Brick buildings

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by ezdays, Feb 8, 2003.

  1. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

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    Here's another basic question. I've bought a few city building kits to learn some weathering and aging techniques. If I screw them up in the process, so be it, but I need to learn. Some of the pictures I've seen here are so realistic I hope I can come close to that someday.

    But anyway, my question is: how can I get realistic looking grout and a natural appearence to brick buildings. I've tried "washing" the walls with gray acrylic then wiping it before it drys hoping the paint stays in the grout lines, but it doesn't. I seem to do a fair job with aging by using an ink/alcohol wash, but the results aren't as natural as I think they should be, especailly after seeing all your pictures.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated. I'm working in N scale.

    Don
  2. aartwmich

    aartwmich Member

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    ezdays...have you tried the search function for this forum, there are several filters that are usefull. If you find a thread that you want to save for reference, I make subject folder in my favorites and save the threads I've found searching so I can go back to them without re-searching.

    Also, if you go to the 'parent' directory 'The Gauge' then way down at the bottom there is a category called the 'Academy' there are some how-to's there on weathering and other topics.

    Good luck have fun.;)
  3. Catt

    Catt Guest

    Don,what I do to get the grout look is to thin my paint to about a water consistancy(SP) then I slop it on and let it set for short time. Then I just lighty wipe it off the surface(if you rub too hard you get some of the grout on your cloth too).This actually is more effective if yuour building is a really bright red as it tones down the colour.
  4. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

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    Hi Don!
    I've got a couple of pics that might help...
    On this building, I spray painted the brick walls flat brown, & after letting that dry for 24hrs, I brushed on a thin white wash, & wiped it off with a rag...after that, I sprayed it with a black wash of India Ink & alcohol.

    Attached Files:

  5. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

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    Ok, here's the second one...
    This time I spray painted the brick flat white, & then dry-brushed (this means a brush with VERY little paint in it) with a reddish brick color...
    (btw...always use flat colors when painting structures, for a more realistic look)

    Attached Files:

  6. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

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    Charlie, that is great looking brick:) :)
  7. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

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    Charlie,

    Yeah, that's what I'm looking for, the red brick. Both pics look great and I appreciate the tips. I just need to practice a lot more. I guess I'm in kinda a good position of being able to play around with things until I get them right, but I'm starting to get anxious to get going.

    BTW, that's some lens you have to be able to get that much detail that close up.

    Don
  8. aartwmich

    aartwmich Member

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    Charlie.....you got great coverage with the red paint using a 'dry' brush! Did you use a large flat brush to span several bricks? Great photo too!;)
  9. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

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    I should've added that the dry-brushing takes a little longer...you have to keep brushing on the brick color until it builds up to where you want it.
    Also, the technique worked well on that particular kit, because the brick detail was so pronounced.
    I used a faily large brush with very stiff bristles.

    p.s. The camera is a Sony Mavica FD73, with a 10x zoom...good to have, especially with N scale.
  10. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

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    Charlie,

    Two things, one do you do this before the buildings are assembled, or after? Second, is your camera digital or 35mm? I have a 35mm that I could get that close, but I'd rather use a digital and get instant knowledge that the shot was bad or good. Photography just ain't my thing,:eek: and before digital cameras, I usually find out a few weeks later just how bad a shot I really took.:eek:

    Don
  11. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

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    Hi Don!
    Yeah, I had to go digital for exactly the reasons you stated...

    I usually do assemble the building walls first, minus roofs, & windows, doors, etc...In the case of the DPM kit in the 1st shot, the doors & windows are molded in, so I had to go back & paint them with a small brush...I did this before I applied the washes. I also cut out one of the doors, & added a little piece of black styrene as a floor, & added the figure & the barrels. I added another piece of black styrene behind the figure, so you can't see through the building.
  12. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

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    Charlie,

    Well, the best I can do with my digital is 3X and 2.1 megapixels. I guess I'm gunna have to skip the closeups for now 'cause you know where my money is going, for a while anyway.

    I'm learning the hard way. The first N scale building I put together I finished it completely with fire escapes and cornices before I realized that wasn't the thing to do. I now have a book on basic scenery techniques so who knows, I may get the hang of this yet.:D

    Don
  13. aartwmich

    aartwmich Member

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    Charlie..is the 10x zoom a digital or optical zoom? I've heard, and seen, that the digital zoom loses clarity fast. I have a macro function on my camera that is fantastic, so I rarely use the digital zoom.
  14. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

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    A digital zoom on any camera is totally useless. You can achieve the same by using the zoom tool of any photo program. Resulting in the same loss of resolution and quality.

    BTW, a 10X optical zoom is gotta be awsome and up there in cost. If I want close-ups like Charlie I either have to go to G scale, or get a better camera.:rolleyes:

    Don
  15. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

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    Don,
    The zoom on the Sony is an optical zoom...
    Ima is right though, the important thing for model photos is to hace a macro lens...this allows you to get very close to the subject, which is the real secret to a good close-up.
    It sounds like you may have a better camera than mine, anyway...mine only has a 1.6 mega-pixel resolution, but I find this is sufficient for posting photos on the web.
  16. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

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    Charlie,

    I have a macro mode, but so far I haven't taken a clear closeup even with it turned on. Maybe a tripod will help. Doesn't the optical zoom allow you to get better detail without getting too close? I tried with my 3 X zoom, and wound up way too close to the object.

    Like I said, photography just isn't my thing but I'll give anything a try.

    Don
  17. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

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    Don,

    a tripod is almost a necessity for closeup photo work. I find that in working with the macro just the light pressure of clicking the shutter will soften the edges and can blur the closest object. The tripod adds the stability all around to give you a focused shot.

    The macro works far better for doing closeup than using the zoom in my "unprofessional" experience.
  18. aartwmich

    aartwmich Member

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    With my macro mode, you have to have the zoom set at a certain distance(the little macro flower icon turns yellow) in order for the macro mode to work correctly. It does help to steady the camera on something solid or use a tripod, but I've taken tons of macro shots just hand held.

    Hmmm..... the brickwork thread has turned into a camera thread :p I've never seen THAT happen here at the Gauge!! lol
  19. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

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    I tried the tripod and got better results, now for the lighting...:rolleyes:
    Couldn't happen at a better place. Just think, I get to learn two things with one thread.:) since I'm new to this fourm I can't say for sure, but can you say that with a straight face?.:D

    D:cool:N
  20. Joepomp

    Joepomp Member

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    Grout

    EZ,

    I used grout, I sprayed the wall dark red, then when it dried I put on the grout like you would for tile then when it dried I wiped with a damp paper towel. I also used a buffing wheel on a drmel with a very light to remove some grout to give it that aged look. I proabably should put a coat of dul cote to protect the grout, but we will see how it holds up. The picture is not the best I had to use my computers camara (Yuck) It looks better in person.
    :D