most aspects of backscene painting in oils and acrylics !

why paint your own when there are so many good examples on the market ??? the answer is in the question realy you paint your own because it is individual to your needs and not a massed market product

a sensible starting point would be the painting surface the best i'd say and what i will be using for my own layout would be ply board i'd probably glue upright mounting battons to the rear with PVA and firmly clamp together ( avoiding the need of screws on the front surface needing filling !! )

once baseboards were made priming both sides with artists gesso would be advised ( multiple coats and sanding to the front will provide a smoother painting surface ) alternating brush strokes between vertical and horizontal will also help to provide a good key for painting giving a little " tooth " to the surface

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gesso

gesso can also be applied with paint rollers if desired and can also be applied by means of spreaders

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tornado64
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Re: Painting your own back scenes

Postby tornado64 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:10 pm

paints

oils

advantages huge selection of good quality colour pigments , fantastic blending abillities , many useful painting techniques , many mediums for effects

some dissadvantages as oils dry by oxidisation drying times can be long , smell ( it isn't for everyone ) ,


a good starting set would be windsor and newtons "winton" begginers set

Image

anything cheaper can be hit and miss for begginers as it can be of variable quality ( ok for later on when techniques are learned and the poor quality can be a boon for some techniques )but best avoided at first


acrylics

advantages , used with water , quick drying , minimum smell

disadvantages quick drying makes subtle blending whilst painting very hard making subtle transitions and matching large areas difficult

a good starter set is daler rownrys "system 3"

Image


a new product i have been using recently are " atelier interactives" simmilar to " golden opens " it has to be said these are the ver expensive option and are on par pricewise to artists oils ( some tubes will be 15-20 pounds each and some even pricier depending on pigments )

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advantages

that it has the good points of acrylics but is much more reworkable and gives up to 24 hrs blending time

disadvantages

price !!


cheaper brands

when first starting out it is best to avoid cheaper brands because they can be of variable quality , some it has to be said are good value for money but equaly others are poor wich isn't a good starting basis although later on when techniques are learned it has to be said some can gave very good uses for differing techniques


.

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tornado64
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Re: Painting your own back scenes

Postby tornado64 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:25 pm

actual painting equipment is a tough one most instantly think of brushes and whilst it has to be said i have over 100 brushes of various types it is by no means the first thing i always go for !!

painting tools for me include fingers , brushes , rags , polythene , q.tips . airbrushes , knives , sponges , cocktail sticks etc etc

never just walk the one aproach of just using brushes , even with brushes there are many many difrent types to give many difrent effects

painters palate , don't instantly think you have to buy , i use plates , tupperware box lids , pieces of glass ( observre care such as taping edges ) , the main thing is to have a neutral background to mix colours on as bright white can lead to colours being mixed at the wrong tones , also " stay wet palates are available for acrylics to give longer working times

an easel is usualy desireable although i'd say most will paint backscenes in situ so it may well be surplus to requirements

selection of pencils , erasers , sharpeners basicaly to work out your drawn backscene before painting at this point i'll mention something very important that must be remembered ( always erase all pencil working outs before painting as graphite will bleed through the paint !! ) once i have got my desired outlines i draw them in unibal eye fine marker wich resists paint much better then erase all pencil

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tornado64
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Re: Painting your own back scenes

Postby tornado64 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:49 pm

to show basic working out ( i'll guide through step by step later but as can be seen in this painting there was three solid days working out where i put around 8 hrs a day in as the picture is worked out from a composite of around 10 difrent pictures because the idea i wanted just wasn't available in one photo

Image

the end result with many hours working out and many layers ( i'll explain later ) of painting you can reach some satisfying results

Image

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shaun2000
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Re: Painting your own back scenes

Postby shaun2000 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:43 pm

very nice painting top job.

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tornado64
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Re: Painting your own back scenes

Postby tornado64 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:56 pm

cheers shaun , i may go the video route for demmoing probably be easier !! i have a railway related subject i have made a start on that should cover most aspects but i feel the drawing out part needs some altering as it doesn't look right presently

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tornado64
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Re: Painting your own back scenes

Postby tornado64 » Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:47 pm

perspective !!
to be fair painting with perspective for a model railway is mostly a wasted effort as mostly it will only look right when viewed from one area , fine if the area looked at can only be seen from that one area but otherwise it just doesn't work in the main i will toutch on it for certain things though so it will be explained a little

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tornado64
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Re: Painting your own back scenes

Postby tornado64 » Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:03 pm

lighting !!

