March 1949 - Page 31
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If you are painting a white clapboard wall on a model, gray the white with a little black if closeup and near the tracks. If at some distance, add a thin wash of natural sienna after the first coat has dried-not much ; just a faint tinge. To paint old, weathered white clapboards on white cardboard, brush a very thin stain of black over it. Unpainted, weathered planking on tem porary buildings, sheds, fences, duck walks and platforms will look convincing if you color the cardboard with either pearl gray Or dark brown stain. Pearl gray on unprimed illustration board is simply a thin black stain : the brown is the brown of umber or sienna and boards of either color can be mixed in the same wall. Inferior and pulpy cardboa1'd would require priming and a more tech nical ability which does not come within the scope of this article. Aluminurn paint, thinned out and darkened with black or dark brown, makes a pretty good imitation of galvanized sheeting. All these walls are identified by the shadows they cast. Rule the shadows in with lead pencil or ink. The soft gray of a lead pencil is just the ticket for shad ows cast by clapboard of corrugated sheet iron walls. Black or dark brown ink will make better cracks and joints in the darker colors of old planking. The hori zontal clapboard shadows should be some thing less than V apart, the vertical s" shadows cast by the corrugations 1/16th inch, and rough planking 3/16" to ". Show door and window frames by im plication. This is to say, by the high lights and shadows they cast-white 01' light colored pencil lines over the top and down one side ; lead pencil lines under the sills and down the other side. A steel pen point or a ruling pen can be dipped in either colored inks or thinned oil colors and ruled in rectangular pat tern over acetate sheets to imitate win dow sash. Also delicate black ink lines drawn on transparent strips of acetate, lucite or some of the new clear plastics look like i ron fences, grills and fretwork if some distance from the eye. Designs in black ink on frosted acetate will imi tate iron and glass ornamentation on a hotel, theatre, station or store canopy. The technique of coloring a landscape ta look real is not generally understood, but it isn't difficult. It begins with the raw plaster itself and the Texture Paint before mentioned has been very satisfac tory to the writer. As we said, it should be applied smoothly, leaving no tool or finger marks. The greatest mistake is to prime the plaster and cover it with heavy green paint to which raw sawdust is applied before it has dried. Do not prime the plaster. Do not paint it green. Avoid any shiny adhesive to hold the grass. Earth is brown ; not green. It shows or should show through grass. Apply the earth colors - the siennas, umbers and Van Dyke brown-directly to the raw plaster. Thin the colors to a heavy stain ; not opaque paint. Apply them in heavily loaded brushfuls in swift strokes over th e surface and allow the MARCH, 1949
color to soak in unevenly as the plaster will take it. This combination of raw texture paint and brown stains will pro duce the most natural earth you ever saw-dull, textured, with a feeling of some depth. Cover all surfaces where earth is to be expected, whether or not you cover it later with grass and shrubs. Dyed sawdust in various degrees of coarsness makes the best wild grasses. Use Casco 01' Cascamite cold water' glue as an adhesive to hold it down. This hardens without shine. Paint the ad hesive over the browned surfaces where ever you want the grass to grow. Re frain from covering all the surface. Per mit bare earth to show, as on the steepest slopes, the tops of 1 :nolls, paths and the like. Then sprinkle the sawdust heavily over all surfaces, pressing it down with the palms of your hands. Next day, gently blow the free grains away. Dying the sawdust is a little messy. Mix the pigments of chrome green, yel low, white and black into the lid of a coffee can. The color you want is a pale green ; dull, not bright. Thin it plenti fully to make a stain. Dump a quantity of sawdust into the can, pack it down so that it will soak up all the stain in the can. Empty it out in a sheet of news paper. Mix and knead in more sawdust until it will take up no more stain, then spread it out to dry. Do not be content with one color. Gren, white and red will produce a light olive ; add blue to it to make a darker olive. Green, white and blue, or just green and blue, will produce the dark rich grasses along the banks of streams and ponds and other low places. Do not mix these shades of grass, but distribute them in splotches over the surfaces as if one kind dominated here, another there. Norwegian lichel\ (you should find it at florist supply houses and hobby stores as Liken) makes the most realistic shrubs and trees you ever saw. The New York World's Fair used two carloads of it in its professional model landscapes. Soak the dried lichen in water to fluff it out. Squeeze all excess water out, then dip it into a solution of equal parts of glyc erine and water to preserve its softness, and squeeze this out. Prepare an olive green stain in a deep pan or open jar and fill it with lichen tips. Press them down, then remove and squeeze slowly but firmly until all the free stain drips back into the jar. Repeat the process with another batch of lichen until you have dyed enough for your tree skeletons and ground shrubs. Set aside to dry for a day, then distribute the clumps over the tree branches and on the ground as described in the accompanying article on landscape constrllcton. Water surfaces can be imitated in sev eral ways. One good way is to cover a painted piece of plywood with thick ace tate sheets. Paint the board blue-green (chrome green and ultra-marine) . Shape the acetate sheets to fit between the plaster banks, then turn them bottom sides up and flow a vinegar-thin, blueJ
green stain over it. The stain will spread out and dry as a thin translucent film. Now apply a little burn sienna or umber stain. It too, will flow this way and that, crowding into the green here and there. Turn the sheet over shiny side up, and fasten to the plank along the edges with Duco cement j or thumb-tack it, hiding the tacks with bits of lichen shrubs. The film of color will look surprisingly like currents and eddies in the water and the illusion of depth quite real. You may improve on this somewhat by spreading a few shreds of cellophane ( used to dec orate Christmas trees) under the acetate sheet. If possible, hang up a concealed ceiling light back of the water so that nearby objects are reflected. END A LIST OF USEFUL ARTIST TUBE COLORS FOR PAINTING MODEL BUILDINGS AND SCENERY CARMINE Red inclined towards purple. A base for box-car, barn and brick reds, red clays, etc. VERMILLION Brighter red inclined towards or ange. A base for old brick, sandstone. CHROME YELLOW Pure yellow. Principally a modifier for othel' colors. Combine with green to make various Jeafy colors ; with red to produce orange ; with blue to make green ; with white to make cream, etc. ORANGE Never used as raw color, but com bined with other colors. Example : mixed with black and white will pro duce tans, buffs, terra cotta, etc. CHROME GREEN Rarely used pure. Basis for leafy colors. ULTRA MARINE Blue. The color of reflected water. Used in combinations with many other colors. ' CE RULEAN BLUE When thinned with white, the color of sky. Has some green in it.
THE EARTH COLORS : RAW SIENNA Predominately tan. BURNT SIENNA Deeper and richer, inclined to red dish brown. RAW UMBER Chestnut or liver brown. An in definite dark earthy color. Good for shade and shado\v. BURNT UMBER Of same general tone as natural umber but darker and leaning towards reddish brown. VAN DYKE BROWN Very dark; 96 r black. A mud color. o 31