Help! Old Southern Farmhouse Kit - Painting and Weathering

tiestvangool Oct 22, 2021

  1. tiestvangool

    tiestvangool TrainBoard Member

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    All,

    Being new to Trainboard.com and z-scale in general - Hello all! :)
    Thank you Mike Basher for pointing me to this forum.

    Thanks for all the valuable nuggets of wisdom captured here. I am preparing to paint, weather and build my first laser cut model from Basher. I have settled on the “Old Southern Farmhouse”, with its white base color as I am building an Arizona/New Mexico like desert like scenery for my model rail road. My objective is to realize the look of a sun stricken, yellow weathered dwelling.

    To achieve this - and based on the information here - I am thinking to apply the white paint directly to the brown laser boards and for go any priming. Does anyone have any thoughts or guidance with this directive?

    Once the base color is applied any thoughts on how to go about weathering the building using dry brushing powders?

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts/recommendations,
    -Tiest
     
  2. Zscaleplanet

    Zscaleplanet TrainBoard Supporter

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    Welcome to the insane world of Z-scale Tiest! Well, it's not really all that crazy, but it can be at times.
    There are plenty of experts on this forum with some of the best tips, tricks and suggestions. I have learned alot on this forum.

    Basher's kits are a excellent starting point for anyone just entering into Z-scale, and his price and quality are spot on. Keep in mind his kits do not have step-by-step instructions, but with a little intution and studying of the pics he encloses, you should be fine.

    Interesting you are modeling the AZ/NM area, as I was raised in the New Mexico 4-corners desert, and lived 30-years in Phoenix. So I know the region, architecture and weathering aspects very well.

    Here's my list of tips, and some of the other experts will offer their's as well. There's more than one way to skin a cat...sorry cat lovers!
    • For Basher's kits, I personally like the APPLE BARREL (or similar) waterbased acrylics available at HOBBY LOBBY or WALMART. $0.85 or so per bottle. I would get a flat light cream white for this project. But the cost is cheap, so buy several different whites and experiment on a small part of the "parts tree" that is the same color as the walls of this project.
    • I don't have this particular kit, but I suspect the walls are cut in dark brown laserboard. If that is so, you may need to prime the walls before you start. Reason being, the acrylics are slightly opaque, so basically the brown will show through on the first coat and possibly even a second. If you elect to prime the walls, use TAMIYA ULTRTHIN WHITE PRIMER. You need to experiment though, and I would start with a few brush strokes of the acrylic on either a scrap piece, or the back of one of the walls. Having the brown show though slightly could be a plus for that weathered and worn look -- or it may not be white enough and instead look tan. Again, experiment.
    • If you use primer, best to do one light coat if at all possible. More than one coat could hide details.
    • If you use the water-based acrylics, one or two coats in the direction of the cut lines is recommended. Do not load up your brush with too much paint. Water-based paints tend to slight warp longer laserboard walls. Once the paint has dried to the touch, lay a heavy flat piece on them overnight if necessary to straighten them out.
    • On Basher's kits, I DO NOT paint the window frames or muntins (lattice) as the paint gobs up and they just look better unpainted. If the window frames in this kit are provided in the typical white laserboard, they will look really good.
    • As for the roofing, if the roof material provided is similar to black construction paper, I would leave it as the black color. I would not paint it white as you see in the kit pics. Most roofs on these old homes, especially in this region were simply tarpaperd over. Now a really cool effect would be to first lay down a sub-roof of thin birchwood strips (available at some hobby shops). Then lay the black construction paper material on next, but have sections pealed away or missing, exposing the board underneath. Note the pic below from a kit modeled by another Z-scaler here in Sioux Falls:
    WORN ROOF.jpg
    • As for weathering using powders, I would use a light brown, or regular brown along the base of each wall in order to simulate rain splash. I would lightly use the same in various areas around the windows, but go easy. Homes in the desert do not always show heavy weathering, as the sun and blowing sand keeps things looking sandblasted and white.
    • You mentioned "yellowed look" in your post. Things in the desert usually take on more of a bleached white look, due to constantly being in the sun. Old wood still gets grey sitting out, but looks much lighter than what I see here in the Midwest, with it's constant moisture. Paint on metal surfaces tends to get white and chalky. Just some thoughts.
    Lance
     
  3. tiestvangool

    tiestvangool TrainBoard Member

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    Lance,

    Sorry for my delayed response but THANK YOU for this great additional insights in addition to your already great kit reviews!
    I followed your guidance and acquired both AppleBarrel acrylics as well as Doc O’Brien’s weathering powder set.

    Per an earlier suggestion from I believe Ray; I bought a couple of additional kits from Basher to provide support to his business.
    As a result, I have decided to start with the Section House #1 instead as I received a second kit as a freebie from him. Thank you again Mike Basher!
    Any additional thoughts, suggestion and/or comments as I embark onto this endeavor with my son?

    If interested, I don’t mind to post my progression (including newbie mistakes here or in a separate treat. Anyone interested in that?

    -Tiest
     
  4. Zscaleplanet

    Zscaleplanet TrainBoard Supporter

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    Tiest,
    Nice to see you are doing this with your son. Model Railroading needs more youth involved (which we are actually seeing) --- it's good for them and good for the overall industry.

    As for starting with the Section House, that is a good choice, but then again any Basher kit is a good choice. You are headed in the right direction with a nice, simple kit to start off with. That kit should be cut in dark brown laserboard, and painting it brown would be a great idea. I would avoid an ideas about painting it a lighter color, as it would require primer. And in this case, the brown color will suffice for the desert theme you are going with.

    As for sharing your progression and questions, by all means please do. The forum is a good place for feedback, input, tips & tricks. Lots of good experts on here. I'd say, keep your first buildings progress going on this thread. That way we have the complete story. Send plenty of pics too and be willing to hear constructive criticism or "job well done". You'll get a little of both sometimes.

    If you continue to like the forum after a period of time, I suggest making a donation. I'm a monthly supporter, but I have been on here for awhile too. Good investment for me anyways.

    Lance
     

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