Thursday, February 15, 2018

Water is the driving force of all nature - water tutorial

Water is the driving force of all nature.  Leonardo da Vinci

I recently did revamp number three on my Soyokaze Harbor water section and I'm very pleased with how it turned out. This latest round had me using Mod Podge and I'm super happy with the results.


I've had a few people ask me about my process for this, so I thought a more detailed blog post might be a good way to go.

My first round of water from ages ago. Woodland scenics water product. It was ok.



But, it needed a face lift.

First thing was looking at the real thing - fishing boats in Japan. I found several water shots that I liked and aimed to match the color.





I didn't want to go TOO green and I did want a little more wave action, so I went with a similar green and thought it might be a windy day in Soyokaze, so there would be more whitecaps. Very common in Soyokaze. :)

EVERYTHING  off...I have work to do! :)

What a mess





The painting was rather straight forward once I had my color mixed. I used standard, cheap Michael's Art Supply acrylics.

Now, the old water was created back in 2015 or so and when I did it, small cracks had developed in the Woodland Scenics water material I was using. (Very sad) I thought that i might kill off the cracks if I laid the paint on thick and heavy.





After the paint dried, I used MOD PODGE and followed the method that I picked up from a few YouTube videos. It's rather straight forward. I applied the Mod Podge with a brush, starting on one end and working back to the other end. I made some areas a little thicker than other to get white areas in the water.




When it was a little tacky, I placed my boats and added some Mod Podge behind them to create wakes and engine froth. I was rather happy with it and thought....THOUGHT...I was done.



However....there were two major OOPS moments here.

First, I actually didn't kill my cracks much at all. They were still there.



The second major OOPS came when I checked things out the next day. I had used my MATTE Mod Podge instead of my GLOSS one! hehehehe   Nice...non-reflective water. D'OH!



However, I want to see the GLASS HALF FULL rather than GLASS HALF EMPTY moments with my hobby time. It's supposed to be relaxing, not upsetting. So, I thought that I might be able to use the inevitable ROUND 3 of this process to make things better still.

The cracks. I needed to address the cracks for sure. I also wanted the waves to be more natural.

I needed to fill the cracks in - I saw that as the most simple method rather than sanding stuff and creating more mess. I went with simple and just globbed in Elmer's Glue over the major cracked areas. I let it dry, then did another round of painting to tweak the color and add some more variation.

I laid the paint on thick.



The Elmer's and thicker paint application really helped to kill the cracks. The old cracks are on the left and the stripe of paint through the center is the new paint application on the next image.

MUCH better! 

I did the round of painting, then went in with some white and black paint is spots - blending them in to create some more color variation.


 Once the paint was dry, you could really see the paint variance. This shows difference in depths.




Now, for Mod Podge three.

I needed more chaos in the application. The paint brush was to small and even, so I went with a 1 inch foam brush on this round. This gave me a wider coverage range and added a little texture into the mix as well. When I put it on, I put some upbeat music on and tried to let loose a bit. I thought I might have gone too far the other way with things.



But, once things dried, they were much calmer and gave the effect I wanted. I was super happy with the depth I managed to get with this flat style in lew of a "depth pour" where you melt water or pour it thick into a contained area.




My next steps will be to get all the buildings, water barriers, and boats back on, then go in with yet ANOTHER round of Mod Podge and a smaller brush to add in water hitting the walls and wakes from the boats and their engines. I'll do a separate post with some shots of everything after it dries.

I tried to keep this short, sweet, and to the point, so if you have additional questions, feel free to ask away in the comments section! 

Cheers!

Malco

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Friday, February 9, 2018

Soyokaze Temple Hill Scenery - round 01



A quick update. I started adding some scenery to the Soyokaze Temple Hill area. This area is primarily the temple pieces and scenery, so there was not a lot of moving around that had to be done.


Annnnnnnnd...I totally forgot about this post a month later! hehehe  So...I'm just going to post it as is. :)















Sneaking some hobby time in in February


Another quicky update from the world of N•RAIL.


Firstly....a fuzzy video. :)



The mountain was a PAIN to reach, but I got phase one done.






I came up with a process to cut foam core into the odd spaces of my layout. Worked like a charm! First, I took copy paper and folded it into the space I was trying to fill. I taped the pages together once it was in place. 


Then I just used that as a template and cut and sprayed the foam core. Fit perfectly. 



I did the same process for this section as well.  I wanted to get rid of the Uniplates here because they were more work than I wanted to get them to work in the odd shaped space. A solid, foam core space is going to be much easier to deal with.



I did this before and was able to tunes things to make the space more interesting. 



I've also been working on a friend's layout. He had someone helping him, but the progress was not what he was hoping for. He wanted something more like my layout - realistic, but with a sense of play as well. He had a MAZINGER figure on the layout and wanted to keep it, so I built out this platform for it to stand on. :) 



 There's a LOT to do on his layout and it's difficult because it's off in his shop, so he gave me a key to the space and I try to get over there to work when I can. Another difficult thing is carrying all my materials over every time. However, it's working out for the most part.


And I'll end with some shots of where things are currently. It's slowly getting back. Between work, freelance items and standard home goings on....like my dog getting bitten yesterday :(   it's been a slow process. I just get a little done when and where I can and try to remember that THIS is supposed to be the FUN and RELAXING part....not the stress inducing part. :)  

Cheers!






Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Out of the ashes...a new layout arrises!


WOO HOO! I finally broke my buildings out of their boxes and popped them back onto the layout! SO HAPPY!




I still have a LOT of shifting, plotting, planning, and building to do, but it's great to have things back on the layout again.  The new layout is providing some new interests as well - some cool shots and scenes.

Funny, but when I was doing my planning, I completely forgot the residential area. Oops. I found a fix that should work, however. We'll see. The raised track areas are visually fun. Can't wait to scenic them!



The new Soyokaze Village area is a lot of fun. I might make it a walking only area with a few exceptions for deliveries and the like. I've seen some areas in Japan that have this. I think it would be fun to have little chains and poles roping off the area with a bunch of people walking around as tourists.

I also need to look at how people get up to the temple area - walkways and the like. Maybe clay.


The Soyokaze Town area is currently split up a bit. I need to work on it.




I'm trying to sort out how the heck I'm going to scenic the mountain in the background! hehehe I should have made it a module instead of building it in place. We'll see how it goes. : /



Not much changed in the yard area.


Shizuka needs some shifting and shuffling, but it's going to be a good space, I think.







So glad to have things out of boxes and to have the space back in my office space!
Now begins the building shifting and shuffling phase I love! Always a lot of fun. I also want to scenic up Temple Hill - it's become a tradition to have that done first. The Harbor Section is a bit forgotten. I need to dial that in a bit as well. I'm still sorting some things out there. For some reason, the new space is a little more difficult than it used to be. 

Ahhhh....happy camper! :)  Thanks for reading!

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