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I haven't bothered doing a workbench thread before as I intended putting most of this sort of thing in my blog. I'm not sure the blogs are that widely known about and some of the stuff I've been working on may be of interest to a wider audience so I thought I would also do a workbench thread.

One thing I have been doing quite a lot of is using plasterboard as a medium for cliffs, walls etc. It has the benefit of giving a more authetic appearance than paper or plastic and in my case, being free; sort of.

While renovating my garage I used a substantial amount of plasterboard and was left with a fair bit as I had over ordered which I had initially intended to chuck, but was advised strongly against doing at the time by my father in law who cited various DIY projects where it could be used. I had been doing a fair amount scenery building with plaster and it dawned on me that the same brick/rock effect would obviously be available from plaster on plaster board as it would on plaster. I had a fair amount of rock cuttings to do and thought that as many of them would be cuttings as opposed to cliffs that I could use the plasterboard to make these.

The plasterboard modelling process is pretty straightforward. I would recommend doing this outside and over a bin if you can. You may wish to use a mask and goggles as this is very messy.


The section of plasterboard cut to size.


Insert stanley knife or screwdriver between the card covers into the plasterboard.


Prise away the plaster on one side.
Continue to remove all of the paper from one side of the plasterboard leaving the other to maintain structural integrity. I initially used a screwdriver but this is incredibly slow and found a Stanley knife far quicker. By wedging the knife in the side and twisting a shattered rock effect can be gained while removing the paper. Once all the paper is removed from one side you can use a screwdriver to add more effects to make it look more like shattered rock.



Once the paper is removed, a series of coloured washes can then be applied to resemble the rock of your choice. For the first coat I used a matt enamel type paint diluted with turps to seal the plaster. The colour to choose depends on what type of rock you are after, white for chalk, grey for Oolitic Limestone, beige for Portland Limestone, red for Central Scottish sandstone. You really don't want any dust getting onto the tracks or into the inner workings of your locos. For subsequent coats you can weather the rock face or add other colouring to resemble the type of rock you are trying to represent, e.g. spots of pinks or whites for granites.



This is the sheet when placed in position on a slope. If you are using water based stains for the secondary coats it is best to do this on a warm day or in a heated room as you want the plaster to dry quickly and not absorb the water. I tend to use several layers of washes to build up the weathered look. I have a large container of stain wash which I apply every time I am out there to build up the layers.



And with a bit of scenicing.



Plasterboard would also be ideal for making brick walls too however once you have removed the surface paper lining you will have to level the surface again by sanding it flat. It may be easier to apply plaster to the surface you intend to look like wall than to do this however it does offer one major advantage; it is difficult to line and etch the plastered surface while it is attached to a structure on your layout. It is comparatively easy to work with a sheet of a foot or so of plasterboard and to etch lines into it with a modelling knife and steel rule. There is also the ability to "point" the brickwork which is best done on a flat surface.

As before the first step is to strip the paper from one side leaving the paper intact on the other to preserve structural integrity.
Having done a fair bit of this over the last month I have found that you now want to file the stripped surface flat if you want an even new build sort of finish. If you do not then leave it uneven and it will represent older crumbling brickwork. The next stage is to use a steel rule to etch the brick work effect into the plasterboard.



The vertical lines have to be done by hand and yes, this is very time consuming.



Next step is to give it a colour wash with your choice of brick colour thinned with turps. I then add subsequent layes of water based washes to weather.



These are added in the form of tiles one by one to make up the area required. Joins can be disguised, if not tight fitting, by buttresses or weeds.

These are all attached with PVA glue. The ends and buttresses can be easily made up from small offcuts.



Here are some pictures after scenicing has been applied to the brickwork.







In conclusion it is a lot of work but is worth it for the authentic effect. It's probably better for stone than brick as bricks are pretty small in HO/OO scales. Here are some more pictures of structures I have made using this technique.













 

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Looks like I'll have to do a whats on my bench too (I'll have to find it first !).

Like the effect with the plasterboard, but I wish you'd stop showing that "item" of motive power - everytime I see it It make me want one even more !
 

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Neil,

Thanks for sharing those practical methods.

By the way, we now know where the missing Michelangelo's David is


Baykal
 

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Neil,

Fantastic tip
, thanks for showing us ,I think it may prove very handy on Wuppertal and save me a fortune in the wall boards I need to use
.

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
QUOTE Looks like I'll have to do a whats on my bench too (I'll have to find it first !).

That was my thought too

QUOTE Like the effect with the plasterboard, but I wish you'd stop showing that "item" of motive power - everytime I see it It make me want one even more Go on Brian, you know you want one and thy're in red now too.


QUOTE By the way, we now know where the missing Michelangelo's David is

and I thought I'd gotten away with it.


QUOTE Fantastic tip , thanks for showing us ,I think it may prove very handy on Wuppertal and save me a fortune in the wall boards I need to use .

David, using plasterboard has saved me a fortune. If I had bought Faller products for all the things I have made out of plasterboard it would have cost me 100's of euros. And all the stuff I have made is unique and custom made to the right size. No unsightly joins in the middle of walls; well not as many anyway.

It takes a little while to get used to working with it but once you get the hang of it the results are quite good. It's essentially the same substance as Townstreet buildings etc are made from so you get a more authentic stone finish.

