Monday, December 31, 2018

Modeling Monday: Weathering the Cape Cod House

(This is the 3rd part of building the Walthers Cape Cod house kit #933-3776. For part 2, click here)

There's a punch line from an old joke about golf that you don't have to be good at it to enjoy it. Well, as I'm starting to build my weathering skills, I find that I'm really enjoying the process - even if my efforts don't turn out quite as I'd hoped. And I'm discovering that weathering - like so much in the hobby - can't be learned from research, reading books, or watching videos. Those are all great ways to start and they do help - a little. But to really learn how to do it, you have to do it.

And you're gonna mess up. It's not a matter of whether but when & the sooner you accept that - if not outright embrace it - the happier you'll be. And the quicker you'll develop some skill.

So follow along as I attempt to weather this structure, make some big mistakes, and correct them...

Here's where things started. All nicely painted and looking good. I kinda wished I left things like this...
I figured I'd use a light wash of India Ink & alcohol to show a house by the tracks of a steam-era railroad. Well, as you can see, it didn't come out "light" at all. Yeah, I was a bit upset at first, thinking I'd ruined things. But - as I'm discovering - there's little that you can do with weathering that'll truly ruin anything. You just have to keep going over it.

So I got out my paint and brushes and started brushing color back on to lighten things back up.

And, as you can see, the effect is actually pretty convincing - looks like some faded, sooty, weathered walls there. At least to my eye . . .

I mentioned you'd make mistakes, but I didn't mention that sometimes you make the same mistake over and over again until you learn the lesson. As you can see above, I again applied too much wash on the windows on the right (the ones on the left look pretty good though - faded, peeling paint look)

As before, I just took some more white paint and used a dry-brushing technique to lighten up the windows that were too dark. You learn a valuable lesson - and gain a lot of confidence - when you realize that you can correct the inevitable mistakes you're gonna make.

The chimney was just brush-painted a red brick color (using craft paint). Note this small detail taped to cardboard for easier painting.

Then I went over it with a white wash to get some mortar lines. I'm not very happy with how it came out - seems that the mortar grooves in the plastic aren't deep enough to allow you to wipe away the brick faces without removing the paint from the grooves as well. But I'll see how it looks on the roof. Maybe the unevenness will look effective then.

And the hits kept comin'! - or, in this case, the mistakes kept being made. This was my attempt to use "a little" black powder to represent some "light" runoff from the window frames. UGH! Definitely used too much - and then made things a bit worse by trying to rub it off.

Ah well, a combination of rubbing and adding more wall color started to tone things down, but still not looking quite like I'd hoped.

And at that point, I decided that would be enough for this session. "A man's gotta know his limitations" - at least when it comes to plowing through weathering. Sometimes, when plowing, it's best to take a break, pull back a bit, and make another run at it. Doesn't mean you quit - and especially doesn't mean you never start - but when developing a new skill, taking a break gives your brain a chance to absorb - and really internalize - what you've learned.

Despite some of the frustrations though, my efforts here were just what I said at the beginning - VERY fun! Of course, it helped that nothing melted :^) nothing got ruined, and I was able to correct the many mistakes I made. But I'm learning a lot. And, most importantly, weathering really starts bringing the model to life!

If you haven't tried weathering, I hope you will. Like golf - among other things - you don't have to be good at it to enjoy it.

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