meaning subjects lighting not what you are painting under , i'll state this early as it is what makes a believeable scene and a scene you look at and can't quite place what is wrong

eg this model for instance is stunning but the peco backscene gives the game away the backscene church is in shaddow on the left the model buildings are in shaddow on the right so it is good practice to think about the layouts lighting and co ordinating your backscene painting with it

Image

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Jim S-W
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Re: Painting your own back scenes

Postby Jim S-W » Fri Mar 22, 2013 4:29 pm

tornado64 wrote:perspective !!
to be fair painting with perspective for a model railway is mostly a wasted effort as mostly it will only look right when viewed from one area , fine if the area looked at can only be seen from that one area but otherwise it just doesn't work in the main i will toutch on it for certain things though so it will be explained a little


Indeed - there was an excellent article on this in a recent MRJ

Cheers

Jim

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tornado64
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Re: Painting your own back scenes

Postby tornado64 » Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:05 pm

indeed jim perspective works as far as distance is concerned with fields etc but with angular subjects such as buildings there is little point as your view changes altering angles although it can be used to great advantage on cameo scenes or even micro layouts that are observed from one small area !!

it can work with far away buildings but the closer you come to the forescene with painted buildings the less it works

Pete
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Re: Painting your own back scenes

Postby Pete » Sat Mar 23, 2013 5:55 pm

Hi Tornado

A consideration of aerial perspective (things in the distance appear lighter than the foreground for the uninitiated) can have a significant impact on a painted backdrop; you've demonstrated the effect excellently in your painting above of the jet both in the sky and the field. A sky presented as a graduated wash from dark to light can often transform the look of a layout rather than a flat shade of blue or grey, and relativily easily achieved.

Angular perspective probably has more impact with smaller scales as the distances represented are greater. I've seen quite a few relief backgrounds making great use of perspective to enhance depth on narrow layouts. I've also found with my European N gauge Preiser sheep placed on a hill in the background can look totally wrong yet look great in the foreground, it's that near and far effect for Father Ted fans.

Without offending everyone that uses the PECO naturalistic back scenes, the main reason they look terrible is because they are terrible, they look like 1950s biscuit tins. People should follow the advice you're presenting here and do their own, they will look far better.

Interesting thread, I'm looking forward to the practical bit.

Pete
It's the nature of evolution
The dinosaurs went to Hell

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tornado64
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Re: Painting your own back scenes

Postby tornado64 » Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:03 pm

cheers pete , father ted eh !! " eeerrrr , no ted i'm still not getting it !" classic stuff chuckling now !! :lol:

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tornado64
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Re: Painting your own back scenes

Postby tornado64 » Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:50 pm

decided the way i'm going for a first demmo , i'm gonna kill two birds so to speak as i also require a photo area for my loco projects when finnished ( black card is getting boring ) so a ride out on the motorcycle to my local model railway shop and to B&poo got items i needed to make a start

Image

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tornado64
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Re: Painting your own back scenes

Postby tornado64 » Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:00 pm

building work pretty much completed , my idea is to build a small diorama for photographic and painting demmo purposess as at first it should be plenty to pack in many techniques without over doing things too soon

important note the backboards are not attatched as yet , this enables them to be laid flat on their back for painting in gesso with either brush or roller and will be more convenient for painting the sky so nabling easier painting and blending wich would prove impossible to do working in a corner


Image

Image

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tornado64
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Re: Painting your own back scenes

Postby tornado64 » Sat Mar 30, 2013 8:32 am

noticed a background scenery painting " how to " in this months model rail , whilst it has to be said the standard was reasonable , the main part of the scene ( what will be the main part of the back scene ) the sky !! was dire and recieved little thaught and wrong paints were used over another incompatible painted surface

it cannot be stated enough that yes skys can be random ( the effect used by the article was averagely effective ) sky and clouds have certain rules to follow that will give much better results than hap hazzard car sprays ( also not mentioned is that car sprays are an exceptionaly expensive method ) especialy when you considder you would be buying a set of oil paints that would already have most of the required colours especialy as he mentioned colours that are not in the standard set

for his method you would be factoring in an extra 50 quid at least on car paints on top of the materials i will show and you would also have less control over the finnished job with his method , but like he says in his own article " it is quick " my view is why spend many many hours on a layout , rolling stock , buildings , figures etc etc then spend 5 minuites on the sky !!

for me the article didn't even tickle the surface of the subject of paintimg skys wich after all is going to be the biggest percentage of your backscene !!


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