I'm going to have a go at using it to make buildings. I need a half relief pub for the pier so I will see if I can get some photos of some from the East Neuk. The one in Elie springs to mind as I always go there when I go home.
 

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Neil, I need 3.4ft x 4.6 inches high of off-brown wall please- you know where I live
 

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QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 2 Jul 2008, 23:35) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Go on Brian, you know you want one and thy're in red now too.

I do, I do - but now I have another excuse - black or red ?

Do I get the red to match the Olympic 05 or black so that it looks a little different ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
QUOTE (Brian Considine @ 3 Jul 2008, 16:14) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I do, I do - but now I have another excuse - black or red ?

Do I get the red to match the Olympic 05 or black so that it looks a little different ?
Given a choice Iwould have picked red. However when I bought mine it was black or green. The red looks fantastic.
 

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Excellent work Neil and another great idea - I've got to buy some plasterboard shortly (to replace the Kitchen ceiling after it fell down!) Now I know what to do with the offcuts.

Personally I think Brian should buy both versions of the loco!

Regards
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
QUOTE (BRITHO @ 3 Jul 2008, 22:52) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Excellent work Neil and another great idea - I've got to buy some plasterboard shortly (to replace the Kitchen ceiling after it fell down!) Now I know what to do with the offcuts.

Personally I think Brian should buy both versions of the loco!

Regards
I think so too Dave but will he?
 

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QUOTE (BRITHO @ 3 Jul 2008, 13:52) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Personally I think Brian should buy both versions of the loco!

QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 3 Jul 2008, 23:15) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I think so too Dave but will he?

Well - it is his (buspass) birthday soon so perhaps the model railway fairy will visit?

Regards
 

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Thanks alot for that tip Neil, I've a humped back road bridge to build for my new layout and now I think I know how to make it so it looks truely different to other peoples.

Also, I,like the West Highland Line mk1s you've got behind the Scot, very nice, I've got plans to build a set of Gresley Tourist stock a some stage whose colours were copied for those mk1s.

Andii
 

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QUOTE (5696Arethusa @ 5 Jul 2008, 05:00) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Thanks alot for that tip Neil, I've a humped back road bridge to build for my new layout and now I think I know how to make it so it looks truely different to other peoples.

Also, I,like the West Highland Line mk1s you've got behind the Scot, very nice, I've got plans to build a set of Gresley Tourist stock a some stage whose colours were copied for those mk1s.

Andii
Cheers Andii, I've found this a good way to make unique structures.

I started some building fronts yesterday and am finding it a lot easier than I had thought it would be. I'll do an update once finished.

The West Highland coaches were a limited edition (Lima) set done by Harburn Hobbies a few years ago. They are an authentic livery as can be seen on the cab ride DVD Steam to Mallaig.
 

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Hi Neil,
Over on my brothers layout thread you say you've been making some trees, OK lets see them


Andii
 

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Excellent idea,thank you........might also work if only small bits available, laid on edge with broken plaster edges,, to build up a rocky cutting [I tried that idea with wood fibre insulation board years ago........]

BTW...I like that small dark green open wagon in the early photos..the one with the Castelle sheet over it?

any details?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
QUOTE (5696Arethusa @ 5 Jul 2008, 21:07) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Neil,
Over on my brothers layout thread you say you've been making some trees, OK lets see them


Andii
I have finished making some of the trees but haven't yet "planted" them. I should be able to get some time on Thursday to plant a couple and put some photos on. I am very impressed with the sea moss trees, I wouldn't buy ready made again.

QUOTE might also work if only small bits available, laid on edge with broken plaster edges,, to build up a rocky cutting

Yes, you can build up a variety of effects by using a flat piece or by using smaller bits depending on what type of rock strata you are trying to represent. I found the flattish bits best for blasted rock cuttings, however naturally occurring rock doesn't usually look like that and something more three dimensional is better. There are exceptions though like the cliffs at the South of England they are pretty vertical and sheer.

The Castelle wagon is a Trix one from a series they did on wineries. There were a couple of other ones with barrels and a slide door one. The one you asked about came with a nice vintage lorry



There was also an accessory set with a couple of guys unloading barrels with a small crane which I will set up near the bavarian station eventually.

 

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VERY NICE BIT OF INFO RE WINE WAGONS....sorry for shouting.....have you got the 3 axle wagon?

[I liked the spoked wheels.....again, apologies for sidetracking the thread.....I'm sure you didn't set out to post a [useful and interesting] history, but it's amazing what one see's in the background?]
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
QUOTE (alastairq @ 8 Jul 2008, 06:17) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>VERY NICE BIT OF INFO RE WINE WAGONS....sorry for shouting.....have you got the 3 axle wagon?

[I liked the spoked wheels.....again, apologies for sidetracking the thread.....I'm sure you didn't set out to post a [useful and interesting] history, but it's amazing what one see's in the background?]
Unfortunately not. It's the only item above that I don't have yet. I wanted to get all of the above as I intended to do a small winery scene using the Busch vines. I have another of the wine barrel cars on the way at the moment although it will be from a different winery. I'm not sure if I still have space for the winery now but I'm sure I could get a few lines of vines in.
 
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