Brick Mortar... Whats the secret?

Tbone Oct 5, 2009

  1. Tbone

    Tbone Permanently dispatched

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    OK I am building some DPM type kits with brick walls.I have painted the brick walls a nice brick color but it just doesnt look right.After looking at it and the prototype I have noticed I dont have the brick mortar painted.How do I do this?I have heard of people doing a "White Wash" but I do not have a clue what that means.I am assuming a thinned down white paint.Is this correct and if so how do I apply it without ruining the brick color.Or should I have painted the mortar first?Could someone tell me the steps and maybe even a finished photo.Thanks in advance...
     
  2. SPsteam

    SPsteam TrainBoard Member

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    For a couple of brick buildings on my layout, I painted them a concrete color and then dry brushed with a brick color over the the top. The dry brushing covers the tops of the bricks and saves the morter. On a several others, I used colored pencil to color in the bricks. Both seemed to work well
     
  3. Powersteamguy1790

    Powersteamguy1790 Permanently dispatched

    Mix 20 % PollyScale Aged White paint with 80 % Blue windshield wiper solution.(20 drops of paint to 80 drops of Blue windshield wiper solution) Now brush on this wash. The blue windshield wiper solution will "age" the brick as there is alcohol in the windshield wiper solution and the Aged White Polly Scale paint will create the mortar lines. I always use blue windshield wiper solution to make different washes.

    See the Roundhouse below...

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Tbone

    Tbone Permanently dispatched

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    Hey Bob after you paint it with the wash do you wipe it off or just let it dry on there?
     
  5. Powersteamguy1790

    Powersteamguy1790 Permanently dispatched

    I let it dry. I used five or six washes on the Roundhouse to get that effect. Let each application completely dry before applying a second or third wash.

    You can also further dilute the wash. For example 10 drops of paint and 90 drops of blue windshield wiper solution. Use a medicine dropper to measure it out.

    I also use this technique to weather locomotives and cars. For this I use an airbrush to apply the wash.
     
  6. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey TrainBoard Member

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    Just my opinion here, but I'm very reluctant to try adding mortar lines on my N scale brick buildings because those mortar lines look oversized. I would try that technique if I were modelling HO scale or bigger.
    I'm facing a dilemma here: No mortar lines and my buildings don't look realistic and adding mortar lines isn't realistic either.

    Jacques
     
  7. LOU D

    LOU D TrainBoard Member

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    I'm gonna give powersteamguy's idea a shot,but until now,I've always painted my brick structures with cheap spraycan red oxide primer.I let it dry a day or so.Then I use a fairly large brush to paint a light coat of a medium gray latex [think SP Dark Lark..]over the whole thing,getting it in all the cracks.Before it dries,I use a fairly lint free piece of wetted cloth which gets rinsed frequently,like T shirt material,and carefully wipe it off,being careful to more leave the mortar in the cracks than actually trying to get it all out..On an implied really old,not well taken care of building like my roundhouse in the pic,I left blotchy gray on it to look like lime/calcium deposits on the walls.They actually came out in the pic to be a lot more prominent than they really were..
     

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  8. Babbo_Enzo

    Babbo_Enzo TrainBoard Member

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    For plastic N scale bricks, I use mainly the SPsteam method: gray or white or some degree of mix for mortar and then a dry brush on bricks, maybe followed by some wash of very diluted sepia or black ink & alcohol.
    But I've experiment also boxcar red clarks. Take the powder with an old brush and gently press on brick surfaces, then blow out the excess from the mortar. Fix then with a Dullcote spray. A big difference to paint is that the brick color is very realistic.
    My 2 cent
     
  9. Fotheringill

    Fotheringill Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    DPM kits have window frames that are especially hard to paint.
    I have used colored pencils to do the brickface after painting the brickwork an off white color. I have also used a very thin wash of Durham's Rock Hard Putty to reside in the mortar lines and using a damp sponge to wipe off the excess left on the brickface, itself.
     
  10. Brian K

    Brian K TrainBoard Member

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    Lou,

    Wow, you did a really nice job on the roundhouse and the scene in general!!

