Friday, 17 August 2018

An Industrial Narrow Gauge Adventure - Adding Clutter part fifteen

Regular followers of this Blog will know that I have been working on an industrial narrow gauge railway layout built to 1:27.7 scale or 11mm = 1 foot. The choice of such an unusual scale has meant that much if not all items needed for the layout have had to be heavily modified and/or converted from existing models, completely 'scratch built' or sculpted by me.

In a series of clutter themed posts which are planned to run throughout August I will demonstrate what materials I have used to model such items and how I have painted these various pieces of 'clutter' which will at some stage be added to the finished layout.

Making realistic tarpaulins from tissue. The inspiration for this particular post came from a magazine article by Brian Balkwell and published in Model Military International - November 2006. Brian suggested using standard tissues coated with water based silicone sealant to make realistic model tarps in 1:35th scale. I tried this using acrylic medium (used by artists to extend acrylic paints) but found that the tissue paper disintegrated. Back to the drawing board.....

I then stumbled upon some computer screen cleaning cloths. The small tissues are about the same size as a standard tissue but made from a thicker paper/tissue. I painted each side of the cloth with the acrylic medium and found that it was much better and able to be manipulated (see the last image).


I then painted the tarpaulin with green acrylic paint. The model Tarp was then scrunched up and folds were added and taken away until I had a flexible tarpaulin. I cut the tarpaulin to a scale 10' x 8' and folded over the edges, about 1 - 1.5mm each side (as suggested by Brian). This was then pressed over a simple resin box to which I had added a couple of balsawood strips. I did not paint the box as the tarpaulin would be covering the whole model. I used superglue to keep the tarpaulin in place and pressed the model and tarp down onto a piece of toughened glass and left it until the glue had fully set.

When I was happy with the effect, I drybrushed the surface with lighter green acrylic paint and even added a couple of washes to highlight the folds (both effects were discussed in the original MMI article). For additional detailing I have added a plastic spanner from the Italeri Field Workshop Set and eyelets made by pressing a small hole in the tarpaulin and then using a silver pencil to model the metal ring.

I am sure that I will be using similar techniques to make more tarpaulins on future projects.


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