    I use pretty much the same technique except I use alcohol as a thinning gent and then on the cloth to help remove the paint. Works great for weathering engines if you want to darken the grills and spaces between panels.

    Brian
     
  11. Munch

    Munch E-Mail Bounces

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    I sprayed the styrene brick with white primer, then used a foam sanding pad on it. The white on the bricks was removed, leaving the white mortar between. The color of the brick is the color of the styrene.
    [​IMG]
     
  12. DiezMon

    DiezMon TrainBoard Supporter

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  13. sd90ns

    sd90ns TrainBoard Member

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here are two examples of my use of diluted wallboard mud to make mortar lines.

    Simply dissolve a small amount of wallboard mud in water then apply liberally to the painted brick.

    Allow to completely dry then using a damp sponge wipe on the diagonal to the bricks until the majority of the mud appears to have been removed. Allow to completely dry again to determine the outcome. If more needs to be removed repeat with the damp sponge. If you removed to much, go back and apply a little more of the dilute mud.

    One good thing about this method is that if you really make a mess of things just wash the offending wall with warm soapy water and start over.
     
  14. Chaya

    Chaya TrainBoard Supporter

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    You make a really good point, Jacques. The mortar lines on N scale brick are too wide. Worse, from my point of view, is that mortar isn't white! Of course, I'm from the West, and maybe out East mortar lines are white. (I have noticed that eastern brick is brighter and darker red, for instance). Still--all the mortar I've ever seen is grey. How much darker grey would it be in cities of the olden days, with all the smog from coal, industry, cars, and buses?

    Pollution is a valid issue with modeling, IMO. Cities didn't start cleaning up their particulate (visible) pollution until the 70's. I grew up on an island far from Seattle with clean air, but still, whenever there was an east wind our white house would get a light coating of black, greasy grime. The mortar lines on our brick chimney--whether from pollution or not I don't know--were a fairly dark grey.
     
  15. Chaya

    Chaya TrainBoard Supporter

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    Nice work, Munch! I saw your photo earlier in the galleries and wondered who you were. I have questions:

    1. What kind of foam sanding pad? It must have a really fine grit, right? Is it the kind you use for doing drywall?
    2. Where did you find styrene that color?
     
  16. Munch

    Munch E-Mail Bounces

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    [quote
    1. What kind of foam sanding pad? It must have a really fine grit, right? Is it the kind you use for doing drywall?
    2. Where did you find styrene that color?[/quote]

    Ya' know, I think I have about three different pads around...I bought them years ago.
    This one looks to be about 4" x 3" and it's 1" thick. On the end it says 3M 150 MED.
    It works just fine. A finer grit would obviously work also.

    I think the styrene is PlaStruct? I could be totally wrong though. Sanding roughs up
    the brick surface a little bit as well, so it lightens a little bit. But the color is a brick color. The supplies over at the hobby shop get mixed up sometimes, so that's why I'm not sure who makes it. I'll try and find out.

    (If you wanted to have a different brick color...you could spray the new color, then the white mortor color, then sand. It should just reveal the new color on the bricks, and leave the mortor lines. I think....)

    I'm working on a new structure with the "random stone" texture.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 5, 2009
  17. gregamer

    gregamer TrainBoard Supporter

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    Nice work.

    I've used washes of diluted paint, then wiped the tops of the bricks.
     
  18. Tbone

    Tbone Permanently dispatched

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    You make a good point as well.Mortar around here is not white either, it is more gray or sandy than anything.
     
  19. SPsteam

    SPsteam TrainBoard Member

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    For the windows on DPM kits, I've found that the fine tipped sharpie markers work well to color them in.
     
  20. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member

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    I've had success by first painting the brick, then after that dries applying powdered chalk dust (white, light gray) over the wall and working it into the mortar lines with a paint brush. Dust off the excess on the bricks, and viola- mortar lines with color!

    I did my Walthers paper mill and a DPM building this way. I used weathering chalks for the mortar.
     

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